CAP Optimal is designed for families who want specialized, expert advising in addition to project management of the entire application process. Students who have very specific goals in mind, including those applying to selective universities and highly competitive programs (e.g. engineering, performing arts, and accelerated medical programs) are best served by CAP Optimal. CAP Optimal students will be paired with a Collegewise master-level counselor drawn from one of the world’s top 50 universities (as ranked by the U.S. News & World Report).
CAP Optimal includes the following, above and beyond the CAP Essentials program:
Review of up to 16 applications to universities in as many as four different countries
Personal concierge services, including:
Researching best-fit summer and winter programs for the student, then reviewing program applications and editing supplemental essays
College visit planning, including advice on which colleges to visit, when to visit, and suggested supplemental college tours
Sourcing and matching top-notch tutors for any of the student’s educational needs
Customized interview preparation
Editing of all essays by a managing editor of the Collegewise Global Essay Editing Team
Thorough application review by the Collegewise Application Committee, a panel of 3-5 Collegewise master-level counselors with a deep understanding of the student’s profile. The makeup of the panel depends on the applicant’s educational goals.
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
Foundations is for 8th-10th grade studentsGet a Free Consultation More Information
Regular one-on-one meetings, with access to your counselor via email and phone between meetings
A specialized assessment created by Gallup® to help students identify strengths and learn to articulate them
Access to Custom College Plan (CCP), an online project management system that allows counselors and students to organize and manage the college research and application process
Optional parent homework to follow your student’s progress
Counselors work one-on-one with student to:
Plan and select courses and activities that lay the foundation for a competitive college application
Create a timeline for testing and a decision on ACT/SAT and subject tests
Discuss college visits
Help plan and apply to summer programs
Get more practice writing and reflecting about themselves
Develop key study skills that help shape their sense of self by encouraging curiosity and initiative
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 Foundations 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. With guidance in academics, extracurriculars, testing, and summer activities, students enter their most crucial high school years prepared and empowered to make the right choices for themselves.
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 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: 95% of Collegewise class of 2018 seniors got into one of their top three college choices, and our seniors received a total of over $54 million dollars 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.