Finding the "right" college is all about fit: academically, socially and financially.
And that looks different for every student!
Marie Morris, founder of Beyond 18, LLC based in Portland,Oregon, believes there are many choices for the post high school years - some not always readily apparent.
After receiving her B.A. in Business Administration, with a marketing concentration from California State University, Fullerton, she worked for many years in home improvement consumer sales in the San Francisco Bay area as well as Portland. After a hiatus to raise her children, she returned to work in the Beaverton School District, working primarily with grade school children focusing on reading. As her own children approached the college search, she turned her attention to understanding the maze of admissions, programs and schools. She never looked back. Marie has been an ASPIRE mentor for nine years, where her emphasis is assisting under-served and first generation students.
Marie completed the UCLA College Counseling Certificate program with distinction early in 2013. Since 2010, she has helped over 100 students find their "right fit" school and has a 90% acceptance rate for her students. This reflects her ability to find good matches, academically and financially. Additionally, she has three children of her own, who took slightly different paths to college, including a gap year. She encourages families to look broadly when considering the next step after high school. As an elected community leader, mentor, teacher and parent, Marie understands the need for individual plans to bring out the fullest potential in students.
When not helping students, touring colleges or attending conferences and webinars to stay up to date on college trends, Marie can be found on the golf course, out kayaking, snow skiing in winter, or in her garden at home where she is trying to figure out what to do with a bumper crop of tomatillos.
These organizations provide professional development in the form of conferences and counselor college tours. Additionally, she belongs to a local group, Portland Area College Consultants Consortium, that promotes among other things, a collaborative approach with high school, independent, and college counselors. As well, Marie hosts college planning and financial aid presentations throughout the year.