We offer individualized guidance in the following areas:
Academic Counseling and Course Selection
Calling on our knowledge of how the choices made in high school translate to colleges, we help students map out their ideal academic program. Our focus: maintaining balance, seizing opportunities to thrive and be challenged, and authentically exploring interests and passions. We can also help students and families work through “bumps in the road”—dips in performance, struggles in a particular subject area, or unexpected time off, for example—and we will strategize about how to turn these challenges into moments of triumph on an application and beyond.
Choosing the Right Schools
We have visited hundreds of colleges and understand their unique "personalities"—their student cultures, specific admissions policies, educational philosophies, and academic programs, along with the intangibles that are integral to the student experience. As we develop a relationship with our clients, we draw on our knowledge to help individuals define and articulate the characteristics that appeal to them and that make up the ever-important right fit. We then help students create a list of colleges to research and visit, including options that run the gamut from "likelies" to "reach" schools. We'll also them plan their visits and prepare for their interviews.
Writing Stellar Essays
Writing authentic, dynamic college essays is perhaps the most important—and most challenging—aspect of the application process. We guide students at each stage, from brainstorming topics to organizing ideas to editing drafts to ensuring that the final product springs off the page and sets them apart. We are familiar with the expectations and philosophies of each college, and we help students keep these in mind as they address the prompts. We also make the process fun for even reluctant writers and ensure that each essay is a piece of writing they're proud of—not just an empty exercise in self-promotion.
Testing and Test Prep
We help students confidently navigate the confusing maze of testing and test prep options—which tests to take, when to take them, and how to prepare. We understand the unique characteristics of each test, and we know which schools rely more heavily on standardized testing in their admissions decisions and which take a more holistic approach. For students who need extra preparation, our relationship with and knowledge of a vast array of quality test prep companies allow us to make referrals that match the individual's areas of need.
Giving Meaning and Substance to Extracurricular Activities
While some students come to us with schedules packed with meaningful activities, others are still searching for ways to be inspired and to make a difference outside of the classroom. We can help students get more involved in their communities, pursue academic and other interests over the summer, or begin to explore the world in adventurous ways. These experiences may become part of a student's application narrative, certainly, but more than that, they play a fundamental role in self-development.
Time Management and Meeting Deadlines
Students may have up to ten applications with a variety of different deadlines, essay prompts, and other requirements. Navigating it all can be overwhelming, and parents are often tempted to step in and take over. This not only creates friction on the home front, it also undermines a young person's sense of agency at a time when he or she should be taking a critical step toward independence. Parents can count on our involvement to keep students focused and on task, ensuring that all deadlines are met; at the same time, we encourage students to take ownership of the process.
Application Strategies: From Early Applications to Final Decision
We help students best tell their stories through the different components of an application. Knowing which experiences to emphasize—and at what stage in the process—can make a big difference. Strategizing when and how to submit an application has never been more challenging. While applying to college using an Early Decision or Early Action option can often seem like a welcome opportunity to stand out from the crowd, it may not be the best choice for everyone. We bring our insight and close connection to each student to examine their reasons for applying early and to help them weigh their options. Acceptances themselves can also be more complex than initially anticipated: even with a perfect list and lots of good news, students can feel confused about where to attend. Deferrals and offers to be included on waitlists commonly arrive alongside the more clear-cut admissions decisions. A student’s responses need to be especially thought-out, as one decision can impact several others. We see each student to the end of this journey—to that final, critical decision.