Selection and Counseling
School selection and counseling is a comprehensive service that begins in late summer or early fall. Families meet to discuss and answer questions about their children, their views of school, what has and has not been effective so far, and the different types of schools available in the Washington area (and, for boarding school applicants, around the country). Selection and counseling includes the services listed below, as appropriate. (Not all families engage all services.)
- Interviews and conversations with parents (and students for applicants to grade 3 and above)
- Review and discussion of grades and school reports
- Review and discussion of standardized testing and professional evaluations
- Discussions of schools identified by parents
- Recommendations of schools
- Recommendations for additional testing and resources (if indicated)
- Recommendations for test preparation services
- Discussion of teacher recommendations
- Discussion of application calendar
- Evaluation of likelihood of admission at particular schools
- Discussion and coaching on student school visits and interviews
- Discussion and coaching on parent interviews
- Complete review of applications
- Advising on unusual conflicts between schools
- Discussion of admission options after offers are received
- Strategic counsel on wait-list decisions
- Preparation for matriculation
- All other questions and concerns as they arise throughout the year
The fee for Selection and Counseling is $4500 for students applying to grade 4 and above, and $3500 for students applying to earlier grades.
In the school application process, families frequently overestimate the importance of test scores in the admission process, and underestimate the significance of the written portions. Families who want to manage the selection of schools and interviewing on their own may opt to work with me on review of their applications, during which I pose questions and offer suggestions to strengthen the written portions. This type of review is often as valuable for what you or your child may omit as for what you may enhance, and for the nuances between different schools’ approaches. (I often ask writers to clarify their writing, or to consider a different approach on particular responses for certain schools, based on what I believe is likely to be effective. I will not write parts of an application.)
Application Review is time-intensive and therefore available as my schedule allows, and Selection and Counseling clients enjoy priority in review of their applications. For those reasons I encourage families to begin Application Review by December 1.
The fee for application review is $1200 for one or two applications, and $500 per additional application.
Sometimes families have very specific questions that require only a few relatively brief conversations. The fee for this type of ad-hoc consultation is $400 per hour, in quarter-hour (aggregated) increments. Accumulated hourly fees can be “upgraded” to a Selection and Counseling package with no penalty.
A note on Fees
I am aware that my fees may seem expensive to some families. Consider, however, that they represent barely 10 percent of a single year’s tuition at most DC–area independent schools. That said, I try to be sensitive to differences in family resources, and in some cases I will adjust fees based on circumstances. If you are committed to applying to independent schools but are concerned about fees, please get in touch so we can discuss your situation.