"The college application process and the months leading up to it were some of the most nerve wracking times of our lives. At first we thought that since our son is a good and expressive writer and form filling doesn't need any special skills there was no reason why we couldn't tackle the job ourselves. Then we heard Elaine Seremetis deliver a series of talks at our son's school about the ABCs and beyond of this arduous process and she impressed us so much that though she no longer lived in the same country as us we contacted her.
Then began one of the best possible personal and professional relationships one can imagine, conducted over Skype. She was warm, informed, pro active, conscientious, empathetic and responsible. She went the extra mile in everything. Her feedback was clear and spot on, she studied hard so there were no ambiguities or mistakes and after a while we relaxed in a way we hadn't thought possible at the start of the process. It was like working with an extremely capable family member who had as much of a stake in our son's future as we did. We are happy with the college that he is in now and he is well settled and doing extremely well. She takes an interest in him even now, a year after, and has skyped with him at college.
In a world of impersonal services and detached professionalism we were very lucky and made the best possible choice. Thank you Elaine for being our counsellor, champion and friend. It would have been a rocky ride without you."
- SB, parent of IB student, Dubai, UAE
"Right from the beginning we saw you as a warm, involved, caring partner. The world is awash with service providers showing more talk than substance, and you showed us that 'old fashioned' professionalism is still around in pockets."
- AD, parent of IB student, Dubai, UAE
"Navigating the U.S. university application process and the multiple essay requirements is even more difficult for Americans living overseas. Elaine worked directly with my daughter to discover and develop unique essay ideas that built on her many years overseas as part of a diplomat family. As a result, our daughter is now attending a top university where she is happy and doing well. I truly believe that her essay is what made her stand out to the admissions officers."
- KA, parent of expat student in Mexico City
"Elaine was tremendous help in coming up with a comprehensive college list for our eldest son. As it was
our first time to go through the process as parents we were quite unsure as how to find the best fit schools
to consider for our son. Elaine researched the major he was interested in with our parameters in mind and
presented us with a list that became our main resource. She was very thorough and included a lot of
important information for each school that she recommended we look at. She is extremely knowledgeable
and fun to work with! We highly recommend Elaine for all of your college search/college application
- SM, parent of student, Dubai, UAE
"Elaine, my favorite thing about the experience of working with you was that you allowed me to come up with my own ideas, and at the same time helped me expand on my ideas and elaborate them in a way that conveyed my voice and opinions in an eloquent and educated manner."
- PA, expat student from Mexico City
"As a different learner (dyslexic with an IEP), my daughter would need customized services and it made no sense for me to invest in an approach that would make her part of a “herd” of clients.
Hiring an outside consultant was one of the best decisions I have ever made. On a superficial level, it saved me from the daily battles with my daughter to keep her on track with her applications. More importantly, using Uncommon Application Services forced my daughter to examine her interests and engage in her future in a way that a parent of a teenager cannot. Although “parent hand-holding” was not on the list of services, Elaine provided that for me and I am certain for many other parents! Uncommon Application Services was involved from the very beginning. Every detail of selecting an appropriate list of reach, target and safety schools, navigating Naviance, mapping out college visits, speaking with admissions officers and preparing for college interviews was covered.
Uncommon Application Services tailored their services specifically to my daughter. For my daughter, the hardest part was writing the college essays. As a dyslexic, writing was a daily struggle. Elaine painstakingly worked with her to help her get her thoughts on paper in a fluid and meaningful way.
It was not easy and my daughter was not always receptive to the additional workload, but Elaine managed her without my intervention. She was given deadlines and required to regularly Skype and check in with Elaine to make sure she stayed on schedule for October deadlines.
After receiving 8 letters of admission, my daughter was thrilled to accept her first choice (which, incidentally, was a reach school).
Elaine’s services went way beyond what I ever expected. She took a stake in my daughter’s future and made sure she had the resources she needed to succeed. Elaine gets to know each of her student applicants on a personal level and requires them to timely and deliberately engage in the application process. The college application process bears no resemblance to what my generation went through. It is a process with hidden doors and pitfalls.
I feel fortunate to have chosen Elaine and Uncommon Application Services to guide our family through the process."
- JL, parent of student, NJ
"My daughter was a high school junior coming from a school with a strong guidance department, and we transferred her to a new private International Baccalaureate school in Dubai. Elaine not only redirected and saved our college search, but helped me set up a new guidance department for the school and start a class of international students on the road to college.
Elaine had organized a series of college application seminars and she helped numerous expat families make the sometimes treacherous journey through the process of applying from Greece (where she lived previously) and now the UAE. I was immediately impressed by Elaine’s wealth of knowledge as well as the professional and generous manner in which she shared it in her seminars and by the end of Elaine’s course, I felt empowered to help my daughter make the journey through the application process.
Elaine helped our family find a best fit, by looking beyond the East Coast borders we had set for ourselves. My daughter received a full scholarship from one of the ‘Colleges that Change Lives.’
The love she feels for her own sons shines through as Elaine expresses caring and personal interest in each child she guides through one of the most important decisions of their lives.
I have worked with many teachers and administrators, and Elaine is among the brightest and most professional I have observed."
- SS, guidance counselor and parent of IB student, Dubai, UAE
DID YOU KNOW?
Recently, there have been profound changes in several areas of the college application process. These changes will have implications as students make decisions about what test to take, when to apply, and financial aid, to name just a few. Uncommon Application Services guides families through these shifts in the process to ensure their student keeps a firm footing.