On the east and west coasts, many college-bound families hire a professional college planner for college search help. In fact, the question isn’t really, “Are you working with someone?” It’s “Who are you working with?” In recent years, more Madison-area families are enlisting the help of a professional college planner to guide their college search process. Read on to learn why, what the benefits of college search help are, and to decide if professional College Search help is right for you and your family.

Why People Hire Us for College Search Help

Bottom line? I have a job and a mission in life because navigating the transition from high school to college is complex and expensive. Most people want it to be more affordable and simpler. I help with both.

I thrive on helping students and families go from overwhelmed, fearful and frazzled, to being in total command of the college process, able to make confident, well-researched, well-planned college decisions. I thrive on helping families find hidden gems and high-value colleges that reward students financially for their achievements, and are the ideal college “soulmate” for their unique set of wants and needs.

College is an investment of six figures and four (or more) years of your life. When was the last time you made a six-figure, multi-year decision without professional guidance?

I know some will disagree. That’s okay. How many times have you heard a fellow parent or grandparent harrumph and say something like, “Back in my day, you just took the ACT once with no prep, got whatever score you got and went to the college closest to you. Nobody worried about ‘getting in’. There weren’t all these fancy schmancy professionals and prep and hullabaloo about going to college.”

I can’t argue with that. It matches my own experience as a college-bound student. But that was three decades ago. Times HAVE CHANGED. A well-planned, well-researched College Search process can dramatically improve your chances of finding that right-fit school that will reward you financially and experientially for your achievements. You’ll be making well-researched, well-informed decisions based on a clear understanding of what you Need/Want/Don’t Need/Don’t Want in the ideal college experience. You’ll be able to clearly identify your “University of You”: your college version of a “soulmate”.

When To Get Started With College Search Help

We work mostly with JUNIORS on College Search starting either in the fall or spring of junior year, as they’re getting serious about what they want to do and where they might like to go to college.

We’ve also seen students benefit greatly from going through our College Search process during SOPHOMORE year, when there’s still time to make choices about high-school courses and make a meaningful impact on academic performance. Sometimes finding a school you really like that has rigorous academic standards can be a powerful motivator. This was true in our own family, actually.

We also work with some SENIORS on College Search in the fall of senior year, especially if the impending pressure of college applications feels overwhelming and you need help getting clear on your main decision drivers. In this case, the same amount of College Search work needs to get done, but in a compressed time period.

The Main Benefits of Getting College Search Help

Here’s what we’ve heard from families who’ve enlisted our College Search help:

  • “It helped make things clear.” Students say our Discovery Process helped them gain clarity on who they are as a student and what they want/need/don’t want/don’t need in their “ideal college experience”.
  • “I understand myself better now.” What better time to go through a guided self-discovery process than when you’re about to head to college? Parents tell us that they’ve observed their student developing a better understanding of themselves in general, which is helpful not only for college decisions, but also becoming a clear-headed, independent adult.
  • “The process forced me to ask important questions I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.” After nearly a decade of working with students and families on college planning, we’ve learned some of the most critical questions to consider, and we include them in our Discovery Process.
  • “We learned about great schools we didn’t know existed.” There are thousands of schools all over the country. You can’t be expected to be an expert on all of them. That’s our job. We’ll uncover the golden nugget you didn’t even know was there to be found.
  • “College conversations at home have gotten way less tense.” That alone might be worth the price of admission. Introducing a neutral third party who doesn’t share your last name into the discussion, who also happens to do this for a living can decrease drama and tension at home.
  • “It busted some myths we had about the cost of college.” As we build your list, we talk about the cost of college and focus on merit aid opportunities that could make college more affordable.

Is College Search Help right for you?

If any of the above benefits sound appealing to you, chances are, you could benefit from enlisting professional guidance for College Search help. We’d love to talk more about how we could help. Schedule a free, one-hour consultation. This is where student and parents can sit down with us at our office and ask your most pressing questions and get real answers. We’ll share more about what we do and how we do it.