Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t the school counselor just take care of this?

An independent consultant provides services that complement what is available through your student’s school. Unfortunately, many school counselors are overworked, often with many job responsibilities and caseloads of four hundred or more students.

My child is terrible at taking standardized tests. Is there any hope?

Yes, absolutely. Tests are just one of many factors in the college admissions process. We’ll begin with a realistic assessment of your student’s academic profile and focus on the best strategies to help them find a good college fit. These strategies may include improving test performance and looking at some of the many excellent colleges that no longer require the ACT or SAT test for admissions.

So if we hire you my teen will get into Stanford, right?

Given that Stanford admitted about one in twenty applicants last year and rejected many students with amazing records, excellent grades and test scores, the odds aren’t great for anybody! What I will do is help your student with strategies to build their academic profile and present it effectively. We will look at realistic college options that are a match for their academic profile and that may include highly selective colleges. Consultants don’t have a special “in” that will get students into a particular college rather the focus is on helping students develop awareness of their goals and interests. Through the application process learn how to put their “best self” forward in their applications and maximizing their chance of making a successful college match.

My child struggles with essay writing and my help seems to always end in a fight. Can you help with this?

Yes. We can start with careful planning of the student’s topic to avoid topics that are overdone and cliché. Often getting started with the right topic and planning prewriting makes the process much simpler. The student retains responsibility and ownership for their work. I help guide students through the editing process, suggesting revisions and keeping them on track with the themes they wish to develop in their application.  A third party can make the writing process go more smoothly and lower parent and child stress around essays.

What year should we start planning for college?

Some students begin during middle school. While that isn’t required for all students ideally it is best to begin by early high school if possible to plan to make the most of high school through academic and extracurricular involvement. The college search process should be based on an understanding of college costs and a strategy for maximizing scholarship eligibility.

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