Q: How do I get started? WHAT DOES THE PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

A: WE CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU! FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW:

  1. BOOK YOUR FIRST MEETING ONLINE AT YOUR CONVENIENCE.

    • Families interested in pursuing long-term college counseling services should schedule a Meet & Greet appointment with Colleen. No services will be provided at this meeting, but it will be a great opportunity to learn more about how we operate! The fee for this session will be credited towards the cost of any ongoing package.

    • Families unsure of their need or interest in long-term college counseling services should schedule a Strategy and Planning Session. Colleen will provide services at this meeting, and will map out an individualized plan for the student that can be carried out at home. Families are still welcome to pursue long-term college counseling services after this session, but it is not expected.

    • Families with questions or needing more information should feel free to call our office at (703) 662-3648 or email Rebeccah at admin@dccollegecounseling.com . Rebeccah will gladly help you through the process and can help you decide which option is best for your first meeting!

  2. FILL OUT INTRODUCTORY PARENT AND STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRES AND SUBMIT DOCUMENTATION FOR REVIEW.

    • After a family books a meeting, our team will reach out to provide online parent and student questionnaires that will be due three days in advance of the session.

    • We will also ask for a list of documents that we need to make the Meet & Greet or Strategy and Planning Session as useful as possible. These typically include a student transcript, a copy of all standardized test scores from high school, and the “high school profile” document issued by the student’s high school counseling office.

  3. ATTEND YOUR MEET & GREET OR STRATEGY AND PLANNING SESSION.

    • We are located in the town of Vienna, Virginia, minutes from Tysons Corner and convenient to major highways. Here are detailed directions to our office for your convenience.

    • When you arrive, feel free to make yourself comfortable in the waiting area. Have a snack, enjoy a cup of coffee, or read through our college-themed coffee table books. Colleen will be out to greet your family at the start of the appointment.

  4. SIGN CONTRACT TO BEGIN LONG-TERM SERVICES IF DESIRED.

    • We are not high-pressure salespeople! If we don’t think we’re a good fit for your family, we will help refer you to a more appropriate service provider. If you don’t think we’re a good fit, we won’t contact you again. It’s so important for the fit to be right.

    • If we do think that we are a good fit, we will send a proposal after the meeting with a breakdown of future service options. The document will allow parents to select their desired package, sign the corresponding contract electronically, and pay the corresponding invoice electronically.

    • After we receive the signed contract and first payment installment, we will begin the new client onboarding process!

Q: WHAT DO YOUR SERVICES COST?

A: WE ARE COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT ABOUT OUR PRICING STRUCTURE.

You can read all details here. Most students choose the “Custom” package. Former clients with older children will recognize this as the “Standard Plus” option.

Q: WHY ARE YOU MORE EXPENSIVE THAN SOME OTHER OPTIONS?

A: LIKE MANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE INDUSTRIES, COLLEGE ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES AND AN EVEN WIDER RANGE OF FEES.

There are few barriers to entry in college counseling, and counselors without corresponding professional experience generally charge less than their expert counterparts. Writing tutors also charge much less, because they do not have college admissions expertise and can’t help with tailoring essays to individual schools. They won’t know that the “Why Columbia” essay really needs to mention the core curriculum, for instance.

Our pricing falls in the middle of the range offered by counselors in the DC metro area with substantial experience, a brick-and-mortar presence, and a commitment to ongoing professional development. We also provide personalized project management assistance (a.k.a. professional nagging) to our teenage clients and we incorporate some of the cost of this service into our price structure.

WE ARE NOT THE CHEAPEST, BUT WE ARE 100% CONFIDENT THAT WE ARE THE BEST VALUE OPTION.

Q: WHAT SEPARATES dc college counseling FROM OTHER COLLEGE counseling businesses IN THE AREA?

A: QUITE A BIT!

  • Colleen is the only educational consultant on staff and provides all college admissions consulting and strategy services (our other staff members assist with editing assistance, interview preparation and project management). She has an extensive background in the field and her opinion is regularly sought by local and national media outlets. Read her bio here.

  • We are certified in the Wow Writing Workshop college essay method and empower our students to craft phenomenal college essays using our own proven variation of their time-tested system.

  • As far as we know, we are the only firm in our region (and perhaps the entire country) that provides individualized administrative and project management assistance for each of our clients. We realized long ago that we can provide the best advice in the world, but it will not be effective if teenagers do not follow through with it. For this reason, we provide constant reminders to ensure that each student follows through with every single task assigned in their individualized workflows. We do not stop following up until a given task is actually complete. Yes, we have to charge a little more to be able to do this, but these reminders are worth their weight in gold.

  • Thanks to this meticulous project management system and our strategic backwards-planning approach, most of our students submit all of their college applications months in advance of the deadlines, at the end of the summer before their senior year of high school.

  • We offer convenient teenage-friendly hours and a cheerful office environment in which students can achieve their best results (with no distractions, but plenty of snacks!).

Q: WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU DO WITH STUDENTS?

A: MOST PLANS INCLUDE A COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:

  • Guidance on which standardized tests to take and when, along with recommendations for test preparation services

  • Ongoing support regarding the college search and selection process to find the perfect fit

  • Strategic guidance on the use of the various application types (Rolling vs. Early Action vs. Early Decision vs. Restrictive Early Action vs. Single-Choice Early Action vs. Priority)

  • Tailored college visit guidance that results in a savings of time and money

  • Assistance with completing and editing the Common Application and application supplements

  • Assistance with completing and editing the Coalition Application and application supplements

  • Assistance with completing the Self-Reported Academic Record

  • Strategy development, writing assistance, editing and review for the Common and Coalition Application Personal Essays using the Wow Writing Workshop method

  • Strategy development, writing assistance, editing and review for the many required supplement essays

  • Teacher and Counselor Recommendation strategy, assistance, editing and review

  • Interview preparation

  • Organizational tools and support to monitor the status of each application component

PLANS MAY ALSO INCLUDE:

  • School-specific application assistance for colleges and universities that do not accept the Common or Coalition Applications, including the complex multi-campus University of California application

  • Help with navigating NCAA Division I, Division II or Division III athletic recruitment

  • Visual or performing art portfolios through SlideRoom

  • Chaperoned college tours

  • Honors program and merit scholarship application assistance 

  • Summer program strategy and application assistance

  • Side-by-side assistance with application and test score submission to prevent user error

  • Deferral and waitlist action plans

  • Assistance with high school-based forms such as transcript requests and application cover sheets

Q: HOW DO I KNOW WHICH PACKAGE TO PICK?

A: CHECK OUT THESE DOCUMENTS AND LOOK AT THE BREAKDOWN OF HOURS FOR TYPICAL TASKS THAT ALL, MOST, AND SOME STUDENTS NEED. COMPARE THESE BREAKDOWNS WITH THE HOURS LISTED ON OUR PACKAGE PAGE.

As you will see from the document, most students choose the 35-hour package because it takes about that long for a typical student to get through the process. Some need less time and some need more time. We are happy to assist with this decision; please contact us with any questions.

Q: DO YOU OFFER ANY DIY OPTIONS?

A: YES! OUR STRATEGY SESSIONS ARE PERFECT FOR A FAMILY THAT HOPES TO NAVIGATE THIS PROCESS WITH A DO-IT-YOURSELF APPROACH!

We also suggest checking out our guides - these are very low-cost and are perfect to use with parental help in the home setting.