Frequently Asked Questions
What is a college counselor?
A college counselor is your personal expert who helps with the holistic process of college admissions. The counselor is the go-to person for all your college needs: application process, FAFSA, CSS Profile, ACT/SAT, scholarships, essay development, essay writing, organization, time management, meeting deadlines, scholarships, college search, college visits, profile assessment, resume, activities profile, major and career choice, and support for both the student and their family.
Many students choose to work with a counselor for the individualized and personalized attention they offer. We help families maximize their time and efforts in researching and applying to colleges.
With the competitiveness of college admissions at an all-time high, the time and effort students are now required to put towards the college application process can be overwhelming. We offer guidance and resources to help students plan ahead and stay on course. The junior and senior years of high school can be some of the busiest times in a student's life. Hiring us helps alleviate stress and tension.
Will having a private college admissions counselor give my student a better chance of getting into schools?
This is a question not easily answered. We help the student and their family streamline the process and strategize so that students emphasize their strengths throughout the application, on their resume and essays. We work hard to help students come up with the right group of schools - "reaches", "targets", and "safeties" - based on their academic profile, financial constraints, and other factors.
Since most high school students have a college/guidance counselor at school, why should we look outside for private assistance?
We complement your local counselor's efforts by working one-on-one with your child, customizing a strategic plan of action, and helping your student reach their dreams. Busy high school counselors simply have too many students to give the kind of individualized attention necessary, particularly in this highly competitive admission environment. Furthermore, guidance counselors carry many roles due to the nature of their jobs. Most spend only a portion of their time devoted to college planning and counseling. Our goal is to help students find college options that will meet their personal and academic needs.
What exactly do you do?
We help students discover their individual talents and interests and develop a plan to maximize those talents and interests with their course choices, extracurricular pursuits, and summer plans. We develop a personal test prep strategy and schedule for every student. We help students develop an appropriate list of colleges. We assist students with all aspects of the application process from brainstorming for essay ideas to proofing the application, from choosing which teachers to ask for recommendations to sending test scores, from building an extracurricular list to preparing for interviews.
My child has an excellent high school counselor, do I really need to hire an independent college counselor?
It depends. If your high school counselor has an extremely small caseload (under 50 students), your student is self-motivated and does not procrastinate, the student has an excellent relationship with the counselor, and you know a lot about the colleges to which the student will apply, then probably not. However, even the best high school counselor does not have time to meet with the student once a week until the applications are complete. An independent counselor can offer personal attention and individualized assistance with every aspect of the college admission process.
When should I hire an independent college counselor?
Many students begin working with an independent college counselor in their junior year. However, our four-year program can begin as early as the beginning of ninth grade. By starting earlier, we can maximize the student's academic curriculum, intellectual interests, extracurricular activities, and summer plans. In addition, by beginning the relationship earlier, it allows the student and counselor to get to know one another without the pressure of college applications looming.
My child is a potential college athlete. Can you help with athletic recruiting?
Yes, we have worked with many athletes who have gone on to play collegiate athletics. We love working with athletes and especially enjoy this part of the process. We will walk them through the process of registering with NCAA or NAIA, explain what they need to do to be eligible to play, assisting with the creation of a player profile, and helping them market themselves to coaches.
Do you work with homeschool families, and is the process different for them?
Yes, we have had great success working with homeschool families and yes, there are differences in the process. For instance, planning a college-prep course of study is critical, but so is the documentation of the work for prospective colleges. Designing a transcript the college will understand and appreciate is key. The majority of colleges and universities have a homeschool admissions policy, and some have an admissions officer dedicated specifically to homeschool students. We have the necessary experience to explain these policies and put you in contact with the appropriate people at the universities. Know that each college evaluates homeschool graduates differently, and some colleges are more friendly to homeschool students than others. Recognize that if your child chooses a school that currently enrolls few or no homeschool graduates, you should be prepared for an admissions battle to see your child accepted, and we are the company that can help you navigate the process.