Looking for a college counselor? We help students and families reduce the stress and anxiety about going to college. There are thousands of colleges to choose from, and there's a lot of stress in applying to college. The national media critique of the cost and benefits of college, and a struggling economy and workforce leaves families wondering if college is the right thing to pursue. And when you add in the busyness of families today, and a changing college landscape, it is no surprise the college application process feels overwhelming.
There are lots of search engines and internet resources to help with the college search. The difference we provide, however, is that we sort through all of that for you. Our ongoing familiarization with colleges, relationships with admission staff, and continuing education of how higher education is changing means you get personalized guidance and advice - something internet searches can't do.
In our work with you, we aim to simplify and support your search for colleges and your college application process. College success doesn't happen overnight, but rather as a result of strategic goal setting, hard work and a strong support system. We work in-person and remotely with clients from across the United States.
College Search and Planning Program
The College Search and Planning Program is designed specifically for 11th grade students to help reduce the stress and anxiety that many families experience when considering college options.
Program participants meet regularly in small cohorts and in 1:1 sessions with a Thrive coach. Through the program, there will be time spent on getting to know student interests, family needs and parameters, and how to search for and evaluate colleges. Participants receive guidance and feedback on a plan to take standardized tests, developing a list of colleges, and assessing affordability of options.
College Application Program
The College Application Program is designed specifically for 12th grade students, to help reduce the stress and anxiety that many families experience when applying to colleges.
Students meet regularly in small cohorts and in 1:1 sessions with a Thrive coach through the duration of the program. We use a scheduled process that takes participants through writing the personal statement and college-specific essays. Participants receive guidance and feedback on their essays, applying for scholarships, interview preparation, and reviewing admission and financial aid offers.
Our work with students as they venture off to their new college life is as much about helping them succeed in college, as it is about helping them develop the skills and awareness needed to successfully transition to any new stage of life.
We use a structured approach to learning, grounded in appreciative inquiry and positive psychology. Our framework for learning invites students to be curious, intentional, and reflective in their individual growth. We guide students through five stages: discover, dream, design, deliver, and don't settle.
Custom College Coaching
For students and families not interested in our comprehensive programs listed above, we offer hourly college counseling to meet your needs. Examples include the following:
- Career and Interest Assessment
- College List Development
- College Essays
- Student Activity Sheet/Resume
- Campus Visits
- Interview Preparation
- Decision Guidance
- Transition Support
- BigFuture College Search (CollegeBoard)
- The National Center for Education Statistics has the College Navigator
- College Completion has information on graduation rates, and percent of students on Pell grants
- College Results has information about college graduation rates
- Educate to Career has information on the return on the college investment
- Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
- National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
- National Collegiate Honors Council
- Public University Honors
- Affordable Colleges Online
- Colleges That Change Lives
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Black College Living has information about historically Black colleges and universities(HBCUs)
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
- Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine
- Campus Pride has information about campuses for LGBTQ students building their college lists.
- The American Indian College Fund has resources for Native students to plan for college.
- I'm First Guide to College has good information for first generation students
- Immigrants Rising has information for first generation/undocumented students
- My Undocumented Life has information and resources for undocumented students.
- Service 2 School is a non-profit providing information and resources to military veterans and service members.
- For admission to colleges in the United Kingdom, there's the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
College Visits & Tours
- NACAC Virtual College Fairs: FREE virtual college fairs.
- Six Colleges: Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton, Pomona, Swarthmore, and Williams are hosting a series of virtual events for students, families, and counselors.
- Jesuit Excellence Tour Program: a series of recruitment events that allow admissions staff at Jesuit colleges and universities to jointly recruit targeted areas across the country.
- Campus Reel: 15,000 real videos, tours and experiences from 300+ college campuses.
- YouVisit: Virtually visit 600+ colleges for free.
- Assessing Virtual Tours for Students with Physical Disabilities/Health Conditions: Tips to support students with health conditions and physical disabilities who are taking virtual tours.
- SAT Test Updates: College Board information on upcoming test dates, cancellations and postponements.
- ACT Test Updates: ACT information on upcoming test dates, cancellations and postponements.
- FairTest: List of 1,500+ test-optional colleges and universities
- Khan Academy has free SAT practice tests.
- NCAA Student Athlete Information
- The National Directory of College Athletics, Collegiate Directories
- NCAA COVID-19 Response: Information from the NCAA for student-athletes
- FAFSA Help - INVested has some great resources to help you navigate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- FAFSA4caster and Federal Students Aid
- Federal Student Loans: Updates from the U.S. Department of Education about Federal Student Loans.
- FormSwift Financial Aid Appeal Templates: SwiftStudent provides FREE assistance in understanding and going through the financial aid appeal process.
- Scholarships.Com is an online searchable database of scholarships.
- Financial Aid has a guide to all types of financial aid
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
- Saving for College has good information about 529 plans and planning ahead
- The Hispanic Scholarship Consortium
Deferral or Gap Year
- American Gap Association
- What to Know About Deferred College Admission: A US News article with information for those considering deferring admission.
- Deferral Guide: YearOn’s free guide to what to do when considering a gap year before beginning college.
Updates on College Openings and Closings
- Reversals in Colleges' Fall 2020 Reopening Plans: Inside Higher Ed’s searchable database for how college campuses are changing plans.
- Tracking Coronavirus Cases on U.S. College Campuses: NY Times’ searchable database of the number of Coronavirus cases on US college campuses.
- Live Coronavirus Updates: The Chronicle of Higher Education’s most recent updates.
- S & P Outlook Ratings for Higher Ed Institutions: Updated S & P Global ratings for U.S. institutions and impact of COVID-19 on financial stability.
Kate Knaul is an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), which has rigorous standards for membership, and ethical guidelines. She regularly engages in college familiarization and professional development opportunities related to college admission.
Washington and Lee University (employed 2001-2002)
Depauw University (employed 2002-2018)
University of Richmond (virtual) May 18, 2020
University of Iowa (virtual) May 20, 2020
University of Washington (virtual) May 27, 2020
Vanderbilt University (virtual) June 1, 2020
University of Colorado (virtual) June 8, 2020
Tufts University (virtual) June 15, 2020
University of Southern California (virtual) September 14, 2020
Drake University (virtual) January 28, 2021
University of Iowa (virtual) January 28, 2021
Grinnell College (virtual) January 28, 2021
Lewis & Clark College (virtual) February 22, 2021
Macalester College (virtual) February 22, 2021
Rhodes College (virtual) February 22, 2021
Trinity College (virtual) February 22, 2021
University of Richmond (virtual) February 22, 2021
UMass Amherst (virtual) March 8, 2021
Bates College (virtual ) March 30, 2021
University of Georgia (virtual ) March 30, 2021
Paul Quinn College (virtual ) March 30, 2021
University of Oregon (virtual ) March 30, 2021
Trinity College (virtual ) March 30, 2021
IECA Annual Conference May 8-10, 2019
IECA Webinar: How Do Test-Optional Admission Policies Affect Student, Colleges, and Affordability? March 12, 2019
IECA Global Committee Webinar: IB 101 Counseling Diploma and Career-Related Programme August 21, 2019
How to Lead a College Essay Workshop, WowWritingWorkshop March 18, 2020
IECA Webinar: Upgrade Your Technology Game: How to Serve Clients Well and Find Prospects Using Virtual Tools May 21, 2020
IECA Webinar: Supplemental Essays: Everything BUT the Personal Statement June 9, 2020
IECA webinar: College Transition for IECs Working with Students with Health Conditions and Physical Disabilities July 14, 2020
IECA Summer Institute 2020 July 27-31, 2020
IECA webinar: College Consultants Who Care August 11, 2020
IECA webinar: College Transition Support for High-Achieving Students with Pre-Existing Mental Health Issues September 8, 2020
IECA Webinar: Two Schools' Innovation to Ensure Their Graduates Are Prepared October 13, 2020
Financial Aid Webinar with Roger Williams University February 12, 2021
INACAC Annual Conference February 22, 2021
IECA Webinar: Common Application: Strategic Direction and New Initiatives April 13, 2021