Personalized College Planning Services

Great College Advice™ offers a menu of personalized college planning services to help students on every step of their college journey. We empower families to select the advice that best fits their needs and their budget.

The Balanced College List

For students who need help in identifying “right fit” colleges, based on their preferences, needs, and ambitions, and who will complete all applications and essays independently. This focused package includes the following:

  • Administration and review of a complete set of diagnostic questionnaires and assessments
  • Review of resume, test scores, academic record, and extracurricular accomplishments
  • Two one-hour meetings between counselors and student, plus one 90-minute meeting with parents to understand the student’s academic, social, and personal needs, preferences, and ambitions
  • Identification and presentation of 20+ colleges and universities that match the student’s search criteria; the list is divided into categories of “reach,” “target,” and “foundation” schools; student determines which schools to apply to based on this list.

To inquire about this limited service, please contact us. This personalized college planning service is available only to students who have completed at least five semesters of high school and who have an official SAT or ACT score.

Senior Application Review

This service is designed for students in the final stages of the application process to provide an accurate read on the strengths and weaknesses of that application, and to give feedback on how the application can be improved. We will look at all pieces of a single application, including transcript, test scores, extracurricular involvements, and outside interests. We will identify gaps in the student’s record with regard for the chances of acceptance at that school, and provide recommendations on how best to fill those gaps.

To inquire about this service, please contact us.

Essay Advising

Our counselors help students brainstorm topics, give advice on structure, and provide editing support for college essays, which for some schools can make the difference between acceptance and rejection. We do not write essays for students. Rather, we ask questions and provide suggestions to guide the student through the process. We review and revise the essay with the student until it is a clear reflection of the student’s intent, and the voice of the student rings true. Our aim is to help the student present a positive and appealing picture of the student to the admissions office.

Note that we do not merely “edit” essays. We help students select at the best possible topics, develop solid structures, construct a compelling narrative, and ensure that they are mechanically correct.

To inquire about this service, please contact us. Note that it is best to reserve this service well in advance, as our counselors may be unable to fulfill last minute requests.

Athletic Recruiting

We help student athletes develop an appropriate strategy to pair their academic interests with their athletic talents. No matter what grade you’re in, if you’re an athlete, you’re thinking about the role sports will play in your college future.  We help young people make the best choices throughout high school to maximize their opportunities on the field and in the classroom.  

  • Are you aiming for a sports scholarship?
  • Do you hope to leverage your athletic talents to get into a more selective college or university?
  • Do you hope to play your sport in college, but perhaps at a less serious level?
  • Or are you still trying to figure out how to best combine your athletic talents and select a school that fits that combination?

Great College Advice offers the expertise and experience to help you ask the right questions, develop your own answers, and then pursue a strategy that will ensure that you get the most from your educational opportunities. It’s all about finding the right balance, and our personalized college planning services help you find that balance.

We have worked with top-ranked athletes around the world who have landed great scholarships in NCAA Division 1.  We have also guided athletes to some of the most selective Division 1 and Division 3 schools in the country, including the Ivy League, Stanford, and all the NESCAC schools.  We also have counseled scholar athletes to ramp down their athletic pursuits to focus on their studies in college, often helping them pick schools with strong club teams in their chosen sport.

Our athletic recruiting services are offered only as an “add-on” package to our comprehensive advising packages. Alternatively, you can discuss how to find the right balance from the beginning of your college plan with our introductory service, the “Roadmap to College.”

Gap Year Planning

More and more students today are opting to take off a year between high school and college to travel, engage in internships, begin career explorations, or perform meaningful community service. Even the Ivy League universities advocate the benefits of taking a gap year.  The Gap Year has been a tradition among students in the United Kingdom for years, giving students a break from their studies to pursue their current passions or develop new ones. Some students may apply to colleges their senior year, and then defer admission for a year. Others may use the gap year to round out experiences and give them an edge in the admissions process during their time off from full-time study. Either way, we can help students and families get the most out of their gap year by identifying appropriate agencies that provide excellent educational, service, or career building experiences. Gap year planning is offered only as an “add-on” service to our Comprehensive Counseling Packages. Alternatively, you can discuss gap year possibilities as part of the introductory “Roadmap to College” service.

Hourly Advising

Some students just want to get started early with a couple of short planning sessions. Others have questions about academic planning or extracurricular involvements. Some families need help choosing the right high school, or have other burning questions about the process that do not fall neatly into one of our other services. We offer affordable hourly consulting rates for personalized college planning services to meet your individual needs. You can also receive a discount by purchasing “packets” of 5 or 10 hours up front.

To inquire about hourly advising, please contact us. Note that we do not offer essay development and editing or create college lists on an hourly basis. Please see those focused services above.

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