Getting a deferral from the college that you really want to attend can be devastating. This year it seems that more colleges are using the deferral process to manage their enrollment more efficiently. With applications at an all time high, colleges are overwhelmed with strong candidates. While you might eventually get into the college, getting deferred can still be frustrating. Anyone who has been through the college application process realizes how much work goes into finding, touring, and applying. Adding to this, the majority of our students apply to 6-8 colleges, and our dedicated team works diligently on each application every year.
One success story that started with a deferral is our client from the Michigan State class of 2016, Nick Spunar. Nick initially had his heart set on a dream school until a deferral caused him to change course to selecting Michigan State for his undergraduate experience. It was through this experience that Nick took a much closer look at other schools and ultimately decided that Michigan State University could best further his professional and personal goals for undergrad. Even when the original dream school responded with an acceptance, Nick had chosen a different path.
Nick started his application process by applying to eight undergraduate universities. “Based on extensive research of the universities and my discussions with Parros College Planning, I determined that I should apply to a groups of schools that were considered 1.) ‘reach’ schools 2.) ‘competitive’ 3.) ‘safety schools.’"
It was Michigan State’s “alumni network, campus, and its finance and accounting ratings and opportunities” that pushed Nick to be a Spartan. “The university was big enough to have all the resources I needed to become successful, but also the finance classes and clubs were small enough where I could develop relationships with a majority of my class and make a name for myself.”
Though Nick was attracted by the alumni network initially, it ended up being one of the most important resources that his school would provide. “It was a critical factor in my internship/job search and I was able to obtain unique real business experience through networking and volunteering that was directly applicable to classroom work and eventually by internships and jobs I obtained.” Such connections can be critical after undergrad, and it is important to determine if the schools on your list will provide such opportunities.
Determining this can be difficult, and this is where Parros College Planning came in to help Nick and hundreds of other students decide which school could provide the best resources for the student as an individual. For Nick, “Parros College Planning helped me search and prepare for scholarships, arrange financial aid, prepare for the ACT/SAT, and acted as another resource for college research.”
Looking back on his experience, Nick has great insight on how to make that final decision on where to go. “Try to experience the day-to-day life of a student as much as possible,” he suggests. “I visited my top 5 schools multiple times and talked to countless students, faculty and alumni before I felt comfortable with my choice. At the end of the day, undergrad students are committing 4+ years of their life to determine how they want to start their professional career. Finding a university that provides the resources needed to figure out one's interests, reach goals, and build relationships is extremely important.”
Nick also has suggestions for how to tackle your experience as a freshman and succeed in your first year of college. “Get involved in as many things as possible and take risks. By getting involved in many diverse clubs/activities, you are able to meet more people and learn more about yourself. Taking risks is important because it means you are acting outside of your comfort zone. Being able to adapt to new places, subjects, people, situations, etc. is important in the professional world. By pushing yourself outside of the comfort zone, you are able to experience and learn how to work through successes and failures.”
This, Nick believes, helped him prepare for his career. “I took full advantage of the resources available at Michigan State and was able to adjust and excel in the fast-paced, complex and dynamic work environment of my current job.” Nick is currently an analyst within Ernst & Young's Transaction Advisory Services in Detroit. In his role, Nick assists companies with mergers and acquisitions, goodwill impairment, tax reorganization and insolvency.
We are proud of everything Nick accomplished while at college and beyond, and admire him for looking past what he originally wanted to make the best decision for his future. Parros College Planning has helped students just like Nick pick a school that would help them thrive in the career of choice after college. We are currently preparing our juniors, the class of 2019, to prepare for the application season. Spring is a great time to schedule college tours, but there is work that needs to be done before you visit campuses, so please schedule an appointment with Parros College Planning.