College Counselor’s Corner: Colleges From Coast to Coast

From coast to coast, there’s action on the college front. Here’s what’s going on:

Go West, College Counselors!

Stanford in the morning light

No trip to the West Coast would be complete without checking out some colleges, right? So in the early morning chill on Monday, I journeyed to Stanford, where I walked around the Main Quad when only the athletes were up and training.

The university has a spectacular Spanish-style campus to match its reputation. It also has the nicest pool (Avery Aquatic Center) I’ve seen at a college, and with the Olympic stars it educates (e.g., Katie Ledecky), that’s no surprise.


The Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford

But who’s getting in? Stanford admitted a mere 4.69 percent of its applicants to the Class of 2020. The admissions office says it focuses on “academic excellence, intellectual vitality and personal context” and that it places no weight whatsoever on demonstrated interest (i.e., repeatedly showing love and interest for Stanford). Its supplemental essay questions weren’t nearly as difficult as others this year. Parents whose children are not recruited athletes should know that the road to Palo Alto will be far more than bumpy. Still, it’s worth a trip to campus when in the area.

Santa Clara University: Combining looks from the past with tech for the future

After going to Stanford, I stopped in at a much smaller institution, Santa Clara University, which refers to itself as “the Jesuit university in Silicon Valley.” It’s no coincidence that SCU graduates are engineers and entrepreneurs in the making, and the school is getting increased interest from East Coast students having the appropriate goals. Santa Clara’s accepted-student scores are strong (GPA 3.7; ACT 27-32).


Or Take the Train to NYC

In contrast, students who want or need to stay close to home have some very viable alternatives with very different images. This week, the Times published “America’s Great Working-Class Colleges.” The author explained the strength these colleges (e.g., Baruch, Pace) have in propelling individuals forward, stating, “They remain deeply impressive institutions that continue to push many Americans into the middle class and beyond — many more, in fact, than elite colleges that receive far more attention.” We learn that if lower-income students attend elite colleges, their earnings can be about as much as their affluent peers. Still, their access to elite colleges is not great. According to John Friedman of Brown, one of the study’s authors, “Because the elite colleges aren’t fulfilling that responsibility, working-class colleges have become vastly larger engines of social mobility.”

Late January in Princeton: An Opportunity for Juniors Not Far From Home

Our classics scholars are taking a trip to the Princeton Art Museum on Tuesday, January 31. I’ll be accompanying them and taking other interested juniors along so they get their feet on the famous campus and learn what to look for during a college tour. If your student is a junior, you might suggest that he or she go along for the ride.

Testing: It’s Time to Register (at Home)

In many of these posts, I explain that standardized testing, while not as crucial in the admissions process as it once was, is nevertheless important. What’s more, a good test result may result in merit aid. Since it’s mid-January, juniors should be signing up for their first SAT and ACT. If they had a good PSAT result, they should take the SAT on March 11; otherwise, May 6 allows time for prep. The April 8 ACT date is good for all juniors except those going to Iceland, in which case June 10 is the target date. Testing resources include:


Open Houses (Close to Home)

There are still open houses, even in the winter.

Felician College: Sunday, January 22

Drew (Discover Drew Days): Saturday, January 28


Questions About College?

Hudson College Night is March 15, 2017, at 7:00 pm. You will have a chance to learn more about the process and hopefully get answers to your questions. Mr. Perkinson expects parents to come with their students, especially parents of juniors.

Have a good weekend. Email me and let me know about your college travels.


Nina Berler

College Counselor

The Hudson School

(201) 659-8335 x119

2017-03-02T17:47:24+00:00 January 20th, 2017|
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