Why do I need an admissions consultant? 

Applying to college is a stressful process with high stakes. While many high school guidance counselors are hard working, creative, and caring, they may not be able to spend the time that you need to successfully negotiate your applications. A private admissions consultant provides the valuable service of organizing and streamlining the application process, working methodically and stress-free with students and families to meet deadlines and requirements as they emerge.

What does North Coast offer that's different from any other college counseling service?

Selecting a college, crafting a personal narrative, filling in gaps as one prepares for a test—these activities require a deep trust that flows through a relation of equals. Unlike many college advisors, our experience with high school and college is recent and direct. Being relatively close in age to our students (we’re only 24!), as well as having recent, first-hand experience with selecting a college allows us to build close, highly effective relationships with students. We're also quite rare in that we offer not only college counseling and academic planning, but test tutoring and extracurricular placement as well. The combination of these services is rarely found under one roof. Finally we're distinguished from other companies by our philosophy about college preparation.

What should I look for when selecting a college counselor?

Anyone can read an essay, just as anyone can teach geometry. Yet only under the best conditions can counseling and tutoring become alchemical–a shared experience of self-discovery, curiosity and affirmation that creates reciprocal value for both counselor and student. So, while we believe that hands-on experience with admissions essays and teaching are strong indicators of quality, we believe that rapport, trust and friendship should inform one's decision about a college counselor equally as strongly. 

While both of us have had extensive experience as writing coaches, tutors, and application consultants, we believe that the most important component of the relationship between a tutor/counselor and a student is reciprocal trust, and the possibility for finding friendship in a counseling or tutoring relationship.

Will my essay still convey my personal voice? Will it still look like my own work?

Yes. We emphasize the student’s unique voice throughout the essay drafting and revision process. As experienced editors, we provide close readings and commentary, inviting students to consider the reader’s perspective, the impact of their prose and the effectiveness of their essay structure. Highlighting the student’s individual tone is of the utmost importance to us.

Are parents included in the application process?

Yes. Parents have known their child the longest and often provide invaluable insights for personal statements. Incorporating the voices of the student as well as the parents is an essential part of locating the most compelling and genuine personal narratives a student has to offer. Parent involvement is one of the principal benefits of working with a private college advisor. High school advisors, even at schools with relatively abundant resources, are much more limited in their availability to engage the entire family. By focusing on collaboration, we not only include parents in a productive and enjoyable way, but can mitigate the anxieties of all parties by reassuring parents about the factors they should consider, and those they needn’t worry about unnecessarily.

Do you work with students who have special circumstances, such as an illness or a learning disability?

Yes. We both have experience working with students with special circumstances. In college, Alex often worked with student who had learning differences such as dyslexia or processing impairments. Every student, regardless of their circumstances, has an opportunity to tell a compelling story about their experience. In fact, some of the most compelling stories come from those who have faced difficulties with learning or health. We welcome these students and look forward to working with them.

Do I have to live in the Bay Area to work with you? 

No! We encourage remote work with students outside of the area. College applications can be workshopped remotely, and we use programs such as Ziteboard to enhance distance tutoring.