The decisions are overwhelming, and the stakes are excessive. Searching for faculties the place they are going to thrive, college students compile their lists utilizing normal metrics—dimension, location, main—unaware that they’re eliminating some nice choices.

Unfortunately, which means that numerous college students find yourself at faculties that don’t work out for them. Six-year school commencement charges are actually hovering at 60 p.c. With the present strategy, poor retention and commencement charges aren’t any shock.


From NACAC: “The sad fact is that only 1 in 5 high school students is enrolled in a school where there is a sufficient amount of school counselors. This means there are 11 million high school students who are enrolled in a school without enough school counselors.”


The first time I met with college students at a neighborhood public highschool, I struggled. Eliciting responses takes work, particularly when speaking to youngsters. I wanted to grasp what was vital to every one, assist them discover a place the place they’d join with professors, have interaction in actions they love, construct friendships, and uncover fields of research that resonated—a spot the place they may very well be completely satisfied.

Hitting on an concept, I started to construct an inventory of attributes to assist college students assume extra deeply and uncover these points of school which are hardly ever thought of however could also be key to success. I created a card with a picture for every attribute to assist spark conversations. Students sorted the playing cards into 4 separate piles: Must Have, Would Be Nice, Don’t Care and No Way.


Students discover their preferences for campus and academic tradition, residential life, scholar assets, lecturers and extracurricular life.

Image Credit: Corsava

Helping college students assume extra deeply about what issues to them earlier than launching into the faculty choice course of saves time, builds focus and retains issues constructive. For many of those college students, this was the primary time they had been being requested what was vital to them. Their sense of reduction was palpable.

Renee Ferrerio at The O’Neal School in North Carolina commented that for his or her Must Haves, college students usually say they wish to go to a big college however favor small courses and entry to professors. A dialogue follows, and she or he adjusts their lists accordingly.

Susan Chiarolanzio at Flint Hill School in Virginia stated that it used to take 4 hours to get readability on what college students needed. Now, she engages college students proper from the beginning as a result of Corsava consists of so many issues that college students would by no means consider throughout their conversations.


Belinda Wilkerson sorting Corsava playing cards together with her scholar.

Image Credit: Corsava

Lynne Bossart, a university counselor at The Legacy Foundation of Hartford, likes the dialog that the Big Fish within the Little Pond card generates, whereas the Liberal Arts card supplies a great launching-off level to show college students simply what this might imply for them.

Danica Moss, a counselor at Steamboat Springs High School in Colorado, discovered it fascinating that folks who assume they know their baby effectively are sometimes shocked by the cardboard decisions, prompting vital conversations at college and at dwelling.


Each scholar is exclusive. The following pictures symbolize particular person college students, the place shade is their deeper preferences, and form is Corsava’s really helpful school areas. Corsava has over 3.2 million scholar preferences driving our school suggestions.

Image Credit: © Mapbox | © OpenStreetMap | Improve this map
Image Credit: © Mapbox | © OpenStreetMap | Improve this map
Image Credit: © Mapbox | © OpenStreetMap | Improve this map

Emotional Metrics Powering College Lists

Last fall, the Stanford School of Education, at the side of Challenge Success, introduced the outcomes of the research A Fit Over Rankings, Why College Engagement Matters More Than Selectivity. They reviewed the analysis and located that what college students do in school issues far more than the place they go. Engagement in tutorial and campus group is essential, and figuring out what issues most to college students elevates the faculty search course of.

This research supplied vital validation to our work. As Corsava constructed a platform to have counselors fee these extra emotional metrics (our playing cards), college students may use their deeper preferences—reasonably than rankings—to find locations the place they’d thrive. Machine studying instruments had been turning into extra available, and I knew that it was time to shut the loop.

Building the faculty advice algorithm and weighting playing cards primarily based on how they relate to scholar success are each knowledgeable by years of counseling expertise. College impressions and feedback by unbiased instructional consultants and highschool counselors, scholar scores and publicly out there information sources like IPEDs mix to gas our personalised school suggestion engine and refine lists. In the long run, Corsava will supply personalised suggestions for everybody, not simply these pursuing four-year levels, to satisfy the wants of the shortly evolving instructional area.


Card score information overlaid on school areas, Corsava has over 120,000 scores powering our school lists.

Image Credit: © Mapbox | © OpenStreetMap | Improve this map

Good counseling is vital, impactful and intuitive work constructed on years of expertise visiting campuses and monitoring scholar outcomes. It is difficult to copy utilizing expertise, however we’re taking the primary steps to succeed in college students no matter their location or degree of help and assist them take into consideration the “Why” of school from the beginning. I remind my college students that the faculty course of is meant to be enjoyable. Once they know their path, they will focus extra on what they are going to do as soon as they’re there. Every scholar ought to have this chance.

Looking for College in All the Wrong Places: How to Help Students Discover What Matters – Online MBA No GMAT

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