College Admissions Counseling Packages

We currently offer a free introductory meeting to all prospective clients.

Free Introductory Meeting

Free Introductory Meeting

Free Introductory Meeting

Or read more about our counseling packages:

  • College Essay Package
  • Application Season Package
  • Junior Package
  • Sophomore Package
  • Freshman Package

“We want to hear your individual voice in your writing. Write essays that reflect who you are, and write in a natural style.”

- Stanford University

College Essay Package

The College Essay Package is a combination of services that will help a student plan, write, and revise an outstanding college essay. It will provide important guidance on the school-specific supplemental essays as well.

The college essay is one of Collegica's specialties. Founder Cassie Nichols has taught the essay in the classroom, at international workshops, and to hundreds of private clients. She has also published a book on the college essay, entitled The College Essay Trap.

All counselors at Collegica have been trained by Cassie, and she personally reads and evaluates every essay we review.

*This is a popular package with limited availability, so it is best to purchase it by the end of junior year.

This package includes the following 4 services:

1 College Essay
Brainstorming Session

In order to write an effective college essay, it's critical to establish a firm foundation. This one-on-one session with one of Collegica's college essay specialists will help applicants find a compelling topic, and will provide them with a clear blueprint for how to present that topic in a powerful way. The result will be a college essay that helps personalize the applicant in a way that the rest of the application cannot.

Recommended Time Frame:
summer before senior year

1 Comprehensive
College Essay Review
+ 1 Follow-up Review

Once that foundation has been laid and the first draft of the essay has been written, it's time for a detailed review by a college essay specialist. Everything from word choice to overall structure to grammar and syntax will be addressed in this double-review process, which includes an exhaustive initial review and–after the second draft is completed–an incisive and detailed follow-up review. This service is provided via email.

Recommended Time Frame:
approx. 1-2 weeks after College Essay Brainstorming Session

1 Brainstorming Session for Supplemental Essays

Once the applicant has a polished essay, it's time to turn our attention to the supplemental essays. Requirements vary widely depending on the college, but since these are responses to school-specific prompts, supplemental essays can be an important component of the application process. This one-on-one session includes analyzing and formulating essay ideas for all prompts for up to five colleges.

Recommended Time Frame:
end of summer or
early fall of senior year

We also offer services on an à la carte basis. Learn more.

"When we read an application and then discuss an application in our Admissions Committee, we consider both the academic and the personal qualities of each student. We think about what a student has accomplished within the context of the opportunities and challenges he or she has faced. And we seek those students who will bring a variety of experiences, backgrounds, interests and opinions to the campus. We especially appreciate students who love thinking hard about things and who like to make a difference in the world."

- Duke University

Application Season Package

The Application Season Package helps students stay organized and confident throughout college application season.

Since each college has its own unique set of requirements and deadlines, it is critical that students maintain a strong, ongoing awareness of what is expected of them at every step in the college admissions process.

The Application Season Package will help students on a broad level— strategizing, prioritizing and organizing— as well as at a more focused level, which includes a detailed application review.

*It is best to purchase this package before the beginning of senior year.

This package includes the following 6 services:

1 Application Season
Strategy Session

Application season is demanding, complicated, and stressful. But for an ambitious college applicant, surviving application season with sanity intact is not the only goal.

While it is important for a student to submit all applications, essays, résumés, rec letters, portfolios, and more to the correct school by the correct deadline, it is also essential that each of these components be as thorough and polished as possible. With so many details and so much pressure, it is highly recommended that students have a careful plan for how to approach application season.

The Application Season Strategy Session will help them develop that plan, and will help enable them to approach application season in a way that will reduce confusion, stress and errors, and effectively showcase their record and unique abilities to each of the schools on their list.

Recommended Time Frame:
summer before senior year

1 College Interview
Prep Session

The college interview is not simply a formality; it’s an opportunity for students to set themselves apart from other applicants, and can also be a great way for students to learn more about the colleges they're interested in attending.

We've found that many students get anxious about college interviews—especially their first one—and this can sometimes have an adverse effect on their experience. As with most intimidating situations, however, the anxiety can be markedly diminished through preparation.

The College Interview Prep Session is geared toward making the student comfortable with the interview process. It includes a discussion of the process—including what sort of things an interviewer is looking for, and what effects the interview might have on the school's selection process—followed by a mock interview to familiarize the student with the interview process itself.

Recommended Time Frame:
one week before first college interview

3 Application Season
"Check-In" Meetings

During application season, it is important for students to check in periodically with their Collegica counselor to ensure that everything is on track, and that no important deadlines or details are being overlooked.

Normally, these meetings are scheduled on a monthly basis, beginning in September or October and ending in December, just before the last applications are submitted. This package includes three meetings, which is usually all that is necessary. However, more meetings can be purchased if required.

Recommended Time Frame:
monthly, or as needed
throughout fall of senior year

1 Pre-Submission
Detailed Application Review

Before the student submits a major application—the Common Application, for example—an experienced counselor will sift through it line by line, verifying that the application is complete, that there are no errors, and that the information included represents the student in a positive way.

This service takes a lot of the anxiety out of one of the most stressful parts of the process, and helps avoid the delays and negative consequences that can result from erroneous or confusing information. Please note that this service takes place via email, and includes a grammar check of the main application essay, but not a comprehensive essay review or edit.

Recommended Time Frame:
at least one week prior to
submission of first application

We also offer services on an à la carte basis. Learn more.

"Academic strength, certainly as an indicator of how thoroughly you've been prepared to succeed in a dynamic interdisciplinary environment, is key. To that end, the amount of intellectual challenge you've taken on based on what is offered in your educational environment will be highly important."

- University of Michigan

Junior Package

The Junior Package offers students an organized approach to navigating what is arguably the most difficult year of high school. It includes extensive, personalized guidance as students take on new academic challenges, build their list of prospective colleges, and implement a standardized testing calendar.

Through the five targeted sessions included in the Junior Package, students and their parents will have all their questions and concerns addressed throughout this complex and exciting year of high school.

*It is best to purchase this package during spring of sophomore year.

This package includes the following 5 services:

1 Junior Year
Planning Session

In order to succeed during this complex and important period of high school, it is critical to have a full understanding of what is required of both students and parents, and to formulate a plan that takes into account each student's unique strengths, aspirations, and capabilities.

The Junior Year Planning Session is a detailed discussion of how a student can maximize academic and extracurricular activities in a way that will best ensure a wide range of options during the college admissions process that will take place the following year. During this session, students will create a roadmap for junior year. It includes academic and extracurricular planning, guidance on standardized testing, summer planning, and more.

Ideally, the Junior Planning Session takes place before the class schedule for fall of junior year has been finalized, either near the end of sophomore year or during the summer before junior year classes have begun.

Recommended Time Frame:
spring of sophomore year

2 College List-
Building Sessions

One of the most important parts of a successful college admissions season is a college list that aims high but is also realistic. The college list is the foundation upon which much of a student's application season workload will be based. In our experience, students who take the time to build a college list that excites them—but is also balanced—have a much more successful and enjoyable senior year.

The College List-Building Session will help students begin to explore the many college opportunities available to them, and provide them with online resources to narrow their options down to a list of about a dozen colleges that are most ideally suited to the individual student's needs, desires, and capabilities. The counselor will also offer guidance on planning college visits, if desired.

A shorter Follow-Up Session is also included in this package, during which a student's subsequent college research and campus visits are discussed and a balanced college list is finalized.

Recommended Time Frame:
late fall or early winter of junior year

1 Fall Semester
Check-In Meeting

After a Junior Year Planning Session has been completed and junior year has commenced, two check-in meetings, one during the fall and one during the spring, will help keep the student on track and ensure that all questions are answered and potential issues addressed in a timely manner.

The Fall Semester Check-In Meeting should occur after classes have begun, but before winter break (and before the College List-Building Sessions outlined above).

Recommended Time Frame:
early fall of junior year

1 Spring Semester
Check-In Meeting

Topics that were discussed during the Fall Semester Check-In Meeting are revisited during this spring meeting to ensure that the student is still on track. As with the prior check-in, the Spring Semester Check-In Meeting will cover current academic performance, standardized testing, and will include a broad discussion of senior-year classes. In addition, this is an opportunity to talk about any summer plans that have not yet been finalized, with an eye toward how they will impact the college admissions process.

Recommended Time Frame:
early spring of junior year

We also offer services on an à la carte basis. Learn more.

"An applicant's academic strength is our first consideration. We review grades, standardized test scores, and evaluations by a counselor and two teachers to determine academic strength. The admissions committee then factors in student qualities such as motivation, curiosity, energy, leadership ability, and distinctive talents."

- Yale University

Sophomore Package

The Sophomore Package provides students with college admissions guidance throughout their sophomore year.

From a college admissions standpoint, sophomore year is more complicated than freshman year. Colleges expect this year to include more higher-level classes, an increased level of participation in extracurricular activities, and a deeper level of overall engagement.

In addition to all that, this year might also include standardized tests, so it's important to plan ahead. These three sessions are geared toward helping sophomores stay on a path that will ensure a wide range of college options later on.

*It is best to purchase this package during spring of freshman year.

This package includes the following 3 services:

1 Sophomore Year
Planning Session

During the Sophomore Year Planning Session, a counselor will help the student understand what colleges expect from them as high school sophomores, and will help the student create an academic and extracurricular plan for their entire sophomore year, including the summer.

Because this session includes academic advisement, it ideally takes place before the student's sophomore-year class schedule is finalized, at some point between spring of freshman year and the end of summer before sophomore year.

Recommended Time Frame:
spring of freshman year

1 Fall Semester
Check-In Meeting

A Fall Semester Check-In Meeting will help ensure that a student remains focused on the academic and extracurricular plan created during the Sophmore Year Planning Session. This plan will serve as a strong foundation for the next few years of high school, which will be increasingly rigorous.

This is a short, informal meeting where the student's first weeks of school are assessed, where applicable spring standardized testing options are addressed, and where any college-related questions the student or parent may have can be answered.

Recommended Time Frame:
early fall of sophomore year

1 Spring Semester
Check-In Meeting

The second check-in meeting during sophomore year takes place in the spring. A counselor will evaluate the student's most recent academic performance and activities, and will advise the student of any changes or adjustments that might be beneficial from a college admissions standpoint.

This is also a time to follow up on standardized testing (if applicable) and to confirm the student's plans for the summer.

Recommended Time Frame:
early spring of sophomore year

We also offer services on an à la carte basis. Learn more.

"We are looking for students who want to work with their peers, embrace collaboration, have a strong sense of empathy, and look for ways to support each other."

- Swarthmore College

Freshman Package

The Freshman Package is designed to ensure that students are on the right path from the very beginning of high school.

Contrary to popular belief, freshman year does matter from a college admissions standpoint. While it is a time of excitement and exploration, it is also important to make well-informed academic and extracurricular decisions from the beginning of high school. The choices students make in their freshman year—and the level of success they attain early in high school—often reflect how strong they will be as college applicants.

*It is best to purchase this package during the summer before freshman year.

This package includes the following 2 services:

1 Freshman Year
Planning Session

The Freshman Year Planning Session is a meeting between the student (and parents, if desired) and an experienced college counselor that will provide a roadmap for a successful freshman year.

At this point, there are two main areas of focus: emphasizing the importance of strong study habits and ensuring that all options remain open as the student progresses through high school.

From course planning to an evaluation of the various extracurricular activities available to the student—along with an emphasis on how to excel during this exciting new period—this session is a great way to start high school with a strong momentum that can be maintained throughout the student's high school career.

Recommended Time Frame:
summer before freshman year

1 Fall Semester
Check-In Meeting

Once the student has begun settling into high school, it's a good idea to have a brief Fall Semester Check-In Meeting to ensure that everything is on track from a college admissions standpoint.

Unlike the subsequent years of high school, one check-in during freshman year is usually enough. During this meeting, the counselor will discuss any changes that have been made to the student's schedule since the Freshman Year Planning Session, any evolution in the student's interests or desires regarding extracurricular activities, and any problems adjusting to the more rigorous demands of high school that may affect their college admissions outcome.

There are often college-related questions that arise during the first weeks and months of high school, and this is a good time for the counselor to address those as well.

Recommended Time Frame:
early fall of freshman year

We also offer services on an à la carte basis. Learn more.

College Essay Package

“We want to hear your individual voice in your writing. Write essays that reflect who you are, and write in a natural style.”

- Stanford University

College Essay Package

The College Essay Package is a combination of services that will help a student plan, write, and revise an outstanding college essay. It will provide important guidance on the school-specific supplemental essays as well.

The college essay is one of Collegica's specialties. Founder Cassie Nichols has taught the essay in the classroom, at international workshops, and to hundreds of private clients. She has also published a book on the college essay, entitled The College Essay Trap.

All counselors at Collegica have been trained by Cassie, and she personally reads and evaluates every essay we review.

*This is a popular package with limited availability, so it is best to purchase it by the end of junior year.

This package includes the following 4 services:

1 College Essay
Brainstorming Session

In order to write an effective college essay, it's critical to establish a firm foundation. This one-on-one session with one of Collegica's college essay specialists will help applicants find a compelling topic, and will provide them with a clear blueprint for how to present that topic in a powerful way. The result will be a college essay that helps personalize the applicant in a way that the rest of the application cannot.

Recommended Time Frame:
summer before senior year

1 Comprehensive
College Essay Review
+ 1 Follow-up Review

Once that foundation has been laid and the first draft of the essay has been written, it's time for a detailed review by a college essay specialist. Everything from word choice to overall structure to grammar and syntax will be addressed in this double-review process, which includes an exhaustive initial review and–after the second draft is completed–an incisive and detailed follow-up review. This service is provided via email.

Recommended Time Frame:
approx. 1-2 weeks after College Essay Brainstorming Session

1 Brainstorming Session for Supplemental Essays

Once the applicant has a polished essay, it's time to turn our attention to the supplemental essays. Requirements vary widely depending on the college, but since these are responses to school-specific prompts, supplemental essays can be an important component of the application process. This one-on-one session includes analyzing and formulating essay ideas for all prompts for up to five colleges.

Recommended Time Frame:
end of summer or
early fall of senior year
We also offer services on an à la carte basis.

Application Season Package

"When we read an application and then discuss an application in our Admissions Committee, we consider both the academic and the personal qualities of each student. We think about what a student has accomplished within the context of the opportunities and challenges he or she has faced. And we seek those students who will bring a variety of experiences, backgrounds, interests and opinions to the campus. We especially appreciate students who love thinking hard about things and who like to make a difference in the world."

- Duke University

Application Season Package

The Application Season Package helps students stay organized and confident throughout college application season.

Since each college has its own unique set of requirements and deadlines, it is critical that students maintain a strong, ongoing awareness of what is expected of them at every step in the college admissions process.

The Application Season Package will help students on a broad level— strategizing, prioritizing and organizing— as well as at a more focused level, which includes a detailed application review.

*It is best to purchase this package before the beginning of senior year.

This package includes the following 6 services:

1 Application Season
Strategy Session

Application season is demanding, complicated, and stressful. But for an ambitious college applicant, surviving application season with sanity intact is not the only goal.

While it is important for a student to submit all applications, essays, résumés, rec letters, portfolios, and more to the correct school by the correct deadline, it is also essential that each of these components be as thorough and polished as possible. With so many details and so much pressure, it is highly recommended that students have a careful plan for how to approach application season.

The Application Season Strategy Session will help them develop that plan, and will help enable them to approach application season in a way that will reduce confusion, stress and errors, and effectively showcase their record and unique abilities to each of the schools on their list.

Recommended Time Frame:
summer before senior year

1 College Interview
Prep Session

The college interview is not simply a formality; it’s an opportunity for students to set themselves apart from other applicants, and can also be a great way for students to learn more about the colleges they're interested in attending.

We've found that many students get anxious about college interviews—especially their first one—and this can sometimes have an adverse effect on their experience. As with most intimidating situations, however, the anxiety can be markedly diminished through preparation.

The College Interview Prep Session is geared toward making the student comfortable with the interview process. It includes a discussion of the process—including what sort of things an interviewer is looking for, and what effects the interview might have on the school's selection process—followed by a mock interview to familiarize the student with the interview process itself.

Recommended Time Frame:
one week before first college interview

3 Application Season
"Check-In" Meetings

During application season, it is important for students to check in periodically with their Collegica counselor to ensure that everything is on track, and that no important deadlines or details are being overlooked.

Normally, these meetings are scheduled on a monthly basis, beginning in September or October and ending in December, just before the last applications are submitted. This package includes three meetings, which is usually all that is necessary. However, more meetings can be purchased if required.

Recommended Time Frame:
monthly, or as needed
throughout fall of senior year

1 Pre-Submission
Detailed Application Review

Before the student submits a major application—the Common Application, for example—an experienced counselor will sift through it line by line, verifying that the application is complete, that there are no errors, and that the information included represents the student in a positive way.

This service takes a lot of the anxiety out of one of the most stressful parts of the process, and helps avoid the delays and negative consequences that can result from erroneous or confusing information. Please note that this service takes place via email, and includes a grammar check of the main application essay, but not a comprehensive essay review or edit.

Recommended Time Frame:
at least one week prior to
submission of first application
We also offer services on an à la carte basis.

Junior Package

"Academic strength, certainly as an indicator of how thoroughly you've been prepared to succeed in a dynamic interdisciplinary environment, is key. To that end, the amount of intellectual challenge you've taken on based on what is offered in your educational environment will be highly important."

- University of Michigan

Junior Package

The Junior Package offers students an organized approach to navigating what is arguably the most difficult year of high school. It includes extensive, personalized guidance as students take on new academic challenges, build their list of prospective colleges, and implement a standardized testing calendar.

Through the five targeted sessions included in the Junior Package, students and their parents will have all their questions and concerns addressed throughout this complex and exciting year of high school.

*It is best to purchase this package during spring of sophomore year.

This package includes the following 5 services:

1 Junior Year
Planning Session

In order to succeed during this complex and important period of high school, it is critical to have a full understanding of what is required of both students and parents, and to formulate a plan that takes into account each student's unique strengths, aspirations, and capabilities.

The Junior Year Planning Session is a detailed discussion of how a student can maximize academic and extracurricular activities in a way that will best ensure a wide range of options during the college admissions process that will take place the following year. During this session, students will create a roadmap for junior year. It includes academic and extracurricular planning, guidance on standardized testing, summer planning, and more.

Ideally, the Junior Planning Session takes place before the class schedule for fall of junior year has been finalized, either near the end of sophomore year or during the summer before junior year classes have begun.

Recommended Time Frame:
spring of sophomore year

2 College List-
Building Sessions

One of the most important parts of a successful college admissions season is a college list that aims high but is also realistic. The college list is the foundation upon which much of a student's application season workload will be based. In our experience, students who take the time to build a college list that excites them—but is also balanced—have a much more successful and enjoyable senior year.

The College List-Building Session will help students begin to explore the many college opportunities available to them, and provide them with online resources to narrow their options down to a list of about a dozen colleges that are most ideally suited to the individual student's needs, desires, and capabilities. The counselor will also offer guidance on planning college visits, if desired.

A shorter Follow-Up Session is also included in this package, during which a student's subsequent college research and campus visits are discussed and a balanced college list is finalized.

Recommended Time Frame:
late fall or early winter of junior year

1 Fall Semester
Check-In Meeting

After a Junior Year Planning Session has been completed and junior year has commenced, two check-in meetings, one during the fall and one during the spring, will help keep the student on track and ensure that all questions are answered and potential issues addressed in a timely manner.

The Fall Semester Check-In Meeting should occur after classes have begun, but before winter break (and before the College List-Building Sessions outlined above).

Recommended Time Frame:
early fall of junior year

1 Spring Semester
Check-In Meeting

Topics that were discussed during the Fall Semester Check-In Meeting are revisited during this spring meeting to ensure that the student is still on track. As with the prior check-in, the Spring Semester Check-In Meeting will cover current academic performance, standardized testing, and will include a broad discussion of senior-year classes. In addition, this is an opportunity to talk about any summer plans that have not yet been finalized, with an eye toward how they will impact the college admissions process.

Recommended Time Frame:
early spring of junior year
We also offer services on an à la carte basis.

Sophomore Package

"An applicant's academic strength is our first consideration. We review grades, standardized test scores, and evaluations by a counselor and two teachers to determine academic strength. The admissions committee then factors in student qualities such as motivation, curiosity, energy, leadership ability, and distinctive talents."

- Yale University

Sophomore Package

The Sophomore Package provides students with college admissions guidance throughout their sophomore year.

From a college admissions standpoint, sophomore year is more complicated than freshman year. Colleges expect this year to include more higher-level classes, an increased level of participation in extracurricular activities, and a deeper level of overall engagement.

In addition to all that, this year might also include standardized tests, so it's important to plan ahead. These three sessions are geared toward helping sophomores stay on a path that will ensure a wide range of college options later on.

*It is best to purchase this package during spring of freshman year.

This package includes the following 3 services:

1 Sophomore Year
Planning Session

During the Sophomore Year Planning Session, a counselor will help the student understand what colleges expect from them as high school sophomores, and will help the student create an academic and extracurricular plan for their entire sophomore year, including the summer.

Because this session includes academic advisement, it ideally takes place before the student's sophomore-year class schedule is finalized, at some point between spring of freshman year and the end of summer before sophomore year.

Recommended Time Frame:
spring of freshman year

1 Fall Semester
Check-In Meeting

A Fall Semester Check-In Meeting will help ensure that a student remains focused on the academic and extracurricular plan created during the Sophmore Year Planning Session. This plan will serve as a strong foundation for the next few years of high school, which will be increasingly rigorous.

This is a short, informal meeting where the student's first weeks of school are assessed, where applicable spring standardized testing options are addressed, and where any college-related questions the student or parent may have can be answered.

Recommended Time Frame:
early fall of sophomore year

1 Spring Semester
Check-In Meeting

The second check-in meeting during sophomore year takes place in the spring. A counselor will evaluate the student's most recent academic performance and activities, and will advise the student of any changes or adjustments that might be beneficial from a college admissions standpoint.

This is also a time to follow up on standardized testing (if applicable) and to confirm the student's plans for the summer.

Recommended Time Frame:
early spring of sophomore year
We also offer services on an à la carte basis.

Freshman Package

"We are looking for students who want to work with their peers, embrace collaboration, have a strong sense of empathy, and look for ways to support each other."

- Swarthmore College

Freshman Package

The Freshman Package is designed to ensure that students are on the right path from the very beginning of high school.

Contrary to popular belief, freshman year does matter from a college admissions standpoint. While it is a time of excitement and exploration, it is also important to make well-informed academic and extracurricular decisions from the beginning of high school. The choices students make in their freshman year—and the level of success they attain early in high school—often reflect how strong they will be as college applicants.

*It is best to purchase this package during the summer before freshman year.

This package includes the following 2 services:

1 Freshman Year
Planning Session

The Freshman Year Planning Session is a meeting between the student (and parents, if desired) and an experienced college counselor that will provide a roadmap for a successful freshman year.

At this point, there are two main areas of focus: emphasizing the importance of strong study habits and ensuring that all options remain open as the student progresses through high school.

From course planning to an evaluation of the various extracurricular activities available to the student—along with an emphasis on how to excel during this exciting new period—this session is a great way to start high school with a strong momentum that can be maintained throughout the student's high school career.

Recommended Time Frame:
summer before freshman year

1 Fall Semester
Check-In Meeting

Once the student has begun settling into high school, it's a good idea to have a brief Fall Semester Check-In Meeting to ensure that everything is on track from a college admissions standpoint.

Unlike the subsequent years of high school, one check-in during freshman year is usually enough. During this meeting, the counselor will discuss any changes that have been made to the student's schedule since the Freshman Year Planning Session, any evolution in the student's interests or desires regarding extracurricular activities, and any problems adjusting to the more rigorous demands of high school that may affect their college admissions outcome.

There are often college-related questions that arise during the first weeks and months of high school, and this is a good time for the counselor to address those as well.

Recommended Time Frame:
early fall of freshman year

We also offer services on an à la carte basis. Learn more.