Ten Steps to Success
Everyone’s college planning process will be different, so these steps are just a general outline of our process. Extra meetings, phone calls, and emails are unlimited—whatever it takes to have a great outcome and a happy client!
STEP 1: Introductory meeting and initial consultation. A meeting with the student and parent(s).
We will share information, outline responsibilities, get to know each other, and review things such as high school courses/grades earned, test scores, scholarships, activities, and academic and extracurricular interests. Parents are encouraged to share their perspectives as well. After learning more about the student, we will recommend ways they can bring their talents to the next level and seek out leadership opportunities.
STEP 2: Let’s-Get-Started Meeting. A meeting with the student and parent(s).
We introduce you to our process including our software platform, Custom College Plan, test prep, and assessments. We help the student form an academic plan, testing plan, and activity plan, and discuss the parents’ role in the college planning process. To help you stay up-to-date on application news, trends, events and deadlines, we will send you our monthly calendar and newsletter.
STEP 3: College Selection Meeting. A meeting with the student and parent(s).
We guide the student through a fun, college selection survey using our exclusive College Selection Cards to better understand their college preferences. Then we use the results to help assess their strengths and interests so we can recommend colleges where they will grow, maximize their talents, and pursue their desired career path. Parents may provide their input as well. We also discuss scholarships and financial aid. Finally, we show students how to demonstrate interest to colleges on their list using our College Connection Plan. At this point, we highly recommend taking a practice standardized exam before the college selection process, and we offer practice tests at our office or online.
STEP 4: College Visits Planning and Evaluation. Ongoing process in junior & senior year.
College visits are a very important piece in the process that will help you to demonstrate interest and find best fit colleges. We help families plan when and where to visit and provide students with campus visit journals to capture their impressions. We also meet after visits to discuss, evaluate and document your feedback.
STEP 5: Junior Year Planning Meeting. A meeting with the student and parent(s).
After you have your prospective colleges list and before you start researching these colleges, we have a Junior College Planning Meeting where we update grades, testing, and activities and discuss college visits. The goal is to begin narrowing down your prospective colleges list before you start attending our College Research Jam Sessions.
STEP 6: College Research. Responsibility of the student (with our support).
We offer twice-monthly College Research “Jam Sessions” starting February of your junior year where the College Expert Team is available to work with you and answer questions. We provide tools and activities you can use to explore your colleges online and discuss ways to introduce yourself as a potential applicant. Demonstrating interest to colleges is a vital part of the college admission process.
STEP 7: Summer Strategy Session. A meeting with the student and parent(s).
Early in the summer before senior year, (or even as early as May of junior year), we meet to review and finalize your apply list and fine-tune all of the components that will make up your individual application strategy (applications, supplements, letters of recommendation, essays, standardized testing, and possible résumé). At this time, we also encourage students to view videos in our College Expert Video Library, which include topics on college essays, admissions interviews, and searching for scholarships.
STEP 8: Let the Essays Begin! Ongoing throughout the application process (with one-on-one support).
We help you identify potential essay topics and select one that highlights “your story” and demonstrates your unique qualities, values and experiences. This is when you let your creativity flow! We also offer an essay writing and brainstorming workshop and assign you to one of our Essay Experts who will review and critique your main essay and all your supplemental essays.
STEP 9: Application Process. Responsibility of the student (with our support).
We offer individual meetings and Application “Jam Sessions” every Sunday (Aug-Oct), where the College Expert Team is available to assist with applications and essays. We also provide guidance on how to submit test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and any other supporting materials. Each week, we send parents and students an email with important reminders and updates on the application process.
STEP 10: College Decision Meeting. Final meeting with the student and parent(s).
To support you in making your final decision, we meet with you to review the responses you received from colleges and use a fun, unique system we developed to guide you in making your final decision about your college destination. Time to celebrate!