College Is Yours 3

Finding the right colleges can sometimes seem impossible. Using skills they’ve developed in school, social media, and texting, every student can find one.

“Once they see an actual application, their attitude changes – I can do that.”

— Patrick J. O’Connor, Ph.D. Chief Strategist and CEO at College is Yours

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI, UNITED STATES, October 18, 2021 / — “They’re burned out on school, and you can’t blame them” says O’Connor, a 37-year college counselor. “For most of the last two years, they got up every morning and found out if school was in person, online, both, or neither. That makes you flexible, but it also drives you crazy.”
This burnout is turning many students off to the idea of applying to college. “When the media describes applying to college like it’s some kind of pressure cooker, this year’s seniors take one look and think, who needs more stress?”

The problem with this conclusion, O’Connor says, is that applying to college is actually pretty easy. “Most colleges don’t ask for interviews, letters of recommendation from teachers, or even student essays. There are hundreds of great colleges where a student can complete their application in about 20 minutes. On top of this, about 75 percent of the colleges admit half of the students who apply.” That’s the theme of O’Connor’s recent college guide, College is Yours 3: Live Your Life, Apply to College, No Need to Freak. Instead of seeing applying to college as an insurmountable challenge, O’Connor says it’s more like getting a driver’s license, or attending a high school dance.

“There are about eight things a student has to do to go to prom, and there are about eight things a student needs to do to complete the most detailed college application. So why is it so easy to get ready for prom, but applying to college is seen as a pain in the neck? Students see prom as something they really want to do, so they don’t focus on the tasks they need to get there. They can see college the same way, making the steps of application much easier to complete. Line those up the right way, and you’re all set.”

To prove O’Connor’s point, readers of College is Yours 3 complete an actual college application—as part of reading the book’s introduction.
“Students need to know what they’re getting into” says O’Connor, a past president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “Once they see an actual application, their attitude changes to ‘Really? That’s it? I can do that.’”

College is Yours 3 also offers advice on applying to college in a world of COVID, extensive advice for those students who have to submit college essays (“You’re telling a story, not making a speech”), ample advice on how to keep concerned parents calm (“Pizza is involved”), and much more.
“Every college admissions officer I talk to says the key to an effective college application is for the student to drive the bus. College is Yours 3 gives them the skills and the confidence to do just that, all without losing their minds. Once Mom and Dad see that, they’ll relax, too.”
The advice is based on 37 years of award-winning work with students whose plans after high school included everything from community college to Harvard to working in the trades to taking a year off.

“Too many people read the college application stories in the media and get the idea there are only 25 good colleges in the United States, and all colleges admit only 3 percent of the students who apply. That kills the confidence of too many students, especially since there are thousands of colleges and programs that admit most of their applicants, and help students build bright futures. That’s only part of what needs to be unlearned. The book talks about the rest.”

Written in a conversational tone in chapters that take about 3 minutes each to read, College is Yours 3 is designed to be a book students will turn to throughout their college search.

“The goal of the book is to give the student more control, opportunity, hope, and joy over what comes next in their lives” says O’Connor, who served as the inaugural School Counselor Ambassador Fellow with the US Department of Education. “COVID took those qualities away from far too many students. The right approach to college can give them back.”

With more college options and higher college costs, students and parents need the advice and support of a well-informed school counselor to guide them through the college selection process. College Counseling for School Counselors gives counselors everything needed to build a successful college counseling program, no matter how many students they work with. After creating a framework for a strong curriculum, College Counseling for School Counselors shows how to explore all college options with students and families, including options for students with special needs and talents. The follow-up activities in each chapter give counselors resources that bring the ideas to life, and a three year calendar shows counselors how to introduce every idea at a manageable pace, building to a comprehensive college counseling program and strong individual college plans for every student. Busy, caring counselors will find everything they need in College Counseling for School Counselors to improve their college counseling program, and reach every student they work with.

Sari Cicurel
Sari M Cicurel
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