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  • Writer's pictureLearning Associates

What makes our college advising different? Students and their families have many options when it comes to college advising, from the school guidance counselor to a variety of private consultants. Often college counseling is delivered as a standard, linear process that relies on formulaic checklists. While useful, this model is limited and certainly does not fit every student, nor should it. Every young person is unique and college applicants are choosing among thousands of colleges which run the gamut in style and content. Learning Associates utilizes a more holistic approach to our clients, just as the colleges that provide an outstanding education do when evaluating applicants. We consider the specific needs, strengths, and weaknesses of each student to customize a plan. Beyond grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities, we work to highlight each student’s unique qualities within the constraints of the application. We personally guide and coach each applicant through the entire process to ensure the strength of the application and, ultimately, the best results.

So as the admissions cycle for the college Class of 2020 comes to an end, we are very proud to share our students’ results: • 83% Acceptance rate (excluding waitlisted) • Total amount of merit, non-need based aid offered: $2,305,000 over 4 years • Average 4-year merit award: $52,384

Some highlights from where we have been and where we’re going next:

This spring Holly’s day school visits included York Prep and the Professional Children’s School (both in Manhattan), Montclair Kimberley Academy, Gill St. Bernard’s, the Ben Samuels Children Center at Montclair State University, and many public schools.

Larry toured Swarthmore College in April as part of a small group of Independent Educational Consultants. The admissions office presented an update on the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (, which is rolling out a new application platform. Then Professor E. Carr Everbach, the Chair of the Engineering department, personally led a discussion session about Swarthmore’s unique engineering program within a very small, elite liberal arts college. This was followed by a tour of the engineering facilities with Professor Everbach as their guide.

In May, Holly made a quick trip to see three Northeastern boarding schools before students leave for the summer recess. She toured the campuses and met with admission representatives at Berkshire School, Salisbury School, and the Hotchkiss School.

Larry will travel to Philadelphia in June to attend the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) Conference: “Revolution and Innovation in Higher Education.” Discussions and breakout sessions will address many important and timely issues in higher education such as the new SAT, the Coalition Application, and current trends in college admissions.

In September, Holly will participate in the Mid-Atlantic Boarding School group’s Fall tour. She and her colleagues will visit each of the member schools which include Episcopal High School, Mercersburg Academy, Blair Academy, Peddie School and St. Andrew’s School.

  • Writer's pictureLearning Associates

In May, Holly spoke at the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) Admissions Conference. Her address served to introduce the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) to the audience of approximately eighty school admissions representatives and educational professionals. The IECA is a national organization of nearly 1,500 professionals who assist families and students with day school, boarding school, therapeutic, and post-secondary placement advising. Holly also discussed the opportunities for collaboration between the IECA and private schools to improve and facilitate the admissions process. She has served on the IECA Schools Committee for the past four years, most recently as Vice-Chair, and on the IECA Learning Disabilities Committee.

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