At College Calm, we love getting to know our students, listening to their stories, learning what motivates them, and helping them find their voice. We consider it our job to reduce the stress and confusion students and families feel during the college application process. Our personalized approach creates a comfortable environment where we focus on student’s strengths, validate their experiences and build their capacity to calmly and effectively complete their college applications.
We do not view high school and the college process as a means to an end, but rather a time when students can learn about their academic assets and personal interests. We challenge students to think about what they can learn about life through the college process, and encourage them to dream about their futures. We believe students need to start the process early enough to give themselves the time to be (or learn to be) pro-active, organized, and thoughtful. By the end of the process, we want our students to find a college where they will thrive, not just attend.
A Student-Centered Approach
Students and families come to us at different stages in the college application process. Our individualized and student-centered approach focuses on the strengths of students and finding college options where they will be both happy and successful. Although we build an individualized plan for each student, in general our students progress through the following four phases:
When students care about their future and recognize the exciting possibilities ahead, they are much more engaged in the college process. Although some students are ready to talk about college freshman year, many are not ready until junior year. During this phase we discuss initial questions about the college application process, class selection, time-management, potential areas of study and extracurricular and summer possibilities. The goal of this stage is to demystify the process and help students begin to explore the many options in front of them. We work with families hourly during this initial phase until the end of sophomore year. We also offer a summer program, “The Student Synergy Project” that helps student delve into their interests and create a meaningful summer project.
It takes time to research the many college options available to students. During this phase, which typically starts the summer before junior year, we help students set their college priorities and major preferences. Then we create an initial college list, outline a testing strategy, plan school visits, and examine summer and extracurricular options. Students who take the time to thoughtfully investigate their college options have a much easier time completing the college application process. Students can work with us hourly or choose a package.
The summer between junior and senior year is a great time to start writing essays and preparing for college applications. Our approach is very proactive and during this phase students manage their college list, finalize a resume, organize college deadlines, brainstorm essay topics, write essay drafts and prepare for interviews. It is essential for students to plan and prepare during the summer so they have the time to create thoughtful applications that express all of their dreams and accomplishments.
The fall of senior year is one of the most stressful times a student will face. During this phase students complete their college applications while simultaneously taking challenging courses, completing testing requirements, playing sports and participating in extracurricular activities. Our goal during this phase is to get students to move past the stressful moments by following a detailed plan for completing their personal statements, supplemental essays, alumni interviews and electronic applications.