East Coast College Tour: Reading Between the Lines~ Part 1
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“The trip to the Ivy League schools was an experience I never imagined myself to have.  I was very excited throughout the entirety of our travels. I found myself falling in love with every school we visited. I appreciate ThinkTank Learning for providing me with this opportunity, as it helps me clarify my plans for college. Seeing these universities allowed me to establish what future I want for myself and how I can go about pursuing it. College always seemed so far away, and the Ivy Leagues seemed so out of reach. Now, because of this trip and ThinkTank, I see how attainable my dream school is.”

– Sydney D. (High School Student)

One of my favorite sayings is “much truth is spoken in jest.” Gaining admission to top tier US universities is harder than ever (no laughing matter), but TTL’s recent East Coast College Tour, through its firsthand history lessons and character studies of students and deans,  taught me that much truth is also spoken at college information sessions:  you just have to know how to read between the lines.

While I am generally not a fan of tour groups of any kind, I greatly enjoyed co-leading ThinkTank’s tour of 10 famous East Coast colleges at the end of June. The mixed group of rising 9th-12th graders helped me to rediscover new features of the colleges which are my constant quest as a college admissions consultant.

Our tour began in the Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and wound its way through the University of Pennsylvania , Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Boston University, Harvard, Boston College, MIT, Brown, and NYU (in that order). We returned to San Francisco from New York’s JFK airport at the end of five full days, a voyage which afforded  invaluable glances at six of the eight Ivy League schools, the nation’s pre-eminent tech school, three members of Boston’s collegiate ice hockey Beanpot (BU, BC and Harvard),  and New York’s “school in a city”.

Along the way, we met many student tour guides, and admissions deans and officers. Our bus rides became makeshift classrooms where we worked together to interpret the messages we received from our contacts and surroundings.

By David Phillips