Daniella provides her students with questionnaires and meets with them and their families to get to know their strengths, weaknesses, interests, talents, preferred majors, goals, personality, coursework, grades, standardized test scores, extracurricular and community service activities, work and internship experiences, and college preferences (e.g., academic rigor, available major, location, size, student life, sports, extracurricular activities, diversity, affordability, etc.). Daniella then researches and proposes a college list with a balance of reach, target, and safety schools that are a strong academic, social, personal, geographic, and financial fit for her students. Daniella’s spreadsheet of proposed colleges compares each college’s general information, location, campus, academics, student body, admission statistics, cost, ratings, and more. Daniella works with her students and their families to continue fine-tuning their college lists throughout the application process to maximize her students’ options on decision day.
Daniella meets with her students to explain the dos and don’ts of writing a compelling personal college essay. She then gives them a brainstorming worksheet to complete. Afterward, Daniella meets with her students to identify their most promising personal stories based on their passions, challenges, and unique life experiences. Daniella then works with her students on outlining their essays so that they have a solid structure to begin the writing process. The students then write the first draft on a Google Doc they share with Daniella. Daniella meets with her students and provides them with detailed feedback and collaborative live editing to hone their personal story, fine-tune organization, and correct word choice, sentence structure, and grammar. The process repeats until her students have written a solid draft. Then, Daniella sends the draft to the students’ parents for input from a fresh set of eyes. With this additional feedback, Daniella works with her students to polish their essays, including reviewing them with grammar software. The essays are not finished until they capture her student’s character, hold the reader’s interest, flow seamlessly from beginning to end, and demonstrate impeccable grammar.
Admission to selective private and state colleges has become extremely competitive and complex. School counselors are overburdened and simply do not have the time to give students the one-on-one personal attention they need to optimize their college admission opportunities. A private college counselor like Daniella provides cutting-edge insight into the college admissions process and gives individualized strategic advice to maximize the student’s offers of admission. At the same time, working with Daniella reduces the stress for students and their families during the rigorous college planning and admissions process.
College Together counsels students ranging from those at the top of their class to average students with unrevealed potential. In each case, College Together highlights each student’s strengths and achievements and helps them fill in the missing pieces needed to make their applications shine.
College Together’s students have been admitted to many public and private selective colleges, including Cornell University, Brown University, Duke University, New York University, Emory University, Boston University, University of Michigan, University of California – Los Angeles, University of Florida, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Maryland, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, University of Miami, and Florida State University, among others.
College Together begins working with students as early as ninth grade and as late as the fall of their senior year. By starting early, College Together has more time to assist students with enhancing their college qualifications, including recommending curriculum and courses, a standardized testing schedule, extracurricular activities, work and internships, community service, and summer programs. Many students, however, begin working with College Together during their junior year of high school.
College Together’s services are customized to meet each student’s individual needs. College Together offers a comprehensive Gold college counseling package for unlimited hours of college guidance and supplemental essays for up to 10 colleges. College Together also offers hourly services for students and families seeking targeted support.
As part of College Together’s comprehensive college counseling Gold package, Daniella will perform the following services:
- Preliminary Review – Daniella evaluates the student’s academics, talents, interests, strengths, and weaknesses based on the student’s transcript, test scores, accommodations, student and parent intake questionnaires, and meetings with the student and parent(s) so that she can begin the college planning process.
- Enhancing College Qualifications – Daniella advises the student regarding curriculum and course selection, academic enrichment/coursework outside of school, extra-curricular activities, community service, summer programs, jobs, and internships to tell a cohesive story, make the student stand out, and optimize the student’s college offers of admission.
- Standardized Testing Strategy – Daniella advises the student regarding standardized testing on the SAT and/or ACT (including choosing which test(s) to take and planning when to take them) to maximize the student’s standardized test scores.
- Academic Support – Daniella motivates the student to obtain strong grades with pep-talks and reminders and assists the student with trouble-shooting any academic or college-related issues.
- College Major Selection and Career Guidance – Daniella guides the student to select a college major that highlights his/her academic and creative strengths and correlates with his/her passions and career interests.
- Building a College List – Daniella compiles a list of potential U.S. colleges for the student taking into consideration academic rigor, college rankings, preferred major, acceptance rates, admitted student profiles, location, student-body size, campus life, social scene, sports, special interests, Greek life, diversity, religious preferences, housing options, and financial considerations. Working together with the student and parent(s), Daniella guides the student to formulate a final college list comprised of a balance of reach, target, and safety schools.
- College Application Strategy – Daniella advises the student regarding applying Early Decision, Early Action, Rolling Admission, or Regular Decision to optimize the student’s likelihood of acceptance at his/her preferred colleges. For each college, she analyzes whether the student should submit SAT or ACT test scores or apply test-optional, and which AP and IB test scores to submit, if any. Daniella also works with the student to strategically select a preferred term, college major, and alternative major for each college.
- Completing College Applications – Daniella helps the student complete his/her college applications on the Common App and other application platforms in a way that showcases his/her “it factor.” She reviews all sections of the applications for completeness and accuracy before submission. Daniella also assists the student with a petition for admission to his/her preferred school (e.g. Kelley School of Business) if needed.
- Stand-Out College Resume/Activity List – Daniella helps the student draft a college resume and list of extracurricular, work, internship, and community service activities that demonstrates his/her leadership, stick-to-it-iveness, passions, service, and the all-important “it factor.”
- Compelling Personal Essay – Daniella assists the student with writing a compelling personal essay that captures the admission committee’s attention, reflects the student’s authentic voice, and demonstrates strong writing skills. The process includes brain-storming topics, outlining the essay, commenting on multiple essay drafts, editing the essay for content, tone, word choice and format, and proofreading the essay for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Customized Supplemental Essays – Daniella assists the student with writing customized supplemental college essays that demonstrate the student’s fit and desire to attend his/her preferred colleges (for a maximum of 10 colleges).
- Glowing Letters of Recommendation – Daniella advises the student to procure glowing letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, and mentors highlighting his/her academic strengths, passions, good character, leadership, and likeability. She works with the student to strategically select the recommenders, put together supporting “brag” materials, and communicate with the recommenders to get it done.
- Keeping Student on Track – Daniella assists the student with meeting college application and supporting documentation deadlines with email and text reminders.
- Timely and Accurate Supporting Documents – Daniella guides the student to ensure that each college application is complete and that all supporting documents (e.g., letters of recommendation, transcripts, standardized test scores, counselor reports, etc.) are submitted on time. Daniella also guides the student with self-reporting grades through the SSAR and on college portals to ensure accuracy where it really matters.
- Trouble-shooting – If needed, Daniella assists the student with explaining reasons for any poor grades or academic issues.
- Demonstrating Interest – Daniella guides the student with demonstrating interest in colleges to increase his/her likelihood of acceptance. She also advises the student with responding to college communications in a timely, professional manner.
- College Interviews and Visits – Daniella prepares the student to make a great impression during college interviews. She also advises the student as to how to make the most of college visits.
- Deferral and Waitlist Advice – Daniella advises the student to optimize admission chances if he/she is deferred or waitlisted, including writing persuasive letters of continued interest and submitting updated information.
- Enrollment Guidance – Daniella guides the student and the parent(s) as to the decision of where to enroll.
- Financial Aid Guidance – Daniella guides the student and the parent(s) with filling out financial aid forms, including FAFSA and CSS Profile, to optimize their receipt of financial and merit aid.
- Accommodations – Daniella guides the student to obtain high school accommodations if needed.