What We Do:
Our primary goal is to maximize each student's options while minimizing the stress that the admissions process imposes on the student and family. To do that, we:
- strategize with each student to develop and strengthen his/her academic and extracurricular profiles, building on existing talents, interests, and passions, and possibly encouraging appropriate new ones.
- explain, demystify, and provide a realistic perspective of the complex and often frustrating college admissions application process.
- become familiar with each student’s academic, extracurricular, and social needs, and then systematically guide him/her to research, visit, evaluate, and select a balanced group of colleges, each of which truly would be a “good fit”—considering academics, extracurricular activities, social life, specialized talents or interests, and any learning disabilities or other special needs.
- help each student to prepare integrated applications and essays with consistent themes that express his/her personal voice, highlight strengths, and maximize the likelihood of acceptance.
- teach and develop various lifetime skills, including advanced researching, organizing, planning, interviewing, essay writing, and communicating.
- maintain strict confidentiality.
How We Work:
Our approach is personalized, and realistic—based on each student’s particular capabilities and interests. We guide, advise, and teach you to "own the process." At the same time, we can't do it all for you. You need to take a major role in preparing your colleges list and applications materials based on your own preferences and your personal voice. In that way, the colleges on your list will be better fits for you and your applications will be stronger--all increasing the likelihood of success in the admissions process and also whether you'll be happy where you end up going to college.
We also advise parents regarding the ways in which they can provide helpful and appropriate support. In our objective, non-parental role, we can help the student stay on track, and we strive to lessen the stress within families that often occurs during this process. Each student receives individualized attention, and we pride ourselves on our confidentiality, responsiveness, professionalism, creativity, integrity, and attention to detail.
When to Begin the Process:
Ideally, the strategic planning process should begin before the ninth or tenth grade (but we're good at helping juniors and seniors, too). The earlier you begin, the more time and opportunity there will be to develop and implement a strategic plan for your high school academic curriculum and extracurricular activities, with a view toward strengthening your profile to put your “best foot forward” to college admissions officers. You will be able to get started earlier improving your study skills and getting any tutoring that you might need for academic subjects. You also will be able to research college choices at non-pressured times (such as during the summer after your sophomore year) to begin identifying schools to visit during the spring of junior year. (See Services.)
Nevertheless, if you are a rising junior or senior, don't worry; we still can provide effective help and would be glad to guide you through your application process. (See Services.)
An early start is particularly important for an elite athlete, a performing or visual artist, or a student with learning disabilities--all of whom have additional application issues that require extra time.
Dona Heller, J.D.
College Dimensions LLC