This is Collegewise’s flagship offering and was created to serve our most discerning clients. Optimal is designed for students who have very specific goals in mind, including those who seek admission to prestigious universities, highly competitive programs (e.g. engineering, performing arts, accelerated medical programs), or universities that are suitable for students with different learning styles. It is also Collegewise’s best option for students who wish to apply to universities in multiple countries.
Optimal includes the following, above and beyond the CAP Essentials program:
Your Collegewise master-level counselor will be drawn from one of the world’s top 50 universities (as ranked by the US News & World Report)
Up to 16 college applications to as many as 4 different countries
All university essays will be reviewed by a managing editor of the Collegewise Global Essay Editing Team
All applications will be reviewed by the Collegewise Admissions Committee, a panel of 3-5 Collegewise counselors with a deep understanding of your profile
Personal concierge services including researching suitable summer and winter programs, creating custom college visit itineraries, sourcing and providing tutors, and preparing for all college interviews
Complete Admissions Program - Essential (CAP Essential)
CAP Essential is for 11th and 12th grade studentsGet a Free Consultation
CAP Essential includes:
Assistance with application process for up to 8 or up to 12 North American college applications (additional applications at additional cost)
Unlimited one-on-one meetings with a principal or master-level counselor
Access to your counselor via email and phone between meetings
Access to Custom College Plan, an online project management system that allows counselors and students to organize and manage the college application process
Counselors work one-on-one with students to:
Create a custom timeline and strategy to improve chances of admission
Develop a testing plan for SAT or ACT, AP/IB exams, SAT subject tests, and TOEFL if necessary
Discuss and develop extracurricular and summer activities
Conduct thoughtful college search, including identifying and researching potential college matches and creating a balanced college list
Brainstorm and edit college essays
Review college applications
Manage deadlines and submission of applications
Pay As You Go Includes:
Families charged in 10-minute increments for time counselor spends with them in meetings, on the phone, answering questions via email, editing essays, or reviewing applications
Best for families who want a consultant to help with specific parts of the college application process
Appointments and scheduling subject to counselor availability
Jumpstart is for 8th-10th grade studentsGet a Free Consultation More Information
Unlimited number of one-on-one meetings with access to your counselor via email and phone between meetings
Access to Custom College Plan, an online project management system that allows counselors and students to organize and manage the college research and application process
Counselors work one-on-one with student to:
Conduct an initial evaluation and discuss college and career goals
Plan and select courses and activities that lay the foundation for a competitive college application
Develop testing timeline for SAT or ACT, AP/IB exams, SAT subject tests, and TOEFL if necessary
Discuss college visits and summer activities
Begin discussing specific criteria for college selection and introduce student to useful tools for college and major research
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between principal, master, and premier counselors?
Statistically, it’s easier to get into Harvard than it is to become a counselor at Collegewise. We get hundreds of applications for every available counseling position here, we relentlessly train counselors year-round, and we listen to our customers when they tell us about their Collegewise experiences. That’s how we’ve assembled the most talented, highly-trained group of counseling professionals in our industry. We offer three levels of college counselors based on the type and depth of their experiences both before and during their Collegewise tenures.
The majority of Collegewise’s expert counselors serve at the principal level. Principal counselors have a deep understanding of college admissions, many having spent years working professionally as admissions officers, obtaining graduate degrees in education, or working as school counselors.
Master counselors have a minimum of 5 years of admissions and/or counseling experience, or come from a highly selective academic/admissions background. Many have additional relevant qualifications, including graduate degrees in education or counseling and specialized knowledge of topics like athletic recruiting and STEM majors.
Premier counselors have at least 10 years of highly selective US university admissions experience.
Can I switch from Pay As You Go to one of your Complete Admissions Programs?
Absolutely! If at any point you decide that you would benefit from more intensive help from your counselor, you can upgrade to one of our Complete Admissions Programs—you’d just pay the difference between what you’ve already paid and the price of the Complete Admissions Program that you’d like to enroll in.
Do you have a program for eighth, ninth, and tenth graders?
We do! It’s called the Jumpstart program, and it’s designed to help eighth, ninth, and tenth grade students build a strong foundation for the upcoming high school years and the college admissions process. Your counselor will help your student select coursework and activities that will allow your student to explore their interests and set the stage for a successful high school career. Toward the end of the program, your counselor will guide your student through the preliminary stages of the college and major research process, taking into account the criteria that matter most to your family, including cost, size, academic programs, and location.
Can you help my student with college essays?
Absolutely. Students who enroll in our Complete Admissions Programs will brainstorm each of their essays with their counselor and submit each essay for rounds of feedback and revision. We also offer several essay packages starting at $200 for students who only want help with essays. To find out more about our essay programs, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll match you with an essay specialist who can help you brainstorm and write compelling college essays.
Do you work with transfer students?
We do! Collegewise counselors help transfer students find and apply to their best-fit colleges. We can provide a thoughtful and thorough review of all of your college applications, in addition to helping you conduct college research, build your college list, and brainstorm effective essays. You can reach out to your local Collegewise counselor for more information. If you’d prefer to work with a counselor online, you can find a list of our online counselors here.
Where do you meet with students?
When is the best time to start a college counseling program?
The best time to start a college counseling program is when you begin to have questions or concerns about the admissions process that you’d like to have addressed by a professional. We begin working with students as early as second semester of eighth grade, so if you’re thinking about hiring a college counselor and your student is an eighth grader or older, you’re in the right place!
What is your success rate?
At Collegewise, we define a successful college match in three parts: the college must be one that fits the student’s interests and career goals, one that will admit the student, and one that the family can afford. Collegewise counselors work with each of their students to conduct a thoughtful college search and to build a college list that takes into account the criteria listed above. The results of this process are clear: five out of six Collegewise class of 2017 seniors are attending one of their top three college choices, and the average Collegewise senior received upwards of $135,000 in total merit aid. Not convinced? Check out our testimonials, which you’ll find on each counselor’s page and throughout the site. You’ll find that our students leave for college more confident and prepared than when they started their college search process, and their younger siblings (and friends) are often next in line to work with our counselors.
What makes Collegewise better than the competition?
Since 1999, over 10,000 families have entrusted us with their students’ college admissions process. Nobody in private counseling helps more kids get into college than we do. Tens of thousands of people read our newsletters, blog, and our book. Even more have heard us speak at conferences, high schools, and community events. We’re proud of our company, our team, and what we stand for. And we come to work every day excited to help our students achieve their goals.
Where does my counselor’s college admissions expertise come from?
Collegewise counselors come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are former admissions officers, high school counselors, and graduate degree holders, and each Collegewise counselor goes through a rigorous 40-hour training with a member of our leadership team before starting a counseling practice. Collegewise counselors also take advantage of what we call the “Hive Mind”—we’re constantly asking each other questions and learning from one another’s areas of expertise. While you’ll always interact with one counselor who knows your family best, your student will benefit from the collective experience of more than 60 Collegewise admissions experts.
How and when do I pay for your services?
Families who choose to enroll in our Complete Admissions Programs or Jumpstart typically pay the full enrollment fee upfront with a credit card or check, although we do offer payment plans for those who would like to spread payments out over the course of a few months. Pay As You Go clients keep a credit card on file with their Collegewise counselor, who bills them monthly for the time they spend in and out of meetings working with the student on college applications and essays.
How do I get started?
Thanks for asking—we love that question! Click here to get in touch with us, and one of our admissions experts will reach out to you within two business days. At that time, you’ll have the chance to articulate your college admissions concerns and goals, and we’ll set you up with the Collegewise counselor who’s the best match for your family.