Lia Prugh
Co-Director of College Counseling
Ravenscroft School (NC)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I started helping my friends with their college lists and college applications when I was in high school! I have always been fascinated by the college admissions process and was thrilled to become a tour guide and senior interviewer when I attended Wake Forest University (NC). I worked in communications for a year after college but quickly realized that I was not passionate about the work and decided to get my master’s degree in higher education at the University of Virginia. I worked in the UVa admissions office while I was a graduate student and remember having an “aha” moment when learning how to review applications. I realized that being involved in the college admissions process was absolutely something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was very lucky to have found my passion at a young age and I’ve been lucky to stay in the field ever since!

What is your favorite part of the job?
I love making connections and forming relationships with my students. They are why I go to work every day and they inspire me with their hopes and dreams for the future. Being even a small part of their journeys is so rewarding. I am also fortunate to have developed friendships with people across the country who also work in college counseling or college admissions and I have a network of people who I can call, text, or email with questions. Whether exchanging witty banter on a cherished text chain with college counseling friends, discussing ideas with my office colleagues, or reaching out to an admissions representative for level-headed advice, the relationships I have formed add so much to my professional life.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
I remember being nervous and also excited to go to my first NACAC conference in Denver back in 2012. Even in a crowd with thousands of people, I realized how many friends and wonderful colleagues I have in the profession and it made the conference feel less intimidating! NACAC for me is an annual reunion with friends — we visit colleges, learn new information at sessions, and find great places to eat! Attending the NACAC conference is always a highlight of my hectic fall schedule!

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
It’s hard to name just one but the increasing cost of higher education really concerns me as I think about my students and the burden they face in financing their educations. I believe deeply in higher education, but I never want students to take on unreasonable debt to attend college. There are many aspects of the process that cause stress for students and a priority for me is supporting families in understanding college costs and developing lists that allow for financial flexibility.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working, I love to read, binge watch shows on Bravo, travel and plan future trips, and play with my kids and drive them to their many activities.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would be Anne from Anne of Green Gables. Not only is she an icon for redheads such as myself, but she has a quick wit, strong determination, great passion, and sees the best in other people.

 

Published May 13, 2024