A college coach, also known as a university admissions consultant, is someone who specializes in guiding and assisting students through the process of applying to a university. College coaching enables students and their families to approach the admissions process with a well-informed understanding of the various postsecondary options available to their children. The college coaching process aims to prepare each child for the different elements and stages of college application while taking both the parents and the child’s goals into account. Furthermore, college coaching allows you to work with individuals who are well-versed in colleges and universities that provide special assistance to students with disabilities.
College coaching may begin as early as 9th grade, but families can start the process at any point in the student’s high school career. Working with a college coach allows students to gain access to the coach’s first-hand knowledge and experience. Throughout the coaching process, the coach will identify key areas to focus on, depending on which college or university your child wishes to attend. Additionally, a college coach can help you explore the financial implications of your child’s college or university of choice. Aside from academics-related and extracurricular activities, a college coach can also guide you and your child towards applying for financial assistance and scholarships.
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One-on-one college coaching to students and families to guide them through the application process, including help with the following:
Which activities pique the student's interests and passions
Which options are available and the most appealing to the student
Who to ask, how to ask, and when to ask
Help to explore interests and options and secure internship positions.
What is the most productive way to spend the summer months?
Which programs, if needed, will help the student prepare for college.
Writing resumes, cover letters, and personal statements.
Preparation for college and job interviews.
Completing college applications, supplements, and essays.
Where to go, what to see, and which questions to ask.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory.
Essay help – A great college essay does not only need great page writing. It includes introspection and contemplation before something is written down. A powerful essay shows a deep sense of personality. Here comes a mentor: a university essay coach is a soundscape, a mirror for the process of thought. A coach makes candidates write essays that illustrate their achievements and minimize deficiencies.
Expert oversight – The best coaches guide students through all steps in the process, ensuring that none of the information misses. They make sure that the applicants are effectively addressed or postponed.
Improving weak areas – A coach may help students identify which fields they may concentrate on to get admissions. For example, he or she will encourage your child to join a student club and increase his or her GPA. But a child will not see the outcomes unless they attempt to follow the advice.
Extracurricular activities – When assessing an applicant’s extracurricular activities, universities are searching for candidates who excel in what they do and display unique characteristics. A college coach can help a student in this regard based on his or her skills and interests.
Interview preparations – A college coach will help your child ace his or her interview. Your child will also be guided through key aspects of the interview, including how to ask the right questions, doing pre-interview research, and even what to wear. A college coach will also assist the student in handling specific types of interviews, such as panel interviews and presentations.
Recommendation letter – A recommendation letter is a key component in one’s university or scholarship application. It provides admission officers important insight in a student and helps them look for candidates with impressive academic, social, and personal skills. A college coach can guide students in how and who to ask for a recommendation letter, as well as point your child towards extracurricular activities that can help strengthen their recommendation letters.
Campus tours – Visiting a college or university campus and attending campus tours is the perfect way to decide if a school is a good fit for your child, whether academically or athletically. If possible, it’s best to visit an institution multiple times and interact with students who are attending that college or university before making the final decision.
Summer plans – There is no single summer plan or extracurricular activities formula for every student because each has unique and varied interests and skills. With the help of a college coach, your child can use this time away from regular classes to explore their interests more thoroughly or start a hobby or activity they’ve never done before. An interesting description of how your child spent his or her summer may also add appeal in his or her application once it is reviewed by admissions officers.
Internships – The best internships open a pathway to college admissions and help to secure a career afterwards. A college coach can help you lay down the foundations for your future career while you are still in school. By ensuring you are well-prepared for the demands of job-hunting, landing the job you want after graduation becomes less of a daunting task.
While college admissions coaches may share some similarities with academic tutors, their role goes beyond helping students with their schoolwork. A good college coach acts as a mentor and editor and helps shape students into becoming confident and successful individuals inside and outside of school. Needless to say, college coaches offer invaluable support and guidance for students who wish to succeed in their college or university applications.
Adrienne has over 10 years of experience providing academic and social skills instruction to students with learning disabilities, Asperger's Syndrome, and other autistic spectrum disorders. She has an M.A. in Counseling from NYU and a B.A. in Psychology from Lafayette College. Adrienne has also completed the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions.
Adrienne was previously the guidance counselor at Loyola School and the Aaron School, a special education school in New York City. She currently works as the guidance counselor at Fordham Preparatory School with students in grades 9-12.
Adrienne recently wrote pieces for both the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Friends of Quinn.