College Expert provides professional, personalized pre-college planning services for middle school and high school students beginning as early as 8th grade. By working together throughout the high school years, we can develop an in-depth knowledge of the student, build on his or her strengths, and recommend strategies to overcome weaknesses. Then when the time comes to begin the college selection and application process, the student will be ready to embark on this journey fully prepared.
We are often asked when students and parents should begin working with us. The answer is, the earlier the better. While we accept students in 10th, 11th, and even 12th grade, the ideal time to begin is in 8th or 9th grade. That way, we can take more time to get to know the student and recommend colleges that would truly be the best fit for him or her. We can also help the student navigate each of his or her high school years to build the best possible college application. Students who are successful in all aspects of high school – courses, grades, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, leadership, volunteerism, and community involvement – present the strongest college applications. In fact, we feel so strongly about our pre-college planning services for younger students that there is little difference in our fee structure between a 2- and 5-year plan.
When we work with students in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade, we like to meet quarterly with both the student and parent(s). Here are some of the services we provide during these meetings:
- Comprehensive assessment and review of the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
- Recommendations for high school course selection in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.
- Development of a four-year plan to maximize high school opportunities.
- Self-esteem building tools to help the student better understand his or her unique set of strengths, overcome weaknesses, and begin to explore his or her interests.
- Opportunities to take practice PSAT, ACT, and SAT tests.
- Guidance for pursuing educational enrichment options, tutorial services, summer programs, or gifted and talented programs.
- Ideas and suggestions for involvement in extracurricular, community, faith-based, or volunteer activities.
- Strategies for prioritizing activities and pursuing leadership opportunities to build both depth and duration.
Tools and Assessments
We will make use of a number of tools and assessments (which may vary according to each student’s needs), but may include:
- Four-Year College Planning Calendar
- Dare to Dream and/or Roadblocks to Your Dreams
- Strong Interest Explorer
- Study Skills and Learning Styles Quizzes
- Myers-Briggs Interest Inventory
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens
- Multiple Intelligences and Assessment for Right/Left Brain Dominance
- Timeline of Your Life
- Self-Survey for the College Bound (for gifted students)
- Coping with Stress
- Practice PSAT, ACT, or SAT Tests