The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

Ellen Gaddie, San Clemente

Herman Sillas’ portrayal of college consultants as con artists in the April 11-17 edition of the San Clemente Times is uninformed. Legitimate consultants are nothing like college scandal creator William Singer, whose alleged actions and those of his clients and accomplices were reprehensible.
Like countless colleagues, I belong to the Higher Education Consultants Association, Independent Educational Consultants Association, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Western Association of College Admission Counseling, and I hold a Certificate in College Consulting from University of California, Irvine.

Common to each organization are three areas members uphold: 1. an obligation to ethically help students and families navigate the college admissions process; 2. a commitment to assisting underserved students through community-based organizations, charitable giving, or pro-bono service to increase equity and access to higher education; and 3. a never-ending responsibility to educate ourselves by attending professional conferences, college admissions briefings and touring multiple colleges every year at our own expense. At any time, a colleague could report me for unethical behavior and my association membership would be canceled.

My clients come from all socio-economic backgrounds; some are first-generation, college-bound students, some are not, and some are pro bono. I am not in the business of packaging students for certain colleges, nor do I guarantee or “assist” with acceptance to any school—elite or not. Beware of those who do. I help students manage the process and find schools that are a good fit for them.

Gaining admission to a UC requires much more than it did 25 years ago. Applicants are holistically reviewed, meaning essays (four), test scores, GPA, rigor of coursework and extracurricular activities are considered within the context of the environment and opportunities students have available to them. All of that, including whether or not a student fills an institutional need at a UC campus, means it’s even harder to guess who will gain admission.

I am sickened by the college scandal news and hope the legal system will deliver just punishment to those who committed these crimes. But to lump all college consultants with the likes of Singer is not what we deserve. We act with integrity.

Have something you’d like to say? Email your letter to no later than 8 a.m. on Monday morning. San Clemente Times reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or information written by the writers. Limit your letters to 350 words or less. Please send with your valid email, phone number and address for verification by staff. Your address and phone number will not be published.

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Staff

comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>