The Importance of Telling Your Story
Your college application should do so much more than just document your GPA and standardized test score. It should tell your story. Admissions counselors want to be able to picture a student on their campus and know that they will thrive. Just as important, they want to understand what makes you different from every other application that will cross their desk.
Your personal story can differentiate you beyond your GPA and test scores.
Your story helps you communicate who you are, your values and why you are a good fit for the institutions to which you are applying. Your story can help you engage an admissions officer, establish a connection and ultimately inspire them to advocate on your behalf.
Through Start with Your Story Educational Consulting, I serve as a trusted adviser to help you become more familiar with your gifts and passions. As we work together, you will be an expert at articulating what motivates you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how to describe yourself in a way that allows you to become more than another file. These storytelling skills are critical in the college admissions process, but also are life skills that will help you long after college.
Why Work with an Independent
The college admissions process is complicated and stressful for students and families. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions a student will make, as well as a significant investment for the entire family. At the same time, many high school budgets don’t allow for enough guidance counselors to provide the necessary individual attention, leaving too little time to help students on their college admissions journey.
Independent consultants can supplement the work of guidance counselors by providing students and families with additional attention. And, they are available at the family and student’s convenience – not just during school hours during the school year. This becomes valuable when you need a quick response or guidance.
Additionally, because independent consultants are not tied to any specific institution and because we have a broad range of knowledge about colleges and universities, we can help provide a wide range of options that are a good fit for you.
Independent consultants who are members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) visit an average of 35 campuses annually to meet with admissions officers and understand what they are looking for in the application process. A school that you’re not familiar with today just might turn out to be the perfect choice for you!
Finally, as the college admissions and financial aid processes becomes more complex, it can be a source of conflict and stress between parents and students. An independent consultant can help keep you organized, motivated and adhering to deadlines throughout the entire process, thereby reducing stress and anxiety for the entire family. For more information on how an independent educational consultant can help navigate the college process, press the button below.Learn About the IECA
Why Choose Start with Your Story?
My mission is to help you become more familiar with your own strengths and passions so you can find your authentic voice and story. I provide well-informed, objective and honest counsel to help you identify college options that will best nurture and develop those strengths and passions and help you articulate it through a compelling narrative.
This is an exciting time for students and families, but it also can be overwhelming and stressful. That’s just one of the reasons more and more families are looking for assistance from independent college counselors to assist in all aspects of the admissions journey. At Start with Your Story, I invest in you and your success by consulting on the admissions process so you and your family can make great decisions. I am committed to working closely with you to discover and express your personal strengths and passions through your own story and finding the right fit college. But, I offer much more than finding the right college fit.
I have significant training in college admissions and know how applications are evaluated. I’m also an accomplished leadership coach who uses proven techniques to help students identify and articulate their strengths, identity and values. Students need to have clarity of self if they are to find the right fit college, and I am here to assist on that journey. I approach the admissions process with a keen understanding of how to highlight relevant strengths to help you craft your own authentic story and positioning so you can stand out in the competitive college admissions landscape and in life after college.
When to Begin the Process
I am often asked when college counseling services should start. I believe counseling can be most effective and less stressful when families start at the onset of a student’s high school career. I like to start working with students when they are in ninth or tenth grade. This is not to say that a ninth- or tenth-grader will have a final college recommendation list. However, early preparation reduces stress and allows you to better understand who you are and what you value, so you are then better able to focus on the best-fit college opportunities. Also, by starting earlier, you can ensure proper class selection, explore passions, extracurricular and leadership activities and plan appropriately for standardized testing. While I do offer college counseling services for seniors, starting earlier will provide you with more options and opportunities.
What Others Say About Start With Your Story
Kathy Noble is a find. Her commitment to helping high school students find the right college shines through. We hired Kathy after deciding – at a fairly late point in the process – to investigate options beyond the local community college. Kathy got to work. We had a fairly specific and somewhat atypical list of requirements, and Kathy provided us with a list of schools that fit our son’s requirements in a jiffy. She responded to every email within 24 hours. She patiently helped my son slog through all the tedious college platforms. She – very diplomatically – explained to my son that he might want to rethink (well, totally redo) his college essay given its downer theme. Not the easiest message to communicate, and she did it deftly and sensitively. Let’s face it – the college selection and application process are overwhelming. If you are looking for help, hire Kathy. She is friendly, responsive, knowledgeable, professional and above all passionate.A.M. – Parent
Hire Kathy Noble. Just do it! She is worth 10x the amount that she charges. We only wish we had done it sooner because it would have removed some of the stress we felt going through the college admissions process. We had been through the journey with our older son several years prior and thought we would be able to handle things with our younger son on our own. Although our younger son had outstanding grades and test scores, we needed help explaining some unusual circumstances. About two months before applications were due, we reached out to Kathy and asked her if we could hire her on a per hour basis to help us with specific things. Her advice was insightful and knowledgeable…Kathy is a gem and understands the passion and the heart of both a parent and a child trying to navigate the college admissions process. Thank you, Kathy!L.P. – Parent
Going through the college application process for the first time as a parent, I was overwhelmed by the whole process and lost in the details. Kathy explained each step in the process and was always available to answer all my questions. Kathy’s approach was tailored specific to my child and his goals. She helped him in prioritizing each task and systematically went through the process. As parents we felt she helped him to think more deeply on his college options and answer the question of “why”. This was a very critical step in shortlisting the colleges and focus more on the essays from the top choices. She provided advice on which applications to do first and gave insight on each college’s culture and process. She was available to work around the schedule of the busy senior and always gave importance to ease our stress. As parents this was more important to us that our child does not feel stressed out with the whole process. She also gathered info and provided all what we needed to know about FAFSA and kept us on check with the deadlines. I felt Kathy was the best coach we needed to help us get through this college application process. She is very patient and was always there whenever we needed her. She also kept the communication very open.V.S. – Parent
The college admissions process is terrible, but having someone who knows all the ins and outs of the college admissions office is absolutely crucial to your success. Cue Kathy Noble. Her knowledge of all things admissions made my journey through the application process thousands of times more manageable. She used a structured system that was flexible to my specific needs as a new applicant. This system allowed for me to tackle and finish areas of the process faster and much more in depth, while also allowing me to discover new facets of my personality. Throughout my time with Kathy, she was focused on my best interests. She was honest and constructive when helping with essays, and when analyzing college statistics. Having Kathy as a consultant was one of the best choices I could have made regarding my application process. I highly recommend Kathy Noble to those looking to get to know themselves, and looking to nail the college application process.B.K. – Student
Selecting a university or college can be a daunting task. I was very unsure of where to start. My parents and I decided to start with Kathy Noble. First, she had me fill out a questionnaire so she could fully understand my interests, goals, and what I was looking for in a college. This process helped me narrow the scope of colleges. This made it easier for Kathy and me to compile a list of potential colleges that I might be interested in attending. Kathy then took the list and researched all about the colleges and created a very comprehensive spreadsheet, so I could easily and quickly compare and contrast the colleges I was interested in. After each of our meetings Kathy would always follow up to see if I had any questions. Kathy helped organize me and made the process of selecting a college so much easier. I am a lucky to have Kathy on my team to help guide me in this very big decision.A.J. – Student
My parents had no idea where to start with helping me look for colleges. Kathleen was recommended to us. She took the time to talk with me about what my interests are, and gave me a list of excellent recommendations and helped me with questions I had on applications. She was also able to help with questions about financial aid, and was always available. My college application process was a lot easier with Kathleen’s help!E.B. – Student