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Taking the Tension Out of the College Application Process

When our kids were applying to college, we developed a rule sort of like the one in the movie Fight Club. (If you haven’t seen it, the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club!)

Our modified rule was this: We only talk about college applications on Sundays. This was for everyone’s benefit, because as any family who has gone through the college process can tell you, the tension can get so thick you can cut it with a knife. 

As a counselor with Empowerly, a team-based college counseling service and online platform, Alix Coupet is completely familiar with this situation. That’s why the first piece of advice he gives families when he starts working with them is this: “Breathe easy and try to find the fun in the process.” 

Easier said than done? Fortunately, the counselors at Empowerly are experts who understand the college admissions process inside and out, so you don’t have to. They work with your family as a team to create a plan that works for your individual student, based on his or her specific goals. 

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And the results are pretty amazing. Since 2016, Empowerly students have been admitted to top colleges at up to 11 times the national rate. In 2019, 98% of students who worked with an Empowerly counselor were admitted to a top 100 U.S. college. And 94% were admitted to a top 50 college. 

Why Empowerly?

What can an Empowerly counselor bring to the table? Here are four things to consider: 

  1. Relationships. First and foremost, says Coupet, “We are relationship driven. We want to see our students do well.” Empowerly counselors take the time to get to know their students’ strengths and desires to help them develop a college list that will meet their needs.  
  2. Data Analysis. “We use quantitative data that can help us predict with great confidence whether your student will be accepted at a particular school,” says Coupet. This helps reduce the chance of unhappy surprises.
  3. Reduced Tension. As I mentioned before, this is a big sticking point for many families. “We know what all the tasks are and when all the deadlines are. You’re in the hands of an expert,” says Coupet. Empowerly counselors are ready to guide your student through every step of the application. That includes the personal statement, teacher recommendations, supplemental essays—the works. 
  4. Meaningful Internship and Research Options. Empowerly partners with several companies to provide internship and research opportunities for students looking to stand out and shine on their application. The key word here is meaningful. “They’re not just stuffing envelopes,” says Coupet. “These are meaty opportunities where they are learning transferable skills.” 

The main benefit, though, is this: finding the fun factor. When you can focus less on the end result, and more on the college application process as a journey of self-discovery, you and your student will be able to enjoy the ride instead of fretting all the way, says Coupet. 

To learn more about working with a counselor at Empowerly, click here.

Jennifer Proe was a writer and editor with Your Teen Media. 

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