This is either the first blog in what will become a vastly successful college counseling business for “the rest of us” – the adults going back to school, the families who have never gone through the college admission process before, the parents whose child is not going to Harvard or Yale, the young professionals trying to pick a grad school – or if they should go to grad school, or…

Or it’s a brief footnote to an upstart that didn’t make it.

At this point, I don’t know which will prove true.  But I can tell you that if I don’t succeed, someone else will.

Listening to thousands of parents and adult students (with many wearing both hats), two things are obvious to me: a) people have more information about college available to them than ever before and b) they are getting less guidance on how to use that information.

This is not a knock on college counselors or guidance personnel, nor is it a comment on the families involved.  In the 23 years that I have worked in college admission, enrollment and financial aid, the amount of materials – both paper and electronic – that we produce has grown enormously.  “Many trees die”, you might say, in the quest to promote Colleges to potential students.  The tenor of these materials has also changed dramatically – the soft sell (dare we used that word – “sell” – 10-15 years ago!) of the 1980’s has given way to aggressive promotional techniques, often at the expense of providing meaningful information about the institutions we promote.  Paper catalogs were deemed too expensive, but pens, flash drives and Frisbees became commonplace.

As well, the entire process has become far more complex.  Standards for many public colleges have risen dramatically while the numbers for many private colleges have declined.  The College Visit has become its own pocket industry.  An economist should do a supply and demand study about College Admission in the past two decades (maybe one has and I’ve missed it; have to do some investigating).  It would be fascinating for its ebbs and flows, its contradictions, its own special pulse.

Well, anyway, I’m going to start my first blog under Joba rules, and keep this under 500 words.  I hope I can provide a valuable service in the years to come for the adults going back to school, the families who have never gone through the college admission process before, the parents whose child is not going to Harvard or Yale, the young professionals trying to pick a grad school – or if they should go to grad school.

I welcome your comments – always – and please feel free to email me at CCRMichael@gmail.com, join me on Facebook on “College Counseling for the Rest of Us” and join me on Twitter at @MichaelCCR.

“See” you next week!

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