As an independent university adviser, I provide strategic consulting to students and their families about English language bachelor programs in North America and Europe, guiding them through the application process. My services range from comprehensive packages, to a professional assessment of whether a student’s university plans are on track, to short consultations on an hourly basis.
Why engage an independent university consultant?
- Because independent university advisers (or college counselors) are professionally trained educational consultants who provide your student with in-depth advising on a one-on-one basis. (Most school guidance counselors, if your student has one, only have time for occasional guidance.)
- Because the quantities of information to sift through and absorb, details to get right, and deadlines to meet can be overwhelming.
- Because some teenagers are more willing to take guidance and reminders from someone outside the family, reducing stress for both parents and students.
According to a 2009 report, 26% of high achieving students in the U.S. applying to university worked with independent counselors to help them through the application process. This percentage has almost certainly increased as U.S. college admissions continue to become more competitive.
Comprehensive University Application Package
This is a flat rate package, preferably beginning at least 18 – 24 months before a student plans to start university. However, the package price does not increase if you start earlier. The package includes:
- Reflection and self-assessment to understand your goals, interests, values, and challenges and how those translate to criteria for university selection.
- Develop plans for any required standardized testing.
- Plan extracurricular and summer activities.
- Identify specific universities likely to be a good academic, social, and financial fit.
- Application timelines and to-do lists to stay on track through the application process.
- Identify required personal statements and essays, help brainstorm topics, and give feedback on drafts.
- Provide guidance on completing university application forms.
- Identify scholarship and financial aid options and provide guidance on those applications.
Meetings are held in person and via Skype or on the phone, depending on mutual availability.
University Plan Review
Is your Upper School student on track for applying to university? This package provides a professional assessment along with reassurance or guidance, and proceeds as follows:
- The student and parents provide copies of the student’s semester reports and any SAT or ACT scores.
- Both the student and at least one parent fill out a questionnaire about their preferences, the family’s need or desire for financial aid, and any institutions where the student plans to apply.
- I then review this information before meeting with the student and parents, either in person or via Skype, to discuss how their plan meshes with the student’s goals, preferences, and academic qualifications, focusing on the context of the universities under consideration and their application requirements.
- After the meeting, I follow up with a detailed list of action items and recommendations.
This review is best completed by late summer or early fall before a student’s final year of high school, while there is still time address gaps before applications are due. Based on the results, you can then continue with confidence or seek help as needed.
This type of review also helps younger students and their families get the process off to a strong start and feel more in control of the process.
Hourly consultations are available for limited and well-bounded university advising activities at any stage of the process. E.g., students may just want help with college essays or university personal statements, or parents of younger children may want to understand how secondary school choices for their child influence university admissions.
Sliding-scale or Pro Bono Consulation
Decisions about where to go to university can have a big impact on a student’s future. Please do not hesitate to discuss services even if you are concerned about the cost.