NEWSLETTER – Edition 24


Father’s Day is this week, so Shannon asked me to share something about her work. I’ve been contemplating for days. I’m a proud husband and father. There are so many moments I would love to share. In truth, I’m the one who adopted the Thoreau quote, “Live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” for our family. I’ve always been more interested in the experience that achievements offer rather than just the achievement itself. And with that in mind, I quickly settled on sharing about our son Cooper being named a Coca-Cola Scholar.

Our family discovered the Coca-Cola Scholars program in the fall of 2012 as Grayson, our high school senior, was looking for college scholarships. It was quickly evident that Grayson didn’t have the résumé that would put him in contention for this highly-coveted grant. However, Cooper was a high school freshman and still had plenty of time to build a high school résumé that would attract the Coca-Cola Scholars.  

That is essentially where Shannon’s role as a college admissions consultant truly began. Cooper and Shannon worked for 3+ years to craft Cooper’s high school experience – one that would capitalize on his academic record, highlight programs aimed at personal development and feature meaningful extracurricular activities  

In the fall of 2015, Cooper was one of 87,000 high school seniors who applied for the Coca-Cola Scholars program scholarship. Of that 87,000, 2,500 semi-finalists were selected and invited to submit additional materials. After that, 250 regional finalists were selected. Interviews with each of the regional finalists narrowed the field down to the 150 winners. In the spring of 2016, Cooper was one of those 150 winners.  

I love the Coca-Cola experience for three main reasons. First, it includes a fun-filled weekend in Atlanta with all 150 winning scholars. It means that Cooper is now in the family of Coca-Cola Scholars, and he looks for his cohorts everywhere – when he arrived on the SMU campus for his undergrad degree, when he joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, when he pursued summer internships, and when he started law school at UT. Second, it’s a $20,000 scholarship! Cha-ching! Finally, Coca-Cola lets you defer the scholarship for up to 10 years. In Cooper’s case, that means he’s using his $20k to pay his law school tuition.  

Of course, I think my wife is amazing. She’s truly invested in the college admissions process and is a constant and life-long learner. She’s focused on helping your children make the most of their high school experiences so that they can soar on the collegiate level. At the end of the day, everything she does is aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and expenses for you and your student. My biggest piece of advice: call her today! As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” There are so many resources to which she can lead you that you might otherwise miss. The sooner you start, the better your chances of qualifying for great programs like the Coca-Cola Scholars. 

Thanks for letting me share. And Happy Father’s Day! 




I’ve mentioned before that I am a member of The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). This not-for-profit, international professional association represents experienced, independent educational consultants. An IECA member educational consultant is a skilled professional who provides counseling to help students and families choose a school, college, or another program that is a good personal match: one that will foster the student’s academic and social growth.

I was reminded this week that the IECA website provides a wealth of information for parents and students. Be sure to check it out HERE.


CONFERENCE: IECA is on my mind this week because we just wrapped up our spring conference. Wow! So much to learn. And so many opportunities to collaborate with my peers. All-in-all, some of my favorite sessions were:

  • Assessing and Advising Students Who Are College Capable, But Not College Ready
  • Financial Aid Update with the Nation’s Leading Expert, Mark Kantrowitz 
  • Extracurriculars: Quality, Quantity, and Equity
  • Preparing Students for Success as Future Global Leaders
  • “Help! I Don’t Know What to Write About!”
  • Case Studies in Selective College Admission
  • The Truth Behind Finding the Right Athletic Fit
  • College Admissions: How the Pandemic Has Changed the Process
  • Character Counts: Best Practices
  • The College Alternative: Creating a Plan B
  • Let’s Get Specific: Navigating The “Why School X” Essay    

SENIORS: Conference really has me ready to start the Common App! And you should be ready, too! Essays, list of activities, letters of recommendations. Let me help! I will guide you through the process and keep you focused on the points that are pertinent to your situation. As always, my goal is to help you find and fund the ideal college experience! Use the button below to connect with me and let’s get started today!     

JUNIORS: You still have time to cultivate activities that demonstrate commitment to your passions. Call me and we’ll talk quality, quantity, and equity. Let’s explore what items fall under the ‘activity’ category and ensure that you are enhancing and highlighting the activities that make you unique. My help is just a click away!     

FRESHMEN & SOPHOMORES: Need help finding your passion? I can help with that. Not only can I help you identify and focus your passions, but I can also help you build academic, personal development, and extracurricular strategies that will help you qualify for the most competitive college programs and scholarships (like the Coca-Cola Scholars). My goal is to help you make the most of high school opportunities and then be poised to find and fund your ideal college experience. If you want to learn more, use the button below to set-up a no-cost / no-obligation call with me.

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