The college admissions process involves a lot of moving parts. We help many students navigate the path to higher education from the moment they enter high school until the day they move into their dorm rooms--and beyond. For others, we step in to offer guidance in specific areas, such as building a best-fit college list or crafting killer essays. But, you may be asking yourself, why do I need a private college admissions consultant at all?
Most high schools have one or more college counselors. Unfortunately, they typically carry caseloads that don't allow for much one-on-one attention to individual students. And transfer students and graduate school applicants, may not have access to any guidance at all as they traverse the complexities of applying to college. Having a professional devoted to the needs of an individual student can make an enormous difference in terms of the stress-level and success of the college exploration and application process.
As fit-focused college admissions consultants, we appreciate each student's uniqueness. We customize everything we do in order to address the needs of each individual we work with.
There are three major areas in which we provide counsel:
Helping each student become aware of his/her interests and goals
Uncovering and exploring potential college choices that fit each student's individual needs, preferences, and strengths
Working with each student to put together the strongest application packages possible
Ideally, the college admissions consulting process should begin before a student enters high school. Having an understanding of what colleges will be looking for, helps students and their parents create academic, extracurricular, and financial plans that reduce stress and ensure wise choices will be made along the way.
As a student progresses through high school, his or her counseling needs become more specific. During these years, we help students understand themselves and start to think about the kind of futures they want. Based on those desires, we lead them step-by-step through the college admissions and decision-making processes and the myriad details they entail.
If you're a student planning to transfer, we can help you navigate your way, as well. Particularly today, there are many good reasons to start college at a two-year school with the goal of transferring, as a junior, to a four-year institution. We can help you put a plan in place as early as possible, in order to make your transition smooth and successful.
We work on an hourly basis and offer discounted package rates. That's the overview, but you probably have a lot of questions. Take advantage of our free consultation and let us discuss your specific student and their needs. Just click here to schedule.
Below, behold our areas of expertise.
High school students need guidance in selecting their classes. For one thing, the classes a student takes to graduate high school may not be the same as those that qualify them for acceptance at universities. In addition, students interested in particular majors (e.g., engineering, business, visual and performing arts, etc.) need to be aware of the foundational courses that colleges expect them to have taken prior to applying. Finally, colleges look at more than grades when evaluating students--they look at the rigor of those classes. We help students plan their courses accordingly to ensure that they will be well-prepared, competitive candidates for seats at public and private colleges/universities throughout California and the country.
Don't get us wrong--we don't believe that high school students need to have their career plans in order. Still, for students who have no idea of the types of careers that exist or in which areas their skill sets might apply, a little guidance can be helpful. We can provide assessments and advice to help them identify majors that interest them and cool careers they know nothing about.
Should a student take the SAT or ACT? Both? Neither? How many times? When? Subject tests? Which ones? We help students figure out a personalized testing strategy based on their individual needs and goals, working with them to determine the most effective, least stressful way to prep and navigate standardized testing requirements.
Arguably the most important aspect of the entire college admissions process, few students know how to craft a college list that will serve their interests. Most simply begin with the handful of schools that they've heard of, and give no consideration to whether those schools are a good pick for them. We work with each student to help them understand their needs and preferences in order to generate a balanced list of schools that are an academic, social, and emotional fit.
special needs/learning differences support
College is attainable for students with learning differences and special needs. While there are specific schools that specialize in serving populations of students with particular diagnoses, most colleges are prepared to accept and support students with learning, physical, and mental challenges--but to varying degrees. We understand the difference between accessing services from high schools and colleges, and can help students with special needs and learning differences determine the best schools for them, and prepare them for successful transitions and college experiences.
It's not just what you do inside the classroom that interests college admissions officers. Because they know that a diverse student body creates a vibrant community, admissions officers are looking to recruit a class of unique individuals--people who have outside interests and pursue them with zeal. We help students find and develop their extracurricular interests and use their summer breaks to their greatest advantage.
TOPIC SELECTION/ESSAY DEVELOPMENT
The essays are the strongest opportunity a student has to stand apart from the competition, and it has become an increasingly important part of the college application. We help students understand what different colleges are looking for, mine their personal lives for meaningful fodder, find unique perspectives, and craft formidable statements.
COLLEGE VISIT/COLLEGE FAIR PLANNING
Attending college fairs and visiting college campuses are two important ways to explore schools and make connections with school admissions officers. We help students understand who to talk to, what to ask, and how to use these opportunities strategically and in ways that demonstrate interest.
Which schools require recommendations? How many do they require? How many will they accept? Who should I ask? We guide students through securing letters of recommendation and help them provide recommenders with the information necessary to write powerful letters.
While most colleges do not require interviews, many offer it as an option. Because it can be a great advantage for a student to be seen in person, we help students conquer any anxiety and prepare to present themselves in a positive light.
College costs a boatload these days and we help students secure options that are a financial fit for their families. We know where the money is, the various ways it's offered, and how to maximize the aid that colleges offer you.
The college admissions process is a marathon and pacing is critical. We make students and parents aware of what needs to be completed at each stage and keep students on deadline.
COLLEGE OFFER EVALUATION
A college acceptance is accompanied by a financial package which may include scholarships, grants, work-study, and various types of loans. Sorting through the details is challenging; comparing these details across multiple schools will make the most formidable heads explode. We help students and their families sort through the offers and evaluate the net impact of each on the family's budget.
If you plan to transfer from a California Community College to either a University of California or California State University campus, there are various ways to get there—some that guarantee your acceptance. We can help you understand Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), and navigate your way through the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG), Transfer Pathways, and Associate Degree for Transfer programs.
If you plan to transfer to a private college or out-of-state public university, you should know that the requirements vary by institution. We can help you determine what applying to individual schools will entail, and plan an orderly process of getting through the workload.
GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICANTS
We won't sugar coat it--students may feel a lot of pressure during this process. Our mission is to guide students through this journey in as stress-free a manner as possible, making their mental and physical health a priority during a challenging trek.
If you've decided to go to grad school, you'll need to determine what to study, find the right school, and navigate the application process. We can help you understand program expectations, build your school list, develop a testing strategy, craft essays, and create the strongest possible application package.