Unlike some other independent counselors, our team never pressures anyone to meet again and again or to commit to a package. If you need just one hour of help, that is just fine!
Some of the services offered include: Family Meetings, Common Application Essay Guidance, Supplemental Essay Guidance, College Lists, Interviewing Practice and Overall Strategy. We also have coaches with experience helping with high school and graduate school application essays.
Family Meetings: Typically, most families start here! The purpose of the family meeting is to develop a strategic game plan for success. It begins with a discussion of the college counseling questionnaire responses, and the colleges you are initially considering. Other topics may include:
- Discuss timeline for college application process
- Offer strategies for applying early decision/action/rolling
- Select the most impactful teacher recommendations
- Advise student on which standardized tests to take and when
- Provide interview tips and techniques
- Discuss how to ensure an effective campus visit
- Optional: Develop a working list of 10-15 schools (billed separately after meeting) matching student’s profile and personality
The family meetings are done by Kathleen and typically last from 60 to 75 minutes. If you would like Kathleen to do a college list, she devises those after meeting your daughter/son and discovering what she/he is looking for in a college. That list takes 30-60 minutes and is billed at the hourly rate.
Common Application Essay: The main essay usually takes about two hours in total, though it depends on the student. The student does not have to have a topic in mind as we can guide the student in brainstorming. Typically, the student spends just an hour of working through his or her ideas and thoughts which are captured in the student’s voice as a “talking draft.” It is important to note that it is always their work…their voice…the dialogue-type-responses show their voice…integrity of writing is in her blood as a teacher. Students can either edit their talking draft, or we can edit the draft, emailing both the student and parents a copy with her edits visible, and a clean copy with the edits incorporated. Students can also complete the essay by attending the summer class. If you already have an essay drafted, we can do editing via Google Docs. Kathleen and Greg both have extensive experience providing essay support.
Editing and Developing Supplements: One of the most overlooked yet critical components of an application is the supplemental essay questions. These are often used by highly competitive schools to gauge interest, which is a key factor in admissions decisions. Most clients whom we help with the common, or main essay, will then ask us to work with their student an hourly basis to brainstorm and develop talking drafts of supplemental essays. Guidance for supplements is available via Zoom or email. Kathleen and Greg both have extensive supporting supplement development.
Completing the Common Application (Excluding Essay): Completing the Activities Section in the Common Application is more important than most students realize. The order of the activities, the activities to include (and omit), as well as effective descriptions are important factors in making a Common Application uncommonly good! Much of the sections can be completed on your own and then reviewed by our team. Collaborating on the application typically takes an hour or up to two hours on average. Caroline provides this service to most of our clients.
Interviewing Tips and Practice: Interviewing guidance is based upon experienced alumni interviewing for a top university and 25 years of professional college counseling experience. Students typically ask for tips and guidance along with a brief practice session that typically only takes 30 minutes with immediate feedback. Contact Kathleen for more information or to schedule a meeting.
Check-in or Conference Call (recurring): This optional service is for regular check-ins (weekly or monthly) to review essays, evaluate college lists, or discuss next steps for the student. This service (like the others) is subject to a 15 minute minimum and may last for 30 minutes per session.
Additional a la carte services: A number of related services are offered including: essays for high school entry or graduate school applications, editing essays by email, and phone consultations.
If you’re unsure about how you’d like to proceed after reading about our services, feel free to schedule a free introductory appointment with Kathleen.
Our coaches all work on an hourly basis to maximize the value for our client’s varied needs. Kathleen’s rate is $250 per hour, which is less than most competitors (who nearly all have less experience). Rates for other coaches are based upon their level of experience and specialty. Estimates for “typical” service costs can be found here.
(Note: Time dedicated to phone calls and emails is billed at the hourly rate with a 15 minute minimum and work is rounded to 15 minute intervals. Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice are billed at 50% of the appointment time booked.)