Welcome to Much Wiser Now—a monthly digest spotlighting our amazing Collegewise counselors through the eyes (and words) of their stand-out Collegewise alums.
This month, we’re featuring Tom Barry, a college counselor and former assistant director of admissions. Tom was busy last year, working with nearly 31 seniors, and all of them went on to their best-fit schools, had amazing experiences, and are “Much Wiser Now” because of their time with Collegewise. But don’t take our word for it…
College seemed like a daunting process for Jared Hector, now a student at Stanford University. But Tom handled all of his questions (in his typical, super-nice way) with ease.
"Tom was immensely thoughtful and considerate...whenever I had a question, concern, or second-thought, he'd always answer promptly and thoughtfully. Without his help, I wouldn't be here at Stanford. I'm so grateful for the care he showed both to me and to my work..."
"Just saying that I loved my experience with Tom would be an understatement," says Jackson Irwin, now attending Syracuse University. "Tom helped me find a college that suited me, helped me take the right steps to get in where I wanted to get in. He was extremely knowledgeable, too. He helped make my applications and essays reach their full potential...really made me look like the college candidate I wanted to look like."
Jackson also notes that Tom took the time to get to know him as a person.
"I appreciated that Tom wanted to know me...instead of being treated like a student, I was treated like a friend."
For Yael Pasumansky, now a student at Tulane University, it was Tom's support and constant encouragement that eased his stress and helped him succeed.
"Having Tom by my side throughout the college application process made it flow smoothly. From choosing which schools to apply to, to eventually opening the acceptance letter to my dream college, I felt like I had a solid support system to fall back on. One day, I was struggling with an essay and I stayed at the office for an extra hour or so, Tom stuck by me, and I was able to finish my essay feeling great about it."
Sarah Chen says creating her college list was an eye-opening experience. Had it not been for Tom, she says she probably never would have applied to Case Western Reserve University.
"I definitely benefitted from forming my college list with Collegewise...I'm now going to a college that I love, one that I wouldn't have thought to apply to...it was also very reassuring to fill out the applications with someone experienced and to have all the dates laid out, knowing that I was on-track for finishing well before the deadline. And my application was a great representation of who I am—it was the best version of myself (and it wasn't ridiculously overblown either)! I can't thank Tom enough!"