Building Your Child’s Future
The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline and an action plan. As an independent educational consultant, I’m committed to helping your student create the timeline and action plan that enables them to fulfill their dreams.
Steps taken throughout your student’s high school career impact the options available to them during the college application process. I offer a comprehensive package that takes your student from 9th through 12th grade, but that is tailored to match your student’s individual needs and goals.
Remember, when it comes to preparing for college admissions, it’s never too early and it’s never too late. Whether your student is a freshman, a senior, or somewhere in between, we can implement a plan to optimize their chances of admission.
College admission essays can feel insurmountable and can fuel a student’s anxiety. If your student needs help only with their essay, I offer a standalone service designed to hone in on a compelling topic, jumpstart the writing process, and provide guidance and feedback for multiple drafts.
Often, families of classmates have a close bond and feel as though they’re embarking upon the college admission journey together. I offer online group workshops on a variety of topics that families find useful. Workshops can orient you to the big picture of college admissions or drill down to specific information about one aspect of the path to college.
Hourly College Consulting
There are times when students and parents need answers to specific questions, a sounding board, or a bit of direction on an as-needed basis. If that’s the case, hourly consultation can be helpful. If you choose the hourly option and later discover it’s not enough, the money spent can be applied toward a comprehensive package.
I invite you to review the services I offer, and then to schedule a free 30-minute consultation by completing the form below. I welcome the opportunity to discuss the ways in which I can help your student achieve their goals.
— Sally Smith
Freshman Intro: Opening Doors
It’s important to get a jumpstart on opening doors to college admissions – and keeping them open. Our focus will be on orienting your family to the college admissions process. We’ll discuss how the various pieces of the college admissions puzzle fit together so you can make decisions during 9th, 10th, and 11th grades that will support your child’s applicant profile.
Over the course of up to three 90-minute online or in-person meetings, we’ll review your child’s planned high school coursework to ensure that their classes align with their goals. We’ll implement organizational strategies and tools that will create forward momentum and later success. And we’ll find meaningful extracurricular activities that allow your child to shine.
By the end of each meeting, we’ll have a set of objectives and a timeline for our next steps.
Sophomore Jumpstart: Getting a Step Ahead
With the seeds of college planted, sophomore year presents opportunities for those seeds to sprout and grow. Up to three 90-minute online or in-person meetings will give us the opportunity to explore what makes your child’s spirit soar and how their interests relate to potential college majors and careers.
My transcript review helps identify strengths and directions for future coursework. I’ll leverage your child’s aptitudes and talents to pinpoint opportunities that will enable them to build a track record of engagement and leadership.
I strongly encourage all sophomores to take the PSAT. I’ll develop a PSAT test preparation schedule and review test prep resources in anticipation of the October test date.
Implementing organizational tools and strategies will incrementally create the elements needed for the college application process. By the end of each meeting, we’ll have a set of objectives and a timeline for our next steps.
Junior Boost: Kicking into High Gear
Junior year is pivotal for virtually every aspect of college admission. Up to four 90-minute in-person or online meetings (with you, your student, or both) are supplemented with unlimited email support. Throughout the year, we’ll have multiple focus areas, including:
Applicant Profile: We’ll pinpoint opportunities to strengthen your child’s coursework and extracurriculars to maximize their chances of admission.
Testing Strategies: We’ll determine which admissions tests to take, when to take them, and how many times to take them.
Letters of Recommendation: We’ll lay the foundation for soliciting stellar letters of recommendation.
Resume Building: We’ll gather the building blocks of college and scholarship applications and create your child’s resume.
Interviewing: We’ll review proven interviewing techniques and conduct mock interviews.
Special Interests: We’ll pull together materials for athletes, performing artists, programmers, and others who will need application supplements.
Potential Majors: We’ll map your child’s interests to specific college programs.
Your College List: We’ll explore your child’s preferences, academic record, and strengths to develop a comprehensive list of “right fit” colleges.
College Visits: We’ll identify strategies for evaluating a college’s merits.
Paying for College: We’ll discuss merit-based and need-based institutional scholarships, external scholarships, and other sources of free and “free-ish” money.
Setting Goals: We’ll create monthly objectives to keep your child on track.
Senior Surge: Riding the Wave
Senior year is when your child’s preparation and hard work pave the way for admissions offers from colleges that are a great fit. Our up to five 90-minute in-person or online meetings (with you, your student, or both) are supplemented with unlimited email, phone, and text support. Throughout the year, our focus will be:
Finalizing the College List: We’ll refine your child’s college list based on their applicant profile, college visits, and other individualized criteria.
Appropriate Applicant Pools: We’ll review early decision, early action, regular decision, and rolling application options to ensure that you child is in the most advantageous applicant pool for each college.
College Application Essays: We’ll brainstorm topic ideas, I’ll coach your child through the essay writing process, and I’ll provide detailed feedback on essay drafts.
College Applications: We’ll review application requirements, and I’ll provide application feedback prior to submission.
Master Calendar: I’ll create a master calendar of college and scholarship application deadlines.
College Choice Review: We’ll review acceptances and compare, negotiate, and/or appeal financial aid packages so that you’ll have confidence in the choice you make.
College Transition: We’ll develop strategies for a smooth transition to college.
Admissions Essays: Crafting a Compelling Narrative
A stellar admissions essay can make your child stand out from the crowd. In a 90-minute in-person or online meeting, I’ll work with your child to brainstorm topics for their top-choice school. I’ll also provide tips to jumpstart their writing process, as well as guidance on how to tell their story in a compelling way.
For the first draft essay(s) for their top-choice school, I’ll furnish feedback about the essay tone and structure. For their second draft, I’ll offer specific, sentence-by-sentence suggestions. For their third draft, I’ll review grammar and spelling. I will also proofread their final draft.
Keep in mind that powerful essays take time to craft. Your child should plan on spending 10-20 hours brainstorming and writing their essay.
Group Workshops: Getting the Inside Track
Whether you need an overview of the college admissions process or are ready to do a deep dive on how to write compelling college essays, a three-hour group workshop can deliver. Here’s how it works….
1. Gather a group of four or more participants
2. Decide upon the topic you’d like to learn more about:
- Building a College List
- Navigating College Applications
- Completing the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile
- Qualifying for State and Federal College Grants
- Applying for External Scholarships
- Finding University Scholarships
- Positioning Yourself for Athletic Scholarships
- Free College through Military Service
- Building a Powerful Resume
- Winning Interviewing Techniques for College Admissions and Scholarships
- College Admissions Testing: Scheduling and Test Prep
- Summer Checklist: A Grade-Appropriate To-Do List
3. We will meet in person or via an online meeting platform
4. Following the meeting, each participant will receive a detailed summary and suggestions for next steps.
Bucket of Hours: Coaching on Demand
There are times when students and parents need answers to specific questions, a sounding board, or a bit of direction on an as-needed basis. If that’s the case, hourly consultation can be helpful. If you choose the hourly package and later discover it’s not enough, the money spent can be applied toward a comprehensive package.