Evaluation of academic records and standardized testing.
The three most important factors in the decisions that colleges make are grades, strength of academic program and standardized testing. With these factors in mind, we carefully review each client's transcript and testing profile in order to identify colleges that are appropriate matches for them. As we do this, we help students design a program of study for their final year of high school and create a plan for additional standardized testing, if necessary.
Creation of an initial list of colleges.
The primary goal of our first meeting with clients is to generate a list of twenty-five to thirty colleges for students to consider. In order to do this, we explore the academic and non-academic interests of our clients and the characteristics of colleges they find most appealing, including size, location and campus culture. We use this information, along with data from grades and standardized testing, to create this first list of colleges.
Preparation for campus visits and interviews.
Most students spend a good deal of time visiting the colleges that they are interested in and benefit greatly from the time they spend on campuses. These visits help students identify their favorite schools and also represent a sign of "demonstrated interest" to colleges. Before students head off to see schools, we prepare them for their visits, especially when those visits include admissions interviews. We also prepare them for local alumni interviews.
Review of essays.
Application essays are an important part of the college admissions process. We read one rough draft of each essay in order to provide direction about content, organization and the development of ideas. We also read one additional version of each essay in order to provide comments about the effectiveness of the writing, though we do not directly alter anything that a student has written.
Assistance with the development of a final list of colleges.
During the fall of senior year when students must decide where they intend to apply to college, we are there to guide them through the decision-making process. While we do not tell students where to apply, we do help them make good decisions. We pay particular attention to the range of colleges on each individual's final list. An important part of our job is to make sure that every student applies to two or three safeties, schools where they are all but guaranteed to be admitted.
Review of Applications.
Because applications are so important to the admissions process, students must take great care with their preparation. Before they are submitted in the fall, we review applications for accuracy and thoroughness.
Help with the final choice of college.
Once students have received all of their decisions in the spring of senior year, we review their options and help each of them make a decision about where to attend college. As part of the process, we can help students evaluate and compare financial aid and scholarship offers from different schools.