What We Do
The right college is the one where a student thrives – academically and socially. Name recognition of a school does not guarantee either success or fulfillment. College Search Navigators embraces the important mission of the independent educational consultant by providing innovative, personalized guidance for young adults and their families, so that they may confidently navigate each step in the college search and application process.
Our goal is to enhance the college application adventure by de-stressing the process, and transforming it from a fragmented, shotgun exercise into a smooth process with a guided focus. By making sense of the college admissions process, it becomes a positive experience for both the student and his or her family and maximizes the student’s educational opportunities.
Our education and experience provide an excellent foundation in such vital skills as counseling, advocacy, effective writing strategies, and superior analytical techniques and research methods, delivered in a professional and ethical manner.
Through the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC) and the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), we have access to national and regional resources and referral networks. Our knowledge of local educational systems and trends in the college placement of area students allows us to provide a process that is uniquely individualized.
Our consulting services are provided through one-on-one counseling, via a wide range of methods. Through in-person meetings at locations most convenient and comfortable for the student, innovative e-distance webcam video meetings (allowing us to effectively work with students across town – or across the country), and by cell, email, text – even Facebook, we strive to build a strong bond of support and communication with our students.
High School Course Selection
High school course selection has become an important factor in how a college evaluates its applicants. The courses that a student selects in his or her junior and senior year therefore take on more importance than in years past. We provide guidance in this vital area to assist the student in selecting those high school courses that are best-suited to the student’s goals.
Standardized Test Strategy
We help students decipher the “alphabet soup” of standardized tests available – SAT, ACT, SAT II, AP – and develop a strategy for which tests to take when, and why. We also provide referrals for test preparation options, and review and critique student test results. As more colleges continue to adopt “test-optional” policies regarding standardized tests, we also discuss and advise whether this is a viable alternative for students to consider.
Student Profile Enhancement
In addition to high school course selection, grade tracking and other academic guidance, College Search Navigators also provides advice on constructing a student’s profile of activities, accomplishments and experiences. We focus on the student’s selection and prioritization of meaningful extracurricular activities and work experiences, emphasizing how these activities reflect the student as a unique individual. We continue to re-assess and update the Student Profile, and suggest ways to enhance these experiences.
With thousands of four-year accredited colleges in the U.S., choosing a short list of prospective colleges can be both daunting and stressful. We provide guidance in constructing a comprehensive continuum of colleges that match the student’s interests, abilities and needs. Our goal is to develop a customized selection of colleges that would be a “great fit” for the student, where he or she can grow both socially and intellectually, and discover their full potential.
One important tool that students have at their disposal is the choice of whether to apply for Early Decision or Early Action admission. We provide guidance on whether to take advantage of these important options, based on the student’s goals and college selection continuum.
The campus visit is another vital resource that, when utilized properly, can provide students and parents with valuable information on a college that cannot be gained from written materials or school websites. We visit many college campuses each year, and provide advice on how students and parents can get the most out of campus visits.
We also provide guidance, as well as expert referrals, on the financial aspects and options of paying for college.
Once the student has developed his or her Student Profile, we will suggest strategies by which the student can “jump off the page” and express his or her own voice. This is accomplished through the development and preparation of all required and optional essays (utilizing our proven strategies for effective essay writing), as well as assistance in the completion of the student’s college applications. We then provide a comprehensive review of both the essays and applications and offer guidance so that the student produces the highest quality product that reflects the whole student.
The campus visit and interview are the best ways to demonstrate interest in a school, and have become a vital component of the admissions decision making process. We provide guidance prior to campus visits and also prepare the student for campus interviews through mock interview sessions.
Deadline and Requirements Tracking
Keeping track of deadlines is hard enough, but keeping track of the various application and test score deadlines at multiple colleges can be overwhelming. We provide the student with a schedule of deadlines to help keep abreast of the various reporting requirements at each college to which he or she is applying. We also send reminders to the student of approaching deadlines so that everything is submitted in a timely manner.
Process Protocol and Etiquette
By discussing the process protocol and the necessary etiquette involved, the student’s personal best is highlighted throughout the application process.
Guidance Department Interface: High school guidance departments are increasingly unable to provide the depth and range of assistance required by today’s college applicants. We communicate with a student’s guidance counselor in a professional and diplomatic manner, with the goal of working with the guidance department on behalf of our student clients.
Third-party Recommendations: Recommendations and other recognition from third parties (such as teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and college alumni) can play an important role in an admissions officer’s evaluation of a candidate. We provide students with useful tips and techniques for obtaining third-party recommendations, as well as the proper procedure and etiquette.
Parent/Student “Buffer”: Our role in the college admissions process provides the benefit of helping to defuse the intra-family stress that often develops during this process, making it a smoother process for everyone.
We are extremely proud of our track record of success. Let College Search Navigators help you navigate a successful and meaningful journey to college!
Did You Know?
The path to college starts the moment you enter high school. And once at college, a new passion may emerge.
In addition to the College Bound Package, our Pre-Collegiate Package for high school freshmen and sophomores, as well as our College Transfer Assistance services, ensure comprehensive guidance – every step of the way! Please see the Services page for further details.
Don’t Let Summer Pass You By!
While many think of the summer as a time to relax, hit the beach and do anything but something academic, summer is the best time to explore potential academic majors and careers. You can learn more about this at your local library. Take advantage of the down time to up your game. You will be glad you did.
In Memory of Diane Gallo
We are deeply saddened by the passing of our co-founder Diane Gallo. Diane, a beloved independent educational consultant who went above and beyond for the students she served and their families, will be greatly missed. She was a great colleague and friend to all. If you had been working with Diane, please reach out to her husband Michael Gallo with a written request for a refund of any monies that may be owed to you at 43 Hillside Avenue, Glen Rock, NJ 07452.
Did You Know?
With the number of applicants now using the Common App and the ease of submitting an online application (in the 2010-11 cycle, 1.8 million applications were submitted as of January 1, 2011), admissions officers are looking for more than just an application to make admissions decisions - you need to demonstrate a genuine interest in the school. The best ways to do this include visiting the campus, having a campus interview if offered, attending college fairs and completing the intake form for schools you are really interested in, attending any local events in your area sponsored by the college, and emailing the admissions counselors with specific questions about programs that interest you. These steps can help to differentiate you from the herd of "stealth applicants" who use the Common App as their sole contact with the school.
"Our thanks to College Search Navigators for a truly outstanding experience. The assistance CSN provided – especially in helping our daughter to select her "perfect fit" college and present her true self – made all the difference. Jackie is a happy and successful college student, and loves her school. We are very grateful to College Search Navigators. "William G., parent of Jacqueline G., Class of 2011,
University of Virginia