College Counseling Philosophy
Over the course of your college search process, you’re going to make a lot of lists; lists about colleges you’d like to visit; lists about ACT/SAT test dates; lists about application items you need to submit. Lists are a certainty in a sometimes uncertain process. Here is our list, one with eight facts that perfectly describe the LFA approach to college counseling:
1. We get to know you. LFA college counselors live on campus and act as advisors, dorm parents, and coaches. We see you score that winning goal, take the stage for the first time in the musical, perform with your roommates in the All-School talent show, and compete in House Cup competitions. We take the time to truly understand what makes you, you as we seek to find a school that fits your unique needs.
2. We guide you. We serve as editors, interview coaches and ambassadors for our students, but our hope is that we empower them to become their own best advocates through this process, and leave LFA with a greater sense of self and a more autonomous individual. The results of students' efforts are impressive, as our 2016 graduates applied to college with an ACT average of 28.8.
3. We're available. College counselors advise 30 students each and begin meeting with students the second semester of junior year for 45 minutes once every cycle. We value these conversations and connect with parents, those who know our students best, throughout the entire process.
4. We're experienced. All 4 college counselors have spent time working on the college side. We are well versed on the anxiety, misconceptions, and misinformation this process can induce.
5. We travel. We visit the schools our students are interested in and maintain a strong rapport with college admission officers across the country. We frequent conferences to ensure we have a finger on the pulse of higher education and college admission.
6. We're a destination. Admission officers from over 216 colleges and universities across the country and globe come to visit LFA every fall. Check out our College Visit Calendar to see who is on campus and when.
7. We go far. Our students matriculate to some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, and last year our 113 graduating seniors attended 75 different colleges and universities. Most recently, the schools that are #trending for LFA students are: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, New York University, Cornell University, USC, Boston University, Emory University, UCLA, Stanford University, and Northwestern University. See our Matriculation Map pages for more information.
8. We're in the world. Our students are out in the world; they conduct research to improve delivery methods of anticancer drugs, intern at industrial giants and analyze data that optimizes their products’ price points, manage local farmers markets on weekends, organize music festivals that raise $10,000 toward pediatric cancer research, create and design apps that promote healthier living, travel to third world countries to learn more about the global water crisis and lead midwife training programs in the most impoverished parts of Peru. See some programs that LFA students have attended in the past by visiting the Outside Opportunities page.
Every list tells a story, and the story we’re telling is this: we view college counseling as a process, not an event. Although punctuated by specific activities and time-driven deadlines, a student’s search is, ideally, a culmination of several years of careful thought, serious reflection, and thorough investigation. What happens in the spring of senior year—when a college choice is eventually made—is merely the byproduct of many smaller decisions that have been made since freshman year.