We sat down to chat with Tina Gregor, an experienced College Admission Consultant from College Pursuit. This company, according to Tina, “provides college-bound students and their families with personalized counseling and support throughout the college selection and admission process.” College Pursuit has been instrumental in assisting students throughout the process and celebrating their acceptances to various colleges, such as Drexel, UVA, Georgetown, University of Pennsylvania, and many others.
College Pursuit has been instrumental in assisting students throughout the process and celebrating their acceptances to various colleges, such as Drexel, UVA, Georgetown, University of Pennsylvania, and many others.
A+: How did you get interested in college admissions? What drew you to this field?
Tina: I have worked with young adults throughout my career. After earning a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania I worked in behavioral health for years, counseling adolescents. As time passed, I realized I wanted to work with young people in other capacities. I found facilitating the college admissions process very rewarding—plus, my past experiences and skill set really prepared me to help defuse the stress and anxiety of the competitive college process!
A+: How has the college application process changed since you've been working with students?
Tina: (laughs) I’ve been doing this since 2003—16 years. There’s been tremendous change during that time! New applications. New software. New deadlines and requirements. One thing that constantly changes is the competitive landscape from year to year. Colleges may establish a new and exciting major, such as Sports Management or Business Analytics…this can draw a new population of students to the institution making it more difficult to get in. Winning a national championship can increase applications as well. These trends are difficult to predict. We help students create a “Smart List” that will yield options in spite of the trends.
The applications are often changing, and students need to determine the best information to highlight their strengths and how they plan to contribute to the college’s community. Some schools are trying to streamline the application, while others make the app more personalized—easier for students to showcase their strengths. We help students and families negotiate and strategize.
A+: What benefits/advantages do you offer over and above what the average school college counselor can do?
School counselors can be very responsive! We are not here to replace the school counselor. In fact, students need to understand their high school’s internal process and utilize the support offered.
The difference is that we at College Pursuit are working for the family, encouraging the student to take ownership in the process. We schedule our sessions and meetings with students at convenient times and communicate by phone, text and email. Our service is personalized; our goal (one of them, anyway!) is to relieve stress while the student creates his list of schools. We provide that extra level of support that can make a real difference.
Our approach is tailored specifically to the student and family, keeping their goals at the center of our conversations. Because every family’s needs and objectives are different we begin our relationship at various times during high school. Some parents contact us at the beginning of high school asking about curriculum choices or summer programs, while others engage us when thinking about college visits. Either way, College Pursuit meets the family where they are and supports the student with his specific goals and concerns. As a “third party” resource, we have an easier time encouraging our students to self-reflect and consider what is important to them as they plan their future. Many parents are shocked by what is revealed when I ask a student the same questions that they have been asking for months.
Self-reflection is very important for students and leads them to create a list of colleges that provide the best fit. Approximately 33% students transfer, partly due to students skimming the surface versus digging deeper during this process.
A+: What about promising student athletes--are their needs different? If so, how?
Tina: Every student has his or her own special talents and unique circumstances. Students should be thinking about presenting their talents and gifts, which could be athletics, dance, music, mathematics, work ethic or a commitment to a service. Student athletes may go through a slightly different process, but it’s not necessarily easier—or more difficult.
A+: What is one of your favorite student memories?
Tina: College Pursuit has been so fortunate to meet with thousands of students. I am lucky to have worked with some incredible, inspiring students who will make an impact and make the world better. We have also witnessed courageous and resilient students push themselves beyond social and educational barriers.
What’s most fulfilling for me personally is when there’s a shift in the process and the student gets excited about his or her academic future. Suddenly it becomes real for them. It’s no longer just something everyone else is telling them they have to do.
A+: Can you tell us about your College Admissions Workbook? How can families get a copy?
Tina: The College Pursuit Journal is an interactive tool that allows students to write, journal, make checklists, and generally keep track of their college search and selection process. It can be taken on college tours or interviews. It is a step-by-step guide.
Each student who attends one of our in-person workshops or signs up for private admissions counseling receives a copy of the Journal.
A+: What is the best way for parents and students to get in contact with you?
Tina: We encourage students and parents to visit our website at http://collegepursuit.info. Browse through the information, and then give us a call at 215-542-7512. We love to answer questions!
Thanks to Tina for taking the time to talk with us about the admissions process!
At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our focus is always on you. Our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. We have an excellent team of tutors who can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you would like more information, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.