Tristan didn’t fit into his public high school socially or academically. He was bored and uninspired, so he chose to take a year of online high school to explore his world and broaden his perspective. He then transferred to a local magnet school which offered him a small community, an aggressive curriculum and internship opportunities. His high school transcript was a mess, but his experiences were invaluable and he knew he had a lot going for him.
His family all had different opinions on where he should go to college. He was in advanced courses, was committed to his internship and job, and wanted a healthy social life. Time was short and his list of potential colleges was getting long. He wasn’t used to writing about himself, and his focus on math and physics had taken it’s toll on his once outstanding writing skills.
Assessment: Tristan liked the idea of a small liberal arts college or medium sized university with a strong Engineering program, excellent travel abroad opportunities, and a diverse student body with no major religious or political skew. He also needed a college that would appreciate his ‘eclectic’ high school transcript and would embrace his practical and adventurous resume.
Education & Career Brainstorming: We talked about Engineering programs, 4 and 5 year options, introduced him to professionals in the field, and made recommendations for test prep as needed.
Education Planning & College Application: With a list of potential colleges to explore, Tristan started visiting campuses and researching. We/he visited about 6 campuses and did online research on many more. We helped him write about his engineering internship, his international adventures and his Odyssey Year, which became the cornerstone of his application.
Interview Training: We prepared him to talk to admissions professionals and faculty to further explore the schools on his list. He became very comfortable answering the “tell me about yourself” and “why are you interested in our school?” questions: great preparation for the real world!
Tristan was offered places at 6 out of his 8 application colleges. After many hours of reviewing programs, as well as scholarships offered by his top two choice schools, Lafayette and the University of Miami, Tristan chose UM in Florida, where he is pursuing a BS in Civil Engineering, with the possibility of accomplishing his MS in 5 years. He is finding the academics challenging, but the size, environment, social culture, and research and travel opportunities perfect for him. And the snorkeling, tennis and constant sunshine isn’t so bad either!