Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is what you do different from a school counselor?
A: The average high school student-to-counselor ratio in Massachusetts is 199:1. School counselors focus most of their energy and time on matters that are more pressing at the moment, including truancy, bullying, drug abuse, mental health concerns, and personal/family issues. Very little time is given to your child to discuss his/her college plans and career goals. Most of my students tell me how difficult it is to get a hold of their counselors during the school day. I serve as a solution to complete tasks and to move things along. My sole purpose is to focus on your child’s college and career questions and to provide answers and avenues for further exploration.
Q: What is academic coaching?
A: I offer ideas on where students can improve academically and teach self-advocacy skills when communicating with teachers at school. I meet with students after each term to discuss successes and troubleshoot challenges. We will examine and discuss how their current GPA and test scores fare in the current competitive college admissions landscape. When they realize that they are only a few points away from being a serious contender for a desired school, my students have more reason to work/study harder in school/test/exams. I provide and make students aware of the data, and it’s left to them to decide how they want to proceed with this knowledge.
Q: What is your approach to working with students?
A: I have a very tailored approach to working with students. I try to learn as much as possible about my students and keep their strengths and interests in mind when making suggestions or providing advice. I treat my students as an equal partner in this working relationship. While I’m there to guide, to encourage, and to facilitate, it’s ultimately up to the student to take responsibility. Since college is so expensive nowadays, I check in with all of my clients to see if cost will play a role in where they are likely to attend. I try to include at least one or more affordable likely school/s on the college list.
Q: What kinds of students do you work with? Do you only work with high-achieving students?
A: I work with students with varying levels of academic performance as long as they are in good academic standing and making good progress toward college. To be competitive, students must possess a C+ average or better. Students and parents who are open minded about the process and do not have their hearts set on any particular school/s will ultimately fare better in the process.
Q: How will you help me to pick suitable colleges?
A: Oftentimes, students already have a list of dream/reach schools but haven’t really thought much about target and likely schools. I will work with students to learn about their academic, career, and personal interests when researching schools. I will make time for us to discuss and seriously consider target and safety schools so that there are acceptable options. Since college admissions is highly unpredictable, having realistic plans brings some sense of control to the process. Of course, we will strive for the reach schools and present solid reasons why those schools are great matches. We will also have an excellent back-up plan if needed.
Q: Where and how do you meet with students?
A: Currently, during the Covid-19 pandemic, I meet with students through Zoom and/or Facetime. Meetings are usually one hour to one hour and thirty minutes. Ideally, I prefer to meet with each student at least three times to get a sense of their personalities when thinking about good-fit schools and essay topics. After meeting a few times, we can do most of the work offline via email. Students who are able to write essays independently can write the essays in a shared document, and I can provide suggested edits and feedback.
Q: How do you charge?
A: I offer packages that come with a set number of hours. Clients can pick and choose how they would like to use the hours. Students who arrive to me sooner in the process will inevitably receive more coaching and advice on how to proceed on this journey. I provide feedback and guidance that can effectively change a student’s profile. While some students may need more writing help for the essays, other students may need more time figuring out how to distinguish themselves through activities. I’m there to guide students who need tips or feel stuck or even some encouragement to try something new. Please contact me to obtain the most updated information regarding packages.
Q: Why should I pick you to work with my child?
A: Many other college consulting companies will have multiple people, maybe even inexperienced college students, working with your child. When there are many people involved, your child gets bounced around and important details are missed. I am the only consultant who will work with your child from beginning to end. I will stay in communication with you throughout the process. I bring a sense of cohesion to the work which translates into highly personal, customized applications and essays. I do not use templates. Your child is not just a number to me, but a real person with goals and ambitions that I will champion.