Email:info@darienacademicadvisors.com            Phone: (203) 202-8082

FAQs for College Consulting

Q:  What type of students do you work with?

A:  We work with all types!  Some students come to us with excellent records and testing, while others might have had a weak freshman year, or they may have struggled consistently throughout high school.  Whatever your academic profile, we can help each student find good match colleges and to put his or her best foot forward in the application process.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where are your students from?

A:  For college admissions, about two thirds of our students are from Fairfield County in Connecticut.  The other third are from all over the world, and other parts of the USA.  We have worked with students from 23 countries and 30 states.  This geographic diversity gives us a unique perspective on the college admissions environment.

Q:  When can my child start working with you?

A:  Most students start working with us during 10th or 11th grade.   The cost of the full package is the same whether you begin with us in sophomore or junior year, since we cover the same material.

We also offer one time consultations to middle school students and 9th graders, where we talk about the college process, planning the 9-12 grade transcript, and considering activities and summer involvement.  

Finally, seniors can sign up for a college list development meeting or essay help.

Q:  Do you charge for an introductory meeting?

A:  Parents and students are welcome to set up an appointment where we can get to know each other and the family can learn more about DAA’s approach to college counseling.  This short meeting lasts about 20-30 minutes and there is no charge.  Many families already know they want to work with us because of a personal recommendation or a phone conversation and they are ready to start with an intake meeting, where we review transcripts and activities and start working with each other officially.  There is a payment do for this type of a working meeting, whereas the introduction, or non-working meeting, is free.

Q:  Where and when do you meet with students?

A:  I meet with most students in my office at 30 Old Kings Highway South in Darien, Connecticut.  But I also do a lot of meetings through Skype.  This is ideal for long distance students, but also for local students with busy schedules.  I meet with students on weekends and after school, and evening meetings are available through Skype.

Q:  How often do parents come to the meetings?

A:  Parents generally come to the intake meeting and the college list development meeting, and again to a meeting where we make a final decision of where to apply and create an application work schedule.  But the meetings in between, where we do a career assessment, mock interview, essay brainstorming or application review are generally for students only.  Parents get an email update after each meeting their student attends.

Q:  How do you help students with essays, and why can’t an English teacher or family friend help with this?

A:  College essays are very different from the type of writing that students do in school.  A good essay comes from the heart, is self-reflective and makes the reader want to continue the conversation, or get to know the student better.  We are trained at helping students with this type of essay, and we get better and better at it the more we do it.  Other professionals who are not in the unique position of working with many students in this type of essay may not have developed the skills and understanding to help a student find his or her voice.


Q:  Do you help with SAT/ACT prep?

A:  We will help your student decide which test to take, when to take it, and how to prepare for it.  We make recommendations of tutors and classes, but also have free resources and can help your student make a self-study plan.

Q:  Can you help us find scholarship money?

A:  Yes!  Most scholarship money comes from the colleges themselves, so the key is to apply to the right colleges in the first place.  When we do a college list development session with your family, we will ask about cost considerations and suggest colleges where your child is likely to receive aid.   Our clients, even those with GPA’s below 3.0, have been awarded large merit scholarships.  It is truly a matter of applying to the right colleges, and we help families build a college list that is a financial fit.

Q:  What are some of your success stories for the class of 2017?

A:  I worked with a young woman whose writing skills, social activism, and excellent grades earned her a spot at Stanford University.  One of my students was admitted Early Decision to Penn, and another was accepted to more than 10 ultra-selective colleges and decided to attend Yale.  I had many financial aid success stories, including a young man with limited funds who earned a large scholarship to Drexel, and four students who received merit awards that were worth more than $15,000 each year.