Juniors & Seniors

The actual college application process begins in earnest during the junior year. This is close enough to application time where students have the maturity to think about their futures, but it is early enough for students to spend time defining their priorities and preferences.


Laying the Groundwork

•In-depth interviews to assess students’ interests and goals and parents’ insights, requirements, and financial parameters
•College planning binder & private access to CollegePlannerPro — a web-based college research and planning tool
•Educate families about need-based financial aid and merit scholarships
•Help families determine if they qualify for need-based financial aid
•Review of academic record and evaluate strengths of the high school curriculum
•Administer YouScience assessment to help students discover their aptitudes and interests with corresponding careers and majors
•Suggest a roadmap of classes that support the student’s interests and college goals
•Recommend a standardized testing plan for the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT
•Recommend extracurricular activities and summer programs that further develop the students’ interests; assist with applications to merit-based programs upon request.
•Regularly communicate with students and parents throughout the planning and application process

Identifying Best Fit Colleges

•Clarify college preferences through self-assessment, discussions, and thoughtfully developed exercises
•Guide students through the research and development of a preliminary list of colleges based on the student’s goals and preferences, academic profile, and the family’s financial parameters
•Highlight schools where the student is likely to have their full financial need met and/or receive merit aid
•Suggest a college visit itinerary and strategy to maximize the value of each visit
•Narrow the college list based on the transcript, test scores, evolving interests, and refinement of criteria
•Help families navigate early action and early decision options

Applying to College

•Develop a manageable application plan and timeline and supervise the student’s progress
•Strategize how to obtain strong letters of recommendation from the high school counselor, teachers, and mentors
•Help students create an educational résumé
•Brainstorm and flesh out essay topics that convey the student’s unique attributes
•4-day summer college essay workshop and summer supplemental essay and UC essay workshops team-taught with UCSC writing faculty
•Assist students as they craft college-specific essays
•Guide students in preparing a supplement such as a visual or performing arts supplement or a science research submission
•Prepare students for successful interviews
•Guide correspondence with college admission’s officers and special interest faculty
•Review student-prepared applications

Selecting a College

•Provide guidance on the final decisions once acceptances have been received
•Advise on the transition to the first year of college