There is so much press about university admissions that it’s hard to know what to believe or where to begin the process.
The number of choices may appear overwhelming, or not be sufficiently broad. Students and parents alike are often confused about U.S. or U.K. admissions criteria and whether or not their student will be admitted. Working with a professional will help keep the process focused and alleviate much of the stress involved with applying to and getting into college.
Support the Process
Perhaps more than anything, both students and families need moral support during this process. I have yet to meet a family not needing this type of support. Students and parents can become anxious and need to be reassured that everything will be okay. Sometimes students procrastinate and need someone other than parents to drive the process, keep them organized, and hold them to deadlines. Questions arise and the family needs credible and honest answers. The relationship between students, parents, and us as consultants is critical. This is more than just about “getting things done.”
As consultants for U.K. and U.S. university admissions, we work directly with our students. These are just some of the ways we work with students as they go through the university application process:
Get to know the student to understand his or her abilities, skills, talents, interests, personality, and learning style;
Suggest appropriate universities and guide the student through the research phase;
Advise on appropriate testing strategies and timelines for the application process;
Assist students in telling their story throughout the application so that their uniqueness will shine;
Help to plan how to make the most of their college visits, whether it be virtual or in person;
Guide students through the college essay and supplemental essay writing process in order to create a memorable story;
Work with the family on finalizing the college list;
Discuss the financial considerations of their college choices and available options for financial assistance;
Coach students on the university interview process;
Help students meet all application deadlines;
Meet with students to help them finalize their choices after acceptances are received; and
Advise students through the transition to college, setting them up for success once they are ready to leave home
More about Rebecca and her credentials for college advising
More and more people are entering the business of college advising, and students and families must choose their consultant wisely. It’s not only important that personalities click, but also that the consultant is qualified to guide the student. Here are some things to know about Rebecca (Becky). She:
Holds a Master’s degree in Education and has worked in 3 different schools
Completed all courses and electives for the UCLA Extension Certificate in College Counseling
Designed and teaches the online course for other consultants called, “American College Consulting for the International Student” through UC Irvine
Has earned the “College” and “International” designation as a professional member of IECA, as well as for her work with students with Learning Disabilities
Attends various professional development conferences devoted to college counseling every year
Has visited several hundred colleges and universities around the United States
Has advised scores of students successfully through the college process
Is part of several networking groups devoted to professional development in college counseling
Maintains professional memberships in *IECA, *HECA, *NACAC, and *OACAC
Is proud of the fact that she works with a range of students, from those who are prepared for the “Ivies” to those who sometimes struggle academically. There is a college for everyone.
You can read more about her bio here.
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A young man, 18, was admitted into a very selective and competitive college. However, having just been diagnosed with ADD, he was overwhelmed with all the independence, lack of structure, freedom, and new responsibilities. By the end of first term, he was nearing failure. It was imperative to get him in touch with student counseling…
A fifteen year old male student was extremely bright, but also had major struggles with ADD, depression, and behavior issues at school, resulting in numerous suspensions. The relationship at home was fraught with conflict and the family was at the breaking point. He was belligerent about the thought of going to boarding school, and opposed…
A young man, 15, started looking for a boarding school for his junior and senior years. He had everything going for him – stellar resume, grades, sports, and personality. The conversation focused on just how much academic pressure he was willing to take on. He was adamant he wanted to push himself, and was given…
A young woman of 17 moved to a remote location for what would have been her senior year of high school. She had never lived overseas before, and her school only offered the International Baccalaureate program. Therefore, she was put back a year to start the IB curriculum. She was miserable, and things finally reached…
A family with a son who had significant development delays contacted me regarding life as an internationally mobile family and wondered about embarking on such a lifestyle. We spent hours of counseling up front while they were still in their home environments, and the family prepared to homeschool their son, knowing few schools overseas would…
A family with two employed parents was suddenly separated by an evacuation, leaving them with some important decisions to make quickly regarding the children’s education. The older daughter remained in her boarding school and became the school’s star student; the younger one remained with mom and came back to the U.S. The father remained overseas…
A sixteen year old girl came to me feeling very depressed and uninspired by school. Her mother was extremely concerned by her lack of engagement. This girl was extremely bright but did not do well in a traditional setting. Her mother said her creative side needed to be encouraged in order to get her engaged…
Thank you for reaching out for references re: Becky Grappo. We are a Foreign Service family with the Department of State (DOS) and we have two daughters. We have used Becky several times. And she is top notch. Her portfolio includes special needs, boarding school, college applications, and a wide variety of help for adolences. Our…
I wanted to tell you I spent last weekend in Arizona having a reunion of friends from Beijing days 20 years ago…..and guess who was there…xxxx…..I said, you don’t happen to know Becky Grappo and her words, exactly, “She saved my life!!!!” I thought you would like to know that….she is in fine form as…
Speaking of professionals, please accept my sincere gratitude for your brilliant work. This all really started happening after you challenged our son to give you something concrete to work with. Your strategy was perfectly planned and executed. Good Show!
I just wanted to thank you for getting me through the most painful and difficult thing I have ever had to do. I know that there is a lot of work to be done but I feel we are finally on the right track. I know that you put a lot of effort into helping…
My husband and I cannot thank you enough for coming through for our son, when he needed someone like yourself to come for his rescue. Our son is a changed young man – full of confidence and joys of life. It is simply wonderful to see him doing so well and it is all thanks to you.
My son is doing incredible!! I cannot believe the difference in him. He still has a way to go, but he even knows it and he is just so open and honest with us and himself. I am proud of him. Thank God for all of you that help us realize that we and our kids…
I will take this opportunity to thank you for all your assistance and support over the last few months. This period could have been most stressful but was not due to your support, cool guidance and highly professional approach.
I have seen a lot of maturity and sense of responsibility in him. No matter how much I miss him not having him home with the family, both his father and I realize that sending him to boarding school was the best things that we have done for him. The staff is wonderful at xxx,…
I don’t think I have adequately thanked you for the superb work you did for us this past year. We went from being nowhere, to getting our son into some excellent, superb schools. You should be so proud of what you do, because it’s clearly an art. No rules, but a lot of gut feelings….
You have already helped him, by giving him hope that his unique voice can be heard and celebrated. Thank you so much for that gift!
I wanted to thank you for your helpful emails and staying in contact with me even now that I’m in college. I wanted to at least give you a quick reply and let you know that I’m loving it here at xxx and feel like it is the perfect place for me…More than anything, I…
I would like to thank you personally for everything you’ve done for our son, actually for both my children. My husband and I were have been suffering (not so silently) for the past month with our son and his essays, or their non-existence…. Even though we felt he had good chances of getting in, one…
I just want to make the point of thanking you formally for all the great work that you did with our son this last year! It was wonderful and so reassuring to know that you were there with him throughout the whole process of university applications. We all know it can be stressful for most and…
I just wanted to let you know I could not do any of this without you, and I am so thankful for someone that cared enough to help me become successful.
I gotta say I couldn’t have done it without you.