Meet Maria Badami

by Tracy Higginbotham
President, Five Star Events and Women TIES

As entrepreneurs we experience the changing seasons of our companies. As women we experience the changing seasons of our lives. An inevitable change for many women is when their first child is ready to leave the comforts of home to attend college. Selecting the right higher-education institution can be an overwhelming process for both students and parents. It’s the main reason why Maria Badami started her company, College Directions of CNY.
“My goal is to help college-bound students and their families find the right academic fit based on their professional, athletic, financial and social criteria,” Badami explains.
Meetings and assessments with the students help her identify their academic goals and learning styles. With this information, she selects a range of colleges and universities that meet both the student’s and parents’ objectives. Badami educates families on how to be savvy college shoppers, which means looking beyond the glossy view books and websites to understand the difference between institutions and programs.
As women in this stage of life know, tackling the application process, selecting the school and getting the best financial package creates apprehension. In today’s economy, parents are not only trying to find the best fit for their children; they are also trying to discover the most reasonable option, especially with the increasing costs of higher education. Affordability is a key factor for college-bound families, so Badami suggests and helps review financial and merit-aid opportunities.
Besides assisting with the financial side of the selection process, she also helps prepare students for college interviews and assists them in presenting the most comprehensive view of themselves. This can include college essays, supplemental materials and activities.
“It’s gratifying to be in touch with the family until the student decides which school to attend. It’s especially gratifying to know a college-bound student will attend a school where they have the best chance for being successful and happy,” explains Badami.
This month’s inspirational woman entrepreneur is someone who understands the importance of finding the right college to transform our children into future adults, and to help us transition through this important season of our lives.

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