The Services

I have organized my practice to reduce the stress that students and their parents inevitably experience during the college application process.  My goal is to guide students through a series of steps that requires goal setting, appropriate research, and self-advocacy.  I do not do the work for them but direct their efforts.

Needs Assessment and Preparation
I begin by interviewing the student and parents together to discuss goals and expectations.  Next, I evaluate transcripts, test scores, extracurricular activities, as well as questionnaires filled out by the student.  Beyond the initial meeting, I typically meet with the student alone in order to establish a working relationship. I offer support with decisions regarding course selection, extracurricular and summer activities, test preparation and almost any other topic that might arise related to college.

Identifying and Researching Appropriate Options
During the next phase, I present a preliminary list of colleges for the student to research and evaluate.  I also provide a personalized binder that helps students structure the tasks that need to be accomplished.  I have found this to be of great use for students who have a hard time organizing.  Over time, we work together to refine the list of schools.  I explain campus visits and interview procedures and suggest additional schools based upon what the student has discovered from his/her research. 

Managing Applications
As we move towards submitting applications, an unlimited number of subsequent meetings can be scheduled with the student alone or with parents.  In these meetings, we continue to refine the list of schools, organize application procedures, review essays, and discuss financial aid, if appropriate.  I guide students through waitlist policies, acceptance offers and and financial aid packages.

There’s no question that applying to college requires a great deal of time and effort. However, I strongly believe it can and should be an exciting time of self-discovery as well.  Year after year, students are reminded that doing your best and being yourself can have wonderful rewards.

The fee for this comprehensive service is $6,500 for the classes of 2018-2020, and includes unlimited consultations through May 1 of senior year. Although no payment is required prior to the first meeting, a $4,000 retainer fee must be paid before subsequent sessions can be scheduled, with the $2,500 balance due on or before August 1 of the senior year.

Effective August 1, 2017, beginning with the class of 2021, the fee is $7,000, with payments of $4,000 and $3,000.

Please contact us regarding rates for transfer students.


"I could not have made it through these past years with out you...even when things got really rough, it was nice to know that I could turn to you for support, advice, and much needed encouragement."

- Carryn, Hamilton College class of 2011.


© 2007-2020 Paula Barksdale