College Inroads: Students find the right degree plan using systematic approach

Annmarie Hatfield, right, meets with student Savannah Rocca to review college application materials. Today, most educational consultants meet with families and students online to ensure goals are met. (Courtesy College Inroads)
Annmarie Hatfield, right, meets with student Savannah Rocca to review college application materials. Today, most educational consultants meet with families and students online to ensure goals are met. (Courtesy College Inroads)

Annmarie Hatfield, right, meets with student Savannah Rocca to review college application materials. Today, most educational consultants meet with families and students online to ensure goals are met. (Courtesy College Inroads)

Image description
Dee Kohlhoff (left) works alongside Hatfield (center) and Mike Davila (right). (Courtesy College Inroads)
Image description
Annmarie Hatfield helped incorporate College Inroads in 2011. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fall is a competitive season for area high school seniors, but it is not just about sports.

Fall is the time to think beyond high school, and that means preparing college applications to stand out among the millions sent each year.

Simply deciding what schools their children should apply to can be as daunting as writing essays for many families. That is where the educational consultants at College Inroads can help.

Started in 2009 as a small business, College Inroads today has grown its customer base nationwide offering an extensive, structured plan that can show students their strengths and talents and how to apply these to their college search. For parents, there is the opportunity to understand scholarships and other options to pay for college, said Annmarie Hatfield, a partner at College Inroads and past board member of the Lake Travis Education Foundation.

Often parents do not seek aid, fearing they will not qualify. College Inroads avoids this, she said.


“We know what we are doing,” she said. “What might take us an hour, might take mom and dad

40 hours.”

In 2019, some 2.1 million people, or 66% of those who completed high school, immediately enrolled in college, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Hatfield said often those who apply are focused on the same set of colleges—from public schools such as the University of Texas to Ivy League colleges such as Harvard. In a competitive environment, it pays to have a broader set of options, Hatfield said.

“Everyone is applying to the same schools. One of the things we focus on is matching the student to the right college,” she said. “Sometimes the No. 1 college ends up being fourth or fifth on the list after going through the process.”

Educational consultants at College Inroads also push students along—making sure college essays are completed and submitted on time, Hatfield said.

“I had one parent tell me, ‘I got to be the cheerleader, and you were the nagger, pushing to get everything done,’” she said.
By Greg Perliski

Editor, Lake Travis/Westlake & Northwest Austin

Greg joined Community Impact as an editor in November 2020. In the communities he covers, Greg reports on local government, transportation, real estate development and business. He has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. Greg earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.



MOST RECENT

Photo of Austin Community College pharmacy students preparing vaccines
Austin Public Health ramps up COVID-19 booster shot offerings, prepares for pediatric vaccines

High-risk individuals who received Pfizer are Moderna doses six months ago or more are now eligible for boosters—as are most recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey briefed City Council on Austin's spending of more than $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding on homelessness Oct. 21. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials share outlook of 3-year plan to house 3,000 homeless people in Austin

Although the path to build more than 1,000 new spaces for those without shelter will take time, officials believe the goals are achievable.

Photo off APD sign
Austin police cadet academy review notes positive strides but says instructors lack buy-in to 'reimagined' concept

Reforms at the Austin Police Department academy are mixed so far, while the department and outside evaluators agree on several potential improvements going forward.

Sade Fashokun was sworn in as a Leander ISD trustee Oct. 21. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Sade Fashokun sworn in to Leander ISD board

Fashokun has served in PTA leadership, on the School Health Advisory Committee and on the Bond Oversight Committee, according to the district. 

Cumby Group is planning development for three adjacent multifamily projects on Manor Road in East Austin, including The Emma apartments. (Courtesy Cumby Group)
3 years in, Austin is falling behind on goals in affordable housing plan

From 2018-20, the city only reached 12% of its 10-year goal to build thousands of new homes and rental units.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Home construction in the Sweetwater community continues. New homes entering the market have yet to create a balanced market, according to ABoR. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
As pace of homes sold in west Travis County slows, prices remain higher than the overall metro area

The number of September homes sold in the Lake Travis-Westlake area dropped 30.7% from a year earlier.

Lake Travis ISD trustees Oct. 20 approved communication standards with other area law enforcement. (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD Police Department formalizes communication, coordination with other local police entities

The Lake Travis ISD Police Department is working to educate and integrate into the community.

A calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at the environmental impact of TxDOT's proposed designs for I-35 in Central Austin, one of the most congested roadways in the country. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit's tool says TxDOT I-35 expansion proposals would have profound environmental consequences

The tool says that the proposal would create between 255 and 382 million additional vehicle miles traveled per year.

Photo of the Travis County administration building and sign
Travis County hears update on process to reassess master plan for aging correctional facilities

The process comes after county commissioners opted to pause all activities of the master plan over the summer.

Rodeo stock image
Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo ready to open gates Oct. 21 after coronavirus delay

After the inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo was postponed in 2020, county and fair officials said they are excited to kick off the agricultural celebration.