Digital footprint, digital literacy, digital native, digital citizen. High school students are well-served when they consider each of these in the process of getting ready to become college applicants.
But what about college counselors? Does it matter if a 50-something (for argument's sake only, of course!) is tweeting, facebooking, podcasting, blogging and updating a website? Is it even age-appropriate?! Our own children might just wonder.
In order to serve our clients best, we need to stay up-to-date and on top of the ways in which technology can inform and improve our profession. We spend time on social media platforms in order to stay abreast of the latest news and information. If the College Board or the ACT tweets a change to their tests, we need to know because you need to know. It's that simple.
We follow blogs, we belong to industry associations and read their news feeds, we routinely visit websites of our colleagues in college counseling across the globe, we search for tutoring, test prep and college counseling sources on Twitter, and we even listen to podcasts on these topics when we're running. But all that information is lost if we don't pass it on to you. We take responsibility for sifting through the data, spend time distilling it to its most salient points, and pass it on to you. Like Cliff Notes for higher education!
When hiring a college counselor, will you review his digital presence? We think it advisable in the quest to understand the extent of their knowledge as well as to gauge whether their philosophy regarding the admissions process matches that of your child, and of your family. If you turn to a college counselor for essay and application writing support, you might want to check their ability to turn a phrase. Are their website and marketing materials clear, concise, and free of grammatical and spelling errors? Find out if a college counselor has his digital finger on the pulse of the industry, because college admissions is evolving in record time.
Don't get us wrong, we don't live online. We visit college and university campuses, we meet with admissions officers, we network with colleagues, and we spend lots of time with our clients, face-to-face.
Once upon a time, we were Luddites. Digital citizenship is not a choice for us, it is an integral part of our commitment to you.
Financial and visa requirements are among the most critically important, as well as most complex, challenges faced by the newly-accepted international student. In fact, these requirements can seem like a barrier, and get in the way of the student’s matriculation at her chosen university. We believe that forewarned is forearmed, and to that end, we've done some research for you.
We have summarized the key requirements at each of four US universities in the table below. Of note, you will find that requirements are presented in a different format at each of the university websites. This is the initial barrier, that of time and energy to research the requirements at the universities to which you have been accepted. Then, get ready to decipher the instructions, which are presented across multiple web pages on the university sites: in a FAQ section, a special web page for international students, PDFs attached to pages via links, multiple pages on drop-down menus for international students and more. The final barrier is execution: of the proper forms, online questionnaires, and attendance at required orientation and mandatory “check-in” sessions either in person or online.
Mitigating these barriers are the professionals on-campus who are dedicated to assisting you and other international students. Each of the universities that we researched has robust, if not consistently organized, information online. Contact information is readily available, and there are on-campus offices where you can go for assistance. Take advantage of these resources. Although barriers exist, the you are not alone as you work to understand the financial and visa requirements for your chosen university. Our message to you is to do your homework on these topics before arrival on campus.
Take a look at the table below to get a sense of how differently colleges approach these requirements. Now, get online and check out the requirements at your university!