Mel Preimesberger

Founder/Director MP College Chat LLC

MP College Chat LLC

Over 20 years of combined experience as an University Admission Officer at a highly selective institution and High School College Counselor.

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Mel Preimesberger is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Gerontology.  She feels fortunate to have had the opportuity to serve a wide variety of generations.  She entered the field of college admission in the mid-eighties and has witnessed the ever changing landscape and increased competitiveness of  the college admission process.

In her role in higher education Mel's experience includes having worked on what the college admission profession refers to as "both sides of the desk". At Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, California she served as a college counselor where she advised  students and their parents about the college search and application process, wrote letters of recommendation and taught college counseling courses.

Mel has almost 14 years of combined admission experience at the University of Southern California.   There as an Associate Director of Admission ,  her primary duties included coordinating student athletic admissions, designing recruitment and retention plans,   and managing a file review load of approximately 600 -1,000  files during each admission cycle. 

She serves as the Board of Trustee Chair at Jusin Siena High School  and as a Trustee of the Oxbow School, both in Napa, CA.

Her professional affiliations include memberships in the following:
Western Association for College Admission  Counseling, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, National Association for College Admission Counseling,  International Association for College Admission Counseling, Higher Education Consultants Association ( HECA) and Professional Membership in Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).   
Mel volunteers extensively and holds volunteer leadership positions in HECA and IECA.
She also serves as a guest speaker for the  UCLA College Counseling Certificate Program.

6/3/2018 7:45:31 PM,
Mel Preimesberger replied:

Yes, I do have experience working with Chinese Students.  I have had the opportunity to travel to various cities throughout China twice in the past 2 years to share with audiences of selected students and their parents information regarding the US College Application Process.  In addition, last summer I planned and accompanied a Chinese student on a week-long  USC College Tour.  That student's visit to the USC culminated with a high school summer program at UC Berkley.  Along with researching and locating the program, I offered advisement during their application process.  I am also a member of International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC)

7/31/2017 1:14:31 AM,
Mel Preimesberger replied:

Keep in mind that college admission essays are not one size fits all.
College Admission Officers first and foremost like to see that you have answered the prompt(s).
They want to see that you have taken the time to show commitment and preparation in the process.  Have you paid attention to grammar, punctuation and typos?
They want to see authenticity, that these are your words and not a scrubbed version of someone else's heavy editing.

It is your opportunity to have your voice heard.  
Colleges can interpret your academic history, trend in grades, activities and outside interests in the fill in the blanks portion of your application.  What they can not interpret are your personal characteristics and how they translate into:

  • Grit - Did you have any challenges?  If so how did you overcome them? What lessons did you learn?
  • Enthusiasm - What excites you and why?  What motivates you to keep doing what you do?
  • Values - What is important to you and how do you portray and carry that out?
  • Goals and aspirations -  Discuss your goals,  what steps you have taken to achieve them and why they are important to you.
I always tell student that after reading an essay, a college admission committee should be able to note 3 - 4 key things about you, and your personality. They should have enough information to determine if you would be a good fit for the college and what you could contribute to the campus community.  Can they determine characteristics like leadership, compassion, ingenuity from your essay?  Remember you will not be able to interview for every school you apply to... so your essay acts as an interview itself. 
Keep in mind as you write what are the take aways you would want an interviewer to have when describing you.
These take aways should come across in your essay.
6/8/2017 10:30:49 AM,
Mel Preimesberger replied:
Part-time jobs are always viewed as value in the college admission process. It shows responsibility and showcases an applicant's ability to manage their time and academic course load. It is always impressive if an applicant's job is related to their choice of major. 
Nonetheless admission officers are impressed and look for consistency, time on the job and gradual increase of responsibilities.
And most importantly...for those colleges that allow for an "other" letter of recommendation the applicant should ask their supervisor.  That letter will give an outside of the classroom glimpse as to who the applicant is.