Today's journey to college is a multi-stage endeavor. We guide high school students, transfer students, and grad school applicants through every step of the college admissions process. What distinguishes us is our student-centered approach and commitment to finding the best-fit schools for each individual we serve.
In addition to working with individuals, we create and deliver customized programs for public/private/charter schools, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporate/business EAP and employee programs.
What follows are descriptions of some of the services we offer.
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 universities require. 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 take prior to applying. Finally, in addition to course grades, colleges look at the rigor of those courses. 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.
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.
Special needs/LDs 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.
College visit/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.
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.
Graduate school applicants
Feels like déjà vu. Applying to graduate school poses many of the same challenges as applying to an undergrad program. Our priorities remain the same: to guide students through this journey in as stress-free a manner as possible, making their mental and physical health a priority. 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.
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.
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 financial fit.
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.
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.
The college admissions process is a marathon and pacing is critical. We provide students an online organizational tool to make them and their parents aware of what needs to be completed at each stage and help them meet deadlines.
Students may feel a lot of pressure during this process. That goes for parents, too. 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. At the same time, we're here to answer questions parents have along the way so that they can successfully support their kids through the ups and downs of this transformative moment in their lives.
As more colleges become test-optional, should a student take the SAT or ACT? Both? Neither? How many times? When? AP 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.
From artists to athletes
If a student wants to play varsity sports or major in the creative or performing arts, the application takes on additional dimensions. For athletes, an early start and a full understanding of the recruiting process is essential. On the creative/performing side, auditions and portfolios are crucial elements of the path to acceptance. We understand the increase in pressure and workload that these applicants experience and we’re here to help.
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.
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.