Frequently Asked Questions
Do the colleges you recommend pay you?
Absolutely not! We receive no payment of any kind from the colleges we recommend and avoid any form of outside influence. We recommend colleges that are aligned with our client’s priorities, not ours.
Why is it important to help families identify a “best fit” set of colleges to visit?
In most cases parents, in cooperation with high school counselors, can navigate challenges related to completing college applications, composing essays, scheduling standardized tests, completing college applications, and completing financial aid applications. What high school counselors don’t do is…..visit colleges. Typically, they can’t, for example, tell you where the best Engineering, English, Social Work, or Pre-Med programs are in Ohio. Similarly, they can’t tell which schools provide the best learning support and learning disability services. They can’t help your student identify a short list of possible majors to explore based on their interests and capabilities. They can’t even tell you about club sport options, student organizations, or Greek life. We can!
How do you know about all of Ohio’s many and diverse public and private colleges?
Over the last few years, we have visited 60 of Ohio’s best public and private colleges and universities. We have toured campuses, talked to faculty, visited with admissions counselors, and chatted with students. After every visit we drafted a “Campus Field Report” identifying their “Centers of Excellence” including stellar academic programs, unique campus cultures, compelling co-curricular programs, academic partnerships, and unique academic support capabilities. We captured data on the demographics of their student body, average class size, basis for financial aid discounts/scholarships, and admissions criteria/selectivity. Our Campus Field Report data was summarized for Ohio’s best colleges in our book, “Field Guide to Ohio’s Best Colleges. Our clients will receive a complimentary copy of our book. View an example Campus Field Report here.
In your view, what constitutes a “strong” academic program or major?
We have identified 8 characteristics of a strong academic program (major). We seek to identify these on every campus we visit. Majors that we recognize as “stellar” possess a minimum of 6 of the following characteristics:
- They have faculty members, sufficient in number, to represent the most critical areas of specialization within the field of study.
- They have the most current technologies required for learning and skill development in the major.
- They have contemporary and well maintained physical facilities relevant to the field of study.
- They have a large and vibrant group of student majors.
- They offer active student organization/s supporting students in the major and connecting them to relevant academic or professional networks.
- Their Career Center provides impressive documented placement rates for graduates and/or admission rates into graduate programs.
- They require or offer active internship, research, conference, speaker, and/or outreach placement opportunities relevant to the major.
- They offer students relevant study abroad opportunities that enrich the major.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are families with aspiring college students who want to quickly and effectively clarify what they are looking for in a college, identify a short list of majors to explore, and build a list of best-fit colleges and universities to visit.
Do you focus solely on Ohio schools?
Ohio has such a large and diverse network of nationally recognized institutions that we believe just about anyone can excel in Ohio, however we do occasionally recommend colleges outside Ohio. We monitor nearly 60 Ohio colleges through visits and ongoing conversations. We know them better than anyone and can prove it – just read our book, “Field Guide to Ohio’s Best Colleges.”
A recent study found that if a student leaves his or her home state to attend an out-of-state college, there is less than a 40% chance that they will return to their home state to work and live. Over 80% of Ohio’s families send their students to colleges in their home state as a result. We believe that too many parents, with the best of intentions, “export” their students out-of-state, even given solid in-state options, and then spend the rest of their lives traveling to visit their kids. This is not to discount the existence of unique and compelling out-of-state educational opportunities for some students’…just food for thought.
How do you help clients who have students who require learning support services or who have learning disabilities?
We explore services for students with learning challenges as well as Learning/Student Success services on every campus we visit. We look for those schools with exceptional levels of resources, programs, and/or processes that support these students and track records that prove it. We have also identified five colleges in Ohio that offer unique learning support programs for students with learning challenges such as ADHD or even light autism.
How do you help clients who are sensitive to the cost of higher education?
We help our clients clarify their understanding of the cost of college and identify college options aligned with their cost sensitivity. Additionally, our “Comprehensive Trail Map” includes a cost comparison among those schools we recommend.