About Jim Schaefer


Jim Schaefer has worked with college and high school students for three and a half decades as a coach and counselor.  In 1980, he graduated from Saint Lawrence University with a BA in both History and Economics.  He has dedicated his professional career to working with young adults in college or headed to college.

Mr. Schaefer spent a decade as an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Union College in upstate New York. In this capacity he reviewed applications, conducted interviews, recruited on the road from coast to coast and made Admission’s decisions.  While at Union he also took on the role of Athletic Liaison, where he worked in close coordination with coaches from all men’s and women’s sports at the college. 

As Assistant Dean of Admissions, Mr. Schaefer remained in close touch with the student body at Union College.  His roles as the head of the ‘Gatekeepers’, the school tour guides, and Assistant Minority Liaison facilitated his interest in working with a wide variety of students on campus.  These roles also put him in a position to lead and guide students through their college years. 

At Union College Mr. Schaefer began his collegiate coaching career.  He coached football and served briefly as an assistant lacrosse coach.  During his tenure at Union he also served as the head coach of the men’s and women’s alpnie ski team.  Under his tutelage the men’s ski team became a consistent qualifier for the Eastern Regional Championships. The women’s team, which consisted of a sole competitor when he took over, grew into a full team and a consistent qualifier for the eastern regional championships.  During his tenure as an assistant football coach, he coached first the offensive line and then the defensive line. Union experienced unprecedented success during that time, competing in it’s only two Division III National Championship games, in 1983 and 1991.

Union’s success in football led Mr. Schaefer to accept a position as an Assistant Football Coach at the University of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Schaefer coached at Penn for 23 years, during which time the team won an unprecedented nine Ivy League titles.  As a coach at the top program in the Ivy League Mr. Schaefer recruited on a national level from New England to Utah, and from Minnesota to Texas.

While at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Schaefer remained close to the academic side of the school as the football team’s Academic Liaison.  He worked closely with the Academic Coordinator for the football program and during his tenure the University of Pennsylvania achieved a number one ranking nationally for the first decade of the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report (“APR”) in football.  The ‘”APR” measures a college or university’s academic success in a sport based on graduation rates, retention of students-athletes and graduating on time with a degree.  His role as Compliance liaison gave him the opportunity to fully grasp and work within the intricate rules of recruiting and retention of student athletes on the NCAA level.

Upon leaving the University of Pennsylvania Mr. Schaefer worked as a football coach at the Lawrenceville School, a premier private boarding school in central New Jersey, where he served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. This afforded him the time to devote to working with a select group of young men and women each year to navigate through the college admissions and PG admissions and recruiting process.

This past fall Mr. Schaefer returned to the ranks of Ivy League football coaches as the Defensive Line Coach at Columbia University.  Filling an emergency situation for an old coaching friend it put a hold on Mr. Schaefer’s new business. On the other hand it gave him an invaluable up close and personal look into another Ivy League University which will enhance his abilities as an Educational Consultant.

My Background

My experience on both sides of the admissions and consulting process is deep, extensive and varied.  I have worked in the college, university and private preparatory school setting for 35 years, always dealing first hand with the recruiting and admissions process.  I have worked for two Ivy League Universities, a small college and one of the original college preparatory schools.  Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Union College and the Lawrenceville School share in common a tradition of excellent academics spanning many areas, campus activities and sports that rival any school of its kind in the country.

I have done a fair amount of educational advising for the past decade at the behest of friends and family. The success of those that I have guided through the process has peaked my interest in helping students and their families navigate the ‘college’ and ‘prep school’ process.

Throughout my career I have been a tireless and thorough worker for college and high school students.  I know and like young people. The success of those that I have worked with has motivated my move into a more formal arrangement as an educational consultant. I would like to share my experience, my knowledge and my energy to help families have a very positive college search process.

Personal Statement

My experience with Educational Consulting as a High School student:

As a high school senior, my parents were at a loss.  My dad, a graduate of the Ivy League school his dad graduated from applied to only one college.  My mom was a graduate of one of the prestigious Seven Sisters colleges. These were all women’s colleges and the only colleges my mom had an interest in attending at the time. I am the oldest of four siblings and since I lacked Ivy League credentials, my parents were a bit panicked about guiding me through the college admissions process.  Hence they arranged for me to work with an educational consultant.

My first meeting with Charles Doebler, retired Dean of Admissions at Brown University, went surprisingly well.  At the time I did not quite see the need to interupt my football season to see an educational consultant who was not going to tell me much that I did not already know.  But in our first meeting there was something I liked about talking to Mr. Doebler.  Perhaps it was that he was interested in me as a young person with, he seemed to think, great potential. Perhaps it was that he knew much more about colleges and universities than I thought there was to know. Perhaps it was that he respected my interest in athletics as an important piece to the admissions puzzle.  Or maybe it was just the simple fact that he was easy to talk with and took a sincere interest in me..

The process of working with an educational consultant could not have worked any better.  My mom, a Phi Beta Kappa English major, always felt my vocabulary was lacking. After I was accepted into college I felt comfortable enough to ask my educational consultant for help with this deficit. The summer after I graduated from high school I trekked every Saturday morning to Mr. Doebler’s summer home to do hard labor clearing land from an old New England farm with him. We took breaks to expand my vocabulary. Each week I left with another thirty obscure words to learn before my next visit. I can partially attribute writing a 150-page history theses in college to these trips.  I do not know if my mom ever read it, Samurai Japan was not exactly up her ally!

My dad grew to love my college choice. At my graduation from Saint Lawrence University, he even compared it favorably to my sister’s school.  This was quite a compliment as my sister was then a third generation Ivy League student at his alma mater.

In addition to writing a theses that I would never have thought possible as a senior in high school, I graduated  from college in four years with a double major, played four years of varsity football in an extremely successful program and won awards for my work with my fellow students. As for Mr. Doebler, I think he knew all along that everything would work out well in the end. But I am not so sure it would have worked out so well without him.

Jim Schaefer