Ask A College Consultant: 5 Things to Know About Applying for Colleges

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College Consultant

Many of my friends and I have spent the past year slogging through the maze of college visits, applications and sleepless nights poring over the Common App. With all the fees associated with applying for and attending college it may seem a bit insane to add the cost of a consultant but after speaking with Jenna Shulman of JS College Consulting it occurs to me that this is money spent wisely to get your child into the proper educational environment and keep you aware of all that is available to them. I asked Jenna to explain how a college consultant works for you!

A college consultant can help students find the best-fitting college to match their academic, social, and financial needs.

With over 3,000 colleges nationwide (and even more worldwide), it is impossible to know every college. Most families only hear about the select few “brand name” colleges and fail to find lesser-known colleges that still fulfill their child’s needs. Independent college consultants often visit 20-30 colleges per year to help students put together a list of schools that will serve them best.

A college consultant can give the individualized personal attention that high school counselors may not have the time for. 

High school schools across the country are struggling with staggering ratios of students to guidance counselors. Nationally, that ratio is nearly 500 to 1, a proportion experts say has remained virtually unchanged for more than 10 years. According to the U.S. Department of Education, public high school students in the U.S. receive an average of just 38 minutes of college counseling per year, making it difficult for students get the attention and customization they will need to apply. College consultants often do this job full-time, taking on a smaller caseload to give their students personal attention year-round.

A college consultant can save money for families.

 It’s been said that college is the 2nd biggest investment after buying a house. Next year, some colleges will reach an $80,000+ price tag…and that is just the annual tuition! But did you know there are billions of dollars in free scholarship money awarded each year? Some of this goes unnoticed, but not to college consultants. They can help find scholarships (both location and national) that match students’ profiles. They also can recommend schools that will allocate merit money based on the student’s academic profile. Every little bit can help.

A college consultant can alleviate stress and emotions among family members. 

With the increased pressure that high school students are facing, it is important to hire someone who can serve as a “mediator” so the process doesn’t have to be so tumultuous between the parents and the student. Many parents also don’t have time to help their child as they have a jam-packed schedule themselves. Therefore, it is helpful to have an expert to guide them along and encourage them to make their own decisions and think about what they want for their future. 

A college consultant can help make a student’s application stand out.

In addition to helping a student build his or her college list, a professional consultant will help guide students on all areas of the college admissions process including the college essay, supplemental essays, resumes, the Common Application, letters of recommendation, course selection, interview prep, and much more. Some colleges (although thankfully not too many) now have acceptances rates lower than 5% and many more students are applying to multiple colleges at once. College consultants are able to find the strengths of each of their students and encourage them to shed light on these unique personality traits in the application process, helping them stand out amongst the competitive application pool. 

I also spoke with Jenna about recent scandals involving celebrity children and college consultants. She stressed that when hiring a college consultant, to make note of their ethics and expertise. She assured me that the consultants involved in the scandals are not a fair representation of most college consultants and it is important for families to do their research before hiring. There are several professional organizations to which consultants might belong, including the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and state and regional affiliates of NACAC. Doing a bit of research can help you to avoid the consultants whose practices may not be wholly ethical. Reach out to Jenna to learn more at 201.213.9558 or email her at


Mineral Sunscreen-The 2019 Sun Protection

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mineral sunscreenMineral sunscreens do NOT contain hormone-disrupting chemicals.

The most common active ingredients in chemical sunscreen—oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene, to name some of the most widely used—can disrupt our hormones, irritate our skin, cause allergies, and even kill coral.

Mineral sunscreen calms skin, chemical sunscreen can irritate.

Zinc has skin-calming benefits , so you never have to worry about trading a clear complexion for sun protection. Conversely, many chemical sunscreens contain known irritants and allergens—the opposite of what we want on our skin.

Mineral sunscreen does not damage coral and reefs.

Two of the most widely used chemical sunscreen ingredients, oxybenzone and octinoxate, were banned last year in Hawaii because they des marine life, particularly coral- think what it might be doing to our bodies!troy

Mineral Sunscreen works from the moment you apply it

Mineral formulas require a bit more care to smooth in than chemical ones—and that’s a good thing. The fact that chemical SPF creams must fully absorb into your skin to work is the reason all sunscreens come with the advisory to wait twenty minutes after applying them before exposing yourself to sunlight. Waterproof and sports-proof versions are available from All Good and Babo .

Mineral sunscreen helps keep lips full and plump

The skin on our lips is thin and especially vulnerable to sun damage. Lip balm with SPF helps shield lips from sun damage and helps protect collagen there. Raw Elements makes a 30 SPF  sunstick for lips and Fresh makes a tinted Sugar lip balm with SPF 15

Mineral sunscreen is even great for babies!

None of us should be exposing ourselves to the hormone-disrupting chemicals in personal-care products, but it’s especially important to avoid exposing babies and children, whose bodies are still developing and thus more vulnerable. Sunscreens by All Good and Babo are great for the whole family.

Jen’s Summer Faves 2019

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Jen's Summer Faves

Summer is absolutely the best of all possible seasons and there is no better way to celebrate it than with great beachwear. My top pick for swimwear is still Eberjey. Granted I wait until the sales but they never fail on quality, plus being extremely flattering and worth the money. I wasn’t even able to choose between their cover-ups and have two contenders- Silvy and Brenna. I have to mention their sleepwear too. I have never come across anything more comfortable and its always on my Christmas list!