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Parents, when it comes to hiring someone to guide your student through the college application process, the last thing you want is a generic, “one size fits all” approach. Your student is unique. The guidance for him or her should be, too!


With that in mind, Uncommon Application Services has flexible services to meet your student’s particular needs. A free consultation will determine your special action plan. This plan may call for comprehensive application advising, or for a more directed approach, such as a college search report, essay advising/editing, or interview preparation.


Examples of Action Plans and what they include:


Comprehensive Application Advising


  • an initial free consultation, where we determine the needs and desires of the student and parents

  • full explanation of college admissions procedures and ongoing discussions adressing specific aspects of the college application

  • evaluation of student’s academic profile, including transcripts and test scores

  • review of extracurricular activities and suggestions to enhance resume, if time allows

  • assistance with producing a resume

  • comprehensive assessments to determine college search criteria such as school size, major, personal interests, geographical criteria, and financial considerations

  • logistical planning/timeline for deadlines and keeping the student on track

  • compilation of tentative list of schools which meet the “right fit” criteria of academic, social, and financial fit

  • narrowing the list and achieving a balance of designations; Statistical Reach, Possible, & Probable/Solid

  • making the most out of college visits

  • interview guidance/mock interviews, if needed

  • creating strategy with regard to Early Decision/Action, Reg Decision, & Rolling Decision

  • discussion of essay topics, brainstorming, and writing procedures and tips

  • review and editing of essays (inclusive of other reviewers)

  • developing the “individual thread” that makes the college application unique to the student

  • general assistance with filling out applications

  • ensuring all materials are in order before applications are submitted

  • explanation of financial aid; FAFSA, CSS Profile, SAR, EFC, grants vs loans, and the financial aid award letter

  • for non-US citizens, explanation of student visa process/requirements

  • review of acceptance/wait list options and assistance, if needed, of final enrollment decision


The College Search


  • Initial consultation to discuss the needs and expectations of the family

  • Comprehensive assessments for student and parents to determine full spectrum of search criteria

  • Evaluation of the student's academic record including coursework, grades, and test scores

  • Discussion regarding financial considerations in the college search process and student's elligibility for need-based aid and merit aid

  • Compiling a report of the initial list of colleges/universities for consideration and explanation of how to research further

Essay Advising


  • Discussion with student regarding the essay writing process

  • Journaling, when time permits

  • Brainstorming essay topics

  • Create a timeline for drafts and edits

  • Finding the right tone of the essay to suit student's personality and essay topic​

  • Helping the student find their voice and telling their story

  • Teaching the student how to edit down the word count


Mentoring Early High School Students


Uncommon Application Services is an exceptional source for guiding younger students on their journey of self-reflection and discovery.  Early college planning for students in grades 8, 9, & 10 is very important. Thinking about your future before starting the college search is advantageous in writing a successful college application. When mentoring younger students, a productive relationship is created during which time we set goals and develop a plan based on the student’s strengths and interests. This plan includes coursework, extracurricular activities, community service, internships, and summer work.  This gives the student time and opportunity to be impactful and take on leadership roles that build character and experience.  When it comes time to write the college application, the student is well situated to present him/herself as ambitious, high performing, and leading a purposeful life—someone who stands out from the pack!


College Application Seminars


Sometimes, all a family needs is a “jump start” from which they can work through the process themselves. I offer a college application overview for individual families and small groups.  I go through each step of the college application process, covering the following categories:


  • College Search/Finding the right fit: academically, socially, and financially

  • Understanding selectivity

  • Reviewing application decision plans (ED/EA/RD/Rolling)

  • How colleges evaluate applications-Quantitative vs Holistic  

  • Creating a balanced list of schools

  • Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • Understanding how colleges evaluate the 5Ps on the application

  • Program & Performance- the student’s academic profile

  • Potential-SAT/ACT and other testing

  • Personality & Presentation- essays, interviews, activities, teacher recs

  • The academic profile

  • SAT/SAT Subj tests/ACT/Test Optional Schools

  • Organizational tools

  • College Visits

  • The Common Application

  • Resume building


My Process Includes:


  • When my students live in a different state or country, regular meetings are on Skype or Face Time, with emails and phone calls rounding out the communication.  Essays are edited through email, Google docs, and Skype work sessions. This process is an effective way to work around time zone differences.


  • Creating a timeline to keep the student on track and ahead of deadlines. It is the student’s responsibility to stay on this timeline.


  • Utilizing a state-of-the-art internet platform to support the working relationship, from which students and I can organize and strategize the college application.

  • I utilize an affordable fee structure that is either a flat fee or an hourly rate, based on the nature of the service.  Comprehensive Application Advising, College Search Report, and the College Application Seminar will have a flat rate, and more targeted services, such as Essay Editing and Interview Preparation, will be charged at an hourly rate. 

Need more details? Contact me!

I am here to assist. Contact me by phone or email anytime.


Students, it’s not always about YOU! Institutional priorities are the strategic needs of a school as it considers who to admit. One year, a school may seek trumpet players, female math majors, or students from a particular state or country.  These are factors you cannot control.

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