Parros College Planning’s student, Spencer Good, Class of 2017 Lumen Christi High School, will be the first to tell you that picking a college doesn’t come from osmosis. For Spencer, research was an integral part of the college admissions process. From narrowing down his college visits, to determining where he would actually apply, to catering his essays toward his choice colleges, Spencer knew that reading up on these schools was key. 

His list, scaled down to 11 schools, took a process of elimination that looked at factors such as financial aid, and was a far cry from the schools he originally looked at. “At the start of my search, I was looking towards small schools that were within a three hour radius of my home that had Division III athletics. After doing more research, I ended up expanding my criteria and searched a wider range of options. Parros helped me consider more schools that were not on my radar,” says Spencer. 

After Spencer had solidified his list, it was time to brand himself in a way that best appealed to his colleges of choice. Spencer came to Parros College Planning and compiled a strong resume of his classes and activities from high school. Then, it was back to the research, this time focusing on the Common App and his list of colleges. “I also put a lot of research in the schools I was applying to for school specific essay questions, to demonstrate to the admissions officers that I had invested time into looking at the school and was seriously considering attending.” This effort paid off, and Spencer was admitted into Columbia University in the City of New York. 

Indeed, the payoff for Spencer was well worth the work it took. Columbia is a world renowned, Ivy League university. Spencer is confident that he “will receive a world class education. Columbia’s ‘core curriculum’ program provides small class sizes in which debate and discussion is encouraged, providing a good base to form rhetoric skills.” Spencer is most looking forward to “the intensive lifestyle Columbia will bring. I’ve always thrived in a highly competitive, fast paced environment, and this is the perfect opportunity to be submerged in that environment.” As a future student athlete for the school’s wrestling program, Spencer will be especially exposed to that competitive atmosphere at the Division I level. 

When reflecting on the advice he would give incoming seniors who will soon tackle the application process, Spencer talks of the importance of working diligently to meet application goals. “It takes a lot of hard-work and dedication to go through the entire application process correctly. Make sure you do your research and consider a variety of schools, don’t pigeonhole yourself by only focusing on one school or one type of school. Lastly, highlight your strengths and what you have worked hard for on your applications.” 

Spencer’s work ethic and desire for a competitive academics and athletic atmosphere is reflective of Columbia’s worldwide reputation. If Columbia sounds like the right fit for you, schedule a consultation with our college planning experts, so that we can earn you a spot at the school of your choice.

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