By Liz Boyd, Kim Parros
Brown University. Brown is an ‘Ivy’ with over 32,390 students applying but only 1,681students actually enrolling. Every year Parros College Planning sees a plethora of dream colleges and this year was no different. Schools included Brown, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, Amherst, UCLA, and many more.
“We had a wide range of students selecting colleges across the scale of acceptance ratios,” said Lisa Schmidt, licensed counselor at Parros College Planning ” Every year is different and this year we saw a very high acceptance rate for our students at the University of Michigan, along with many other excellent Michigan colleges”. We love that we get to work with all students regardless of the college they want to attend!
Before we share Ruth Sullivan’s story we want to stress that Parros College Planning encourages families to enroll in our program early on in the college planning process, usually in grades 9 or 10, so that we can give each student as much of an advantage as possible to discover and then get accepted to their dream college. However, we still work with a full range of students no matter where they are in the college admission process. Ruth was one of the students that we started working with late in the admission game. She signed up with us the summer before her senior year, intent on getting into Brown University.
“It was easy to see that Ruth is a very bright student. She had taken 9 AP classes throughout high school” said Kim Parros, essay coach and marketing expert at Parros College Planning.
When asked about the quantity of AP’s Ruth was quick to point out; “I like being challenged, which is why I take AP classes even in subjects I do not want to major in”.
It is apparent that with the AP classes always comes a large workload, but Ruth was able to manage that well too. “I balanced my course work by trying to complete all of my homework while in school. I also did my homework as soon as I got home each day to keep productivity going. I learned that if I waited I was less motivated so it took me longer.” She mentioned that she also made sure to take classes that she was really interested in, such as government and chemistry.
Even as a high schooler, Ruth is a research assistant in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. She’s become familiar with operating the laboratory equipment as well as learning how to handle the inevitable set back that research sometimes provides. “I have learned a lot about engineering techniques and now have almost a year of college research experience which I am sure will be helpful going forward.” Ruth eventually wants to major in biomedical engineering when she goes to Brown University next school year. On that topic she says that “I enjoy biology and biomedical engineering because it pushes me, to learn and to work my hardest.”
Even with Ruth’s drive and enthusiasm, she knew that she would really need to stand out on her college applications to get into the college of her dreams: Brown University. Working on her application is where Parros College Planning spent the most time with her.
“We implemented our application strategy with Ruth and she soon realized how important it was to highlight her traits in a very strategic way since the admission advisor at the colleges sometimes reads through up to 2,000 essays each year,” said Tim Parros, Founder of Parros College Planning.
According to Ruth the most memorable part of the Parros College Planning process was when she met with Kim about her Common Application essay. “She helped me realize what I needed to do when I had no idea how to write an essay for college applications.” She went on to say “I am so glad I went to Parros for help with my essays. The help I got really strengthened my application and helped me with the other essays I wrote afterward. Everyone was so nice and seemed to really care about helping me improve my application.”
Standing out on your college application can be difficult and can make the best of us struggle. Just one of Parros’s specialties is helping high schoolers find their voice in their college essays to help them stand out from the sea of other hard-working students. We are so proud of Ruth that she succeeded in getting into not just her dream school, but many others.
We are proud of all of our students, who worked so hard this year to submit the very best college application that was possible. If you’re interested in more information we would love to hear from you! Remember that the sooner you start the college process, the more time we have to help a student find their dream college.