Valerie Raines

On Academics and Pandemics

This spring, college students were sent home with urgency because college leaders understood science. Now, they are planning to welcome students back to campus before a vaccine is ready. So as you plan for fall, let me share my thinking, which is drawn from recent college news and information sessions with industry leaders: Read the Read the full article…


College Success Strategies Amid COVID-19

During this COVID-19 pandemic, our priority must be to take care of ourselves, loved ones, and larger communities. Still, clients are asking how to navigate amidst cancelled campus visits, college fairs, and admissions testing. With school buildings closed, high school seniors may face college enrollment decisions with limited access to teachers and counselors. With colleges Read the full article…



Getting the Most from College Fairs

Message from Valerie 3-14-19: I am deeply dismayed by news of college admissions scams involving criminals and families pretending to serve students. I want to assure you that my work involves serving students across a wide economic spectrum in improving the trajectory of their lives through higher education. Adolescents often need guides to help them Read the full article…


What’s New? 5 Big Changes in College Admission

Adults naturally draw upon their college admissions experiences when talking to teens, even if those events are from a time before smartphones–and a lot has changed since then. So, it is important that I inform families about how college admissions processes operate today compared to a few years or decades ago. Today, college admissions officers Read the full article…



Admit Rates Are Changing!

Today many colleges until recently required strong credentials for admission, now appear to be accepting only students who possess outstanding qualities. Students who might have been admitted a year earlier, now are being offered a spot on a waiting list–or worse. So, while elders tell stories of getting into these colleges with average credentials, current Read the full article…



Is Your Transcript Ready?

Applying for college admissions and scholarships requires that transcripts be sent to evaluate the academic achievement of student applicants. Student grades are issued typically in the form of grade reports. Students and families may cumulatively save these reports but rarely do they see a full transcript. Recently, I reviewed clients’ transcripts and found errors that Read the full article…


Where Has the Financial Aid Gone?

When my son and his peers graduated recently after 4 years of college, they faced student loan debt that averaged $30,000 nationally. By contrast, when I graduated from college three decades earlier, my student loans totaled less than $3,000. This begged the question: Where Has the Financial Aid Gone? My accompanying article entitled, “Financial Aid Trends During Read the full article…