What makes you different/unique from the other college counseling services?

We coach our Academic Athletes to become the best that they can be as a scholar and a nice person with a genuine passion. Instead of providing a fixed set of “formulas” for our students to follow, we strive to fully understand the unique personal qualities, interests, abilities, life experiences, goals, and ambitions of our students while we coach them to develop their individual and successful growth paths. We don’t treat our students like Christmas trees, decorating them with shiny ornaments. Instead, we cultivate our students to bear their personal and brilliant fruits, which are wonderful, amazing, full of life and excitement, and always sought after by top-tier colleges. Transcend applications; we coach our students to develop the qualities and abilities for a good and successful life.

What kind of results can you deliver after I use your service?

I provide coaching, guidance, and support for you to become an outstanding student, a great person, and someone who is pursuing an exciting passion. You, the Academic Athlete, will have to deliver the results with your own hard work and determination.

How do admissions officers view extracurricular activities?

Many parents and students feel that they must include some sort of sports and leadership activities to be competitive in college applications. However, there is definitely no one-size-fits-all answer to what activity is most appealing or useful in any college application. Colleges will be looking at what a student does in his or her spare time if there is still spare time left after a healthy eating, sleeping, and active lifestyle, and being a good student at school. The activities should be natural outcomes of a young person’s curiosity and enthusiasm about life. Therefore, avoid copycat activities that do not connect with your personal stories; instead, focus on cultivating the authentic and unique activities that highlight the essence of who you are. 

What are college admission officers looking for in my essays?

First, you need to be able to write! So, good and easy-to-read essays without spelling, grammar, or other errors are essential. Please remember, colleges want to know as much as possible about you as a real person. Therefore, essays that include your stories, thoughts, experiences, abilities, passions, and, most importantly, the kind of person you really are, will be very appealing for most colleges.

What is the weight on SAT or ACT for college applications nowadays?

While many colleges have stopped requiring, considering, or accepting SAT or ACT scores, students who have done well on standardized tests can continue to use them as proof of their academic strengths. These scores can also become very useful when applying for summer camps, scholarships, and internships.

What if I don’t know what to major in college?

You can apply for schools that do not require you to choose a major on your application. For schools that do require you to select a major, you can consider the subjects in high school that you performed well in or the subjects that interested you the most and sparked your curiosity. You can also choose any of the basic sciences or whatever is most cutting edge and employable. No matter what you decide, you will continue finding success by following your interests, talents, and passion, in college and beyond!

When and how should my child begin preparing for college applications?

Now! 

Like any job application, a college application is about finding a college education that “matches” the student. The best outcome of any college application is when the student is admitted to and decides to attend a school where the academic challenge, the campus community, the weather, the alumni, and the many crucial aspects of the 4-year education all work out together to help the student gain the abilities to make a good living, live a good life, walk away with positive experiences, and become a contributing member of society.

There are two different ways parents and students can look at this “matching” game. 

The first way is to focus on your child’s growth. Please help your child become the best authentic version that he/she can be in his/her abilities, character, and passions. When the time is up for college applications, your child will honestly fill out the forms, proudly present his/her stories, and comfortably connect with the best “matching” schools.

The other way is to be goal-oriented. You can set a few goal schools for your child: the Big Three? Definitely! HYPSM? Great choices! You will then go to these schools’ websites and find out what kind of students they are looking for. You can also read about the application forms of your goal schools. Most likely, you will come to the conclusion that these top-tier schools are all looking for someone who is a good student and a nice person, has genuine passions and work ethics, and cares a lot about people around them. Then, you will prepare your child to apply to these schools by cultivating the requirements in your child’s life day in and day out. When college application results come out, you will feel delighted if your child gets into these goal schools. Still, even if your child does not end up going to any of the goal schools, you will be proud that your child has already gained the valuable “matching” qualities of these schools and learned to be a hardworking, caring, genuine, and passionate person, who will be successful in life wherever he/she goes.

When should my child begin taking the standardized tests?

It is never too early, it is also never too late. 

We have worked with a student who took SAT in October of his senior year and got into his tier-one reach college early. We have also worked with another student who took SAT Math 2 in 7th grade and got into his tier-one match college early. The key is to take the tests when the student is most ready! Parents, teachers, and application coaches can help prepare their students and decide if they are truly ready.