• “You cannot imagine how helpful this has been – from taking the edge out of the college admissions process to best steps that my daughter can take over the coming months to beef up her resume. Thanks for all you’ve done so far.”
    — Whitney P., mother of a high school junior
  • “You have gone above and beyond!! Thank you! The college list is so amazing – really comprehensive and well thought out.”
    — Lee. M., mother of a high school junior
  • “The college admissions process is the last journey you want to embark on alone. I am so thankful for the insight and encouragement College Sage provided.”
    — Matt L., Columbia University bound senior
  • “I believe that all of you are very unique and special in your own way and it is what makes College Sage what it is. You all are College Sage...consistent, caring, relational, and kind-hearted.”
    — Jamita B., Kids on Point
  • “I cannot thank you enough for all the help through this entire process. I have truly learned so much since this all began back in September. I really believe I found a school that fits me so well because of all your time and energy. Thank you again!!"
    — Michaela B., Emerson bound senior
  • “I told College Sage I wanted to apply Early Decision. I was in my first choice school before my senior year even started! College Sage is the best.”
    — Madeline L., rising junior, Wake Forest University
  • “Thank you Mrs. Leadem for your guidance and support in the vet school application process. You were instrumental in my success!"
    — Ella B., University of Tennessee Vet School bound
  • "Susan, you were amazing! Elizabeth was so relaxed and very happy to work with you."
    — Judy H., mother of a high school senior
  • “College Sage gave my ninth grade daughter the boost she needed to begin organizing herself for high school and ultimately college. Susan Leadem genuinely cares about my child and it shows!”
    — Virginia R., mother of a high school freshman
  • “We talked about our son and Trinity and feel great about his adventure. Thanks for facilitating all of this. Most grateful."
    — Harry G., father of Trinity College Dublin bound freshman
  • "Susan, thank you for everything. It was a great meeting! The meeting summary is very helpful."
    — Kim P., mother of a high school sophomore
  • "The more I reflect back on our meeting, the more I appreciate your input."
    — Lavonda M., mother of a high school junior
  • "Thanks very much for your detailed and thoughtful responses."
    — Rob H., father of a high school senior
  • "Thank you!!!!! My daughter and I went on a walk yesterday and she said she feels sooo lucky to be able to work with you!"
    — Kara F., mother of a high school senior
  • "The way you took my son and his common application essay and sparked him into creating an honors college winning essay was incredible. William is so thankful for your guidance!"
    — Catherine N., mother of a high school senior
  • "Thank you for all of your help the last two years - your counsel and help have absolutely been invaluable."
    — Jessica M., mother of UNC-bound high school senior
  • “During this incredibly stressful time, Susan Leadem made the college application process so much easier. She helped me to pick a wide range of schools that I was excited about, gave me a clear timeline so that all my applications were much more manageable, and helped me edit every one of my essays so that I submitted each application with confidence and pride. The College Sage gave me the tools necessary to find, apply, and be accepted to my dream school."
    — Olive G., University of Chicago bound senior
  • “You have gone above and beyond!! Thank you! The college list is so amazing – really comprehensive and well thought out.”
    — Lee. M., mother of a high school junior
  • "Thank you so much for all of your help. You truly saved me in so many situations in this college process and I’m so grateful. I appreciate all of your patience, time, and efforts.”
    — Juley H., college bound senior
  • “Thanks for your help and your time. You guys helped me a lot with my applications and certain tasks that I needed to get done.
    — TB, Kids on Point graduate
  • “Susan, our program is stronger because of your dedication to our high school scholars. We are so thankful for College Sage!!”
    — Kids on Point staff
  • “I just wanted to tell you how thankful I am for you and all of your help with my confusing applications and test scores and so much more. You are truly a life saver and I appreciate all the time you’ve spent answering my countless questions!!”
    — Caroline S, college bound senior
  • “Thank you for welcoming us into your home today and offering guidance and support for my son's college process. Your kindness and sweet, gentle nature do not go unnoticed. We are very grateful."
    — Lisa R., mother of a rising senior
  • “Attached is the letter my daughter received last night. 120K scholarship award. Great work. Well done!”
    — Aaron M., father of a college bound senior
  • “We are obviously thrilled with the outcome! He is so happy. Your guidance, commitment and understanding were extremely important. While ultimately he needed to perform - I believe that he was able to do that with your direction.”
    — Kennett K., father of a college bound senior
  • “Great news! He's ordering a sweatshirt now! He is so happy!"
    — Ann K., mother of a UMichigan bound freshman
  • “Hi Susan! I just got my acceptance letter from the USC Honors College!!! Thank you for all of your help!!!"
    — Caroline Y., high school senior
  • “Thank you for the exceptional care you have already provided Walker! We appreciate you!"
    — Ryan C., mother of a high school sophomore
  • “Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance throughout my entire college process so far. Your advice about every facet of the process was always so enlightening, and I am so appreciative for your ability to clarify something that seems so complex. Of course, I am amazed by your writing skills, and I know that my essays were taken to a whole new level with your help."
    — Celia S., high school senior
  • “I couldn't have done any of it without you, truly. I can't thank you enough for your guidance and help."
    — Haywood W., LSE freshman
  • “Thank you so much for all of your help and support!
    — Taylor R., Yale freshman
  • “I got in!!! Thank you so much for helping me!!"
    — Katrina C., Case Western Reserve freshman
  • “Thank you so much for all of your help with my applications/decisions, it means a lot!!!"
    — Sierra B., UMass-Amherst bound high school senior
  • “Thank you so much for all your help during this process. I know I was quite aloof this whole year, but I did really appreicate you keeping me on track, so thank you."
    — Julia J., high school senior
  • “It was a privilege to speak with you and gain insight on what Wake Forest has to offer. I will carry your advice with me throughout this college process!"
    — Lillian H., high school senior
  • “Awesome! You are moving Eric forward. He is finding your help and guidance the best he has received!! So glad."
    — Judy H., mother of a college graduate
  • “Thanks for all of the help!"
    — Dan P., father of a high school senior
  • “Thank you for your excellent guidance."
    — Ellen S., mother of a high school senior
  • “Thank you so much. I am beyond excited and cannot wait for next year. Thank you for all the help in the application process."
    — Dylan O., high school senior
  • “You are the SAGE!"
    — Jill B., mother of a Rice University bound freshman
  • “Thanks, Susan. We are all very excited as you can imagine! The essay turned out very well and I am convinced it played a role in him getting in."
    — Jay O., father of a Johns Hopkins bound freshman
  • “It was such a pleasure meeting you! Ed and I look forward to meeting again!"
    — Madeline K., mother of a rising freshman
  • Thank you for your help!!! You really helped me cohesively get my thoughts onto paper to help me get into my dream school!! I wouldn’t be here without all your help!”
    — Elizabeth H., Wake Forest University freshman

Why college selectivity matters...

YES 90% of colleges accept over 80% of the 2.2 million of college applicants... BUT

  •  There are only about 300,000 freshman spots at colleges that accept less than 50% of students and only about 50,000 spots for colleges accepting less than 25% of applicants.
  • Graduation rates are highly correlated to selectivity – 95% graduate from the most selective schools versus 70% for nonselective schools.

Source: NCES, 2012, full time students enrolling in 4 year public and private nonprofit institutions (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d14/tables/dt14_326.30.asp), most selective defined as below 25% acceptance rate, nonselective defined as 90% or greater acceptance rate), 6 year graduation rates


My child’s bright …

YES there are many bright students out there with about 2.5 million students taking AP exams each year...BUT

  • In South Carolina alone, there are about 6,000 AP Scholars (earning at least 3 3’s on AP exams) each year.
  • Even an ACT score of 29.5, the highest average for any high school in Charleston, wouldn't make the 75th percentile cut at 163 colleges.

Source: CollegeBoard, StateUniversity.com (http://www.stateuniversity.com/rank/act_75pctl_rank/9), SC Department of Education


Colleges want smart kids from South Carolina …

YES colleges do want some of South Carolina’s 53,000 high school seniors... BUT

  • There are only 800 total spots for freshmen in the state’s top 3 honors colleges.
  • Only about 135 SC students enroll in the US News Top 20 colleges each year.

Sources: USC, Clemson, COFC, HigherEdDataStories


My child’s going to be a NCAA athlete …

YES $2.7 billion of aid goes to 150,000 student-athletes each year... BUT

  • Only 2 percent of high school athletes are awarded athletic scholarships to compete in college.
  •  There are 281,000 high school senior basketball players and 9,500 total freshman spots for NCAA schools (DI, DII and DIII total) - meaning only 3% of basketball playing students will compete at the college level.

Source: NCAA


My child’s school has a counselor …

YES your high school student has a counselor... BUT

  • 50% of students say their counselor could not provide all the help they needed – especially when it comes to financial aid.
  • The national high school student/counselor ratio is 459 to 1 – double the ASCA recommended ratio.

Source: NACAC, Fundamentals of College Admission Counseling


This is my child’s decision …

YES your high school student should play an integral role... BUT

  • 90% of students have little or no experience at major decision-making.
  • College is the second largest family investment after home ownership – realtor fees are 6% - what’s college investment advice worth to you?

Source: College Match (Dr. Steven R. Antonoff), Fortune.com