Things We Believe
There are a lot of different ways to approach college admissions, and we know that not everyone shares our philosophy of finding the right schools and enjoying the process. That's OK. But those people probably shouldn't come to Collegewise (and we probably won't be inviting them to our Super Bowl party, either).
Here are the most important things we believe, things that Collegewise families like and appreciate about us:
1. Brand-name schools aren't necessarily the best.
We believe that great educations and wonderful experiences take place at lots of colleges, including some in Delaware.
2. The process should be fun.
A student's college future is serious business. But that doesn't mean the process of finding and applying to college should be angst-ridden and unpleasant. This should be an exciting time that families enjoy together.
3. There is no magic formula.
There is no magic formula of grades, test scores and activities that guarantees admission to particular colleges. So students shouldn't live their high school years trying to mold themselves into what they think colleges want. It's far better to work hard, do what you love, select appropriate colleges and present yourself honestly. That's the best college admissions strategy. And we say that because it works.
4. Kids should do the work themselves.
The more students do for themselves, the better their results will be. We give our students a lot of guidance and encouragement. But we will not do the work for them.
5. We want kids to be happy and successful in college.
We judge our success not by how many of our students get into Ivy League schools, but by how happy our students are at their chosen colleges.
In September 1999, Kevin McMullin founded Collegewise in Irvine, California using his last paycheck from his previous job. He worked with nine students that fall and drove to their houses (in a Ford Taurus whose color was indescribably bad) to meet at their kitchen tables and talk about how to get in to college. One year later, over 100 students were enrolled in the Collegewise program, Kevin was no longer the only counselor, and the Taurus's color remained just as revolting.
Even in those early days, we told any family who would listen that colleges on the US News "Top 50" list didn't have the market cornered on great college experiences. We advised students that the surest way to impress a college is to be yourself, to pursue what you really like, and to be proud of who you are. We hired really smart people* who wanted to work hard, we took good care of people who hired us, and we opened offices in several cities.
Today, Collegewise has helped more than 5000 kids find and attend over 700 different colleges. In December 2012, we officially became part of The Princeton Review and are now rolling out Collegewise offices nationwide. And while we don't drive to houses and meet at kitchen tables anymore, we're still reminding families that there are plenty of great schools out there for any kid who sincerely wants to go. And we're making the college planning experience an enjoyable one for a lot of families.
If we sound like kind of place that could help you, click here to find out more about our counseling programs.
*Some of those really smart people have also done such interesting things as playing collegiate softball and breaking boards in karate class. You can read about them here.
University of Washington