We caught up with Andy Lee, Founder and CEO of Ivy Education, who delivers college-related educational workshops for parents and high school students as part of CRCE’s High School On Track program.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a native New Yorker who moved to Singapore to run an education consultancy. In my role as an education consultant, I help students and their parents navigate the college and boarding school application process. Outside of work, I am really passionate about exploring new cities and playing racquet sports. As much as I love the food in Singapore, I still occasionally crave a slice of New York-style pizza.

How have you been involved with AAS/CRCE?

I have been organizing a series of workshops through CRCE to assist students and their parents in demystifying various aspects of the college admissions process.

How can the sessions you lead as part of High School On Track benefit parents and students?

My workshops seek to break down the often complicated overwhelming college admissions process into bite-sized pieces. Some of the topics that I have explored in my sessions include: college admissions essays, extracurricular activities and summer internships and interview preparation.

I am a student who has just started high school this year. What should I be doing now in terms of planning for college?

As a high school freshman, it is essential for you to start cultivating strong study habits and developing an open mindset right from the beginning. Experiment with different study techniques and methods until you find the ones that work best for you and then stick with them. Since you just entered high school, you will gain exposure to a wide array of classes and extracurricular activities that you may have never encountered before. This is the ideal time for you to sample widely before you narrow down your interests later on.

Have there been any recent trends in the college admissions process?

There are many new trends that are reshaping the college admissions landscape. Increasingly, more and more students are applying through the early decision and early action routes. Therefore, there is growing pressure on students to identify their dream college as early as possible. Another developing trend is the increase in standardized testing flexibility. In other words, more and more colleges are dropping the requirement for applicants to submit their SAT/ACT scores and are allowing them to showcase their academic abilities through IB scores, AP scores, SAT subject exam scores, auditions, writing samples, art portfolios and other means.

What are your top tips for parents who would like to support their children through their college admissions journey?

The college admissions process can be really daunting and nerve-wracking for students and parents alike. It is crucial for parents to give their children the necessary space and freedom to identify their own academic and extracurricular interests and college preferences. I also encourage parents to plan campus visits as early as possible to give their children a more tangible sense of what college is like. Finally, stay positive and supportive because your children appreciate that when the application process becomes really challenging and stressful.