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 451:1. The average in California is 826:1. With these ratios, it’s hard to get the attention you need to be a truly successful college applicant. 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?
Your meeting location will depend on which consultant you work with, and where you live. Nicole sees students in central Berkeley for in-person meetings, usually at cafes which are walking distance from Downtown Berkeley and both Berkeley BART stations. Priscilla meets with students in-person at her home in San Francisco or at a mutually convenient location in San Francisco, Sonoma or Marin county.
We also meet with many students via Skype or phone. In fact, some of our distance clients meet with us exclusively online. Much of our work together will also take place through email and Google Docs.
How many meetings will we get?
The number of meetings will vary depending on the program you choose and your unique needs. The Comprehensive Program has a limit of 20 meetings, and the DIY Program has 6 meetings (including an essay workshop). On average, most students in the Comprehensive Program will have 3-4 meetings in their junior year and 10-12 meetings in their senior year.
What about phone and email support?
We provide unlimited phone and email support to parents and students who are enrolled in our programs.
Do you also meet with parents?
Yes. While we encourage students to take the lead in applying to college, parents are welcome to join the meetings and encouraged to be a partner in the process. We prefer that at least one parent attend the first meeting, and parents seeking help with the financial aid process should plan to attend at least one more meeting to talk specifically about financial aid.
When is the best time to start?
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 end of their junior year.
Because we believe high school should be the primarily focus for younger students, we work with 9th and 10th graders on an hourly-basis only.
I want financial aid help, but don’t want my son/daughter 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 student 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. 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 Skype or over the phone. Materials are shared by email, and we use Google Docs to share college lists and provide feedback on essays.