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The Collegewise Difference

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By Collegewise Staff on February, 24 2022 | 9 minute read

Here are a few reasons we’re very proud of our work, results, and philosophy at Collegewise. 

1. The work is always personal to us.

We understand how much trust you’re extending when you hire someone to help your student. We know it’s never just business when it comes to our own kids. So, while we have the benefits of being the largest admissions counseling company in the US, our work is still always personal. One person, sitting down with a teen and sharing responsibility to help this student plan for their future. Our counselors, tutors, all the way to our CEO, we take that responsibility very seriously. You won’t be just another family here.  

2. We’ve done this successfully thousands of times for 23 years.

The college admissions process can feel daunting for families because it’s so unfamiliar. But since 1999, we’ve helped more than 26,000 students navigate their way to college and through testing. Over the last 23 years, we’ve perfected the art and science behind supporting students in this process. This approach works! More than 92% of our clients gain admission into one of their top three choices. Our tutoring students boost their scores by 130 points on the SAT and 4.5 points on the ACT. And our students average more than $135,000 in scholarships and aid. But families are often expressive about the care we extended, the trust we earned, and the change we made for their family, which leads us to our next point....


3. We improve the experience, not just the results.

A teenager planning for college is preparing to take their first real step toward adulthood. We don’t want what could be their last year living at home to be filled with admissions tension. So we build a rapport with our students. We earn the trust of their parents.  And throughout our work together, we show up with just the right mix of advice, encouragement, and occasional cheerleading to ensure the college admissions process goes smoothly and thoughtfully. In fact, our customers are just as effusive about the way we changed this period of their lives as they are about their college admissions results. Here are a few reviews to give you a sense of what so many families appreciate about us. 


4. We find the best people and help them get even better all the time.

Our counselors at Collegewise are filled with former admissions officers and those from other schools and firms who joined us because they wanted to do this work at the very highest levels. in 2021, we hired less than 1% of applicants for our counselor pool and less than 2.5% of applicants to our tutoring pool. This is more competitive than even the most selective universities (here is to looking at you, Harvard). Each person at Collegewise goes through rigorous training when they join us and the training doesn’t stop; we consistently host professional development sessions to keep knowledge fresh. We track the trends and data of what is happening in the admissions and testing industry more broadly, so our counselors are fully aware of the latest in an ever-changing landscape.  They present at conferences, interview with the press, and share their expertise on our blog and in our materials. They are invested in this work, and they want to keep progressing toward mastery in their craft. And we think you will see the difference when you sit down with them. 


5. You’re not just hiring one expert.

One person—your assigned counselor or tutor—is responsible for your experience here. But we have a host of people working behind the scenes for each student.  Each student is also paired with an expert editor from first to final draft to provide individual feedback that is aligned with the counselor’s admissions goals. More than that, we also have over 70 colleagues who share their brainpower together to help each other as unique questions come up. People who’ve worked at particular colleges, or have unique expertise, or know the ropes with applications for special programs, etc.—they’re here, eager to share what they know with colleagues who need it. Whenever your counselor or tutor needs a second opinion just to be sure, they can message this internal network of colleagues and get several answers, often in just a few minutes. We call this our “Hive Mind,” and it’s something that can only be found at here. You’re not just getting one person’s expertise at Collegewise. That one person has access to all the expertise necessary to get the best advice for your family.  


6. When joining Collegewise, you are getting a host of resources and technology.

We understand how Generation Z learns.  We’ve built Wisernet – a proprietary platform that is designed around how students communicate and learn.  They (and their parents) are able to see roadmaps and project management tools around their application so they can see what work they need to do and what has been accomplished.  They have a host of resources and videos in Wisernet and are able to communicate directly with their teams.  It also includes access to years-worth of our internal data on admissions decisions by institution and relevant details about the profile of each applicant, that will assist in evaluating a student’s admissibility to each institution. There is nothing else like it in the industry.  This technology is all in addition to the one-on-one support they are getting from their counselor. 


7. Our customers refer us often.

Our biggest testament to the quality of our work? Since the beginning, we have built our business almost entirely on the generous referrals of families who join us. In fact, 9 out of 10 families we work with refer us to at least one of their friends. That is our benchmark. It is how we measure our success. A family who refers us is putting their reputation on the line with someone who is important to them. Our job is to keep earning that kind of trust, and to do the same with your family should you choose to join us.  This has helped us build the strongest reputation in the industry.    


8. We get results with A students, C students, and everyone in between.

Any student who genuinely: (1) wants to go to college and (2) is willing to do the work to get there is welcome at Collegewise. Every student is different, and certain elements of our programs are different for each of them. But no matter what a student’s GPA, we will treat them with respect, expect them to engage in their own college admissions process, and celebrate the good admissions news with them when it arrives.  


9. We'll find the best counselor for you.

We have more than 70 counselors on our staff and want to make sure we match you with the right one for your family. That is why every Collegewise family first completes our orientation program (which includes tons of great advice and analysis of the latest admissions trends from our experts)–so we can learn even more about them and their needs. That extra time, attention, and insight is how we make sure you're matched with the right counselor for you.  


10. We are committed to doing the right thing.

It is hard to say this without sounding self-congratulatory, but the truth is that we are good people who are committed to doing the right thing. Our scholarship program provides 30 students annually with pro-bono college counseling. We created a free college advising platform and gave it away to any school that wanted it. We have developed status and respect in our industry that we are particularly proud of. In fact, Collegewise is a partner of Reach Higher and the Common App to recognize high school counselors through the Excellence in College Counseling Award each year. We are not perfect. But we aspire to set an example for our students, our colleagues, and our industry. 

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About Us: With more than twenty years of experience, Collegewise counselors and tutors are at the forefront of the ever-evolving admissions landscape. Our work has always centered on you: the student. And just like we’ve always done, we look for ways for you to be your best self - whether it’s in the classroom, in your applications or in the right-fit college environment. Our range of tools include counselingtest prepacademic tutoring, and essay management, all with the support of our proprietary platform, leading to a 4x higher than average admissions rates. 

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