Can Choosing a College Be Similar To Choosing a Wedding Dress Or Buying a First Home?
September 16, 2014
Stephanie Klein-Wassink thinks so. As the owner of both Winning Applications and AdmissionsCheckup.com, Stephanie knows that this is a highly emotional time for a family. When they come to her for advice and direction, she knows to be both empathetic and direct.
After receiving a BA from Brown, Stephanie worked for Northwestern University as a member of the admissions committee. There she read and evaluated 2,000 applications annually, performed as many as twenty-five interviews per week, and made admit, deny, deferral, and waitlist recommendations to the Director of Admissions. She then went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School before starting a career on Wall Street.
In 2004, Stephanie formed Winning Applications, based on what she had learned both in the admissions office and on Wall Street. She gained great satisfaction from helping students get into their first-choice colleges and universities. Stephanie has put together a cadre of former admissions officers who offer expert one-on-one (and group) guidance to students applying to highly competitive colleges and graduate programs. As of January, 2014, 90% of their students were admitted to their school of choice including Harvard, Vanderbilt, Stanford, University of North Carolina, Cornell, and many other great colleges and universities.
Students as early as 8th grade can benefit from college consulting advice all the way through the application process, school selection, college essay editing and mock interviewing.
When asked why she then started AdmissionsCheckup.com in 2012, Stephanie shared, “Three years ago, I was reading an article in the Harvard Business Review about client satisfaction. The idea was that as a business person you have to decide what your clients need…which means listening without being defensive…and raise the bar on yourself; improving your product or service so that it is the best you can make it, and then doing that same process over and over again.”
Based on that inspiration, she knew there was more she could do to help the students who came to her for advice. With AdmissionsCheckup.com, students get honest feedback from three (former) admissions officers who have made admit, deny, wait-list and defer decisions. This allows the student to clarify, edit or make changes to the application before it is submitted to his or her first choice school.
“We match students who are interested in going to XYZ college with three former admissions officers who have either worked in admissions at that college or at a similar-level overlap college,” she said. “As a college consultant with Winning Applications for 16 years, I draw on my experience as a former admissions officer at Northwestern to help students apply. I have not worked at Princeton, University of Connecticut, Northeastern, Duke or Juilliard…but I can give my clients access to former admissions officers from all of those schools and many, many more. Unlike parents, teachers or guidance counselors, these admissions officers will not meet you and are therefore unbiased and VERY direct. They make their decision solely based on the application, as will the “real” admissions officers.”
She added,” On average, the admissions officers have over eight years of experience in admissions as the Directors, Assistant. Directors or Associate Directors of Admissions. The feedback they give AdmissionsCheckup.com students is extremely detailed and is sometimes hard for students to hear. But, it is what they need to know in order to submit a winning application.”
Stephanie works with students from all over the world, writes for several newspapers and blogs, has been interviewed about the process on News 12 and Fox News, and speaks about college admissions throughout the country. She and her family have lived in Redding for over ten years. Her children attend the Redding schools.
And, the tools they learn from Stephanie might not just get into the schools of their dreams but actually help them pick out that wedding dress or first home, too!