Housecalls Tutoring's college admissions team specializes in guiding families through this complex and often stressful process. We help students and their parents choose the best schools for them and guide them through the multitude of admission strategies now available, including Early Decision and Early Action.
Through experience and research, we know what admissions committees are looking for nowadays. We specialize in casting your child in the best possible light in order to let their unique qualities shine through. Housecalls will improve your child's chances for success by effectively highlighting his or her special skills, passions, and academic abilities and helping to present these various elements in a neatly packaged and well-balanced application.
Our goal is to provide guidance and advice that is student-motivated and -centered but also realistic in light of the current competitive admissions environment. Ultimately, our educational philosophy is that college guidance is about helping students understand which schools will be best for them, as well as helping them to discover their individual talents and strengths.
The College Guidance division at Housecalls provides an invaluable and very tangible service. Our students and families both appreciate our expertise, as we aggressively analyze and advise you on all aspects of the admissions process. In today's extremely competitive college admissions environment helping a student to stand out is key, including the way your child's talents, skills and accomplishments are packaged. This process is a science as well as an art, and is especially important in New York, where students are closer together than ever in terms of standardized test scores, grade point averages and extra-curriculars.
Housecalls will help you gain that extra edge, both from our individual tutors, and our overall experience in working with admissions counselors from the top colleges. We'll organize and enrich the applications. Specifically, we will focus on the essays, out-of-class activities, interview advice, and the unbiased creation of the safety, realistic and "reach" list of colleges. Although the admissions process is nerve-wracking, students have much more control than they might realize. Colleges are really looking for students who can show their drive and commitment and at the same time demonstrate that they will contribute to the campus environment. As it turns out, it's much more than a numbers game after all! Through our strategic and polished process, Housecalls will show students how to emphasize their passions and unique accomplishments, while at the same time addressing and downplaying certain weaker areas.
The college essay is an area in which students can really shine. In fact, reports indicate it's only increasing in importance to admissions officers. With students only a few points apart in other aspects, the essay provides a unique opportunity for an applicant to describe their educational path as well as what makes them special. We'll help students to brainstorm topics, shape and nurture their essays, and edit their final drafts. Of course, all the while, the words and thoughts will stay from within your student's repertoire and remain from their heart. We can also assist your child with striking that all-important appealing tone in writing - actually one of the trickiest aspects of essay composition "while avoiding the clichéd" essay. Through our comprehensive program, Housecalls has guided students through the admissions process for the nation's top tier schools, as well as many of the smaller but equally selective colleges and universities.
The good news is that through technology, there are more options than ever for working with students outside of the home. While our staff is more than happy to travel to your house for the initial few sessions, after that much of the editing can actually be done remotely through e-mail, Skype and Google Docs.
The SAT, which has been the most prominent college admissions exam in New York for decades, is finally getting some real competition from the ACT. The ACT has marketed their product extremely well, and many kids are wondering if that is a better exam for them. But if a New York student takes the ACT, will the colleges view this less positively? Which exam is more straight forward and less tricky? And, finally, how many times should a student plan to retake a standardized test? Housecalls will send you our well-researched summary of the ACT vs. SAT. In addition, we can also guide students through additional tests that will help support the application, such as the SAT II subject tests, including which ones to take and when.
Combined with our proven, targeted test preparation, students will not only perform to the best of their ability on college admissions tests but also feel confident that they are getting the most up-to-date strategies possible.
The admissions process is not only time intensive, it can also be exhausting. Building on advice offered by each student's guidance counselor, we'll be sure to keep your son or daughter on track. This includes reminding your child of significant deadlines and assisting with organizing college guidance materials. Significantly too it can take much of the pressure off of you as a parent, knowing that nothing will be overlooked or missed! Finally, as alluded to before, we provide an unbiased view of your child's potential, as many college guidance counselors have to be aware of their overall "percentages", and may actually limit your child's choices to avoid having too many rejections.
While the college application process is certainly stressful, we also feel it offers all students an opportunity for personal reflection and growth. If managed carefully, for example, each student can learn much more about their own unique strengths and passions, as well as the personal characteristics that colleges or universities will find attractive. Your child will leave the process more confident not only in their writing, but in their prior accomplishments, and hopefully future success in college. Applying to colleges is simply part of a lifelong journey that each student takes, and we look forward to being a part of this intimate process with you!
Heidi Fisher is the head of Housecalls Tutoring's College Admissions Division. She has extensive experience with all facets of the college admissions process, from initial college exploration to helping students craft their essays and applications. As a veteran educator, Heidi has tutored in public and private New York City high schools for more than 10 years, including The Browning School, St. Ignatius Loyola, and The Dwight School. She received her B.A. in English with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A. in Comparative and International Education from Columbia University.
Heidi devotes all of her efforts to helping teens along the path to college, as she divides her time between Housecalls Tutoring and her full-time job as Managing Director for a college access non-profit partnership affiliated with Princeton University. At Housecalls, she also heads the Standardized Tests Division and tutors students in English and history.