College Advising FAQs
When do you begin working with students?
The majority of my client families have graduating seniors engaging in the application process, the next largest group are 11th graders, but I also work with students in 9th & 10th grade. Depending upon a student’s college and career aspirations, beginning in 9th and 10th grade can be warranted. High achieving students that seek highly selective institutions, should ideally begin preparing in 9th grade so that they have time to develop and cultivate their activities and experiences.
To what degree are parents involved in the process?
I allow parent participation to the degree that it serves a particular student’s best interests. For students that are in grades 9 – 12, parents are often involved in hour-long sessions. For seniors, parental engagement is typical for the initial first or second meetings that involve conversations about the college list and the application strategy – early action or decision. After that, however, meetings become focused on the “nuts & bolts” of working through the process of applying. Because parents want and need to understand the process and ask their questions, I’m happy to respond via email and when necessary, phone conversations.
What kind of support do you provide?
I provide hourly support for 9th and 10th graders and comprehensive and inclusive package based support for 11th / 12 graders. Each academic year is cyclical, so while the same areas of focus repeat annually, student engagement cycles upward and varies based upon each particular student. Support areas for younger students include course and Extra-curricular planning, academic performance monitoring, personality/learning style/skill assessments, test prep strategy planning, summer activity planning, and classroom participation protocols. For 11th graders:
teacher recommendation strategy, college research, college visitation college list, resume writing, interview preparation, and college essay prep are added. Then lastly, for seniors: finalizing the college list, early application strategy, college essay writing/revision, securing teacher recommendations, completing application portal, discussing financial aid strategies (need-based, merit and outside scholarships) and wait-listing support are included.
What are your fees?
After a complimentary 30 – 45 min session for families, I prepare a support proposal that is tailored to each family’s needs. I typically charge based upon an annual 12 – month cycle.
How frequently do you meet with students?
For 9th, 10th and 11th graders once per month in person is the standard, but a second online meeting can be scheduled when necessary. Email communication is unlimited. For seniors, I begin by meeting monthly during the first several months but quickly shift to more frequent meetings once essay writing begins. Those meetings are more check-in oriented to address questions and ensure students are on track with the detailed oriented aspects of the process.
Where do we meet you?
I began working with students when I lived in Silicon Valley. At that time, I met with families in person or online via the Zoom.us platform.
I’m now located in Phoenix, AZ, so in addition to meeting clients in person there, I continue to travel to the Bay Area one weekend a month to meet with some clients in person. I also work remotely with clients around the country and internationally using the Zoom.us video platform.
Do you provide support for Scholarship?
Yes, I help families understand the big picture of financial aid for attending universities in the U.S.: federal aid, merit-based aid and outside scholarships. I discuss the FAFSA, CSS Profile, as well as institutional merit programs and how to research and apply for outside scholarships.
Are you familiar with specialty programs for admission?
Yes, I have worked with students interested in a wide range of majors. The most popular being computer science/engineering. I’ve also worked with competitive athletes that have sought to be recruited, those that seek direct medical (accelerated BS/MD) programs, as well as those that pursue art (portfolios), music and dance (performance auditions).
Do you work with transfer students?
I have extensive experience working with transfer students that want to apply to the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), as well as other public schools around the nation and private schools in and outside California.
Do you work with international students applying from abroad?
Yes, I have worked with international students living in China, as well as those attending American high schools within the U.S.