Adviser Explains College Choices

The Bergen Record
November 14, 2007

By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer

Steven Roy Goodman is a private college admissions counselor who, with psychologist Andrea Leiman, has written a book on the family dynamics involved in finding the right school.

The book, “College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family,” was recently released. The authors will talk about it at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at Books and Greetings, 271 Livingston St. in Northvale.

Goodman answered a few questions in a recent telephone interview:

Q. Why work with a psychologist on a book about college admissions?
Family dynamics drive a lot more of the college admissions process than people realize. Family members often have different objectives. I have C students wanting to apply to Princeton [because it’s what their parents expect.] Part of my job as an adviser is to help families figure out how to deal with these divergent agendas.

Q. Are families more discerning in choosing a college now that the costs are so high?
They want to get a bang for the buck. When all is said and done you’re talking $200,000 for private school, so more parents are involved. In general, parental involvement is useful if everyone is on the same page. … It can be a positive experience rather than an ordeal.

Q. How do family members expectations generally diverge?
People tend to reflect on the college experience they had. Sometimes it’s difficult to realize your son or daughter might not have the same idea as you have. The most common thing is a debate over location. The second most common is a liberal arts vs. professional experience. This is a very pragmatic generation.

Q. Why hire a professional admissions counselor when there are high school guidance counselors?
Unfortunately not every high school guidance counselor has the time to regularly visit colleges and spend time with students. On top of that, I’m a specialist, just like you go to a podiatrist if there’s a problem with your foot.

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