I work with students on all aspects of the college admissions process to help them find the best college for their needs. That sounds good, but what does it really mean. The answer depends to some extent on how old the student is.
If the student is in 8th or 9th grade, I will work with them to lay out an appropriate list of classes to take during high school. If the student has options on which high school to attend I will also work with the family to identify what might be the best choice for that student. With students at this age I will also discuss the importance of involvement in extracurricular activities.
With students in the 10th grade we will begin talking about standardized testing. We discuss what the student might do with their activities to make themselves a more attractive candidate to a college when they apply as a senior. We will also talk about the need to visit colleges and what to do on a college tour.
For students who are juniors in high school I begin by reviewing the students grades, test scores(if they have any) and activities list. If the student has not already taken a standardized test, or is not happy with the results, we will discuss options to improve their scores. I then talk with the student to find out what they are looking for in a college. If they don’t know what they are looking for, I help them understand the various things to look for to find the right college for their needs.
I help students find and review a variety of colleges that may be appropriate for their needs and help them narrow the list to a workable number of colleges that they wish to apply to. Starting in the summer before senior year I help students with the application process including a discussion of what might be good essay choices for the student. After the student has written the essay, I will edit it and make suggestions for improvement.
In addition I will help the student on issues related to getting the strongest recommendation from teachers and help prepare them for college interviews. If financial aid is an issue, I will work with the student and their family to find colleges that are the most affordable for their family.
And that, in a nutshell, is how I help students find the best college.