NS College Consulting Blog

Continuing our focus on extracting teachable moments from the craziness of the 2018-2019 application season, today in Part Two of our multi-part series we will focus on the importance of demonstrated interest and the reliance on CRM systems in the admissions process.


According to a blog post by Meghan McHale Dangremond, an admission officer at Tufts University, “we . . . care if you’re a fit on our campus specifically, and if you are excited about joining our community.  That’s why demonstrated interest matters (at Tufts and at many other universities). . . If you are really interested in a college or university, you should make the time to do it well.  If you can’t or don’t want to take that time, perhaps this a good moment to sit and reconsider your list.”


Simply put, many, if not most, colleges want to know which applicants really love them and how much. Don’t forget, at the end of the day, colleges are businesses and the higher a college’s yield (the percentage of admitted students who actually enroll) the better the college’s bottom line. If State University admits ten applicants and eight of those applicants decide to attend people will think that State U is a great place to go to school and everyone will want to apply the following year thereby boosting application numbers and State U’s yield and then hopefully for State U the cycle continues.


Like many businesses these days, most colleges have begun to utilize customer-relations management systems, or CRMs, in order to track data about prospective students and provide those students with customized information. CRMs for higher education enable colleges to track every interaction an applicant has had with that particular college across different platforms. For instance, how much does a prospect engage with the content on the college’s website? Is the student reading the emails he receives from the college and clicking on various links? Did the student sign up for the mailing list? Visit campus? Email her regional admissions rep? Attend an admissions event at her high school? Follow the college on social media?


As a result, the use of comprehensive CRM programs allows colleges to distinguish between truly interested applicants and stealth applicants (those whose very first contact with the college is their application). Demonstrated interest can play a big role in increasing your chances of admission at colleges that track it. It is often the thing that distinguishes one seemingly identical applicant from another resulting in an offer of admission for one and a denial for the other. Likewise, demonstrated interest can be a very important factor in getting an applicant off the waitlist as we watched more and more colleges turn to their waitlists this season in order to reach their enrollment goals. Showing love in an authentic way can have a positive impact on the competitiveness of a student’s application and chances of admission.


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Monday, June 10, 2019

College Admissions: 2019 in Review

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Monday, April 22, 2019

April is Autism Awareness Month


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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Lessons from the College Tour

Heather Knobel, Colgate University Class of 2022  Read more


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Love or Lust?


Tuesday, February 05, 2019

North Shore News Volume 2

We are excited to share North Shore Notes Volume 2   Read more

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Surviving Rejection

Dr. Gena Khodos, North Shore College Consulting Essay Coach

When I was applying to college, the University of Michigan was my top choice.  I submitted application for early action and pledged to the university that it was my number one choice.

A few months later a very thin envelope arrived from Ann Arbor: a rejection. It was the first university I heard back from and it was, by far, the most painful. I remember bursting into tears the second I spotted the envelope, knowing that had I been accepted, a large welcome packet would have been welcoming me to become a Wolverine. I tore open the skimpy mailing, read the letter of regret, and went running to my parents for comfort.

So many questions ran through my head: how come they didn’t like me? What did I do wrong? Did I make a mistake on my application? Was I simply not good enough?

Months later I got a full ride to the University of Iowa and decided to go there instead. And I had a blast: I double majored in English and finance, joined a sorority, worked at a local bar, played IM soccer, and had an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

All of these memories came rushing back when I recently comforted a student who was rejected from the University of Illinois. She was absolutely despondent and couldn’t figure out what had happened. She seemed to meet all the criteria. Illinois was her dream, and she was sure that no other school would be as good a fit.

While disappointment of any kind can be hard, getting rejected from your top, or one of your top, college choices can be particularly sharp. But there are ways to handle it and move forward.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

The Truth About Gap Years

The term “gap year” may bring up certain emotions of confusion, concern or uncertainty. For some, the term “gap year” can provoke an image of an 18 year old lounging on the beach, running around a foreign country, or simply wasting their time and their parents money. However, the gap year gets a bad reputation without students and their parents truly understanding the meaning of a much needed mental break and how that break can be used to the student’s advantage.

First, let’s clear up the scary confusion of the elusive “gap year”. Taking a gap year does NOT mean that a student does not go to college, nor does it mean that a student will NEVER go to college. Actually it is the opposite. In reality, 99% of students go on to college after their gap year and 94% graduate in 4 years. A gap year is simply an alternative way for a student to transition to college, while learning valuable life skills and lessons that they were unable to learn in high school or in the classroom. Students still go through the entire college application process, the only difference is that the student will then ask the college to defer their acceptance until the following year. This extra time to transition gives students a space to mature, heal and a year of recovery after pushing their brain to the limit. We understand the idea of delaying college may seem scary or daunting, but if the gap year is used appropriately, the benefits could put anyone at ease.

The gap year is completely designed around the student and their strengths. How they spend their time does not need to be limited to one specific year-long experience. The gap year can actually be multiple experiences at the same time or some that are done consecutively that have nothing to do with one another. Some examples include work and internships, travel and adventure, service and volunteer, wildlife, language and culture, and the list goes on and on. Students have the option to choose from a variety of programs and experiences, they just need to plan accordingly, do their research and compare their options. This is not “time off”; this is time to learn skills outside of the classroom setting.

The number one reason a student drops out of college is because of lack of non-academic skills. Students are constantly running on a “wheel” of academics and extracurriculars that they become so programmed and conditioned they do not know how to make their own choices. The gap year is meant to correct this problem and some colleges even recommend it! UNC, Tufts, Brown, Dartmouth and Princeton are just a few of the schools who encourage their students to delay their acceptances. Fred A. Hargadon, former Dean of Admissions at Princeton University, said that he encouraged students to take gap years because “one’s college education is greatly enhanced by the maturity, experience, and perspective a student can bring post gap year.” Employers also have been known to endorse a gap year and may even prefer students who took a gap year because the students have learned how to be self-sufficient and have had unique opportunities to learn about themselves. Employers have found these personal skills to be beneficial in the workplace.

Aren’t gap years expensive? Will my child feel left behind and not get the “true college experience” if they start a year later? These are the biggest questions that most parents fear when considering a gap year for their child and also the biggest myths. In reality, there are gap year programs that can fit any budget. For the programs that are more pricey, students can find opportunities to work to earn money for their program. This is another benefit for the student because it gives them a stake in the game and another growing experience where students can learn value of the dollar and responsibility. In terms of being left behind and not having a true “college experience”, students actually have reported the opposite to be true. Being a year older gives gap year students the opportunity to learn tips from their friends who were just freshmen and instead of feeling behind they actually feel ahead because of their new sense of maturity and life skills.

Overall, the gap year is not for every student, but it is a great option and should be considered in a new light for the student who may not be sure if they want to dive head first into the collegiate atmosphere right after high school.



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Thursday, January 10, 2019

NSCC January 2019 Newsletter

We are excited to share the first issue of our new newsletter with you. Take a few minutes to read up and learn about new trends and helpful information for all ages. If you would like to receive future issues delivered directly to your inbox, please sign up here Read more


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