Counselor for Southern California

Ellen Silverstrand
Program Coordinator - West Region

Phone: (972) 355-1927
           (800) SLU-FOR-U
Fax:     (314) 977-7136

Follow me on Twitter at The_Billiken.

Saint Louis University
Office of Undergraduate Admission
One N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

What advice would you offer to students during their college search and application processes?
Start early and stay organized. As soon as school starts your senior year, find out what the deadlines and requirements are for each school to which you're planning to apply. Once you find out this information, get started right away because it can take time to gather all of the required materials. There are often additional scholarship opportunities for students who submit applications early. You may miss out on those other deadlines if you wait until the last minute to submit your application for admission.

How long have you worked as an admissions counselor at Saint Louis University?
I have worked at Saint Louis University since the fall of 2010, but I came to SLU with 5 years of admission experience from other institutions. I am a SLU alum from the class of 2005 and it is great to be representing my alma mater.

What do you enjoy most about your work as an admissions counselor at Saint Louis University?
What I love most about my work is helping students and families through the process of determining whether SLU is the best fit for them. The college search is an exciting time for students and their families, but it can also be intimidating. I do my best to eliminate that anxiety so that the process is no longer daunting and intimidating, but instead exciting and enjoyable.

Where is your favorite spot on SLU's campus?
I love the grassy area in front of the John Cook School of Business between the steps of the clock tower and the Cupples House. When I was a student, it was my favorite spot to study, read or have lunch with friends between classes.

What is your favorite restaurant (or entertainment venue) near SLU's campus that you recommend to students and their families?
All of the students I work with are from out of state so when they visit campus they are also visiting the city of St. Louis, many for the first time. I always say if you are in St. Louis and you love Italian food, you've got to eat on the Hill. The Hill is the Italian neighborhood just a short drive from campus where you will find the most amazing Italian restaurants. My personal favorites are Zia's and Guido's.

What did you study as an undergraduate?
I majored in Communication and received a Certificate in Marketing.

Other than those regarding financial aid, what are the most common questions you receive from prospective students and their families, and how do you respond?
I'm often asked what I loved most about SLU as a student. That is a difficult question to answer because there were so many things that I loved as a student and so many things that I still love about SLU as an alum and staff member. If I have to pick one thing, I say it is the blend of a beautiful campus setting in an urban environment. As a prospective student, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to school in a city with an urban vibe or whether I wanted a place with more of a traditional college campus feel. At SLU, I found both. And I had all of the advantages of both: a quiet place to read under a tree and grass to throw a Frisbee around with my friends; plus the entertainment, cultural, and internship opportunities the city of St. Louis has to offer. For me, SLU was a perfect fit.