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Aiming for the Ivy League

Leslie said he took a lot out of the project, but he learned a lot about the intricacies of the college application processes.

He said he was surprised to learn about how the graduation rate for high school students was as high as it has ever been, and to learn that students are waiting as long as possible before making a decision on where to attend college.

He added that there are more variables now than ever before in the selection process.

"A lot of it is common sense," he said." The niche of it is how difficult this process is."

Atkin also runs a private counseling business, Atkin College Counseling, a company she started last year after her retirement, and she has helped families and students through the college application process. Information can be found at www.AtkinCollegeCounseling.com.

She said she provides brainstorming advice for admissions essays as well as guidance and assistance with applications and the "search and selection" process.

"It was a natural transition," she said.

She said she has not advertised her services too much, but has garnered 12 clients so far, ranging from the Guilderland Central School District to Voorheesville, North Colonie, Schalmont, Albany Academy and even one student from Long Island.

"All did very well in terms of their goals," Atkin said.

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