How personal are your services?

Very. I spend a lot of one-on-one time with students through meetings, telephone conversations, email and even Skype and iChat. I believe that working with a consultant throughout the entire college search and application process allows both student and consultant to know each other well — and that relationship leads to stronger applications with more compelling and well-developed essay ideas and writing. I fit my services and schedule to the needs of each student and family. And I make sure that parents are informed every step of the way.

How much time do you typically spend with students?

Typically, I spend forty hours or more in meetings with students. I also spend hours doing research on each client’s behalf. Beyond meetings and research, I work with students to draft each college application and scholarship essay. We edit each essay four to nine times, and students often have between twenty-five and forty college essays. Students and parents should not underestimate the amount of time the application process takes!

Can you help us with financial aid?

Finding the right schools for a student means taking into consideration the financial aid profile of the family. I help identify colleges that will value the student and provide the best financial aid possible. I also assist the student in preparing the strongest applications and essays for admission and financial aid, which results in better awards. If needed, I am available to review local and national scholarship essays as well.

Do you fill out financial aid forms?

It is the parents’ responsibility to fill out the need-based financial aid forms, the CSS/Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. (FAFSA).

Do you help with athletic recruiting or special interests such as art and music?

I have guided many students through the athletic recruiting process over the years. I am also able to coach students through the art and music admission process.

Do you work with students who want to apply to the most selective, Ivy League schools?

Absolutely. My students attend Ivy League colleges as well as many other fine institutions. Every student is special, and I always fit my services to each individual’s interests and background, both academic and extra-curricular.

Do you help us keep all of this organized?

Of course. I use College Planner Pro, an online college-planning program designed to meet the needs of college consultants and their clients. The system provides an organized and efficient process for a consultant, student, and parents to share information and research colleges.

How do we know which schools to visit and when the best time is to visit them?

I will make recommendations as to which schools to visit and how to optimize the experience. I prepare students for interviews and meetings with professors and coaches. I also typically schedule the visits for the family, if needed.

How do you know about the colleges?

I visit schools each year, mostly throughout the United States but in other countries as well. I’ve toured hundreds of campuses, many more than once. I have also worked with hundreds of students throughout the process and have tracked their admission and financial aid outcomes, which helps me in counseling current students. Due to my limited caseload, I have the time to do good research for each client, whether through websites, my national counselor list serves, or through campus visits.

Are there limits to how often we can ask you questions?

No. I meet with students as often as is required. I also urge parent and students to email me with questions as they arise.

Can you guarantee admission?

No, and professional and ethical counselors and consultants will not promise otherwise.

When is the best time to start?

A college counselor can coach a student to make the most of his or her high school course offerings and extracurricular opportunities, as well as establish a standardized testing schedule. Therefore, it is good to begin the process as early as possible to achieve the most positive outcomes. I begin with students as early as the eighth grade, but students can begin formal meetings as late as the junior year.

Do you ever work with new seniors?

Ideally, students should begin the counseling process prior to the start of the senior year. I will consider working with a new senior if I have capacity, but typically I do not take on new seniors.