How are you different than other similar services?

There are only a few college planning services in Bloomington, and I believe that I offer very important advantages:

  • Content lessons/review with a special focus on techniques/strategies to apply knowledge to SAT/ACT questions
    • Covering topics in math, grammar/punctuation/usage, reading comprehension
    • If students don’t know the content, no amount of “strategy” or practice will raise their scores!
  • Superior qualifications
    • Educational achievement
    • Lifelong passion and involvement
    • Ongoing research and continuing education
  • Personalized attention
    • Individual focus
    • Small-group sessions (maximum 5 students)
  • Parental involvement
    • Parents will be kept fully “in the loop” with periodic conferences, email updates, and phone time.
  • Unwavering belief in and commitment to education of young people as a way to maximize their potential.

What results can be expected?

If your student is engaged and actively participates in the process:

  • Guidance through a complex and possibly intimidating process fraught with pitfalls (missed deadlines, lack of preparation), stress, and mis-information.
  • An independent third party to encourage your student to pay attention to and actively engage in this process, giving you as parents the freedom to focus on providing emotional support.
  • Higher SAT/ACT score than if your student were not in a regular study program — this increases the probability of both admission and scholarships from colleges.
  • Thorough and informed college search
  • Improved application package — this is the complete package presented to each college, including paper components (application, essay, scores), and the less tangible (choices made about coursework, activities). A better presentation increases probability of both admission to and scholarships from colleges.
  • Good overall match between student and the college he/she ultimately attends — your student will have a greater chance for an enjoyable, productive, and successful college experience!

The cost is quite significant. Are there any discounts?

I will spend a lot of time with your student, first in weekly 2-hour classes for almost a year, and then in personal consultations about college planning, applications, and essays. When you actually calculate the cost per hour, it’s very reasonable!

What type of financial advising/financial aid planning is included?

My service helps parents and students maximize financial aid and scholarships through targeted school selection and higher test scores. I also provide detailed information on what types of financial aid and scholarships are available, how the process works, and forms to complete/ deadlines. I will give students the information they need to research, identify, and apply for scholarships they may qualify for. However, strategic planning to try to maximize financial aid for a specific family’s financial situation is very complex (like estate planning) and beyond my scope. I can recommend a qualified financial planner with this expertise.

Do you work with less motivated students?

I believe in maximizing the potential of all students. Some students may be resistant to structured tutoring or even to the whole concept of college/future planning, but I will try to get through to them. I know that this process can be fraught with conflict (parent-child) and emotion and resistance. I think I have the even-handedness and parenting skills to handle that part of it. Often an impartial third party is better able to motivate than a parent at this stage. That’s one of the intangible benefits of using my service. For students who have struggled, my service can improve their records and test scores so that they can try to qualify for admission to IU or Purdue, both of which have become more selective in who they admit. Alternately, I will help the student/family identify other appropriate colleges that will suit this particular student’s challenges.

Does the service include career identification?

Not specifically. My focus will be on college admission, and my target market is students who want to attend college first. I will help students think about majors based upon their interests and strengths, and guide them to appropriate colleges that offer those majors. So there will be precareer guidance, but not actual career advising. A large percentage of students change majors/career plans during college, so I think a career focus may be premature.

My student already knows that she/he wants to do. Will she/he get any benefit from this service?

Depending on the student, my service can still offer benefits to students who have formulated specific plans.

  • Although IU no longer requires SAT/ACT scores for general admission, they still require them for Direct Admit to some programs and scholarships; Purdue still requires test scores from all students. In particular, the IU Kelley School of Business and the Purdue School of Engineering both require SAT scores in the 1400 range (ACT 30) for Direct Admission. The IU Luddy School of Informatics requires 1310 range (ACT 28).
  • IU offers automatic scholarships based upon SAT/ACT scores and GPA, and Purdue offers scholarships for which a major selection factor is ACT/SAT score. Raising SAT/ACT scores can increase the likelihood of scholarships valued at up to $8,000/year (IU) and $10,000/year (Purdue). Both schools also offer very selective full scholarships.
  • Between now and Fall of senior year, your student may change his or her mind and decide to apply to other schools, which may require higher scores and grades. Depending on your financial situation and student qualifications, other colleges may be as affordable as IU & Purdue through a combination of financial aid and scholarships.
  • Going through the study process will improve your student’s general reading, writing, and math skills.