I know what colleges want...
After 28 years of experience, I have a very clear picture of the kinds of qualities, attitudes and characteristics colleges and graduate schools find most persuasive when considering a student for admission. I evaluate your record with the same criteria colleges and graduate schools use to determine whether they will admit you.
You need a competitive edge...
Colleges and graduate schools need to be able to distinguish you from your competition in order to admit you. If you choose a top school, you will be among applicants with very impressive grades, test scores and activities. If you apply to less challenging schools, you will still be competing with others who have similar qualifications. So it is imperative that you find a unique way to set yourself apart from your competition.
I can help you find your edge...
My years in marketing and advertising have given me the skills and knowledge to quickly and perceptively focus in on exactly what you have to offer a college--- your strengths, talents and special qualities. I can help you clarify them and develop a way to use them to help you stand out from other applicants.
Your competitive edge or "Who Am I"...
Your competitive edge or "Who Am I" — is a verbal self-portrait which features your most outstanding character trait with accompanying examples of it in action, how to use it in your college and grad school interviews, and also as your application's personal statement essay. Finally, I give you a list of colleges or grad schools which match your talents, interests, grades and scores.
My students know what they have to offer, which colleges and graduate schools to pursue, and how to get the right college to say "yes"!
My counseling program was summed up recently by a former client who said, “Don’t leave out the ‘hand-holding’. Parents should know how devoted your are to their kids—you helped my daughter develop a positive self-image, encouraged her to feel confident in promoting her accomplishments, and provided her with a well-designed strategy to get her accepted by her top college.”
So this is how it happens—we begin with face-to-face sessions, for an hour, which are conducted in a relaxed, supportive environment in my home-office or on Skype. These are an unlimited number of sessions at a mutually convenient time, tailored to each student’s specific needs and schedule. We begin sophomore year because it takes time to get to know a student and build a strategy. Ideally, in the beginning of your junior year, we will meet to discuss how you will best present yourself to your guidance counselor so that they will have a better understanding of who you are, and how to present you most effectively to the colleges. By the 2nd semester of junior year any student who applies early (ED or EA) must send in the application by November 1 or 15. That leaves no time for senior year improvement with grades, SAT/ACT scores or activities. If senior year improvement does occur, the only option is Regular Admission which is January 1 or later.
The most crucial element of how I work with students is my ability to get to know your son or daughter as well as they permit. Our conversations fill in the picture of who they are as people and begin with their character—defined by their attitudes, values, current and past decisions. Ultimately I am looking for the student’s most outstanding character traits, which form the basis of their “Who Am I”— and is the answer to a college interviewer’s question: “Tell me about yourself?” This answer can either confuse or clarify an interviewer’s impression of a student, so we do many “mock interviews” to insure that they give a seamless response.
During junior year, I profile my students into colleges based on their particular interests and needs. Since I know the colleges, I look for matches with the kinds of students I know they want, and students who want their kind of school. What emerges is a realistic list of both Reach and Probable schools. I do not believe Safetys are a reliable category, unless it’s a Rolling admission school where they are admitted soon after applying, otherwise Safetys are low tier schools which no one wants to attend.
I have also been supportive of some amazing Reach colleges for those students who want to go for ”the college of their dreams” even though it looks like only a 50-50 chance. If I feel they are the kind of student who can take the risk and fail without crumbling, I encourage it, because I know that sometimes a “miracle” does occur.
During the summer, before senior year, we begin discussing the Common Application and the Personal Statement Essays. I help them find a way to use their “Who Am I” character traits to brainstorm a compelling, persuasive essay which promotes them as a very appealing candidate. Since colleges are interested in finding out who a student is, this is the time to self-promote—nothing arrogant or phony—just an honest, straight-forward self-portrayal.
The essay writing process is my favorite part of my program. Having been a professional writer and marketing consultant, I have a unique perspective on how this Personal Statement Essay, which is basically a marketing document, must be constructed. It has to sell the student to a college, while being beautifully written, convincing, and memorable.
I have met many brilliant young scholars who are fabulously talented, have amazing accomplishments, with much to recommend them to any college. However, unless they know how to marshal all their attributes and sell themselves to a college, their application will simply sit on the applicant pile in the admissions office.
The College Entrance
Specialist Package includes:
- Prep For Meeting With Your School Guidance Counselor
- Class Choices
- Tutor Selection
- Test Date Selection
- Summer Plans
- School Extra-Curriculars-chosen early to show leadership development
- A “Who Am I” or Strong Selling hook
- Preparation of College List
- College Visit / Interviews Prep
- Brainstorm Essay Topics
- Edit Essays
- Review Final applications
- Help with Final College Choice
These elements give me the opportunity to help a student develop their big college picture, and understand how every decision fits into the larger application process and gives the greatest promise of success.
My program for graduate students is more open-ended than the college program, and based on that specific student’s needs. At our first meeting, we decide on the number of grad schools to which they will apply- just a few or many—because they all ask different questions. However, the deciding factor is the graduate test—GMAT, LSAT, MCAT—because those scores dictate where a student can or cannot apply.
Since most of my grad school applicants worked with me when applying to colleges, their “Who Am I” has already been developed and used.
If it hasn’t, we develop one. This becomes the foundation upon which the consistent, appealing, person emerges. It also gives clear direction to the applicant about how to answer each question. At this point in the process, my role becomes one of the evaluator. I analyze whether they are formulating answers to clarify a consistent person with the critical attributes of drive, grasp, commitment, comprehension and maturity which the schools are seeking. Since personal interviews are not always given, the application essays, graduate test score, recommendations and college grades comprise the grad school package which either spells acceptance or rejection. In my world of grad school counseling, acceptance is the only word we speak.