Individual college services
"Along with her in depth knowledge of each college's programs and admission criteria, Rachel takes a wonderfully individualized approach to the search process."
--Parent of Abigail. Urban Academy '10, Earlham '14 (Bonner Scholar)
For students looking for expert advice on where to apply, I offer a personalized service to develop a list of suitable colleges and universities. I work with the family over several months to refine the list as the student visits and reacts to schools, finishes up standardized testing, and completes junior year. The aim is to develop a balanced list of colleges that are a great fit for the student's unique goals and abilities, covering a range of admissions chances from "likely", “target”, “reach” and "high reach."
On the financial side, I typically help families plan for this multi-year major commitment early on, to reduce disappointment and worry later. I help families construct a great college list that takes the cost of tuition and the family’s financial picture into account upfront. I can recommend affordable "likely" schools to anchor the list. I help families understand merit aid at specific institutions, how each student might get some, and an application timeline for colleges where the early bird catches the worm. And although not a certified financial aid planner, I have a strong understanding of the need-based financial aid landscape, and I can orient families to this area, ideally by freshman or sophomore year of high school. At application time, I can advise on filling in the FAFSA and CSS/Profile.
I provide an initial review to understand the student's testing history, previous results,and issues of anxiety, LD and timing. Then I help the family plan a strategy and timetable for standardized testing and any accommodations. With a number of changes to both SAT and ACT in the works for 2015 and 2016, I make it my business to be up-to-date on developments so that I can help students make an individual plan. recommend tutors to match a student's needs and personality, and stay involved as testing progresses and the testing plan evolves for SAT, ACT, subject tests and AP exams.
Writing the personal statement is usually the part of the application that's dreaded most. Students can benefit greatly from working with an outside essay coach. And for parents it's a relief to know that an expert is keeping this piece of the puzzle on track.
I offer key advice on choosing topics to write about and we brainstorm to find the one that zings and will appeal to admissions officers. When the student is drafting the essay, I provide constructive feedback on its structure and suggestions for editing, while emphasizing the development and continuity of the student’s own authentic voice.
My essay-coaching service covers the main personal statement; a second personal statement for use or adaptation as required for individual college supplements; and the “Why college X?” essays.
I try to be flexible if you need expert advice in targeted areas or at specific times during a student's education. Customized services can be arranged at an hourly rate of $300. Please contact me to discuss your needs.
If you have a very specific question, I offer a pre-paid quick consultation by phone. Email me the question so I can let you know if it can be answered in a 20 minute phone call.