When a family and I decide to work together, we start with a free 20-minute consultation call (or series of emails, depending on your preference) to discuss what the student needs to be successful. Some of this I'll learn from your initial request form, and some may come out in conversation! We'll select or create a package that fits you, and I'll send a detailed quote and possible list of expectations of the student, the family, and myself.
Getting you on my list doesn't mean we have to start immediately, but I do recommend we connect as soon as possible, in case we decide that a longer-timeline plan is best for your situation. Because less time creates more pressure, I raise rates and accept fewer clients after October 15.
How I work
Unlike other private college counselors, I keep my focus on the essay portion of the application. Most often, my process with students will be a combination of meetings and written feedback. I know students have busy schedules, and I keep my own availability extremely flexible so we can schedule at your convenience (though you should anticipate less availability as we near application deadlines). When possible, I like to use Zoom and a shared Google doc so we can review the essay together on the page. That said, I want to meet you where you’re at, and understand Zoom burn-out and phone anxiety. If a student would do best communicating only via email—or even texting!—there are ways we can do that. I am currently unable to meet in person.
Meetings may include writing time, or may be entirely strategic and discussion-based—it all depends on you! Ultimately, my aim is to guide students to turn their stories into authentic and polished essays and statements. The ways I can best help each student achieve this will be different. My role is to add structure to a somewhat nebulous process and work with their personal talents and goals to coach them to the strongest writing possible. I hope to introduce skills they can apply in their classes along the way.
I do not write or directly edit any part of a student's essay. I subscribe to the Independent Educational Consultant Association's Principles of Good Practice and have no relationships with schools or programs that could create a conflict of interest.
Who I work with
Writing is not one-size-fits-all, and I am thrilled to work with any student who is excited about college, no matter what their current relationship with essay-writing is! I've worked with experienced novelists and journalists, and with students who have never written anything besides a research paper (and who dreaded that entire process).
Depending on what we are working on, students may be asked to fill out pre-brainstorming forms, make outlines, etc. We will always decide together on goals and deadlines that are realistic for them. I have first-hand experience with ADHD and anxiety, and understand that not all students approach self-motivation and time-management the same way. As long as a student wants to do their best, I'm happy to tailor our relationship to their personal style.
While I currently am able to accept students from anywhere, I am especially excited about doing essay coaching for students in my state, North Carolina. I am committed to increasing equity in the college application process, and invite you to include anything you think I should know about your unique situation on the information form.
Additionally, I will offer a number of free coaching sessions to those from marginalized and disadvantaged backgrounds, and invite any eligible student to apply for a coaching scholarship through September 15.
Rescheduling and cancellations
When we decide to work together, we'll agree on the expectations of the student, the family, and myself. This will include a non-refundable deposit.
Life happens. If a scheduled meeting needs to be rescheduled, I simply ask for 24 hours notice. Should rescheduling and cancelations happen closer to the meeting, students may be rescheduled or we may decide not to continue our work together, depending on availability.
Essay coaching work requires some amount of drive on the part of the student. I will do all in my power to hold students accountable and motivate them to achieve their goals, but coming to a meeting unprepared will limit what we can do together.
There are, of course, no guarantees in this. Admissions is a highly subjective process. I hope you'll keep me informed of your successes! Because I believe in our work together and am committed to giving you the best chance possible, I will help any wait-listed students who worked with me on a related essay to draft letters of continued interest free of charge.