It’s no secret that high school students get little guidance in the college admissions process. Public school students receive an average of just 38 minutes of guidance in their four years attending. Most students don’t even know who their guidance counselor is until the end of their junior year.
Why does this happen? The simple answer is a matter of math. Public schools lack funds for both teachers and guidance counselors. With the lack of funds for salaries, oftentimes counselors are responsible for hundreds of students at once. In fact, the national average for public schools is 482 students for 1 counselor.
Whether we like it or not, a student’s college admissions results and matriculation are one of the biggest decisions of their lives, determining the trajectory of their careers, their experiences with diverse people and ideas, the social circles they’ll run in, and where they decide to live after graduation. It’s an event as impactful as the birth of a child or a wedding. As many married couples meet at university, you could even say that admission to college can be even more significant than a wedding. Regardless, the status quo is simply not enough. Can you imagine working with a wedding planner who cuts you off after 38 minutes?
Even beyond the admissions decision itself, high school is a rapid developmental period in a student’s life. During this time, students develop habits that will stick with them for years to come. More important than the college admissions decision are the skills of setting goals, planning the steps to reach them, and efficiently putting in the work to succeed. At its core, the college admissions process should be about developing the confidence to lead others and communicate effectively. To become aware of their privilege or their disadvantage and to leverage it for the betterment of their communities. These skills for long term success should be the purpose of any mentor.
How We Help
The Admissions Angle is at the core of our college admissions philosophy and its primary purpose is to help a student to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. Essentially, it advocates for depth of expertise and interest in a few areas rather than a shallow understanding of many areas. Depth over breadth.
At the Admissions Angle, we provide our students with the time and attention they need to craft a compelling college admissions narrative. What does that look like you ask? Well, we use something called an Admissions Angle.
We know that the best way to be forgotten by an admissions officer is to come off as “well-balanced”, which is just a nicer way of saying unfocused. Well-balanced students have a number of problems in their academic profile:
- Lack of cohesion in their courses/extracurricular choices.
- Lack of time spent in a single activity/project to make a meaningful impact/achievement.
- Lack of self-awareness of who they are or what mark they want to leave on the world.
The best way to avoid this “well-balanced” trap is to create an Admissions Angle, and any effective Angle meets three criteria:
Without all three criteria, Admissions Angles can be unappealing (love + good at), unsupported (love + admissions value), or uninspired (good at + admissions value).
College Admissions Services
Schedule a Free Consultation
Meet with Alex one-on-one via video chat to talk about your son/daughter’s admissions plan. Afterwards, receive a no-obligation Customized College Roadmap (CCR) with advice on courses, extracurricular activities, standardized tests, and Admissions Angle strategy.
The best way to choose an appropriate Angle is for a mentor to personally get to know the student. This is where The Admissions Angle stands out.
Most competitors try to squeeze as much $/hour out of their clients so that they can take on as many students as possible. At The Admissions Angle, every student package comes with consistent scheduled meetings. This is the baseline for a successful and authentic college admissions outcome.
In addition, your son or daughter won’t be working with a college student or anyone else who couldn’t possibly have enough experience to effectively navigate the college admissions process. Every student that currently signs up with us will work directly with Alex in a meaningful way.
Two qualities that admissions officers are looking for in a student’s admissions profile are genuine interest and demonstrated excellence in the major that they are applying for. The best way to demonstrate these qualities is to craft a unique and compelling Admissions Angle. While crafting an Angle is an important first step in the college admissions process, the strategy must be supported by a strong academic foundation and extracurricular profile.
What do we help with?
To execute on our admissions strategies, our mentorship services focus on providing the following:
We find the most success with students that we’re able to mentor from 9th grade or even middle school, but it’s never too late to start. Each year of high school is faced with different goals and challenges, so it’s important to prioritize and reach each of these goals to ensure that senior year and the application process will not be more stressful than it needs to be.
Freshman year is the best time for students to freely explore their interests and figure out their academic path. It’s also the best time to preliminarily start thinking about the student’s admission angle. At the very least, the student should try to narrow down whether they are most interested in STEM, the humanities, or business/entrepreneurship.
Primary Goals for 9th grade:
- Adjust to a new environment and get off to a good start with grades
- Build consistent study/time management skills
- Learn how to set manageable goals and achieve them
- Explore various fields of interest and narrow down potential Angles
- Plan out a standardized test/course schedule
- Start to get more involved within the high school community
Sophomore year is the perfect time to identify a specific Admissions Angle. The Discovery process becomes more focused and the suggested activities and involvement start to involve more responsibility and specificity. It’s also when students should start taking standardized tests and thinking about summer programs.
Primary Goals for 10th grade:
- Maintain academic achievement
- Really narrow down the student’s Admissions Angle
- Start projects or clubs related to the student’s Angle
- Start taking standardized tests like Math IIC or SAT/ACT
- If student has test scores, can start applying to summer programs
Beginning of 11th Grade
Junior year is when stakes really start to get serious and when most students start to feel the pressure of college admissions. Students should try to finish all exams and go for leadership positions within their school clubs/communities. This year should also be used to plan the student’s schedule for the summer before senior, which is a critical time for all students.
Primary Goals for 11th grade
- Take as many AP or other advanced courses as possible without sacrificing GPA
- Cement student’s role in the high school community through involvement
- Abandon time sink activities
- Finish all standardized tests
- Apply to competitive summer programs
- Cultivate relationships with one STEM teacher, one humanities teacher, and the assigned school counselor
- Plan for Senior Community Project
College Application Services
The college application process takes a student’s entire high school career and distills it into a packet of papers that admissions officers will read for a matter of minutes. Your window for making an impression is small, so it’s important to have a focused message that stands out.
For students that work with us in our Mentorship Services, the Admissions Angle strategy has been premeditated for years, so senior year is all about execution and visibility on the applications. For anyone coming to us end of junior year or senior year, the process becomes a bit more urgent and less organic. The best way to craft an Angle later on in the game is to reverse engineer it based on the student’s existing extracurricular profile.
What do we help with?
Just like our Mentorship Services, we believe that consistent contact and a personal relationship with our students lead to the best outcomes. During senior year, we oftentimes call or chat with our students multiple times a week to guide them in setting short-term goals and brainstorming ideas for their essays. Our Application Services focus on providing the following:
The Admissions Angle General Application Schedule
April – May
Resume, personal statement, recommendations, finalize Admissions Angle
College essay workshop, student questionnaire, brainstorm main essays rough drafts
Fill out common application, rough drafts of supplement essays
Finalize main essay, college list and early school decision
Submit all early applications including supplementary materials, continue working on supplemental essays
Continue working on supplemental essays, submit UC applications, early school interviews
Finalize all supplemental essays, submit all regular decision applications
Follow up on all schools, prepare additional letter of rec, regular school interviews
Own your narrative
The Admissions Angle is proud to be partnered with spikeview, a mobile app platform that helps students to organize their academic and extracurricular data. As privacy has become an issue for any of our online interactions, spikeview has made it a priority to allow users to not only manage their academic resume, but also control the accessibility of their data.
Spikeview profiles are excellent for collating admissions information, corroborating involvement in activities, and sharing a student’s outside the classroom accomplishments with mentors, teachers, counselors, and administrators. We use spikeview as a digital resume of sorts, a visually impressive and thoughtful presentation of our students’ extracurricular involvement in their communities.
Transparency and Accountability
All students that we work with get their very own Trello project management board. We use Trello as a basecamp for mentors, students, and parents to keep track of what we’re working on. Parents stay in the loop as to what we talked about in meetings and deadlines coming up. Students can keep track of assigned worked and milestones to work towards. All work that we do is transparent and organized so that all parties involved are in the loop.