• “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., 2016 senior, Columbia University bound
  • “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
  • "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
  • "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."
    — Mrs. 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
  • “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., 2017 senior, University of Chicago bound

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