tell the story of your life

Our team helps present the best you.

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juniors. finish stronger.
It’s going to happen fast. But we can help you make the most of the time you have before the college application process begins.
 There is no more important time to improve yourself as an applicant than junior year. You’re almost finished, but critical choices still remain and there is still opportunity to magnify your strengths and improve your weaknesses.  We can help you make the choices that will elevate your profile in the time you have left.
Here are the ways we’ll help you finish stronger.
narrative assessment
An overarching point of view
Every student has a story to tell, a picture of academic desires, extracurricular achievements, life events and their impacts. One of our most important roles is to help students shape those raw experiences into a cohesive narrative, one that clearly and powerfully communicates what matters to them.
But as a Junior, you also have time to add to those experiences and improve your standing as an applicant when it comes time to apply as a Senior. That way when we do package your application, it will send a clear, compelling message to each college you target.
course selection
At some highly selective college admissions offices, the difficulty of the courses you take is as important, or maybe even more important than the grades you get. Colleges want to see that you’ve pushed yourself to take the hardest classes available at your high school.
We’ll help you identify what courses those are for your academic narrative and make sure you are positioned to succeed in them.
making highlights
Extracurricular accomplishments speak to college admissions officers in a way that grades and test scores can’t. But crafting the right extracurricular profile can be a delicate balancing act. You want to support your narrative by shining in leadership and character, without over-extending or appearing late to the game.
As a Junior, we work to identify areas of strength and weakness in your extracurricular profile. Then, together, we set a path for enhancing the impressive while correcting the negative. So when it comes to applying to colleges as a Senior, you have given yourself many ways to shine and contribute to your overall narrative.
college application process
write a great personal statement
standardized tests
Knowing the score
A test-optional movement may be coming, but until the most highly selective schools do away with standardized testing it remains a critical component to the admissions process. We offer free SAT and ACT diagnostic tests that can put you on the road to improved test-taking skills.
And if you need to get hooked up with a private tutor we can recommend some excellent ones.
Quality endorsements
Junior year is the one for developing teacher relationships that lead to outstanding recommendations. We’ll help you identify what teachers are the best fit for your narrative and help you make sure that they further the story you’re trying to tell.
Strong recommendations that underscore favorable personality traits go a long way toward winning admissions officers’ attention. We’ll make sure you get this part of the puzzle right.
college advisors
summer days
There is nothing like the summer between junior and senior years to prove the narrative you will be telling as a Senior. Whether you’re looking for a formal internship, a summer study program or a part-time job, we can make sure that the choices you make are more meaningful than random.
Thinking about how you want to round out your story is what drives these decisions and the sooner you start, the better options you’ll have.
college list
better input, better outcomes
If you want to wind up with quality options at the end of your college application process, you have to start by choosing quality options at the beginning. And the earlier you start, the most you can make of your college visits.
Choosing colleges that are likely going to be receptive to your narrative is part science, part art. A college list should reflect a student’s academic aspirations, but also their sense of place - and the family’s financial aid strategy. What schools have the best programs in your area of study? Which schools are the most generous with merit aid? What is your Plan B if Plan A doesn’t happen?
It helps to identify the right questions before you start looking for answers. We help build lists that encompass all of the answers, so you’ve got great choices when acceptances roll in.
personal statement
650 words about you
When the summer after junior year beings, the most significant piece of the college application process remaining in your control is your personal statement.  
If your entire application is a narrative, your personal statement is your opportunity to articulate that story as clearly as possible. You can’t write an essay in a first draft. It might take a dozen tries. We’ll work with you to make sure that version you finally land on presents you to colleges in the brightest light possible.
We’ll help you brainstorm topics until we find the one that highlights what is unique and impressive about you. Then we’ll contribute strategies and ideas to polish the truly endearing elements of your character. We’ll steer you clear of the cliched topics, puffery and mundane recitations of your extracurriculars and other miscues that glaze over the eyes of admissions officers.
Make no mistake, the work will be all yours - we simply ensure the drafting and revision process leads to an exemplary essay and not writing for mediocrity.
supplemental essays
Supplemental secrets to success
Highly selective colleges consider their unique supplemental essays as a chance to get a closer look at who their applicants are. You should consider them a chance to emphasize character traits you’ve developed that admissions offices will have a hard time turning down.
We’ve seen all the topic prompts you’ll face, and we can help you respond with writing that speaks directly to what individual schools want to hear.  
application review
Professional eyes on every detail
As a team, we’re always keeping an eye on the big picture of your narrative - but we’ll also dive into the details with you. Your advisor reviews each of your applications line by line before it’s sent anywhere.
We’re looking to ensure that all the details support the overall picture you’re painting. We’re also helping you with the tedious job of double checking to eliminate any typos, omissions or other simple errors that colleges never want to see.
early decision
Strategizing Early Apps
The complexity around Early Decision vs. Early Action vs. Restricted Early Action vs. Early Decision II can be baffling. But there are strategic ways to balance academic goals against financial aid goals and make the most of advantages that come from applying early.  
We’ve helped kids apply to thousands of schools. We know where Early Decision applications carry more weight.  We can help you put a strategy in place to gain an edge at your dream schools - but also lock in admissions at other schools that aren’t restricted by your Early Decision choice.
interview preparation
Practiced answers
Today, many highly selective colleges suggest applicants participate in one on one interviews with admissions officers or alumni. These may occur before or after the application is submitted. We help students prepare with mock interviews, posing questions we know colleges are likely to ask.
We also coach students on ways to come across as likable, engaged and authentic to adults - characteristics they may not have been prioritizing during their teen years. Our expert coaching can make a significant difference in the way a student is perceived in person.
get accepted into college
gain university admission
You’re in - but you’re not done
When acceptance offers start rolling in during early spring, we help students to understand their options, weigh the unique factors in their decision and make choices.
Financial aid may play a role, as can other situations that arise - like mid-year start dates, or invitations to join an honors college.
financial aid
Checks and balances
Deciphering financial aid awards is more difficult than it should be, as colleges rarely present offers in an apples-to-apples way.
We help you understand the details and true cost of each offer, as well as how to maximize their financial benefit. Where appropriate, we help prepare families to negotiate with colleges for even better financial aid offers, or appeal an offer based on new information.
college financial aid resources
get into college
The waiting game
If a wait list decision comes into play, we help you best position yourself for consideration in getting off that list. When needed, we’ll work with you to develop if/then plans with specific milestones for making a decision.
Take it from us - there is so much extra value derived by starting as a Junior. Let us help you take advantage of it all.
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