College Counseling at Verto Experience a Rich & Rewarding Path to College

Verto semesters help students gain confidence and global perspective to achieve their goals. That starts with ensuring 100% of students have a four-year college plan that inspires and aligns with their aspirations. Our team is dedicated to providing all students the resources and support to get started. Explore below to see our offerings.


  • 45+

    The number of Verto partner colleges (and growing!)

  • 7:1

    The staff:student ratio on Verto semesters, giving students the personalized support in their first year of college and preparing them for success in their partner institutions

  • 2 Weeks

    The average time it takes for students to receive admissions decisions from Verto and partner colleges

  • 12–16

    The number of transferable college credits students earn on a Verto semester


Photo: Liz Le

Liz Le

Senior Associate Director of College Counseling & Partner Relations

Hi there! As Verto’s College Counselor, I work with students once they’ve committed to a Verto semester. It can be overwhelming to choose a college and major, but remember, when you deposit with Verto, you’ve just nailed down your first semester or year! You’re already on your way. 

During your semester, you’ll  learn more about what’s important to you. You will have gained real world experience, cultural perspective, and personal awareness that will help shape your college and career goals. These are the keys to success in college, and beyond.

How can the Verto College Counselor help you?


Did you know there is no perfect college? And what your friends may be planning, may not be right for you? Let’s look at ways you can begin your search to make the right choice for you

  • Have you thought about the size of your dream college? Small and intimate where your professors know you by name? Or large where you have access to every resource, but pay less? 
  • Is there a certain location that you desire to be in? Great – Verto has a partnership with colleges all over the country. 
  • What part of the college experience is most important to you? Are you looking for schools with a high diversity rating, or who offer a unique student organization? Use resources like Big Futures, Niche, and SCOIR to begin your research.
  • Your major choice will certainly factor in as well. Choosing a major can be a fluid process – kudos to you for starting at Verto and giving yourself time to explore. Look at each college’s general pathways or areas of interest, rather than focusing on a specific major that may leave you feeling stuck or locked in, even if your new experiences shape different choices.
  • Affordability almost always comes into play, I get it, as a first generation college student. I wish someone would have told me to choose my best fit schools first, and then see what type of aid they can offer, before making a decision. 
See College Counseling FAQs

Liz is such a phenomenal advisor with so much to offer us, as students. She never fails to answer any of my questions and honestly is willing to help in any way possible. She has made my Verto experience extremely rewarding thus far!

Cole N.Spring 2021 South Pacific Student

Liz along with other members of the Verto team have provided me with all the materials I may need to get all my credit to transfer to UMD. Not only did Liz get in contact with UMD but she was my advocate and I immensely appreciate it. If the credits wouldn't have transferred I would unfortunately make the decision to opt out of Hawaii so I am very excited that everything worked out.

Amelia K.Global Impact Year 2020-2021

Liz has been incredibly supportive of me during the process of writing my college essay. She gives great feedback and has the ability to give suggestions of how to improve my writing that I would not have considered on my own. She is a stellar counselor and I have greatly enjoyed working with her!

Holly S.Fall Hybrid 2020 Student



With so many options in front of you, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the college selection process. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

While we’re excited to help you set up a four-year college plan, one of the great benefits of Verto is that students have the opportunity to learn, grow, and self-reflect during their Verto semester, helping them to narrow their search for the right fit. You may learn more about yourself and your academic interests as the semester progresses and that’s encouraged! Whenever you’re ready to explore, we’re here to help you navigate the process.

Let’s get started now by learning more about Partner Colleges below.


Why choose a Verto partner school?

Verto is extremely proud to partner with a quickly growing consortium of forward-thinking colleges and universities—enabling students to see the world, gain academic knowledge, and meaningful life experience while receiving college credit.

  • Seamless credit transfer

    As a partner school, these colleges and universities have already mapped out how Verto credits will transfer as general education requirements at their institutions.

  • Meet other Verto alumni

    If you choose to attend a partner school, you’ll likely be alongside other Verto alum with whom you can share your global experiences.

  • Aligned with Verto’s mission

    We only partner with institutions that share our mission to provide accessibility and global citizenship as core tenets of a college degree. That means that after your Verto semester, a partner college may be an even better fit since they’ll share your global perspective and a strong desire to help you achieve a meaningful education.

Explore All Verto Partner Colleges and Apply


At Verto, we believe so passionately about the positive impact of the experience you’ll have at Verto that we work one-on-one with every student to help you navigate your college plan—even if that plan includes a non-partner institution! In fact, we have many students who also take this path.

Verto Courses Satisfy General Education Requirements

Verto courses are designed with you in mind. No matter which semester you choose, Verto courses take the shape of general education requirements. That means that Verto curriculum is designed to serve all students, regardless of major, in earning credits for courses that all first-year students are required to take at most universities. Courses like Rhetoric and Composition, Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Sociology, World Language, Creative and Critical Thinking and more, are great examples of courses that universities require students to take during their first year. With Verto, you’ll be taking these courses and pairing them with valuable experience in the field, making them all the more interesting! Learn more about how credits transfer in our Academic Overview.

What can you do now to explore if/how your non-partner college will accept your Verto credits?

We’re happy to walk alongside you to help you and your non-partner college determine if Verto is the right fit for your first year of college (hint: we think it is!). As part of our commitment to put students first, we’ll even offer you a full refund if you deposit at Verto and then discover that credits will not transfer to your non-partner college or university.

How to get started

  • Check out your selected college’s policy on deferment. This should be information available on their website if you search “Deferral Request” or if you reach out to their Admissions Office directly.
  • When speaking with your college’s Admissions Office, ask if they allow “gap year” options or if they’ll allow you to earn credit during a “gap year.”

Helpful hints when investigating your options

  • Some universities will automatically approve your deferment if you follow their steps, but others will require a formal committee to review
  • Be specific in your request for information from their Admissions Office
  • Note the specialized learning and life experience that you’ll receive at Verto, you can even copy your Verto College Counselor on the email to give more context and information on your behalf

If your college’s Admissions Office says yes and is open to your deferment, the first step is done! That’s great news. At that point, in order to do your due diligence, here are some additional things to consider:

  • How will earning credits potentially impact your financial aid or scholarships at the college or university?
  • Is there a limit on how many credits you can earn, before you’re given a different “admissions status” with the school?
  • Will the experience with Verto as a launching pad outweigh any of these factors for you?
  • Are you fully committed to this non-partner school or would you be open to exploring partner schools with our college counselor? If so, schedule a time here to meet with Liz!

Don’t forget—a Verto semester provides way more benefits than a simple credit offering! Although ensuring credits will transfer is an important part of your first year, keep in mind that you’ll be gaining cross-cultural experience, mentorship, clarity, confidence, self-awareness, global citizenship, and more.


Now that you’re clear on your non-partner college’s deferment policy, it’s time to consider exactly how your credits will transfer. Here are the steps you can take to learn more about your selected university:

  • Visit your non-partner college website for “transfer equivalency”
  • Could be under admissions, registrar, or an academic advisor
  • Do they have a transfer equivalency tool? If so:
    • Choose, “Search by Transfer Institution”
    • Search for Virginia—Richard Bland College
    • What are the requirements in terms of GPA, in order to transfer the credit in
    • Review your Verto courses compared to the courses within your major, based on how they fall in the transfer equivalency tool
  • If they don’t have an easy tool to use on their website, review the policy information. Is there a form that needs to be completed? Can you complete this form prior to having an official transcript.
  • If you still need more clarity or to speak to an evaluator, send an email to the designated department or email contact and CC, so that we can provide further context to help! You can even use the email template below to get the ball rolling:
Dear [enter name of primary admissions contact, e.g. "Admissions Department" or "Registrars"],

I am very excited about the possibility of attending your University for my degree, and wanted to reach out about a program that I have been accepted into for a semester prior to arriving on campus. I am interested in attending Verto Education’s first year semester in [enter your location] and taking four courses, which are fully accredited by Richard Bland College.

Could you help me confirm that these credits will be accepted for my degree requirements for my first year with you all? I’ve also copied my Verto contact, Liz Le, on this email. She can answer any questions about the course descriptions or other information you may need. I look forward to working with you and Verto to map out my college career!

Great job! Some questions your college or university may have about Verto follow with answers.

  • Is the course technical in nature?

    • No, Verto courses are general education courses.
  • Is the course considered remedial?

    • No, students are expected to complete the appropriate college preparatory work to attend our college level courses.
  • Is the course a physical education course?

    • No, Verto courses are designed by faculty, are based on approved curriculum, and driven by student learning outcomes.
  • Is the credit awarded on an official transcript?

    • Yes, Verto students receive a transcript from Richard Bland College of William and Mary.
  • Is the credit issued by an accredited institution of higher education learning?

    • Yes, see transcript question above.
  • Is the grade issued a letter grade or pass/fail?

    • Verto students are issued letter grades.
  • What grade do colleges typically need to see in order to accept the credit?

    • Colleges range from C-, to C or C+…varies depending on the specific institution.

Ask Verto's College Counselors College Counseling FAQs

Choosing the "Right" College

How do I know what a "best fit college" means?

This is a great question! And has to be answered by each individual. What is important to you, may not be important to me, and that’s OK! When finding a college, it’s more than just name recognition or even the major that they offer. It’s more about the experience that you will have. 

  • Have you thought about what types of experiences you’ll want to have? 
  • When was the last time you made a list of your own personal values? 
  • What is most important to you?
  • How do you spend your time?
  • Where do you typically spend your time and
  • Who do you want to be surrounded by in doing it?

If you need some inspiration here, check out the College Essay Guy, Ethan Sawyer – he’s Liz’s favorite. 

How do I start the process of deciding on a partner college?

There is no right or wrong way to do this. I would first start with getting familiar with who our partners’ colleges are. What size of campuses they are, where they are located and watching some youtube videos (my favorites are the ones that are from the student perspective). Even Google search “Top 100 Colleges that are __________ (fill in the blank)”. Cross reference that with our partner colleges and universities. Make a short list of 5-10 partner colleges based on size, geographic location and major that you may be interested in.

What does it mean to choose a "target," "reach," and "safety" school?

Great question. It’s important, even with Verto Education partner colleges, that you find colleges that fit your academic profile, ambition and interests. Do you want to be a very rigorous and competitive school? Do you want academic excellence, but also more focus on character and service? Great – find schools that will meet your academic profile. Look at what your cumulative GPA is and compare that to the average at the institutions you’re looking at. 

  • If your average cumulative GPA is higher than the college average, that would be considered a safety school. You will more than likely get into this school.
  • If your cumulative GPA is roughly the same or slightly higher/lower, that would be considered a target school. You will likely get into this school assuming the rest of your application materials are solid. 

If your cumulative GPA is below their average, that would be considered a reach school. You will want to spend time working through your application materials with a trusted professional, in order to increase your chances of getting accepted.

How do I pick a college without knowing my major?

I’m a big believer in the fact that experiences shape what your best decision major will be, and so attending Verto will get you going in that direction. It’s okay not to have it all nailed down. Look for colleges that offer options that relate to your general pathway, and maybe a variety of majors. Roadtrip Nation is one of my favorite resources to listen to stories of how others found their calling.

What's important about the location of a college?

Oh! I love this question. College towns are not all created equal. You may be looking for a big city where you can escape campus and live a little. Large cities may offer more opportunities, night life, cultural experiences, and leisurely fun. Some colleges may be set in a rural area with no major city, but offer everything you need on campus and that’s ok too. When doing your research for good fit colleges, consider adding this part of the good fit match. Look at what the surrounding area is like, how far away any major city is and how it aligns with your preferred way of living. Don’t forget to consider transportation and climate (and I’m not talking about social climate)!

What if I make the "wrong" college decision?

You can’t with Verto. The extra time and intentionality you receive on a Verto semester sets you up for success. If you came into Verto with one decision in mind, we’ll help you navigate to find a better fit option. Our student support services are unparalleled.

Do you have religiously- affiliated schools?

Yes, we have several private schools that have a religious affiliation, although that doesn’t necessarily indicate that you need to be religious to attend. 

Can I still get into a college if I don’t have SAT/ACT scores?

Yes, several of our schools are test-optional or test-blind. This means they look at other qualitative and quantitative data sets to make their holistic review of a student.

Application Tips

How should I approach my college essay?

This can be tough and can take some time, but it’s a self-reflective, introspective process. Check out our blog here that gives some really helpful tips.

Who should I ask to write my letter of recommendation(s)?

It’s important to have a solid letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well and can speak to your academic performance in a positive way. That being said some colleges are ok with a school counselor that writes your recommendation, and some will require both. It’s important to give your requesters time to put together a thoughtful letter, before the deadline, plan ahead. It’s also nice when you tell them why you chose them. Maybe you admire their work, you have established a solid relationship with them or you can share with them a profound life lesson you learned from them.

Always be gracious, mindful of time, ask – don’t demand and FOLLOW UP WITH A PERSONALIZED HAND-WRITTEN THANK YOU LETTER!

For partner colleges, what should I include in my statement? How do I explain why I chose them?

There is no right or wrong way to do this. Take it from the perspective that colleges want to know why you want to go there, they are assessing your interest level. They will be more inclined to make a positive admissions decision or offer scholarships to students that they know are likely to show up on their campus. So all of that to say, there isn’t a specific guideline here. You could write sentences or 3 paragraphs, doesn’t matter. The goal is to be concise, connected and authentic. They want to know about how the college is a good fit for you, based on making connections from yourself and what they offer. Don’t ramble though, be direct, don’t say what they want you to say, but be flattering. Read and re-read until it reads true for you.

What should I do if my high school grades aren’t that great or I have a blemish on my high school transcript?

If your grades don’t demonstrate your academic potential, several of our partners offer a transfer guarantee option where they say, hey, if a student does well on their Verto Education semester (or year) with a designated GPA we will honor automatic admission to our institution. This allows you to a.) enjoy your senior year and b.) not apply with grades that are less than stellar.

If you have a blemish on your transcript, it is important to explain why. When sending in your transcript and writing sample, it’s nice to add another supplemental piece that will allow you to explain the one semester that was rough and the circumstances surrounding that time period. Try not to make excuses or use disempowering language. Rather share what was beyond your control and what you did with the items within your control. If your grade trend improves after this, and was solid prior, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. Colleges also are more likely to forgive blemishes early on in high school, assuming the trend improves and the rest of your application materials are solid.

The Verto Process

What does it mean to be a Verto partner college?

Our Verto partners can have slight variations, but first and foremost it means there is a missional alignment to what we offer and what the partner colleges have. All of our Verto partners have pre-vetted the Verto courses and they are approved to count as specific courses at the partnership institutions. This takes the work and question out of the transferability process.

We also love that Verto alumni remain family for life, by showing up on a partner college together after learning hands-on abroad together! It’s a tight-knit group for sure.

Most of our partners will also accept your Verto application for their application, with no application fee.*

How do I start the process of deciding on a partner college?

There is no right or wrong way to do this. I would first start with getting familiar with who our partners’ colleges are. What size of campuses they are, where they are located and watching some youtube videos (my favorites are the ones that are from the student perspective). Even Google search “Top 100 Colleges that are __________ (fill in the blank)”. Cross reference that with our partner colleges and universities. Make a short list of 5-10 partner colleges based on size, geographic location and major that you may be interested in.

How does the Verto application process work?

You have a few options:

  • Apply to Verto, and at the same time you send in your application and documents, you can fill out an additional application where you choose up to 5 partner colleges. We will send those off to the partner colleges for decisions back in roughly 2-3 weeks for most partners.
  • Apply to Verto and get accepted. Enjoy your senior year and apply before you leave on your Verto semester for good fit partner colleges.
  • Commit to Verto and then work with a designated College Counselor to find the best fit partner institutions.

Where do my Verto credits come from?

Verto Education has a school of record who approves the curriculum, faculty and teaching models. All of our courses are approved by them and go through them. Currently our main school of record is Richard Bland College of William and Mary, out of Virginia. They will be the ones that students receive a formal transcript from, at the end of each semester. This will be transferred to both partners and non-partner institutions, and it is the students responsibility to send request final officials, directly through Richard Bland College of William and Mary.

Do I have to apply right now to a partner college?

Absolutely not. You can commit to Verto and sit back with the reassurance that you have a solid plan for your first semester or year that sets you up for success. Truly your Verto semester and experience will help you gain skills and knowledge that will create a launching pad for your full college and career. We work with students from early in their senior year to after they finish their Verto semester, and then decide to apply – YOU DECIDE.

Should I apply to partner colleges even if I’m not sure?

No. Quite frankly, if you aren’t ready then it isn’t a good idea to ask a college to spend time reviewing your application. I mean that as nicely as I can. Verto Education provides you with the gift of time, no use in rushing the process if you aren’t sure.

What schools offer financial and scholarship to Verto Students?

Several of our partners offer Verto specific scholarships, when you apply for admission. They also all accept the FAFSA application. When you decide on schools, you will want to be sure to send your FAFSA their way as well. Some colleges to highlight that offer Verto Scholarships are:

  • Goucher College
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Pace University
  • Prescott College
  • The College of Wooster

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