Resources Insights and Information for Your College Search

The Importance of the College Visit

Having visited numerous colleges and universities, I am able to share some of the unique qualities that colleges offer, including the campus environment, academic programs, living arrangements and the surrounding community which can assist students and families in understanding a college’s profile. Information and trends gleaned by attending information sessions, touring the campuses, meeting with admissions officers as well as speaking with students on campus, create a more accurate representation of campus life, than what might be found on a web site. This is an invaluable resource as I work with students.

Below, is a list of schools that I have recently visited.


  • University of Alabama


  • University of Alaska, Anchorage


  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of San Francisco
  • Santa Clara University


  • Loyola University, Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Chicago


  • Purdue University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Notre Dame


  • Bowdoin College


  • Amherst College
  • Babson College
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Curry College
  • Harvard University
  • Mount Holyoke University
  • Hampshire College
  • Northeastern University
  • Tufts University
  • Williams College


  • Albion College
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Kalamazoo College
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Michigan, Flint
  • Michigan State University
  • Western Michigan University

New Hampshire

  • Dartmouth College

New York

  • Barnard College
  • Clarkson University
  • Colgate University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Fordham University
  • Hamilton College
  • New York University
  • Union College


  • Case Western University
  • College of Wooster
  • Denison University
  • Kenyon College
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Dayton
  • Miami University
  • Wittenberg University


  • Cabrini University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Drexel University
  • Duquesne University
  • Haverford College
  • Mercyhurst University
  • Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Rosemont College
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Ursinus College
  • Villanova University


  • Vanderbilt University


  • Middlebury College


  • University of Washington

Washington DC

  • American University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University


  • Beloit College
  • Marquette University
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


Click on a question to view the answer

Why do I need an independent counselor? Can’t I just work with my high school counselor?

Yes, you certainly should work with your high school counselor. I view my role as complementary to that of your school counselor. School guidance counselors play a crucial role in the process. However, unfortunately, counseling resources in schools have not been supported to the extent they should be. The American School Counseling Association recommends a student-to-counselor ration of not more than 250 to 1, but the national average in public schools is 471 to 1.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of Education, on average, public high school students receive only 38 minutes of college counseling per year. Independent counselors can supplement the work of guidance counselors by providing students and families with additional attention. And, I am 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.

How much do your services cost?

My fees vary for services provided and the particulars are best discussed in person. I offer various packages of services, and this academic year the costs start from $125 for an individual session and have a variety of packages, including unlimited packages by grade level. My initial 30-minute consultation is always free.

What is the most important advice you can give me about the college admissions process?

First and foremost, I think a student needs to find “good-fit” colleges for his or her list. This begins with the student really understanding who they are and what they value. Once, they have that self-awareness, then they can evaluate opportunities based on student body, academic programs, location and financial aid.

How important should college rankings be in my college search?

Many of us like lists. Lists can be interesting, entertaining and engaging. And college rankings lists can provide some interesting data points and maybe even create awareness for a school that you didn’t know existed. However, rankings are not an indicator of quality or fit for a particular student. Each ranking uses different criteria. Just because a list states that a particular college is number one, or ten or fifty doesn’t mean that it would be a good fit for you. Use your time and resources to find the right fit for you regardless of the rankings and lists.

Given we have limited funds for college, I’ve been told we shouldn’t even consider private schools for my child. Is this indeed true?

I wouldn’t rule out both private and public schools in the college search. There are many private colleges that offer extremely generous financial aid packages, often making private school tuition less expensive than many public institutions.

Ethics in Private Admissions Counseling

As a college consultant, I provide services with a high standard of integrity and ethics.  I subscribe to, and abide by, the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice as well as the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Principles of Good Practice.

I take my professional memberships very seriously by attending conferences, webinars and engaging in other professional activities on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there are some college coaches and counselors who partake in such behaviors as completing a student’s college application, writing essays for a fee or guaranteeing admission to a particular school. These practices are simply unethical and not consistent with the values in which I operate. Whether you work with Start with Your Story Educational Consulting or someone else, I recommend you find a qualified, ethical college counselor.

Start Your Free Consultation

For more information, contact me to schedule a free 30-minute consultation about my services.