Our Work Together

Hanna is a charming, engaging, and confident student who loves choral music and is politically engaged. She pictures herself possibly engaging with the political or legal worlds in the future to help address social injustices. She loves political science and sociology and has an interest in the humanities. Hanna’s confidence and drive match up with her academic skills to create a strong candidate.

After our engaging conversations during the YOU phase, the FIT phase was the place that required the most effort. There was a tension between Hanna’s initial goals for college and affordability. Hanna wanted to go far away for college, “anywhere but Colorado,” but cost was important as well. While Hanna was realistic about the high price of college and how at some places it was prohibitive, she wanted to explore broadly.

We formed a college list that included some colleges in Colorado as a comparison point, some colleges that were all about the kinds of things she wanted to study, and some colleges outside of the state that would likely provide good merit aid. For each of these, I made sure that each would give Hanna the rich conversations and politically active environment she craved.

Hanna evaluated the colleges based on third party reviews such as the Fiske Guide, unfiltered input from current students using tools I provided, and her general impressions.

I also provided financial estimates based on self-reported data from the colleges and interpreted through models that I provide based on, among other things, chance of merit aid and amount possible award. I also provided access to Tuition Fit, a wonderful database of real results.  We could check the model’s estimates against the real results for many of the schools. This allowed Hanna to iterate on schools she was interested in, and take into account cost.

During this time, we also continued our conversations about what Hanna was interested in. We discussed graduate school and honors programs. In the end, Hanna changed her mind about Colorado, and embraced applying to CU Boulder and targeting the honors program and Norlin Scholars program.  She also plans to go someplace outside of Colorado for her graduate studies.

Student Facts

Interests and Extracurriculars

Political Campaign Volunteer, Jazz and Classical Choir

Academics and Tests

Good grades, especially in social studies and language arts. Hanna opted out of tests and applied using college test-optional paths.


Friendly, Outgoing, Honest, Comfortable Expressing Opinions, Practical, Realistic, Organized, Efficient.

Perfect-Fit College List

Marquette, U. of Glasgow, CU Boulder, Fordham, George Washington U., Gonzaga, Tulane, American.


Most of Hanna’s work – emotional and otherwise – was in building the list and ultimately deciding where she would really apply. Her applications was terrific, and she was accepted at all but one of the schools she applied to. However, by the point of applying, she had taken control of the situation, embraced CU Boulder, and engaged with it and its honors programs.

Note: This is a description of an actual student-client of Bell College Consulting.  All aspects are real and accurate; however, the name and photo have been changed to protect the student’s privacy. The photo is used by permission from Philip Wang’s page at https://www.thispersondoesnotexist.com and uses the underlying algorithm created by Nvidia.