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What kind of family should work with you?

Parents who believe in their kids, and in the transformational power of education and the right environment; parents who love to see their children develop their own ideas and unique self-expression and trust them to do so. You don’t need to know anything about the college process, except that you want a trusted expert to nurture your kids through it, and a college process that is a journey of self-discovery, is student-centered and student-driven, and oriented around finding the ideal fit for your unique, and special student.

When do you start working with students?

Ideally, we like to meet students for the first time toward the end of 8th grade, in time to start planning the high school curriculum and setting priorities for the high school journey, but we will meet a few students as late as 10th grade. Our roster is usually full for older students, but please contact us anyway, as occasionally a slot will open up.

How often do you meet with students?

During 8th, 9th, and 10th grades, we only need to see you once or twice a year. Starting in about December of 11th grade, we begin to meet with students regularly, weekly for some periods, until all the applications are submitted in the fall of 12th grade.

How many students do you work with?

A small, select group. Our work is most rewarding and satisfying when we have the opportunity to work deeply and closely with each student, which is only possible with a small roster. This also means we will always be able to find time to meet or talk with you.

When and where do you meet with students?

All meetings take place via Zoom, phone, or at our office in Sherman Oaks, CA. Meeting times are designed to work for high school students, so they are generally on weekday afternoons and evenings and select weekend days.

Do you work with transfer students?

Yes, we can work with a few each year, and love to support the slightly more mature and focused student who is looking for a new, right-fit academic home.

Will you help with the essays for college applications?

Yes. We guide students through every aspect of the writing process, from brainstorming to polished pieces, and make sure their authentic voices shine through. We will not write any part of the application for a student, and will discourage the use of tutors, parents, or other “helpers” from interfering in the student’s writing process. Authenticity is the single most important quality college admissions officers seek in student writing!

Will you help me figure out how to pay for college?

Yes. There is a lot of funding available for college, regardless of family income and student academic level, and affordability is part of our definition of a right-fit college. We guide students to choose colleges where generous funding is available and advise parents on when, where, and how to secure that funding.

Do the students you guide get into Ivy League and other highly selective colleges?

Yes. We frequently support students applying to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Brown, MIT, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell, U of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, and UCLA, to name just a few, and have had students accepted to all of them.

Do you work with students with learning disabilities, emotional challenges, and ADD/HD?

Yes. We work with students with a range of mild learning, emotional, and attentional issues, and enjoy them very much! We do not work with students with severe learning or emotional challenges who are not in mainstream educational settings.

Do you work with students with unusual circumstances?

Yes, and yours are probably not as “unusual” as you think! We work with students who have taken time off from school for a wide range of reasons, including physical or mental illness; have been in therapeutic or residential treatment programs; or have changed high schools several times. My students have included home-schoolers and those enrolled in one-on-one teaching settings. We have worked with full-time, professional actors and Olympics-bound athletes as well as deaf and sight-impaired students. Stephanie even worked with one student who never attended high school, not even for a day, and ended up enrolling in her first-choice program at her first-choice college!

Is there anyone who should not work with you?

Yes. If your goal for the college process is to get into “the best” college, which is usually defined as the most famous, prestigious, or highly ranked, we are not your guides. If you are looking for a secret formula for getting into the college everyone says is the best, we are not your guides. If you have a clear agenda for your child’s college process and outcome and just want someone to implement it for you, we are not your guides. If you are completely focused on the final destination of the college process and are not comfortable with the unpredictable magic of your child’s unfolding journey, we are not your guides.

Since this is a student-driven process, how are parents involved?

Parents usually attend all 8th, 9th, and 10th grade meetings with their students. Once the college process begins in 11th grade, meetings become work sessions, and only the student attends. Parents are welcome to call, email, or schedule their own meetings with us any time, and we always like to know which colleges they would like their students to explore so those schools can be included in the research. Parents are invited for a meeting towards the end of the college search process when we all work together to finalize the application list. Parents are discouraged from getting involved in the student’s writing or other application materials.

Have other questions?

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