Follin Speaker to help families navigate college admission process
Follin Speaker to help families navigate college admission process

"What are colleges looking for in my application? Which courses should I take? When should I visit colleges? What do they want to see in my essay? How do I go about paying for college?"

These and many other questions are foremost on the minds of young people as they prepare to compete for admission to colleges around the country. The competition has never been greater, and challenging economic times add to the uncertainty forcing families to re-evaluate their approaches to the college selection process.

The Webb School Follin Speaker Series will welcome Peter Van Buskirk, former dean of admission at Franklin & Marshall College and author of "Winning the College Admission Game," for several presentations about strategies that ease the stress while helping families navigate the high-stakes college admission process.

Included in the sessions will be a presentation for parents titled "What Colleges Want: Inside the Hidden Agenda" at Webb on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Follin Chapel.

The speaker will also present "Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be"TM to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 20 at 2:20 p.m. in the chapel.

The presentations are free and open to the public. Van Buskirk's book, "Prepare, Compete, Win! The Ultimate College Planning Workbook for Students", will be available for purchase for $20, and he will be signing books after both presentations.

Every year, Van Buskirk engages thousands of college-bound students and their parents around the country in a behind-the-scenes discussion about college planning. He introduces concepts such as the "Pyramid of Selectivity," "Hotspots and Hooks" and the "Hidden Agenda."

"As the competition to get into college increases, students need to remain grounded in their priorities," said Van Buskirk. "By demystifying the admission process, I help them find that focus while bringing clarity and relevance to a topic that is otherwise complex and stressful."

Founder of Best College Fit®, Van Buskirk writes a weekly advice column that can be found at In addition, his commentary on the college admission process has appeared in Family Circle, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He was interviewed by Jean Chatzky on Oprah and Friends, and his video interview with senior education reporter, Kim Clark, appears on the U.S. News & World Report website.

The Follin Speaker Series is an endowed program at The Webb School. For more information, call 931-389-5703.