FAQ

Why do families choose to work with an independent educational consultant?

For both students and their parents, an independent educational consultant can provide valuable assistance and information that can improve the likelihood of a successful outcome – acceptance to a college that best matches a student’s academic and personal needs. The private counselor is up-to-date on the latest developments and changes in the admissions process, and has specialized knowledge of a broad range of college options. As an independent professional, the counselor can facilitate an objective process, helping guide family discussions and compare alternative choices. Families value the personal approach of in-depth consultations that focus on the student’s strengths, talents and interests, creating a positive atmosphere in which students feel confident and motivated to pursue their educational goals. Finally, families enjoy the reduced stress of having an outside expert keep students organized and on track with the application and interview deadlines so that the process is manageable and even enjoyable!

Why choose Collegiate Gateway? Read our Top Ten List!

  1. History of admissions success
  2. Full range of educational and career services
  3. Positive, organized, stress-free approach
  4. Accessibility
  5. Significant experience
  6. Ongoing professional development
  7. Leadership in the field
  8. Sophisticated use of technology
  9. Personalized counseling to support YOUR goals
  10. Highest standards of ethics and good practice

How early should students begin working with an independent college counselor?

The ideal time to begin working with an independent counselor is in freshman or sophomore year so that the counselor can help guide the student’s choices of high school courses and activities to best match the student’s interests and potential.  This approach of personalized planning can provide the most rewarding high school years and increase educational options in college. For juniors and seniors, we focus on the college admissions and application process, beginning with the selection of appropriate colleges to consider. In senior year, the emphasis is on presenting yourself as strongly and genuinely as possible on each of your college applications.

Why is a private college consultant useful in addition to the school guidance counselor?

A school guidance counselor serves a unique role as the liaison between the secondary school and the college, and establishes the high school context in which students function.  Unfortunately, most school counselors now have an average caseload of about 500 students, and have limited time and many other responsibilities.   A private college counselor complements the role of a school counselor, by becoming thoroughly familiar with each student and his or her needs. An IEC can provide focused, dedicated attention to every aspect of the college process, and keeps on top of changing complexities of college admissions.  In addition, our accessibility after school, evenings and weekends, by phone, email or in-person consultations, helps students meet deadlines throughout the application process.

How do you decide which colleges to recommend? Are college rankings helpful?

College rankings can be useful in providing comparative statistical data on schools. However, the rankings are based on a multitude of factors that have little bearing on whether a particular student will have a happy, productive and successful experience at a specific college or university.  Rankings do not take into account factors such as size, atmosphere and location, and rarely address issues of student engagement and learning.  The “best” schools for an individual student are those colleges and universities that offer the greatest fit in terms of the student’s strengths, preferences, personality, interests, needs and goals. Determining this fit is a complex process that requires a full understanding of the student as well as a professional knowledge of the college environment.

What role does Collegiate Gateway play in the writing of college essays? Is there a chance that students will appear “packaged”?

Our goal is to help students express their unique voice and perspective, and not to fit into any prescribed “mold”.  We do not write essays for students.  We brainstorm potential topics for essays, based on our comprehensive understanding of a student’s background, strengths and interests.  We review drafts of essays and offer detailed suggestions for improvement.  We also review all other supplementary material submitted with applications, including resumes of honors, extracurricular activities, community service and employment, to ensure that students are presenting their background as effectively as possible.  The objective is to assist students in identifying and expressing their distinctive strengths, characteristics, perspectives and life experiences, so that their personality shines through all their writing.

 

How important are college interviews? Do you provide mock interview practice?

Although a few colleges no longer provide interviews, most colleges still offer the opportunity for on-campus and/or alumni interviews. As the college admissions process has become more selective, every factor plays a role in the final decision.  We have extensive experience in conducting college alumni interviews, and understand the factors that contribute to favorable outcomes.  We conduct mock interviews with our students in a professional setting that replicates college admissions interviews, and provide valuable feedback on how students can improve the genuine presentation of their background and strengths.

What kinds of college consulting packages does Collegiate Gateway offer?

Collegiate Gateway offers a variety of packages depending on each student’s grade and college admissions needs.  We offer College Consulting packages that cover the full range of college admissions activities, from the preliminary stage of evaluating a student’s background and selecting appropriate colleges, through preparing college applications to the final stage of evaluating options.  In addition, Research Consulting packages are available for students involved in math, science or social science research culminating in national science competitions.  A complimentary half-hour consultation can help students and parents explore which consulting services are most appropriate.

 

Is it possible to work on an hourly basis instead of a package?

If a student needs help with one or two selected aspects of the college admissions process, consulting on an hourly basis is available.  There is a 4-hour minimum for hourly consulting, which includes a 2-hour initial consultation session with the student and parent(s) in order to thoroughly assess a student’s background, strengths, interests, needs and goals.