Navigating college admissions was relatively straightforward a generation ago.

But these days, it has become increasingly complicated and unfairly expensive.

That’s why I use Project Management principles to guide my counseling practice.

  • The college admissions process is a project with a beginning and an end.
  • Students, parents, teachers and counselors are all stakeholders.
  • We need to identify academic, cultural and financial fit requirements.
  • We need to set SMART goals and meet milestones.
  • Managing financial aid for college is all about risk mitigation.
  • Ultimately, the student needs to take ownership and responsibility for managing the project.

… because yes, managing the college admissions process is a big project!!


So, what are SMART Goals?

  • S for Specific                  Goals should be clear and simple. Break down large goals.
  • M for Measurable          Goals should include some numbers.
  • A for Affordable             Goals and Best Fit Schools should stay within your budget.
  • R for Realistic                 Goals should reflect your skills and time constraints.
  • T for Time-bound          Goals should have deadlines.


  • Select 4 colleges and plan out an itinerary for campus visits for spring break before March 30.
  • Identify 10 Academic, Cultural and Financial Fit characteristics for my Best Fit Colleges List before April 30.
  • Run Net Price Calculator (NPC) for 10 schools before May 31.
  • Complete 5 brainstorming exercises from the College Essay Guy before June 30.