Admit it, the South has always had a share of influential and dynamic colleges and universities. Crisp Consulting + Coaching continues to examine critical factors that will assist students and families with the 2011-2012 college application process. After speaking with several college admission officers, educational planners and college consultants, let’s examine why colleges and universities in the South will garnish a surge in interest and applications in the upcoming admission season.
Southern Accents. Academic prestige accentuates Duke University, Elon University, Emory University, Furman University, Tulane University, Wake Forest University, The College of William & Mary, University of Richmond, University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University. These well-known selective colleges are now being joined by a group of schools that Lauren Pope calls, “Colleges that Change Lives.”. Of the 40 schools detailed in Pope’s book, 11 are in the South. Among these schools are Centre College, Guilford College, Hendrix College and Rhodes College. Pope comments, “ In a town in New England, these schools would be as selective as an Ivy school. We will have to be satisfied with them being as good as, and in some important ways, better than an Ivy.”
Southern Boom. Georgia and North Carolina are experiencing growth despite the current economic recession. John Connaughton, UNC-Charlotte economist, foresees growth in many of North Carolina’s main economic sectors of finance, information and service. Technology continues to boost Georgia’s economy with Atlanta and Savannah seeing significant growth. These growth factors will continue to make Southern cities desirable.
Southern Charm. Cities from Charleston, South Carolina to Richmond, Virginia boast rich histories, unmatched hospitality and inviting climates. After a February visit to New England, Jennifer Simms, a high school senior in the throes of college applications, commented, “I need to see what Emory is like in February.” The warmer climates and quick access to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Southern Coasts make the South more enticing.
As the South and its schools gain more attention, admission will become more selective. Many of these schools only accept 30 percent of applicants. Preparing for the coming college admission process will take time and effort. Creating a plan that focuses on an intentional educational plan that emphasizes academic, financial and social fit will create strategies for acceptance that will ease the frenzy and stress expected in the upcoming college application cycle.
Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.