Applying to American colleges and universities grows ever more complex each year. In the most recent admissions cycle a typical round of 10 applications contained these requirements:
30-40 essays prompting applicants to explain who they are, their experience and skills beyond academics, what they can contribute to a college campus, and how they plan to pursue their interests or major in college and beyond
a summary of the student’s hands-on experience, work exposure, or research
a resume, portfolio, video, or writing sample showcasing the student’s academic, professional, creative or research projects
an indication that the applicant had communicated with students, professors, program directors and/or admissions officers online or during a campus visit in an effort to confirm that the college was a fit
an interview for some colleges
This increased complexity in the college application process poses a challenge to all families –– to every kind of student, to parents unfamiliar with the American college admissions system, and to parents who are new to the current demands of college applications. Combining fifteen years of teaching and advising experience as an academic professor and a decade long career as a college consultant, I lead students to meet these demands, to advance their academic path and their skills in an area of interest to them, and to seek out research internships, collaborative projects, volunteer work or jobs. My personal approach to advising is nurturing, positive and inspiring. I guide students to see themselves and their potential clearly, and to develop and leverage their particular character, intelligence and strengths strategically.
How I Work With Students
Step One: I get to know you in an Initial Consultation
The Initial Consultation* consists of three parts.
1. First, in a pre-evaluation, I spend two hours evaluating your academic and creative profile materials, including your transcript, extracurricular list, summer activities, exam scores, resume, a writing sample and a parent brag sheet.
2. Then you join me in person in a two hour meeting to discuss my evaluation and thoughts, your questions and concerns, and to discuss a strategy for moving forward.
3. Within 72 hours following our meeting, I spend two hours putting together these items: a letter in overview of my recommendations to your daughter or son, a summary of important points and a set of individualized recommendations tailored to the your specific needs. Items in this follow up document include a list of next steps, a suggested college list, tips for visiting colleges, travel suggestions, possible essay topics, an application strategy, a task list, and a timeline.
Step Two: We meet twice a year at my hourly rate In the Initial Consultation, Felicia helps you to develop a strategy for exploring and developing your academic and professional interests. We then check in each quarter or semester to make sure that you are on track to take your next steps. Preparation takes a big step forward in the junior year of high school when students build a college list, prepare exams, and advance their extracurricular focus on outreach, research and internship endeavors.
Step Three: Begin college application process at end of junior year In June prior to the senior year, Felicia leads students through the application process. The first phase consists of undertaking the primary tasks of the college application. For this first phase, Felicia has created a summer camp that allows students to quickly and efficiently complete the essential components of the Common Application and University of California (or other) state school applications. The second phase begins in August once applications go live. At this point, students begin the writing of 30-45 essays with one of Felicia's highly qualified writing advisors. At this point, Felicia oversees and manages each students' application process, stepping in on a regular basis to see how students are progressing, to review their essays, and to make sure they are taking every opportunity to improve their chances of being admitted to the colleges on their list.
Contact Felicia at feliciafahey(at)gmail.com or at (650) 793-0721
Felicia Fahey is a college admissions consultant who works with families in Palo Alto, Woodside, Atherton, Oakland, Moraga, Lafayette, Danville, Fremont, San Jose on college admission essays, the college search and college list.