Demystifying College Admissions
As college acceptance rates become more selective, it is only natural to make sense of the process.
We start the college admissions conversation with students and families early, offering meetings and group workshops to help them understand and feel in control of the factors at play in the process.
The most authoritative voice on college admissions in the country, the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC), publishes an annual report titled State of College Admissions that dispels myths and halts rumors. Each factor of admissions is carefully considered as thousands of colleges and universities are surveyed on current trends.
The NACAC finds that these factors influence admission decisions the most:
- Strength and rigor of the college preparatory curriculum.
- Academic achievement within the context of coursework.
- Standardized test performance.
- Support writing – counselor/faculty letters of recommendation.
- Extracurricular involvement.
GEMS World Academy Chicago and our College Counseling Office support students in all of these areas in a personalized way. The academic profile at GEMS sets a foundation for students to be competitive and compelling college applicants.
Meet Our Director of College Counseling
Director of College Counseling
Years at Gems
Dee-Dee Sanders is a native Chicagoan, but she has spent the last 15 years in the southwestern United States. Before joining GEMS, Dee-Dee spent six years as the network director of college counseling for Great Hearts America, where she was responsible for implementing, supporting and overseeing the college-counseling programs in 13 prep school academies in both Arizona and Texas.
Timeline & Process
When it comes to college counseling, each journey is as important as the destination. Beginning in the middle school years, students and parents will have access to a dedicated college counselor who is deeply familiar with college admissions and develops and maintains relationships with admission officers all over the world.
Families will find an individualized around the table approach with the college counselor, student, parent and admission officers all working to help students identify their goals. It is this self-discovery as both a global citizen and an emerging adult that students will make educated decisions about a college choice and life beyond.
Students will be engaged in the college process formally in grade 11 where they will participate in a comprehensive and deliberate college counseling curriculum called “Decision Making” which involves: standardized test preparation and planning; meeting with college admission officers; attending college tours; writing personal statements; understanding financial aid and scholarships; and researching best fit colleges. Students will be guided through college counseling events; college fairs; individual meetings; and select programming to help them choose a campus where they will find themselves both intellectually challenged and social engaged.
College Admissions Results
GEMS Education Admissions Excellence
GEMS schools across the world have a stellar record of preparing graduates for success in the finest colleges and universities. We are fortunate to have the support and good practices of our network of experienced college counselors in preparing our pioneering class for successful college entry.