FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What sets you apart from other college advisors?
A: Unlike some independent college advisors, I’m a credentialed, experienced education professional. After graduating from Swarthmore College and UC Berkeley, I received my teaching certification with a focus on teaching writing from UCB, have taught English to teenagers for over 15 years and have advised students on college admission since 2012. I’m affiliated with several college admissions, counseling, and financial aid organizations and subscribe to a wide variety of educational organizations. I host webinars with admission directors and have contacts with admission offices of schools throughout the West Coast. My newsletter has over 900 subscribers and is growing.
Q: Where have your students been accepted?
New York University
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
University of Southern California
And many more - see the complete list at www.lpeducationadvising.com.
Q: How do we get started working with you?
A: meet with parents and students (together, if appropriate) for a no-obligation, 45-min session and then send a customized proposal with outlined fees and services.
Q: How do you begin the process of working with students and their families?
A: I meet with students individually to review their interests, academics, and extracurricular activities, and together, we create a robust and coherent profile. This guides us to identify appropriate schools, majors, and personal essay topics - that together, make up a powerful and competitive application. I send the student and parents Meeting Notes which include what we accomplished and next session To-Do Assignments. If a parent has questions or would like to talk/meet, that is welcomed.
Q: Are you in charge of meeting deadlines?
A: am in charge of ensuring that my students’ deadlines, tasks, and assignments get done. My teaching experience (12 + years) with teens informs my relationship with them, and my approach is positive and success-oriented. Giving students doable tasks works well, and it raises their confidence, which is important during such this high-stakes process.
Q: What are your proposed payment plans?
A: I offer hourly, multi-package, and small-group rates, all which are outlined in the proposal.
Q: How much flexibility is there to customize your program?
A: Each student is unique; I fully customize the admission process to help each individual student create an exceptionally strong application in a timely, stress-free manner. It is my goal to support each student where they are in the process, both emotionally and academically.
Q: I want my teen to submit four exceptional UC essays. How long does this take?
A: It depends on the student’s abilities, work ethic, amount of free time, etc. Some students are able to complete 4 excellent UC essays in ten hours.
Q: You offer different plans - a complete package and 10-hr and 20-hr packages, among others. For the 10-hour or 20-hr package, on average, how many hours roughly are allocated to meetings vs. email communications/reading essays, drafts/research?
A: Most of my time is spent directly interacting with students and working with them on the essays. Because of my experience, the research portion - unless there is an unusual situation - does not require tremendous time. The typical research that I would do outside of a meeting would be to put together a customized initial college list of 20-25 schools. This normally takes no more than a few hours
Drafting essays takes time and a lot depends on the number of applications students will submit, though most apply to 9-12 schools. Typically, the more selective the university or college, the more "barriers" to the application: higher number of essays and more complex essay prompts. The UC's, for instance, require four essays; Harvey Mudd asks students to write a 500-word essay and another 100-word essay in addition to the Common App essay. Some colleges have their own application: MIT, University of Washington, Georgetown University, and the University of Texas are some.
Q: What if the essays are not personalized enough?
A: We use a variety of techniques to allow students to respond freely and authentically to the essay prompts. We have developed successful methods that free the student from writer’s block and procrastination.
Q: Do you meet with parents together with students?
A: Parents who have questions about the college application process and who may have ideas which differ from those of their students are welcome to meet at any time to get a better understanding of admission issues. I am committed to helping parents understand current college expectations as well as working together with them to best support their teen.
Q: What if my student would like to apply for the Early Decision or Early Action deadlines?
A: Not a problem. I work with many students, particularly over the summer, to submit competitive applications by the November 1 Early Decision/Early Action deadline.
Q: Do you work with student-athletes?
A: Yes, many of my students are athletes who are in the process of the being recruited by college athletic programs. As a student-athlete myself, I understand the pressures and competitive nature of this process as well as the challenges of writing about athletics.
Q: What is your student acceptance rate?
A: 90% of my students are accepted to their top-choice school.
Q: How many seniors do you work with at a time?
A: I limit the number of seniors I work with to no more than 10-15.
Q: How long have you worked in education?
A: For more than 15 years.
Q: How long have you been a college advisor?
A: Since 2012.
Q: What responsibilities do students have in this process?
A: It’s a partnership! I work with students together to create a doable and stress-free timeline, and I expect students to complete straightforward to-do tasks in a reasonable manner and as best as they can between meetings - to stay on track and use the time productively. If a student is unable to stay on task, we try to identify the problem and find a supportive resolution.
Q: Do you offer scholarship searches for students?
A: Yes, I subscribe to several scholarship sites, and I regularly publish scholarship opportunities in my monthly newsletter.
Q: Do you offer guidance on financial aid?
A: Yes, I offer guidance on deadlines and application details for the FASFA and CSS Profile.
Q: If the program is not a good match, what happens?
A: Not a problem! I have worked with hundreds of students, both as a teacher and as a college counselor, so I'm confident that I can work with most any student. :-) However, in the event that a student would like to discontinue, the services that he/she has received would be charged depending on the plan.
Q: You are a writing teacher; is tutoring in English included in the package?
A: No, but it can be included for an additional fee. Alternatively, it can be requested on an hourly basis.
Still have questions? Set up a free information session today by calling (650) 766-0969 or by emailing