What Does The College Advisor of New York Do?
Customized College Search
Research shows that most students limit their college search to:
- schools their friends attend
- schools based on looks
- schools a teacher recommends
- schools close to home
Families are busier than ever, and many don’t often take the necessary time and effort to understand the best options for their child. Too many families make the mistake of oversimplifying the college search based on rankings or school reputation. With the cost of many private colleges exceeding $280,000 for 4 years, these can be costly mistakes. The College Advisor of New York counsels students and parents to gain a deeper understanding of their college admission decision making process, and we begin before ever meeting the family. That’s because we spend a significant portion of our time visiting and critiquing colleges throughout the region and the country. Because we’ve seen more than 500 colleges, we can offer personal insights on the differences among them. In fact, we may suggest colleges that you’ve never heard of. We also integrate the search process with financial strategy to help families achieve their ultimate goal: finding a best fit college for both the student and his or her family.
One On One Essay Coaching & Application Development
One of the most important pieces of a student’s application is the essay. It’s hard enough for adults to write unique essays describing who they are and where they’re going, but it is especially challenging for high school students to do so. We provide detailed coaching and guidance based on the student’s unique characteristics and style. While we will never write essays for students, we offer thorough coaching throughout the difficult and often overwhelming process. Many students have no idea what to write about, or how to do so. We use our years of admissions experience to help them solve those dilemmas.
Deadline Tracking and Application Critique
Our staff walks students through the applications so they are less intimidating. We keep kids on track throughout the busy application season. This ensures they don’t miss any important deadlines, while making the process manageable for parents and students. We also review all applications before they go out the door, because we almost always find mistakes. In this way, we make certain that your child’s applications are well crafted and polished while still reflecting the student’s unique voice.
Personalized Online Client Portal
My College Advisor Connection™ is a private online dashboard designed to keep you on track throughout your child’s college planning process. It contains special resources designed to help make the college search simpler and less stressful. These tools are accessible to clients only via a password protected site. The system enables us to individualize your college planning process to your unique needs. It also tracks all progress and milestones so your college search is seamless.
Detailed Financial Strategy and Affordability Counseling
The cost of a 4 year private college education has exceeded $280,000. It is one of the most expensive investments you will ever make, yet most people spend more time researching what type of car to buy than the college to which they send their child. For this reason, we conduct a thorough affordability review based on the income and assets of the family early in the process. We suggest unique strategies to maximize merit and need based aid, while minimizing the overall cost to families. By integrating the college search process with financial strategy, families are better equipped to find schools they can actually afford. We also analyze each award letter a student receives to make certain that merit scholarships and need based grant awards are fair to our clients. We work with families of all income levels to find colleges that are a best fit academically, socially and financially.
SAT and ACT Strategic Preparation
Along with high school grades and the application essays, standardized test scores are the most important part of a student’s college admission application. We provide a diagnostic SAT/ACT exam which yields detailed results so that students get a realistic understanding of how to focus test prep strategies. This exam is specifically designed to guide students to understand which test – the ACT or SAT – is best for them, thereby streamlining the test taking process. We also offer strategic consultation on when to test, which tests to take, and the best way to submit scores to various colleges. We provide expert interpretation of what the scores actually mean, and how they will be viewed by admissions officers. In addition, through our partner, Perfect Score Test Prep, we offer an array of SAT and ACT Test Prep packages so students can increase their scores, thereby increasing their admissions options and maximizing scholarships.
High School Transcript Analysis & Course Selection
College admissions officers understand the vast differences that exist among our nation’s 30,000 high schools, while many parents do not. This is why a thorough review of a student’s high school transcript is critical. After an assessment of a student’s grades, interests, and academic skills, we recommend appropriate courses to maximize their chance for success in high school. Every student is unique, but in general, the most rigorous classes are favored by most colleges.
Career/Major Learning Style Inventory and Counseling
Each student will complete a web-delivered personality/career interest inventory based on the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator. The Myers-Briggs is a well researched, valid and highly respected tool that provides insight to individual student strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, career interests and aptitudes. Each student will receive a personalized report detailing their personality styles and suggested college majors. This will serve as one factor in the process of creating a customized list of potential colleges for the student to pursue.
Parent Coaching Strategies
We help parents understand their unique role in this complex process. We’ve worked with thousands of parents over the years and have developed an effective and structured program to guide them on how to be appropriately involved, while still permitting their child to “own” the process. This is a complicated “dance” for most parents, and we enjoy helping them understand how to best approach it.
Campus Visit Guidance and Interview Preparation
There are good and bad ways to visit a college campus. We provide guidance on how to make the most of campus visits. We also help students prepare for admissions interviews so they put their best foot forward, while remaining true to themselves.