When do you normally start meeting with students?
We begin meeting with students at any point on their college planning journey from 8th grade through high school and onward transitioning to college. Ideally, we suggest working with students early in their high school careers, enabling us to know their abilities, interests, and aptitudes and guide individualized curricular choices, setting priorities, and discussing extracurricular interests.
How often do you meet with students?
We offer highly individualized support and will meet with a student on a regular baiss. We have a system and plan that has worked well for us. We generally recommend two to four meetings annually during 9th and 10th grade. By late fall/early winter of the junior year, we suggest more regular meetings up to twice per month to meet the planning needs of the individual applicant, working consistently until applications are submitted. Beginning August of the senior year, we are maintaining ongoing communication to get to the finish line when all applications are submitted.
Do you work with students who have learning differences or social and emotional needs?
Yes! Many of our students have 504 plans or IEPs. We are knowledgeable about accommodations and guiding families related to testing, applications, disclosing or discussing accommodations with colleges, and the transition to college. We help to instill in our clients that it is okay to learn or experience the world differently, and they are capable of extraordinary success. We meet with families to learn about their student to determine whether we are the best fit for supporting their current and future educational endeavors, whether it be college or an alternative pathway. If we cannot meet the student's needs, we have a network of professionals we know and trust for referrals.
When and where do you meet with students?
Meetings occur in our office in Manhattan Beach, in your home, or virtually. We try to accommodate each student’s needs and preferences. If possible, even for students outside our geographical area, we try to meet your student and family in person at least once early in the college planning process.
Do you assist with summer and co-curricular planning?
We believe every experience is valuable and enriches your student’s story. Whether writing poetry, photographing sporting events, attending a computer science camp, working in a doctor’s office, or delivering pizza, there is a value that develops the student as a person and an applicant. Summer is a great time to find ways to build on interests or explore something new. We look for ways outside the classroom to build on your student’s interests where they can contribute and shine in a unique way. We offer resources and advice on identifying and applying to summer programs and other ways students can further shape and enrich their personal stories, focusing on engagement, having fun, connecting with others, and learning.
What if I have a senior, and we have not started the application process?
Don’t panic. We meet your student wherever they are in the college application process. Our caseload for each gradation year tends to fill before the end of the junior year. Due to our comprehensive service model, we will not take on additional seniors unless we can meet their individual needs. If we cannot help your senior student, we can refer you to a qualified associate.
Our high school has a college counselor. Do we need an educational consultant?
We encourage students to develop and maintain a communicative, positive relationship with their school counselors. School counselors work with many students and may be unable to provide the personalized services we offer or have the time to get to know your student as well as we do over our time together. We try to complement the high school timeline and counseling guidance rather than competing or offering conflicting or different information and timelines. We create a complete college admissions plan, identifying schools that best match students’ needs and interests. We also provide application management, deadlines, reminders, and an organizational digital counseling platform that helps to consolidate all application materials and communications.
Do you help students with college essays?
We work with students as they develop and write their personal statement, supplemental essays, and short answer responses. Using a highly personalized approach, students learn to communicate their unique and authentic stories in their own voice. We do not write the essays for the students but support their efforts, including brainstorming, scaffolding, and editorial feedback, from original drafts through submission.
Do you complete the college application for the student?
No, we serve as advisors for the college application process. We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and do not complete any part of the student’s application; however, we will walk through, answer questions, and provide context and understanding for the students.
Can you guarantee that my child will get admitted?
We do not guarantee admission to any specific college or university. We help our students present their best authentic selves when applying to a carefully curated, balanced list of colleges and universities where they likely will be accepted, flourish and thrive.
Do you work with visual and performing artists, including film school applicants?
We focus primarily on arts students interested in applying to film school. We can help students to identify and follow guidelines related to portfolio and audition requirements; however, we do not have specific expertise in the area outside of film.
Do you work with transfer students?
We work with transfer students, adhering to the sometimes differential timeline and identifying each college’s specific transfer requirements.
Do you offer ACT/SAT preparation?
We offer an overview and test planning guidance; however, we do not do test preparation. We do discuss the value or need for testing related to each student’s abilities, academic interests, and college choices. We also review different approaches and methodologies to test preparation and can refer students to test preparation tutors or services that best meet the student’s needs and abilities.
Do you help with course selection?
Of course! We provide insight into pathways, coursework, electives, need for rigor, and clarify questions related to the impact on GPA, preparation for particular majors, and overall academic engagement.
Do you offer any pro-bono college counseling services?
We volunteer to provide pro bono college counseling services to underserved students in the greater Los Angeles community on a case-by-case basis. A founding principal is to support students who would appreciate and could benefit from working with a college counselor.