Applications, Essays, Edits, Oh My

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Getting Admissions Untangled off the ground and running, meeting with students and parents, and seeing this little dream come to fruition have been both overwhelming and satisfying at the same time. Research all types of schools, from the Ivy League to the community college, because you need to be a fit for the school academically, emotionally, and financially. All are important while doing the college search. It's not just based on a name brand from a poll or a top ten list. 


The essays are a 650-word statement of who this person is. Why did you choose to share this particular story with the admissions staff? Tell us something we haven't learned in the rest of your application. Most importantly, make sure the essay focuses on you. How did you gain, learn, achieve or grow from a specific experience? You have 650 words to make the most meaningful, memorable impression, so make it count. 


Interviews can also be a central part of the admissions process. That can be tricky if you haven't had much interview experience. I will ensure you are both confident and prepared for any interview and have meaningful responses that don't sound rehearsed. The end of September took me to Houston with 7000 of my nearest and dearest admissions colleagues. We took the convention center by storm, sharing best practices in admissions essays, how to grow our businesses, and connecting in a meaningful and spirited way for three days. Much fun was had, and I look forward to sharing all the insights I gained in the coming year. I'm currently enrolling for the class of 2024.

To schedule a consult, you'll need your student's nonofficial transcript, and both parent and student need to be present.


To your student's success,


Posted On: October 10, 2022


Demonstrated Interest

Some of the schools you are researching may track what is called “demonstrated interest.” Demonstrated interest is how colleges assess how much a student wants to attend their school. Not every school tracks this, but it is important to those that do. The most meaningful way to show demonstrated interest is to visit the campus in person. Colleges understand, particularly in light of the pandemic, that this is not always possible. Another way you can show you are interested in the school is by completing the online interest form. This lets the school know it’s fine to contact you and you want their information.


 Build a relationship with your regional admissions representative through thoughtful and courteous communication, attending college fairs, and really showing you’ve researched the school in your essays. Have you reviewed the mission and vision statement? Does it align with your point of view? While no one expects you to commit it to memory, an understanding of the school’s philosophy is a good starting point. Another good thing to do is check for virtual events with admissions representatives. Schools often have them for parents and students. Ask questions about campus life, class size, activity on and off-campus and if cars are necessary, just to name a few. Follow the school on social media. Open and read your email. That is the most important tip of all. That is the most frequent way a school will communicate with you. You don’t want to miss any important information or communication. Finally, apply early. If you are not positive about a school, it’s best not to commit to an early decision, so early action would be a better route. Some schools prefer to admit applicants who display eagerness to attend them.



Posted On: June 14, 2022

Building A Solid College List

Juniors, right now you should be in the midst of building your college list. There are varying ideas of how long this list should be, but one thing is certain. The list should be balanced. What does that mean exactly? A balanced college list means you have schools that are exceptionally difficult to gain admission. Next you have schools that based on your academic profile, you should have a pretty good chance of gaining admission. Finally, choose schools that, if the other two categories for some reason don't turn in your favor, you have schools that you are confident based on your grades and scores, if they take them, will grant you admission. What does all that mean? Only pick schools to apply to that you know you will want to say yes, I want to attend.

Attend virtual college fairs. If it is possible, make campus visits. It's an excellent way to solidify the campus you envisioned in your head matches reality. Attend virtual visits as much as you can and engage with admissions counselors and students alike. Ask them what campus is like, what the courses are like and the community. You don't want to end up in a school in a very small town if you love a big city or a place where it snows most of the time if you are not comfortable with that. Sign up to be on the email lists of the colleges that interest you so you can really take a look at the schools on your own time. Once you start making some decisions, email the school back and politely let them know you have decided to go a different route. 

The best place to look for scholarships is the school itself. Comparison shop what the schools are offering and what you and your parents can afford. Check deadlines and the amount of essays required to make sure you are ready for the work that is ahead of you. Don't go by just the name brand of any school. There are hundreds of hidden gems out there you might not know of. There's only one of you, you are unique. So is each school. Take the time to see which school fits your needs.Talk to your school counselor and independent educational counselor (me) for their advising and recommendations. There are plenty of college search tools out there, here's a good one.

You are about to start an incredible adventure,


Gerene Keesler


Posted On: April 7, 2022

Applying Beyond the ivies


Did you know there are approximately 6,000 colleges and universities in the United States? That leaves you, the college applicant with a plethora of choices and opportunities. I’m willing to bet, many you’ve never heard of, but could just be your ideal fit. Often students are “sold” on a college’s “name” and what they’ve heard. The college may have a high ranking and famous alumni. This does not necessarily mean you’ve found the school of your dreams. Someone’s right fit does not mean it’s the best fit for you.


Northeastern University located in Boston, MA is rated as first in the country for students from India according to the website . An analysis of student visa data suggests that in 2018 as many as 183,312 Indian students came to the U.S. to study at American colleges and universities. From this pool of 183,312, Northeastern was home to approximately 2,111 Indian students. You also get the chance to connect with current and prospective Northeastern students on Facebook at


What kind of school makes you feel at home? Large and urban? Small and rural? Would you like the opportunity for co-op? Do you want to go to school where many of your friends will attend? There are many things to consider. There’s an amazing group of schools listed as Colleges That Change Lives. These schools were chosen because they “ help students frame their search to find a college or university that cultivates a lifelong love of learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond their degree.”


Additionally, there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. with Georgetown being the oldest. A Jesuit school lives by the motto to be of service for others. We can search for schools by major, cost, location, academic rigor and scholarship availability. You can view many campuses virtually right here: If a specific school interests you and you’d like more information, please let me know and we can reach out to the school. I’m so excited to be on this journey with you. It’s going to be a great year!


To make an appointment with me, book here:




Posted On: March 20, 2022

List of schools who support students on the spectrum

Please see our choice for best colleges who support differently-abled or special needs 

1.Whittier College


Whittier is highly regarded. It has a feature I didn't see many other places.

 Assisting graduating students’ transition out of Whittier College


2.University of the Redlands


3.Landmark College

This school is devoted to students on the spectrum; however, they do not offer a math degree. They do have computer science.


4.Drexel University

Likely most well known of all the programs

 The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is the first research organization built around a public health science approach to understanding and addressing the challenges of autism spectrum disorders. The Autism Institute's mission is to discover, develop, promote and disseminate population-level and community-based approaches that will prevent autism-associated morbidity and disability and improve the quality of life for individuals with autism of all ages


4.Elon University






The College Autism Transition Support (CATS) program offers life skills coaching and other transition support to matriculated students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

We focus on 7 core elements – Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving, Information Literacy, Communication Skills, Affective Awareness, Moral and Ethical Discernment, Contextual Integration, and Civic Responsibility.   




Hofstra’s program for special needs students is called PALS, or Program for Academic Learning Skills. It helps students with learning disabilities or attention deficits by pairing them up with a learning specialist, who will aid them throughout their college career. Individual plans are created for each participant, molded to his or her unique needs, and they work with their specialist for 90 minutes each week. In addition, the school offers study skills workshops and online programs to help students develop skills that will serve them better.  



One of the best resources for special needs students at Misericordia is the Alternative Learners Project (ALP). It aims to provide comprehensive on-campus support to students with learning disabilities, serving more than 60 each year. In their first year, LD pupils will take part in the BRIDGE Program to better adapt to campus life. After that, they will get help with a variety of learning strategies and work with a professional to develop an individual accommodation program. The program offers many other forms of support, and while it does come with a fee, it may be more than worth it for many students.  


9.Southern Illinois University, Carbondale


10. American U

Posted On: January 31, 2022