Common Questions about On My Way College Consulting
Why should I hire a college consultant? Isn’t there a counselor at my high school who helps with this?
Absolutely. In fact, your high school college counselor is one of the most important people on your team when you are applying to college (I know, because I was a high school counselor before I created On My Way). However, the average student-to-counselor ratio in US schools is 470:1. The average in California is 826:1. With these ratios, it’s hard to get individualized support when applying to college. When working with On My Way College Consulting, you will get the 1:1 attention you need to find the best colleges, write strong essays, maximize your financial aid and make the best decisions for your future.
Where do meetings take place?
Because the safety of our students and consultant is our first priority; all meetings during the time of COVID-19 are being held virtually. While we love meeting with our students face-to-face, we are also fortunate that college consulting translates very well to a virtual format! We typically use Zoom for virtual meetings, but can also meet via Skype, FaceTime or phone. Much of our work together will also take place through email and Google Docs.
How many meetings will we have?
The number of meetings will vary depending on the program you choose and your unique needs. We meet with 9th and 10th graders on an hourly basis only, and most students in these grades have 1 or 2 meetings a year.
Our flat-fee programs cover the Junior and Senior years. The Comprehensive Program has a limit of 20 meetings. Most students in the Comprehensive Program will have 3-5 meetings in their Junior year and 10-15 meetings in their Senior year. The DIY Program has 5 meetings, typically 2 meetings are held in Junior year, 1 in the summer, and 2 in Senior year. Both programs also include several group workshops.
What about phone and email support?
We provide unlimited phone and email support to parents and students who are enrolled in our programs.
Should parents or other adult family members join the meetings?
We encourage students to take the lead in applying to college, since college is a stepping stone to adult life. While it’s fine for adult family members to attend the first meeting, we expect Juniors and Seniors to meet with us on their own. This empowers them to have more agency and ownership of the college application process. We will keep families in the loop via email and reach out directly regarding any concerns. Families seeking help with the financial aid process may meet with the consultant separately to talk specifically about financial aid.
When is the best time to start the programs?
Our programs can be started any time after finishing 10th grade. We find that starting no later than mid-way through 11th grade results in a significantly less stressful application period. Because we take a limited number of students for each application cycle, we may not have space available for students who wish to start after the middle of their Junior year.
Because we believe high school should be the primary focus for younger students, we work with 9th and 10th graders on an hourly-basis only, and suggest scheduling one meeting per semester.
I want financial aid help, but don’t want my student to know the details of our family financial situation. Can we keep these details confidential?
Yes. If you prefer, details of family finances will not be discussed in front of the student. However, a teenager can benefit tremendously from understanding how their college education is financed, so we encourage parents to use this process as an opportunity to teach their student financial skills that will serve them in adulthood.
Do you offer financial planning services?
No. We are not Certified Financial Planners, and we don’t give advice on how to manage money nor how to pay for college. We are happy to provide referrals to parents seeking financial planning services. We do, however, help families understand what each college is likely to cost them, based on actual financial aid practices, and build their college list accordingly.
Do you work with students from all parts of the world?
Absolutely. College consulting meetings can take place via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or over the phone. Materials are shared by email, and we use Google Docs to share college lists and provide feedback on essays.