We didn’t find much in the way of college assistance at my son’s high school (large, public) and since my son is aiming at several extremely selective colleges, we felt overwhelmed by the college admissions preparation and application processes. I found Colleen and her firm in a DC area parents discussion forum, where several parents mentioned Colleen and her professional services and insights into the college admissions process.— Maryland Mom
My son started working with Colleen in his junior year. Colleen took the time to understand my son’s background and his goals, and gave him the support and guidance he needed during the application process. What we like Colleen the most is her extensive knowledge and insight in how to make an applicant stand out. My son wrote 7 different versions of the Common Application essays but Colleen said no to each one of them because “I can’t see you in these essays.” Finally my son wrote on a topic that was not his top choice. When Colleen saw that essay, she said “This is it. Now I see the reason behind the course selections, extracurricular activities, and community services that you put in other parts of the application.”
With Colleen’s help, my son was accepted by 8 out of the 9 schools that he applied to. I would highly recommend the services of Colleen. In fact, my second child will be applying in 2 years and I have already reserved a spot in Colleen’s calendar.
I was referred to Colleen through a personal connection, and I could not be more pleased that I found her. She guided my daughter through the process with the utmost professionalism, and she knew the ins and outs of the process to the finest detail. I must give her credit for the fact that my daughter will be attending Stanford University this fall and had many other wonderful schools to choose from. I highly recommend Colleen to anyone trying to navigate the challenges of college admissions today.— A Very Grateful Parent
Colleen is a top-notch private college counselor who gave both of my daughters invaluable help with the overwhelming process of applying to college. My daughters would not currently be attending Duke and William & Mary without Colleen whose process helped them target the right schools and get their applications done. I originally hired her to help my oldest daughter brainstorm how to write her Common App essay as well as all of the shorter essays for specific schools. Colleen provided help in many other ways which I didn’t even realize my daughter needed. It was apparent in our first meeting that Colleen immediately knew which colleges would be a good fit for my daughter after looking over her grades, test scores, and activities. Colleen is the only college counselor who gave us the honest advice we needed about where my daughter would most likely gain acceptance.
This alone saved us thousands of dollars in visits to colleges and countless wasted hours on applications to schools which were not a good target for her. Colleen particularly helped my daughter think about how to integrate her interests and experiences into a Common App essay that flowed but most importantly gave my daughter the confidence to start writing it!
Colleen was absolutely correct about which colleges ultimately accepted both of my daughters. The school counselors did not give us any specific guidance, other than telling us, “She should apply to a range of colleges and will have several good choices.” One of my oldest daughter’s English teachers read her first attempt at her Common App essay and wrote two words: “Good job.” In comparison, Colleen had lots of specific feedback for my daughter and helped her through several revisions of all of her essays.
Most importantly, Colleen educated us about the need to apply Early Decision to my oldest daughter’s top choice as well as form a relationship with the reader through visits and e-mails. I have referred several families to Colleen who have all been delighted with her services. A family friend who is now attending Notre Dame told me that she had no idea how to start her essays until her first meeting with Colleen. There is just no substitute for professional college guidance services. I cannot emphasize enough how Colleen was correct in both her advice and predictions about specific colleges and helped our entire family reduce the stress of the college admissions process.”— Virginia Mom
We decided to hire Colleen when we realized that the college counseling department at our son’s school did not seem to take the college search as seriously as we would have liked. We were also worried about the attention to detail and the lack of individualized attention given to our son. In our opinion, it was as if his college list was being lumped together with other students who may have shared a similar GPA instead of taking into account his personal accomplishments and interests. The first time Colleen met with our son he immediately felt as if she had more interest and commitment to him and this process than he had experienced with his school’s college counseling department that had known him for years.
Our desired outcome in the college process was to get our son into the college that was best for him. This did not mean what was best for classmates with similar profiles. He had worked very hard for as long as we could remember and we wanted him to get into the school of his choice. Having said that, Colleen helped all of us to be realistic and managed this without being negative or demeaning. She utilized “ALL” of our son’s resume and not just the GPA and test scores. She really took the time to get to know him and all the positives that could enhance his college application. After visiting numerous schools that Colleen suggested, our son eventually decided to apply Early Decision to Wake Forest University. Colleen was instrumental in this decision, she was honest and extremely knowledgeable during this process, something we realized our son’s school’s college counseling department was not. She knew inside and out what Wake was going to expect from the essay questions to the personal interview. She coached our son on how to prepare for the interview at Wake, everything from questions they may ask, the books he should read to what to wear. Colleen had everything he would need for a complete and thorough application. Everything was turned in on time and more importantly accurate. She even prepared an athletic resume to attach.
I have recommended Colleen’s service to numerous families and what I can’t seem to convey enough is the expertise and personal attention Colleen added to our college application process. I always say that if we are lucky enough we will be able to use her for our younger two when they go through this process. She has been a resource that I can’t even put a price tag on. My son and his friends who were blessed with her help still talk about how they can’t imagine what they would have done without her. She not only helped them with picking schools but with all of the numerous essays, athletic resumes and preparing them for the interview process. What many parents don’t realize is that during that time in their child’s life they are unbelievably stressed. Many of them are receiving tutoring and outside help for the SAT/ACT, they are taking rigorous academics and tying to obtain the highest GPA possible for the colleges to see and they are under tremendous pressure to obtain the highest score possible on the SAT/ACT. Having the extra help Colleen provided for our son was something I will always remember as being one of the best decisions we could have ever made.
Our son was accepted early decision to Wake Forest University in September of his senior year. This was his first choice and he was incredibly happy. Currently he is a freshman and enjoying every minute of his experience. I look back at that stressful time during “the college search” and can’t ever put a price on the invaluable service Colleen provided our family.