College Workshops for Seniors


Murtaugh College Consulting, experts in college search and admission, will lead Brashier seniors through all the latest information and tools to successfully navigate today’s challenging college admission process.  All of the tools to “do it yourself” will be covered in three days of interactive workshops.  

The sessions will be during the first week of school, when regular college classes are not in session and student schedules are generally lighter.  Each session will be repeated at least twice on it's assigned day, so please only register for one session per day; sessions will be limited to no more than 27 students to ensure a quality experience for all.  YOU MUST PREREGISTER - THE SESSIONS ARE FREE!


Day 1:  Building a College List and the Application Process

·         Identifying the most important characteristics to you in choosing a college

o    Important factors for students and their the family to consider and discuss

o    Identifying possible majors (Engineering vs. Arts & Sciences vs. Business)

·          Overview of leading colleges in our region 

o    Online virtual tour resources

o    Comparisons based on our visits

·         The optimized application process

o    Planning your work

o    Timeline with tasks and deadlines

·         Homework:  Make your own college list (minimum of four colleges)

Day 2:  Essay Writing and Selective College Admissions

·         Introduction to the Common Application (live online)

o    What makes a good Activities list?

o    Adding colleges and finding the supplemental essays

·         Writing the Personal Statement and college-specific essays (“Why” essays and academic interest essays)

·         Admission Essay Evaluation Exercise — 

o    Students will write a brief, anonymous essay and then will sit in mock admission committees to see how an essay can communicate the personal characteristics of the writer.

·         Good online essay-writing resources will be shared

Day 3: SC Public Colleges, Scholarships, and Re-cap

·         Applying to public colleges in SC

·         Typical shorter essays for public colleges (USC, Clemson, College of Charleston)

·         Discuss how to research scholarship opportunities

·         Assistance with the shorter essay prompts will be available one-on-one

Open Q&A to address all material presented in all sessions  



Hope Murtaugh has been an Assistant Director of Admissions at Princeton University and the Assistant Director of College Counseling at Charlotte Country Day School.  Six years ago, she founded Murtaugh College Consulting, and has become a leading independent college admission consultant working directly for families.  Hope spends up to two months per year as an expert speaker on US college admissions to live and broadcast audiences in China, New Zealand and Canada through Interface Education Services.  She has visited over 40 colleges in the past three years alone, and her personal seniors have achieved impressive acceptance rates to highly selective colleges.

Valerie Bynum is the Southern Region college specialist at Murtaugh College Consulting.  As a National Traveling Chapter Consultant with Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, she visited over 50 universities in 15 states.  Having more than 20 years as an Executive Sales Representative for a Fortune 500 company, Valerie is an expert admission and scholarship interview preparation coach.  Valerie has coached students through successful admission appeals processes at Clemson and through the Hollingsworth Scholarship interview rounds at Furman.

Potential Guest Presenter

Bill Dingledine is a Certified Educational Planner (CEP) with 40 years experience in education. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his M.S. in education from Johns Hopkins University. As Assistant Headmaster and Upper School Director at Christ Church Episcopal School from 1985-96, he oversaw school admissions and college guidance. His broad range of experience and knowledge gives him particular insight into the needs of middle and high school students and the types of educational experiences available throughout the country.