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Articles / Preparing for College / College Admissions Interview - Kathy Morgan, Counselor
Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Nov. 30, 1999

College Admissions Interview - Kathy Morgan, Counselor

College Admissions - Interview

Kathy Morgan - College Counselor & More

"College is better than no college, period. You'll thank me later!"

-Kathy Morgan

All too often, high school guidance counselors are criticized for a legion of faults: lack of college knowledge, lack of concern for students who aren't academic superstars, general absence of motivation... the list could go on and on. Kathy Morgan is one guidance counselor who won't be confused with the lackluster performers vilified by so many parents. In 1999, Kathy helped 100% of the senior class of All Hallows High School in the Bronx gain entry to college. This school was far from a magnet school packed with elite students - in fact, many of the students might have been termed "not college material" at other schools, with an average SAT score of 870. Ms. Morgan's accomplishment attracted the attention of the national press, and coverage included a feature story in the Wall Street Journal.


College Confidential tracked down Kathy Morgan, and asked her to reflect on that memorable year at All Hallows as well as other college admissions issues. She's no longer at All Hallows, but is now director of the CollegeBound program sponsored by The Young Women's Leadership Foundation. TYWLF operates The Young Women's Leadership School in Harlem, where CollegeBound originated. The program is now providing college counseling assistance at four additional high schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

College Confidential: Looking back on your publicized 1999 year at All Hallows, have your views changed at all in the intervening time?

Kathy Morgan: When I reflect on my experience at All Hallows I really can't say that I have a new perspective. I believed then, as I do now, that the kids from inner cities have much of what it takes to attend and complete a college education. They have to be given a tremendous amount of support from the people who are working with them. I think if they feel people are supporting them and advocating for them, they gradually start believing in themselves.

CC: Have you heard how the students you worked with are doing in their respective colleges?

Morgan: Periodically I meet with students who I worked with at All Hallows on college campuses. They have all made adjustments to college life and are doing well. Many have graduated and are currently working in the business world. There have been a few who chose to leave college and pursue other interests.

CC: Were school administrators supportive of your efforts to get all of your seniors into college?

Morgan: School administrators were generally supportive of my efforts to get all the seniors into college. However, at times I think some people doubted that some of the students would be successful at a few of the institutions those students chose to attend. Many of the students went to colleges that had strong support networks on the campus. This made a very big difference to those students.

CC: Is college the right path for all students?

Morgan: I think the college option has to be explored with all students. I think many students are eliminated from the possibility of going to college because no one takes the time to look at the available options. Unfortunately, many students are dismissed as "not college material" and are told to get a job or join the military. I think all too often, many students get short-changed.

CC: Do the parents of the students you deal with play much of a role in the college admissions process?

Morgan: Unfortunately there are really not many parents that I deal with who play a role in the college admissions process. I think they may feel intimidated by the process. For many of them, it is the first time they have discussed college.

CC: Tell us about what you are doing now...

Morgan: My current job is much more administrative. I oversee college counselors at five schools. They are all relatively small public high schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The name of the Foundation I work for is the Young Womens Leadership Foundation. The Foundation was founded by Ann Rubenstein Tisch. The first school to be a part of the Foundation is the Young Women's Leadership School. CollegeBound is one of the programs sponsored by the foundation. It is both a challenging and rewarding position!

College Confidential extends its thanks to Kathy Morgan for participating in this interview, and congratulates her on her service to deserving high school students and families! Here are a few additional resources:

1999 Wall Street Journal article, "With a 100% Acceptance Rate, A Brazen Counselor Tries for a Repeat Performance" (pdf format)

All Hallows High School

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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