As a professional college consultant, Teri Thompson is affiliated with the Higher Education Consultants Association, the Independent Educational Consultants Association, and the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admissions Consulting. She regularly attends national conferences and visits numerous schools each year in order to stay abreast of the rapid changes in the college admissions world.
ABOUT TERI THOMPSON
I have been assisting families with the college search process since 2008. From the beginning, my focus has been on helping families to identify appropriate schools, with the goal of having a successful college experience (hopefully in four years or less!), culminating with good career options and minimal debt.
My journey into college consulting began with my own college-bound daughter. Looking ahead, I knew that she would go to college, and most likely on to graduate school, but I had no idea where to begin. As someone who is never happier than when I have something to research, I quickly dived into the complex world of college admissions. But the more research I did, the more confusing it all became.
Private School or public state school? Research university or liberal arts college? Merit aid or needs-based aid? Which schools would be realistic?
As I researched, I discovered that most students put together their own college lists without having all the information they need. Sometimes they would stumble into the perfect school, but that was not the norm. More often than not, I would talk to families who said “If only I had known... then I would have put different schools on the list, or would have applied early, or would have gotten that scholarship, etc.”
Hungry to learn more, I began taking courses in UCLA’s graduate level College Counseling program and eventually began working with students. One student led to another and my business grew on a referral basis.
Earlier in my career, I spent 12 years as a recruiter in the high tech industry. In that capacity I interviewed hundreds of candidates and saw first-hand what companies are looking for along with the importance of a college education. I clearly remember the disappointment on one candidate's face when she learned that being two quarters shy of having enough credits to graduate with her B.A. meant that she couldn't even apply for a position which suited her perfectly. College is about getting an education, but it is also about career preparation and I incorporate both aspects into my consulting practice.
Each student has a different situation and putting together a college list is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It all depends upon that particular student’s goals and objectives. Some students are aiming for top tier or Ivy League schools. Some are looking for that little gem of a school that they never would have considered, but is a perfect match for them. Still more want to maximize their scholarship opportunities. And a few are athletes, wondering how the athletic recruitment process works.
No matter what type of school a student is seeking, from Ivy League to community college, they are all looking for the “right fit” from an academic, social and financial perspective.
My job is to help students navigate through the myriad of options, helping to put together an appropriate college list and to make life less stressful along the way.
UCLA College Counseling Courses
B.A. Business Administration, University of Washington
Certified Educational Planner, AICEP
© 2017 Thompson College Consulting (206) 459-8862
Teri Thompson is a Certified Educational Planner and a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association. She subscribes to HECA standards of good practice and is an associate member of IECA and professional member of PNACAC.