college counselor with students

Getting an Early Start on Top-Tier College Admissions

Seniors are in their last semester of high school, eagerly awaiting admissions decisions. Juniors are preparing for the final sprint, anticipating their admissions campaigns next fall and winter. This is also an appropriate time for the parents of students who are sophomores to consider the benefits of hiring IvySelect as their child’s college admissions consulting firm.

Hiring IvySelect early enables your student to be guided by our expertise throughout their high school careers. She or he will be positioned by us to take advantage of every opportunity to become a more attractive candidate for admission to an Ivy League or similarly elite institution when it’s their turn to apply.

 IvySelect considers the best approach to admissions counseling to be a one-to-one relationship between student and counselor. This method has proven successful for us because it enables us to strategize with each student in the context of his or her unique characteristics, interests, and goals. All students work directly with Michael Goran, our founder and president, or one of our other experienced and highly qualified consultants.

Although the majority of our students begin working with us during junior year or the summer following it, the valuable services that IvySelect can provide to underclassmen are well worth the investment. Keep in mind, however, that those students who begin with us as juniors and rising seniors also derive benefit from the services listed below to the extent that their period of engagement with us permits.

  1. Academic curriculum planning for your high school career.
  2. A plan for extracurricular activities that suits your talents and interests and will enhance your chances of admission to top-tier institutions.
  3. Application of a strategic planning methodology to help you stand out in both academics and extracurriculars.
  4. Advice on course selection within your high school curriculum as well as local college courses that can demonstrate your capacity for college work.
  5. Advice on selection of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams including when to take them and how to prepare for them.
  6. Recommendations regarding how to build a record of volunteerism, community service, and civic engagement — activities which appeal to the admissions committees of top-tier institutions.
  7. Assistance in recognition of your own passions, interests, and goals so that you may pursue them early in your high school career.
  8. A planned, step-by-step process toward public recognition of your accomplishments in your fields of interest.
  9. Exploration of beneficial types of internships and job opportunities for you.
  10. Guidance on setting goals for early visits to college campuses.
  11. Guidance in planning for activities in which to engage during the one or two summers that you’ll have before senior year begins.
  12. Details of admissions processes for colleges in general, noting any unique processes that are conducted by the colleges in which you are most interested.
  13. Expert guidance on the selection and scheduling of standardized tests — SAT, ACT, PSAT, and SAT Subject Tests, including recommendations for tutoring and test preparation.
  14. Monitoring of your academic and testing performance throughout your high school career to address weaknesses, enhance strengths, and track the progress of your pursuit of your interests.

As you continue to work with us in your junior and senior years, you can look forward to our highly regarded services, as noted below:

Development and Refinement of College List

Using a variety of information resources, the student investigates institutions of potential interest based an a range of factors, including preferences for geography, number of students, field of study, research and internships available, campus amenities, student culture, and more. With the assistance of your IvySelect admissions consultant, the total set of colleges that you find interesting will be reduced to a subset of the 12 or 13 schools to which you’ll apply. These target schools will be divided into “reaches”, “targets”, and “safeties” — three terms that indicate the likelihood of your admission.

Campus Visitation Preparation

There are two stages in your admissions campaigns when you’ll benefit from campus visits; first, when developing your list of colleges to target for applications, and, second, the brief time between your receipt of acceptance letters and the deadline for making your final choice. IvySelect will assure that you are armed with the right questions to assure that the visits serve your purposes. We’ll also prepare you for on-campus interviews that you have scheduled during your visits.

Essay Development

IvySelect is especially proficient in assisting students in developing themes for their essays that will match the high expectations of the admissions officers of top-tier institutions. We also provide editorial suggestions during your process of drafting the various essays, personal statements, and resumes that applicants are required to submit.

Life Theme Strategy

The components of a successful application to an elite institution need to  cohere to a common theme, one that ties together your record, letters of recommendation, interests, goals, and potential contributions to campus life. It’s difficult for you as a student to assure that the entire application conveys such a theme consistently while you’re preoccupied with the completion of the components themselves. We help you to integrate your theme or hook throughout your entire application.

IvySelect, as a college admissions consulting firm specializing in elite institutions, has assisted students in gaining admission to all eight Ivy League schools. In addition, we have been successful in guiding students to admission at elite national research universities such as MIT, Chicago, Stanford, Georgetown, Duke, NYU, Northwestern, Berkeley, Michigan, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, Washington University of St. Louis, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, and more. We have also assisted students in gaining admission to top-tier liberal arts colleges, among which are Amherst, Williams, Smith, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Wellesley, Vassar, Bowdoin, Hamilton, and Colgate.

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