Typically, we begin by reviewing your transcript (courses and grades), standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, talents, and courses that you are currently taking, as well as the courses that you plan to take in the following year(s). In addition, we discuss admissions positioning strategies, focusing on what you can do to ensure maximum consideration of your credentials.
College List Development
Based on our preliminary review, we compile a list of colleges and academic programs that represent the best match between your interests/credentials and the institution’s admissions standards and offerings. We also provide an assessment of your admissions prospects at each of your “target” colleges.
Once we have devised a list of suitable “target” colleges, we will assist you in coordinating application materials and completing all applications. We clarify application instructions, review forms, and provide guidance on all questions/items. After drafts are completed, we review each application for omissions, unanswered questions, inconsistencies and any other “red flags” that may negatively impact your admission prospects.
The college essay is often perceived as the most daunting part of the college application, but our team at College Transitions is committed to proving the writing process can be both an enjoyable and enlightening experience. Initially, we work with you to brainstorm essay topics that are capable of reflecting your best attributes. We then assist you in developing essay content, while teaching you the elements of an effective college essay. Finally, we review your essays for clarity of expression and grammatical correctness, and offer further suggestions on how you can enhance your writing. It’s important to note that we will spend as much time as needed to help you draft authentic and compelling essays that represent the best of what you have to offer to your prospective colleges.
Student Activity Sheet/Resume
The student activity sheet or resume has become an increasingly important part of the college application. We will help you devise an activity sheet/resume that is clear, concise, and reflective of your involvement both inside and outside the classroom.
Standardized Testing Strategy
Whether you are a high school freshman, a high school senior or potential college transfer, we will advise you on which standardized tests to take or re-take in order to maximize your admissions prospects and minimize time to major-related coursework and your college degree. Testing strategies encompass SAT, ACT, AP, IB, CLEP, and various subject tests, among others.
Letters of Recommendation
We advise you on how to get teachers, counselors, coaches, and extracurricular sponsors/ supervisors to write illuminating and strongly supportive letters of recommendation. We discuss from whom you should solicit letters; how and when to make requests; as well as how you can move writers to more effectively communicate your genuine strengths and interests.
Campus visits demonstrate interest to an admissions committee and allow you to become better acquainted with the offerings of a particular institution—both improve your chances of being admitted into a “good-fit” college. Once a list of prospective schools is established, we provide guidance on how to organize your trip and which campus-based activities are essential to making the most of your visit.
The College Interview
The college interview can prove as an important factor in the college admissions process, and can even prove as the key to admission for a borderline applicant. As such, we provide extensive coaching on the college interview. We teach you how to prepare, what questions to expect, and what questions to ask. In addition, we review interview etiquette and teach you how to leave a positive impression with your interviewer. Finally, through our mock interview sessions, we help you to achieve a high level of comfort and confidence on interview day.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Scholarships and other financial aid for college are not limited to students with financial need. Regardless of your financial circumstances, we provide sound advice on how to secure competitive and non-competitive funds from your target colleges. Financial aid guidance includes advice on how to complete and process financial aid forms, how to apply for private scholarships, and what strategies you can employ to win merit (non-need-based) aid.
After receiving your admission offers, we schedule a meeting (and subsequent meetings, if necessary) exclusively devoted to reviewing the costs and benefits of attending each institution into which you have been admitted. Discussion and guidance focus on the evaluation of financial aid awards, the academic and extracurricular offerings of your prospective colleges, possible majors, and plans beyond your undergraduate study.
Career and Interest Assessment
We administer career/personality inventories to help you discover and/or more explicitly identify your interests, preferences, and personal styles—learning about each enables you to select the courses, majors and career paths about which you are likely to be passionate. Testing lasts approximately one hour and is administered online. We then devote substantial time to interpreting your assessment results, as well as discussing how you can use the information provided to maximize your postsecondary experience.
In the months before enrolling at your new institution, we help you explore majors, develop a program of study, and identify campus-based supports so that you have the knowledge and tools needed to succeed at your college of choice. In contrast to most college planners, we will work with you after acceptance because we believe that our success is measured not only on the basis of admission offers but also on the basis of your college success and ability to maximize the benefits of a higher education.