College Counseling: Our Approach
Bedford College Consulting LLC provides personalized guidance with the college research, application, and admissions process. We help guide students through the college application process to find their fit and maximize success in college admissions. We partner with students to understand their interests and strengths and use this knowledge to help them in their college admissions. We encourage students to, first, discover and then use their unique voice in their application materials. We are here to provide support through the admissions life cycle, easing both student and parent anxiety.
Our approach is collaborative and personal. It involves regular communication with both the student and parents. Some communication takes place as face-to-face meetings; other meetings can be conducted by phone and email. How we work with a student is flexible and personalized to suit each student's needs.
We offer services geared for high school juniors and seniors. Many students and their families reach out for help at the start of their senior year. Whenever possible, we like to begin working with students earlier, during the fall of their junior year. This is the optimal time for college exploration, research, and planning.
We work with younger students as well – we meet with freshmen and sophomores to start early college planning and preparation.
Call or email us to schedule a free, personalized consultation in our Bedford office.
The following describes some of the ways we work with a family.
Getting to Know You
Bedford College Consulting believes the path to a successful college experience begins by getting to know both the student and the parents.
As we begin working with a family, we ask numerous questions, all with the goal of understanding the student holistically. We learn from parents about the student’s strengths, interests, and needs. We also discuss parent preferences in terms of college type, size, location – and cost.
Several 1-on-1 student meetings may come next. In these meetings, we review the academic record and talk about high school experiences. We discuss interests and passions to uncover what motivates and excites the student. In the course of these meetings, we uncover predominant student engagement and learning styles. After Bedford College Consulting has developed an in-depth knowledge and full appreciation of the student, we begin to work on college admissions tasks.
The College List
To develop a preliminary list of suggested colleges, we partner with students to research and evaluate colleges for their fit potential. Together, we explore a full range of colleges and methodically narrow the list to those best suited for the student.
The prepared list typically contains a range of schools. We work with the student -- and the family -- to build the list, reviewing each college and discussing its characteristics. Together, we make modifications to the list, removing some schools and adding others. After several sessions, we have our working list, which we will revisit several times as we move forward.
The College Essay
To help students begin the writing process, we meet to brainstorm about past experiences, fond memories, teachable moments, small victories – in short, anything that might lead to an interesting, insightful and unique essay. Getting the topic right is vital. The most common mistake we see is a poorly chosen topic. For most students, this is an unrecoverable error, resulting in an essay that is lifeless, unfocused, or, worst of all, clichéd.
Now, more than ever, every written word matters. The Common Application requires the student to convey something meaningful and memorable in an essay of 650 words or less. Not an easy task, even for the most skilled writer. We provide feedback and pose questions to help the student fully develop the main essay and any required supplementary essays. We do this while adhering to strict ethical standards in terms of authorship: it is the job of the student to write the essay and own its content.