“Jack was very passionate in his endeavors of college planning demonstrating his expertise while being highly personable. He kept us both focused with suggested visitations, essay reviews, mock interviews, timelines, and provided a sense of doing what was best for us. I have recommended him to others and will continue to do so. He connected with my son and motivated him throughout the process. It was the best decision I could have made.”
What is the risk to you without proper guidance in the college process?
Other than purchasing your home, investing in your children’s college education will likely be the largest investment your family will make. Uninformed or misguided decisions can easily lead to tens of thousands of dollars of extra cost and often times an unsatisfactory college experience and no diploma. Poor college choice, misguided major declarations and lack of a sound financial aid strategy can also create costly barriers to your success.
Why is high school counseling not enough in most cases for college decisions?
The college preparation, search, application and financial aid process is extremely complex and anxiety ridden with numerous key decisions to be made at several stages beginning as early as a high school student’s freshman year. High School guidance counselors, with the best of intentions, cannot possibly provide the college admissions counseling required to make many of these critical decisions. National counselor to student ratios at public schools are approximately 300 to 1 and their duties are constantly being expanded resulting in college counseling becoming more of a minor aspect of their role. One estimate from the National Association for College Admission Counseling based on the results of a national study indicated that public school guidance counselors can provide about 38 minutes of college counseling per student per year and there is no parental support included during this counseling to factor in family considerations such as financial issues. This is simply not sufficient given the magnitude of what is at stake for the student and the family. At Crossroads, we can function as a complementary resource to your child’s high school counselor, ensuring the gaps are filled for a successful outcome.
How can Crossroads be the ideal solution for your college admissions counseling needs?
At Crossroads, we know the ins and outs, and even the little secrets of the college admissions process. We will assist you throughout the process with as much or as little guidance and coaching as you believe you and your child require. We can help students think through their own unique attributes and personality and link them to best fit schools, possible majors and just as important, potential satisfying careers that await them. We can help parents by being that objective 3rd party who can help provide your son or daughter the guidance, structure, encouragement and accountability to get tasks accomplished on time in order for them to be successful. We will also work with parents to formulate financial aid strategies, some of which are little known, beginning in the student’s sophomore year of high school in order to achieve the highest value college education for the lowest possible cost.
“Sarah is a genuinely thoughtful person who constantly looked out for my personal best interest no matter what topics we were talking through. When I did not know what path I wanted to take with college athletics, she took the time to ask me the right questions and connected me with college coaches to discuss my options. Sarah did everything in her power to keep me focused and motivated me to work towards reaching my full potential. Her communication skills made things engaging and easy to understand. Overall working with her was an inspiring experience for me and she is a great example for all students”.
Customized College Search—Based on your individual needs, preferences, interests, finances and academics, we will identify a list of “best fit” schools for you to explore. Conducting this extensive search at the start of the process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in lost tuition expense resulting from transferring to another school after the first one does not work out.
Career Coaching/Major Selection/Aptitude Assessments—With over 30 years experience providing career coaching to employees in private industry, Crossroads knows how to guide students through the career and aptitude thought process to arrive at a potential major or two that can be linked to a future career. Many times this can be accomplished through an exploratory interview with one of our career counselors but may also be aided by various aptitude assessment tests that we may recommend. Approximately 55% of entering freshman change majors at least once and about 22% enter college as “undecided”. Again, this can lead to significant additional expense and often results in needing more than four years to graduate.
SAT/ACT Testing Strategies—Although some colleges have become “test optional” in their admission requirements, standardized test results are still a major factor in the for not only admission to more selective schools but are also many times the basis, along with the student’s GPA, for thousands of dollars in merit scholarships. At Crossroads, we can help put a testing plan together that will enable students to achieve the best results possible on the SAT or ACT therefore enabling more college doors to open with potentially more financial aid.
Campus Visit Guidance Including Interview Preparation—There are two primary objectives to the college visit, you assessing them and them assessing you. Crossroads can help both students and parents make the visit to campus more effective. We will counsel you on what to look for and what questions to ask to determine if this will be a good fit college for the student. Also, we prepare students for their interview by creating for them a resume to bring with them and conducting mock interviews with immediate feedback until the student feels ready their interview. Crossroads can also provide counselors to accompany students on campus visits if parents are in need of that service.
Application and Scholarship Essay Review and Brainstorming—Admission essays can be the one opportunity a student has to reveal something about themselves that the academics and test scores can not say and often is the admissions tiebreaker for applicants with similar academic qualifications. At Crossroads, we do not write essays for students but we can help brainstorm for topics and make suggestions on format and grammar to have the student’s essay stand above the crowd. We can also provide this same service on essays required for private scholarships.
“Thank you so much for your help with Juli. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have your help and guidance.”
Extracurricular Review and Suggestions—Colleges want to see what you have accomplished outside the classroom as this often translates to what you will participate in at their school. If you contact us soon enough during a student’s high school years, we can review what the student is currently participating in and make recommendations regarding extracurricular and volunteer activities that will enhance how a prospective college will view them as a total person.
Financial Aid Strategies and Award Letter Reviews/Appeals—The reality of the college admissions process is that there is a significant amount of gamesmanship that takes place in regards to who gets what in terms of financial aid. Colleges want to be viewed as being more selective in their admissions and understanding how this works is essential to getting the most aid. In addition, many colleges determine need based aid from the results of the financial aid forms you are required to file (if you want to be considered) and there are tactics that can be deployed by parents to improve your chances of need based aid. The bottom line is that Crossroads will help you put together a financial aid strategy that will enable the student to be admitted to the best possible college at lowest net cost.
Specific Strategies for Student Athletes as well as Creative/Performing Artists—Athletes and artists can be especially attractive to colleges and the admissions process for them requires a slightly different approach in terms of applying, communicating with and potential scholarships. We can help you navigate this process to enable the student to be presented in the best way possible not only for admission to a best fit school but also for financial aid considerations.
Freshman and Sophomore High School Planning—Planning for college should actually start in Middle School not to add stress to an already fragile age but to plant the seeds of the importance of serious academics and the reality of income without a college education. This leads to necessary guidance early in the high school years where decisions and performance in terms of academics and extracurricular activities take on much more importance for the soon to made college decisions. Crossroads can provide guidance to parents and students as early as their freshman year to ensure decisions are made with an eye toward what lies ahead for college planning.