Greetings Parents and Students,

So your inbox and postal mailbox are overflowing- and the content suggests you’ve been selected. Indeed you have – you’ve been selected to receive marketing brochures– you are wonderful – you are special – but not in the personal way these notes imply.  If you don’t believe me- you can read two other pieces – you may have caught the recent NYTimes Piece: That Recruitment Letter From Harvard Probably Doesn’t Mean Much!

If there’s nothing else you learn today — please consider this one point:  being invited to apply to a college by email or even in a beautifully packaged slick brochure has absolutely no reflection on your chances of a college acceptance.  There is nothing personal about the invite- it’s far from authentic and shouldn’t be taken seriously. PERIOD

Where / how did they get your name? The College Board and ACT organizations sold your email addresses – unless you opted out (which you should NOT do), so you should expect a ton of mail – and understand it’s nothing personal.  Don’t Opt out–because it’s important to receive information about colleges- and especially if you don’t have a personal relationship with your high school guidance counselor or you aren’t working with a private college advisor — these brochures may even introduce you to a university that’s a great fit for you. So in this way the  “invitation” has merit-  but the invitation was far from personal.

College Counselors know that – and it’s not a secret.   Obtaining a few dozen of these glowing “valentines” — The Washington Post recently did a fabulous piece of investigative reporting entitled:   “Dear Prospective College Student: We Love You. But that Doesn’t Mean You’re Getting In”

Let’s talk about what they discovered and then I can turn attention to the real issue– finding the perfect college “Fit” and how to get started on college research.  Harvard sends about 100,000 such invitations- do you know the size of their freshman class? 2000 freshman are invited to attend the freshman class of approximately 1600.  The author of the WSJ piece writes:  “However, why do places as picky as the Ivies subject so many children, and their often inexperienced parents, to this deceptive outreach?”   Quoting a student who received dozens of such letters: ““They give hope to thousands of students and encourage them to apply, only to be rejected in decisions season,”

“Such valentines leave the impression that it is the students, not the colleges, who make the decision. ‘”Given your impressive record, I write to invite you to consider Princeton University,’ said acting dean of admission Jill Dolan in a 2019 letter to a Virginia student.”

“I examined more than 100 search letters. Only one, from Harvard, gave any warning that the student might not be admitted. Three admissions deans told me that they would consider adding some disclaimer, but none of the 45 letters I have seen for the past three years have done that. The closest Harvard comes is: “As admission to Harvard and similar colleges is competitive, we ask only that you take a moment to consider Harvard and learn more. I asked the top 10 national universities on the U.S. News & World Report list to show me their letters and explain why they included no warning. Eight did not reply. Two — Duke and Harvard — declined to comment.

So take a glance- then head to website for more meaningful information and now let’s talk about how you actually conduct research on universities that might be a perfect fit for you!

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS – Finding Your Perfect Fit:


If you want to minimize the stress associated with both the undergraduate and graduate college application processes (and even your career search), create your Educational and College Admissions Plan as early as 8th grade! Doing so entails carefully selecting classes and extracurricular pursuits along with a plan that emphasizes ongoing hands-on activities to encourage academic and personal exploration, preparing students for success in high school and beyond.

Don’t follow the crowd nor march through middle and high school without a smile! BE INSPIRED!!

A typical college admissions consultant can provide you with “off-the-rack” answers to your questions about high-school curriculum planning (AP, AICE or IB courses?), financial aid eligiblity (and how to complete your FAFSA?), submitting your Common Application and writing your college essays. Applying her three decades of university experience, Professor Emeritus Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. will provide expert personalized guidance.

Leveraging my extensive working knowledge of colleges and universities and their undergraduate and graduate curricula and degree requirements across all majors, let’s work together to  create your personalized educational and college admissions plan.



The “fit” between a student and a university is based upon three pillars:


The university you attend should provide an outstanding academic experience in your intended major/minor fields of study, along with appropriate internship and career placement opportunities. This is paramount to selecting where to attend.

There’s a major field of study to match the unique strengths and interests of every young adult! With nearly 4,000 colleges offering an impressive number of traditional and cutting edge majors and minors, it can indeed be overwhelming to navigate the maze of available degree options.

Your evaluation of academics should move beyond published lists of college rankings. The most important steps include learning how to navigate through the “Academics” and the “Research” tabs to fully explore the curriculum maps, degree requirements and the research projects faculty are conducting. As a former university professor with 30+ years of experience on curriculum planning committees, I’m able to help your family assess “academic fit” and effectively explore your academic options to balance each student’s current and emerging interests and strengths.


The social fit is important as each student is looking to find a “home-away-from-home” for their next four years. Is the campus inviting, inclusive and are there opportunities for ongoing social and emotional growth?

This is exactly why students visit university campuses before enrolling. Your Educational and College Admissions Assessment will help you hone in on the criteria that are important to you.  Let me help you understand how to have an informative and meaningful campus visit.


Every family faces unique financial circumstances and we factor those into the choices of where to apply and enroll. Additional details are noted on our financial aid page. If you’re ineligible for financial aid, merit aid remains an important option to explore.

THERE ARE MANY CAMPUSES PROVIDING an EXCELLENT EDUCATION offering deep discounts on tuition given your “admissions profile”.

Please see my early posts on the top – YES YOU CAN AFFORD COLLEGE!

student with his miami acceptance letter


Personalized attention and expert knowledge: academic advising and college application strategies to empower every student for success!

With over thirty years of experience, Professor Emeritus, Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. provides each of her clients with comprehensive one-on-one educational counseling as well as expert guidance with their college applications at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  College Admissions Assistance – create your unique plan to realize your goals.SCHEDULE YOUR ASSESSMENT


Last year we delivered 5 packed days of content and one-on-one personalized writing conferences in a virtual setting- we are prepared to do so again- or perhaps be in person- we will adapt and hope you ready to join us in our workshop- where nearly every student in attendance completes their Common App Core College Essay Before Summer Break

Register today:  

College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD
Boca Raton College Consultant Bonnie Rabin, PhD discussion of College Essay

Warm regards,


Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD

Educational & College Admissions Consultant

Professor Emeritus & Cornell University South Florida Alumni Representative

Best wishes for an absolutely meaningful and enriching balance of your school year

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