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Student Counsel


If you have a high school student living in your home, you’ve probably been thinking about college for some time.

But now that you and your child have to navigate the muddled maze of applications for real, how do you manage without throwing yourself on a sharp No. 2 pencil?

Three words: independent college advisor.

Although these advisors have been around for years, they have become increasingly popular as the college admissions process has gotten more competitive and complicated, and as budget cuts have left school counseling departments understaffed.

“Advisors do the work that many parents would like to do,” says Joanne Levy-Prewitt, an advisor in Moraga. “But the relationship is not as emotionally charged. It’s a different equation than a parent/child relationship and can be more effective.”

Levy-Prewitt suggests some factors to consider when choosing a counselor.

1 Compatibility. A successful working experience is based on mutual trust and respect. The advisor/student relationship should foster a sense of responsibility in the student.

2 Availability. A good counselor should be available even the night before an application is due.

3 Organization. This is critical. An unorganized counselor equals an unorganized student.

4 Cost. Counseling should not cost more than orthodontia, but it’s not cheap. Fees range from $95 to $200 per hour. Packages of services spanning a student’s junior and senior years range from $1,200 to $2,500.

For more information, visit these websites of advisor certification organizations: www.hecaonline.org and www.wacac.org .


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