Meet Jeff Schiffman

Jeff Schiffman headshotJeff Schiffman 
Director of Admission
Tulane University (LA)
Co-Leader of the
Millennial Admission Directors and Deans SIG

What drew you to the world of college admission?
It’s actually the only job I have ever had. I was a tour guide in college and found out I’d been hired as an admission counselor at Tulane the day before my college graduation. Technically, I’ve only had one first day of work my whole life.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is pulling the curtain back for families so they can get an honest and transparent look at the college application and admission process. I write a blog for Tulane that, in some regards, gives away many of the “secrets” of the admission profession. I feel like it’s my duty to share as much of my knowledge as possible to allow for students, regardless of their background, to have access to high-level college application intel. Last spring, Tulane offered six Applying to College 101 nights at public schools and libraries around the country. This spring, we’ll be doing 35 of them. Doing these events – seeing student’s eyes widen and heads nod as they scribble notes that will help them as they apply to college — that is my favorite thing right now. So in a sense, my favorite part of this job is making all the attempts we can to level the playing field for students applying to college, regardless of their school, background, or socioeconomic status.

How did you get involved with the Millennial Admission Directors and Deans SIG?
My colleague Sarah Brookshire and I got together one day and thought—we need a group for millennial leaders in the profession to bounce ideas off each other. Millennials lead, learn, and behave in different ways than previous generations and I thought it would be great for millennials who have risen to the top of their ranks to have a place to connect, idea-share, and vent.

Why is this SIG important to you?
For one, it’s a great place for saying “hey, I am struggling with X or Y in my office, what are y’all doing?” Or, “Vendor Z won’t leave me alone—anyone have experience with them?” The project that we most recently got off the ground is a SIG partnership with the Rural and Small Town SIG. We paired up a young director with a rural school counselor so that the rural school counselor now has a direct line to someone at the top of the enrollment ladder. Sometimes our independent school counselors don’t realize how lucky they are to have a slew of admission deans on speed dial. Our friends from rural communities should have the same benefit.

Why should counselors and admission professionals get involved with a NACAC SIG?
Because as soon as you do, the first thing you’ll realize is “oh shoot, I didn’t realize that so many other people faced this issue/challenge/idea!” It’s absolutely the best place to find likeminded individuals, network, idea-share, and, sometimes, let off some steam.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
Cost of attendance. I just am not sure how much longer these total costs of attendance can balloon and still be sustainable.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love anything related to health and fitness. I teach an indoor cycling class at a small studio just off campus. It’s actually a part of our counselor fly-in itinerary! I also always allow my students to come to a class or two on me — especially during finals season. Other than that, I am currently spending time planning my May wedding!

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Probably Legolas. He is patient, mindful, and always there when you need him.

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