College Admissions

We work with students in grades 10, 11 and 12. We do not work with 9 graders. Because our work with students is highly individualized, we can’t pre-outline or create a “program” for students before working with them. Students who work with us comprehensively (who are not “essay only”) receive guidance every month, and we typically help students with three main components of the college search and application process.

  1. Academic narrative and resume development. College is an academic endeavor. At many colleges, your major of interest is taken into consideration when you apply. Some majors are harder to be admitted to or with interest in than others, even if the major is not “direct admit” (for example, business, computer science, engineering, and a handful of other specialized majors). If a student comes to us with no idea what they want to study or with a major of interest in mind that they are not well positioned for, we help them hash this out.
  2. College list and application strategy. Your list is only as good as the strategy driving it. Our role is to help you understand how the application rounds work at each college on your list and develop a strategy for applying that maximizes your student’s chance of being accepted to their top choice school(s). We help make sure your student’s top choices and the rest of their list are realistic choices for their profile and take into consideration how admissions “works” at each school.
  3. Essays. Essays—especially at top schools or if you apply test-optional or to a test-free/blind school—can make or break an application! No application is ever memorable because of a GPA or test score. Our essay coaching process is far more than an editing service. It requires that a student has the ability to collaborate and take feedback. We help students uncover their stories, learn what colleges are looking for through certain essay prompts, choose what stories to tell where, and then tackle the essay writing process in less time and with less stress. Essay coaching also includes process management, including the creation of timelines and internal deadlines to maximize the efficiency of all essay work

We can also help with the following:

  • High school course selection
  • Summer program application review
  • How to approach testing and the test-optional movement
  • School outreach and strategic demonstrated interest
  • Application data review (Common App, UC, etc.)
  • Artistic portfolio guidance
  • Interview prep
  • Interest and update letters
  • Deferral and waitlist strategy

So what don’t you help students with?

We pretty much do it all, but we do not provide assistance in helping students appeal decisions or figure out how to finance a college education. We can help with simple scholarship searches and, of course, completing scholarship applications. If you would like a referral for an Independent Educational Consultant who specializes in paying for college, let us know.

We don’t provide a day-by-day, step-by-step “to-do” list or daily check-ins/reminders, but we do help students stay organized, on task, and a bit ahead of the game by:

  • Sending a monthly action plan with what they need to be thinking about or working on
  • Giving them a personalized timeline for completing tasks related to applications (essays, resume, application data)
  • Periodically checking in with them (and parents, if requested) to remind them of deadlines or to follow up if they have missed our internal deadlines
  • Setting up a weekly check-in call during crunch time to help them stay on task or complete essays (rarely necessary, but we can do this)!
  • Sending additional knowledge-sharing correspondence that helps students understand every step of the process and how to maximize one’s chances of getting in even after pressing submit

We feel strongly that honest, accurate advice and support should be accessible. We will work to make our services fit your budget to the best of our ability. We invite you to read our blog as well as join our Facebook group, Conquer the Common Application. Although it is a private group, anyone—not just formal clients—can request to join to access free information and advice. For essay guidance, you can also grab a copy of The Complete College Essay Handbook. If cost is a barrier, please email us, and we will send you one. 

Please fill out the contact form to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.