Our Approach


At Smart College Selection, we help students and their families confidently and strategically move through the college selection process. Our focus is on college selection rather than college admissions, because we believe that students shouldn’t be fighting for admission to a handful of schools, but should be choosing between the thousands of excellent schools - big and small - to find those that fit them best.


We have developed a smart approach to college selection. Effective college decision-making begins with students understanding themselves, setting clear objectives, and creating a robust plan. Think about it: when you buy a car or a house, you don’t start with what houses or cars are available, and you don’t obsess over what your friend is buying. Instead, you start with an understanding of what you want and need.

So that’s where we start when working with a student and family. We work together to come up with a comprehensive list of criteria for the college list, and then create a smart list of colleges that meet the criteria, including admissibility, affordability, and other important fit factors.

In the junior year, we help students research potential schools fully. When the time comes, students know why they are applying to each school on their final list, and how their profile compares with that of admitted students. That helps them significantly in crafting outstanding applications.

Most Smart College Selection students choose to participate in a small group, week-long college application workshop the summer before their senior year to jumpstart the application process, but other students accomplish these same steps working one-on-one with their consultant. Regardless, Smart College Selection consultants guide the student (and their parents!) personally through the application and decision-making process throughout the senior year.


The Smart College Selection approach includes formal and informal activities, student and family meetings, a powerful on-line college selection planning platform, customized tools, an eight-step essay development process, and most importantly, lots of snacks, encouragement, laughs, perspective, and celebration.  


Please see the questions section for more information on timing, costs, and process. Most students begin working with Smart College Selection their sophomore or junior years; occasionally we have room in our practice to accept new students in the senior year. To inquire about availability, go to ‘contact us’.