Karen Spencer Bio Image

Karen Spencer

College Admissions Consultant

Admissions Experience:

  • Former admissions officer at Georgetown University
  • Former admissions officer at Franklin & Marshall College


  • Valparaiso University – Bachelor’s in Psychology
  • University of Virginia – Master’s in Counseling and Higher Educational Administration

Background: Like many admissions officers, I was introduced to this line of work after having been a tour guide at Valparaiso University. I went to graduate school to study counseling in higher education and, while working in the admissions office at UVA, realized that admissions was my passion. As an admissions officer at Franklin & Marshall, I read and made decisions on applications from NY, CA, and CO, was in charge of transfer admissions, and was the liaison to all coaches during the athletic recruiting process. Moving to Georgetown, I continued to oversee transfer admissions and reviewed applicants from the Midwest, reading up to 1800 applications each year. I also acted as the liaison for the soccer coach, and led one of the business school admissions committees. During my time in the admissions world, I particularly enjoyed meeting with students, helping student athletes decide if they really wanted to play a sport in college, helping transfer students find a better fit at a different college, and helping students and parents debunk the myriad of myths that are out there regarding this process.

I have worked with students interested in:
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Pre-med
  • Accelerated medical - BS/MD
  • Nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Pre-law
  • Busines
  • Journalism
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Computer science
  • Game design
  • Graphic design
  • Teaching/education certification
  • ROTC 
  •  Honors programs
  • Ivy League
  • Large state schools
  • Small liberal arts colleges
  • Two year colleges
  • Religiously affiliated schools
  • Research universities
  • Graduate Programs
I have also worked with:
  • Athletes
  • International students
  • Students with learning differences
  • Non-traditional students
  • Transfer students
  • First-generation students

Why I joined Bright Horizons: I came to College Coach because I grew to understand through both my teaching and admissions experience that I work best with students and families in a 1:1 relationship so that I can truly get to know them as individuals. Teaching 150+ students each year or reading applications for several hundred students in each admissions cycle rarely gave me time to get to know students beyond grades and numbers. Working with College Coach has allowed me to focus my attention on helping to understand the very specific questions, concerns, frustrations, and misunderstandings that co-exist in the minds of students and their families. I especially enjoy getting to know a student’s personality to help her find the next step on her academic and personal journey. Additionally, I am constantly seeking ways to learn in all facets of my life. College Coach has specifically encouraged any opportunity to stretch myself  through my interaction with all types of students and  in collaborating with colleagues as we constantly gain new knowledge about today’s college admissions process and  trends in education. I have enjoyed eight years with College Coach because of the close relationships I have been able to form with families as we’ve walked the path to college together.

Hobbies: Running, yoga, hiking, volunteer work, traveling, reading, writing, cooking, doing arts & crafts with my kids