Associate Director of Admissions Gina Coleman ’90 has created a board game for helping students with college admissions.

According to Coleman, children who attend private schools have an edge because, early on, they are “grilled about standardized testing” and “have recruiters from all different schools come in.”

She said private-school students are well aware that they have to provide teacher and guidance counselor recommendations and that they must create a personal essay when applying to colleges and universities.

“They’re savvy to the fact that some schools don’t require standardized testing and other schools do,” said Coleman. “They’re much more savvy about early decision, early action, regular decision, rolling admission.”

Coleman created “Quest for College” with the county’s rural public-school students in mind.

“A lot of (ninth-grade) kids in public schools don’t realized that we’re looking, starting now,” she said. In addition, “A lot of public-school students don’t realize that the things that they do outside the class have a great impact on the college process and how they fare in the college admissions process.”

“The game itself is something of a progression,” said Mark W. Robertson, assistant director of admission at Williams. “You start with joining your first club, your first PSAT, up through studying for the (SAT) test, improving, taking honors classes and an AP class perhaps later your junior or senior year.”

Color me skeptical. How many high schoolers would actually spend time playing this board game? More thorough, honest and free information is wonderful, but a board game just seems unlikely to do much good precisely because it will not be much played. How many, say, Mount Greylock Regional High School students are going to troop to the college councilor’s office during their free period and play a few rounds? Then again, my daughters love Monopoly!

Better would be Coleman with a blog, a place where she could make her thoughts and insights on the admissions process available to all, rich and poor, rural and urban. If you really want to break down the advantages that applicants from places like Phillips Exeter have, you should start by providing, on-line, all the key tips that Coleman knows so well. She could even lead a group blog with other admissions officers like Roberston ’02.

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