Applying to college is a lot like paying your taxes. It's expensive, time-consuming, complicated and there are a lot of papers to juggle and forms to fill out. There's a lot of information about taxes, and deductions and withholding and stuff on the web, if you have time to read it, and if you have an interest. Some people genuinely enjoy the challenge of, or at least feel competent at, navigating the peculiarities of the US Tax Code. I am not one of those people. I keep all my receipts in a box and, once a year, I take the box to my accountant and say, "Here. Now go do that voodoo that you do so well!" (Bonus points if you can name that movie!)
As a college consultant, I am on the other side of that transaction. I'm the one who takes the papers (transcripts, extracurriculars, test scores, essay drafts) and does the voodoo that gets your son or daughter into the best fit college for him or her. Along the way, I form a relationship with your family that allows me to, among other things, make good suggestions about other schools that may interest your student, ways to handle financial aid if family finances change, pertinent deadlines, and ways to turn down the colleges who accepted you but you decided weren't the best fit. This is why I prefer to work with students and families from the junior year of high school or earlier.
Not all families need that level of service, though. Just like with taxes, some parents prefer to do most of the heavy-lifting themselves. For you DIYers, I offer this blog, this website, my Pinterest, Facebook page and Twitter feed, all about college and the college admissions process. I'm happy to answer questions that come in through any of those channels, as they come up. I'm also willing to do short-term, need-focused research and recommendations (college recommendations for special needs students, study skills or test prep evaluation, etc.) for a small fee.
The vision of Your College Your Way has nothing to do with making me rich and everything to do with getting students into post-secondary educations that excite them, educate them and help them grow. Unlike most college consultants, I'm a teacher. I'm all about the one-on-one connection that helps students succeed. Let me teach your teen how to be successful college student.
Lessa Scherrer is an college admissions consultant who has worked with college-bound students for many years. She is a member of NACAC and WACAC and also teaches ACT Prep, speed-reading, college study skills and college-level writing.
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