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Jennifer believes that the college search process begins and ends with the individual student. Consideration of academic institutions starts only after the student has a greater understanding of their interests, past activities, values, personality and goals.

This process is an opportunity for improved development of personal skills and a greater understanding of self. What it should not be is stressful. Above all else? It should be empowering and fun!

I like to tell my students that when I went off to college in 1976, I really never left!

After graduating from Ripon College, I received a master’s degree in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina. My master’s degree ensures I am well versed in assessing students’ interests and strengths, and I can advise them on residence life, Greek life, alcohol and campus safety issues.

I’ve spent my entire career working with students—with the focus of my career being college admissions—so I understand what schools look for in prospective students. For 17 years I worked for DePaul University, first as an academic advisor in the College of Commerce. In this role I helped students choose classes and majors, and counseled them on career planning. I then moved to the admissions office as Assistant Director of Admission and Scholarship Coordinator. As the coordinator I managed a $1.6 million merit-based scholarship program, which included establishing eligibility requirements and identifying potential scholars.

After leaving DePaul, I served six years as the Regional Director of Admissions for Ripon College. This experience gave me additional perspective as an admissions director on which students would benefit most from liberal arts colleges.

Families benefit from my experience as I guide them through the application process, understand and apply for scholarships, and interpret financial aid packages.

In 2003, I established my own college counseling business so I could focus on the entire application process with a smaller group of students. Applying to colleges can be daunting, especially with the recent changes in test and application options. My objective is to take some of the pressure off and turn it into an opportunity for growth and self discovery. Together we break down the process into manageable steps, and we find colleges that would be a good fit based on the student’s personality, strengths, interests and goals.

It’s exciting each spring as the seniors weigh their options and make their decisions. I find it gratifying that I can share my expertise and help guide students and their parents. Finding the schools that are a good match and where the student will thrive is the key to their future success.