Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a college consultant?

Few high schools provide the kind of individual, in-depth attention to college preparation and selection that AdmissionWise does. Many high school seniors wish they had an admission director by their sides, an expert to advise them about course and activity selection long before they begin researching prospective colleges. AdmissionWise delivers an unparalleled level of support as you make critical choices that affect the strength of your college applications. It is a great relief and asset to have an expert see you through the complex, anxiety-producing process of finding the right college. Who better to help you with your applications than a former Stanford Associate Director of Admissions?

What kind of college consultant do I need?

One who has really worked in the field — either as an admission director responsible for evaluating applications or as a high school college counselor — who genuinely cares about students and their parents, and knows about a wide range of colleges and what they offer academically and socially. She/he listens well, is well-versed in contemporary issues in college admission, and knows what makes a great application essay. A good consultant understands the use of standardized testing in admission, and can guide students in how to prepare for tests effectively and sanely. Finally, she/he can and does frequently make you laugh in the midst of a life transition that is far more stressful than it needs to be.

Do I work directly with an admission professional the whole time?

Annie is your Admission Director throughout the process, and students have ongoing access to her knowledge and counsel. Annie assesses academic, extracurricular, and personal credentials; advises students in the selection of high school courses; suggests productive ways to spend summers; recommends effective test preparation strategies; and develops with each student a list of prospective colleges. In addition, Annie trains and supervises a small team of professional admission counselors to assist her during the period when students are writing and revising their applications. AdmissionWise counselors read and edit student applications, give students detailed verbal and written feedback on essay drafts, and share with Annie their observations of students' progress on their applications. They prompt seniors to remain aware of deadlines and other application logistics. Annie works closely with her staff as a team, meeting frequently throughout the application season to discuss the development of each senior's essays and other application components.

In order to provide a level of personal service unmatched in the field, we limit the number of students we admit into the practice at each grade level.

How do you address the concerns of parents?

Directly, through talking with them. Parents are a big part of the success of your journey to college. They provide much-needed encouragement at critical moments, and they have known you longer than anyone else in the world. They have watched you evolve into a competent, multi-talented human being who has to endure the discomfort of making yourself vulnerable to people who have never met you. If your parents are stressed out about your college applications, their stress is likely to affect you. We help parents understand how best to assist their teenager with the real pressures of having two full-time jobs — attending high school and applying to colleges. Calm, thoughtful parents who convey confidence in their daughter or son are a tremendous asset.

Do you work with students from all over the United States?

Yes. Although AdmissionWise is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we enjoy working with students from different parts of the country and abroad. Over her six years in the Stanford Undergraduate Admission Office, Annie traveled to hundreds of high schools throughout the U.S. She is familiar with many of the issues that confront secondary schools in a variety of states. An important part of our work is to develop a good understanding of what your high school offers in the academic and extracurricular arenas. We can videoconference for our first meeting, then continue working together through videoconferencing and email. If you and your parents visit the Bay Area, we would love to have a chance to meet you in person; but it isn't necessary for us to develop a good working relationship.

Do you work with international students?

Yes. At Stanford, Annie evaluated the applications of students who attended secondary school in the United Kingdom and French education systems, as well as students who attended international schools throughout the world. AdmissionWise has recently worked with students from Hong Kong, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and the U.K.


Note: We are dedicated to our high school students and their college applications. Unfortunately, this means that we do not provide services for transfer students, or those applying to graduate schools or other programs.

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