College Planning Source takes great pride in providing the most comprehensive college and financial planning services for our clients. We understand that preparing for college and the future requires the efforts of both the family and students alike. With this in mind, we’ve created some unique programs to assist families and their college-bound student. Our services include:
Our unique College Admissions Planning Program provides guidance for your college-bound student to help understand their future options, compare the differences between them, and make educated decisions. In order to do this we provide:
- College Counseling Sessions with a College Planning Counselor (in office or via Zoom): One-on-one counseling sessions give counselors a chance to get to know each student; their interests, strengths, and goals, and create customized plans for each student. A College Planning Counselor will guide your student through the process of narrowing down major options, possible careers, and universities to apply to and assist them throughout the application process.
- Scheduled Guidance Check-ins: Your student’s College Planning Counselor will schedule check-in meetings with your student to monitor their progress and encourage them to stay on track with their goals, providing them with suggestions to reach the next level of their education. Meetings are available in-person or via Zoom and parents are welcome to attend.
- Career Interest, Abilities and Values Assessment: Your student will have the opportunity to take personality assessments to help identify and define potential majors/careers that match their interests, abilities, and values. Our program uses various tools and student exercises to offer the best options for their future.
- College Major Selection: Students are guided through selecting the right major for their career path. Selecting an academic major helps counselors build students’ college lists, which is then refined by students and their families. Counselors help ensure that your student’s list comprises a balance of safety, target, and reach schools, as well as those that are reputable in your student’s field of interest
- Student Profile Evaluation: Our College Planning Counselors will assess your student’s situation given their planned high school coursework, academic performance, standardized testing performance, and volunteer, leadership, and extracurricular activities. Students will be advised on how to build a well-rounded, competitive profile
- Profile Development Strategies: Upon taking into consideration your student’s current achievements, your College Planning Counselor will help them set short-term and long-term goals, and provide recommendations to improve their chances of admission. Counselors will assist the student in filling any “gaps” in their profile by recommending opportunities in appropriate areas.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Your student will receive suggestions for organizations to volunteer with as well as receive updates on upcoming volunteer projects for them to participate in within their community.
- College Planning Timeline: Your family will receive a college planning outline with suggestions on what students and parents should be focusing on throughout their remaining high school years.
- Summer Plans: Summers are the best time to get ahead in the college planning process by getting involved in an activity and/or program. These activities or programs help deepen students’ passion for a career, major, or academic area of interest. Students will receive recommendations and a list of career/major-based summer activities and programs from their Counselor.
- Summer Program Application(s): Summer programs could have competitive entrance requirements including applications and essays. This is a mini-application season for some students. To assist in this process, their counselor will help them navigate the requirements and applications, including developing and editing their summer program essays.
- College Application Insight: We will provide your student with insight into common admission factors for various universities. Students and their College Planning Counselor will strategize ways to enhance their application profiles.
- College Planning Student Account: Your student will have access to our college planning web-based platform, where they can research universities and build their college list.
- Resume Development: College Planning Counselors host workshops on how to create resumes for summer programs, jobs, internships, and college applications. Students can receive edits and feedback from their counselors on their resumes prior to sending them out with applications.
- Campus Visit/Tour Recommendations: We believe that no two colleges are alike, despite offering similar programs of study, extracurricular opportunities, and resources. For this reason, we encourage families to visit colleges and take tours to determine the qualities that are important to everyone involved. Your College Planning Counselor will offer guidance as to which colleges to visit based on your student’s interests and academic potential.
- Key list of questions to ask while on college tours/visits: Our list of questions to ask on college tours and to the department, representatives have helped hundreds of families determine the differences between universities and their programs to ensure the college is a good fit for their student.
- Admissions Planning Webinars: Your student will have access to webinars designed to assist them with staying on track with deadlines and action items related to college applications.
- Selecting “Best Fit” Colleges: There are many factors to consider when selecting a college, including location, size, research opportunities, major options, budget, religious affiliation, etc. By getting to know your student’s interests, talents, and goals, we’ll identify a list of best-fit colleges for their consideration.
- Creating a Balanced List of Schools: We believe that a student needs to make sure that they apply to the right mixture of schools to maximize the number of acceptances they receive. Our College Planning Counselors will meet one-on-one with your student to assess their academic ability, standardized testing performance, and profile and offer your student a balanced suggested college list.
- On-Going Student Development Support: We will provide families with telephone and email support (you are not billed by the hour); our primary concern is getting your questions answered
Our Applications Support Program saves countless hours of time for parents and students. The application process entails many different action items that often need to be completed or submitted in a particular order. Our applications support program includes:
- Expert College Application Guidance: Our Counselors will coach your student through the complicated process of applications, essays, tasks, and deadlines to apply to college.
- College Application Tracking: Our proprietary college application tracking has taken the guesswork out of the process. We will provide your student with a checklist of all items the schools will need your student to submit in their application package and provide an explanation behind what the item is and the best time to complete and submit the item.
- Admissions Applications Calendar: We’ll help create an individualized electronic calendar that outlines all required application items when to complete them and official deadlines. This is to ensure the proper pace and timeframe to complete all the application requirements and leave room to follow up with the colleges to make sure there is nothing missing.
- College Research Workshop: Your student will have access to our 1.5-hour College Application Research Workshop, which is offered several times throughout the year. Our workshop helps students discover what is important to them in their future college, as well as helps them to explore universities that they may not have previously considered. By the end of this workshop, students will have compiled research on several different colleges.
- University of California Application Workshop: During this workshop, students will begin and complete the University of California Application. Counselors will guide students through the application while offering tips and strategies and answer any student questions related to the UC Application.
- California State University Application Workshop: During this workshop, students will begin and complete the California State University Application. Counselors will guide students on how to appropriately and effectively report A-G coursework, community college coursework, and assist with filling out the supplementary application questions required by SOME CSUs.
- Common Application Workshops: During this workshop, students will begin and complete the main Common Application. Once this portion of the application is complete, students can begin adding and completing supplemental applications for each university they are applying to using the Common Application. Counselors will guide students through the application while offering tips and strategies and answer any questions related to the Common Application.
- Essay Development Workshop: Counselors will help students locate university-specific prompts and offer ideas on how best to respond to them. Students will be provided with essay development exercises, sample student essays, tools to help the students brainstorm ideas and narrow down suitable essay topics for application essays.
- Essay Editing/Reviews: A key component of our services is comprehensive application essay editing. Students will have the opportunity to electronically submit college essay drafts and receive detailed feedback and revisions prior to submitting their applications.
- Final Application Audits: Your student will receive the opportunity to have their completed applications reviewed/audited by one of our College Planning Counselors before submitting them to the universities. Counselors assist the student with preparing a complete, coherent, and competitive application.
- Post-Application Follow-Up: After applications are submitted, counselors advise students on next steps, checking application portals, and submitting additional information to colleges as requested.
- College Selection Guidance: Students have the opportunity to meet with their counselors in the spring to go over acceptances, scholarship offers, and financial aid packages. Counselors help alleviate some of the stress associated with selecting a college by offering meaningful support and insight.
Our College Funding Program allows families to maximize their opportunities for financial aid and create a confident strategic college funding plan for all their children.
- College Funding Sessions for Parent(s): Parents have the opportunity to meet with Michelle and discuss how to align their student’s higher education goals with their budget and financial resources.
- Cost of Attendance Outlines: We will map out the costs of all the colleges your student is interested in applying to, determine the resources necessary to pay the tuition at those colleges, and consider any financial constraints and/or opportunities.
- Merit and Need-based Financial Aid Award Estimates: We will provide financial aid award estimates for each school under consideration, as well as provide additional recommendations on affordability.
- Creating a Financially Balanced List of Schools: College Planning Counselors work with families to ensure that the student’s list of schools is financially accessible for families. College lists are built to include affordable options for college.
- Analysis of Various Situations: A family’s financial situation constantly fluctuates, sometimes more than others. We will forecast various financial situations and determine the difference in out-of-pocket college costs and create a funding plan to pay for them.
- E.F.C. Calculation: We will calculate your family’s Expected Family Contribution to determine what the federal and institutional formulas will calculate for your family.
- College Funding Plan: We will provide a college funding report outlining your family’s net cost for each college and provide appropriate recommendations for paying for your share of college costs.
- Current and Future Analysis (Optional): Families have always found it very helpful to view a comprehensive projected financial picture. We will provide a complete financial overview, analyzing all areas of your finances as they relate to your budget, college, taxes, retirement and other areas of your family’s financial management.
- Private Scholarship(s) Database: We will provide a list of databases for families to search for private scholarships. Remember, apply but don’t rely.
*Private scholarship application/essay support available for an additional fee.
- Financial Aid Guidance: The complicated maze of financial aid can be difficult to navigate as different colleges have different requirements. We’ll help you understand the financial aid process and help guide you through, alleviating a large portion of the time and stress of wondering how, when and what to include in your financial aid report.
- Financial Aid Checklist and Forms: Our forms were built to help gather the required information from your family without over-complicating the process, making it easier for us to help you through this process.
- FAFSA Submission: We will complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for your family and provide you with a copy for your records.
- CSS Profile Registration & Submission: We will register and complete a CSS Profile for your student, if applicable.
- Institutional Financial Aid Forms: We will complete any other institutional financial aid forms that are required by individual schools, but must be provided to us by the client. We do not complete the IDOC when requested, however, we’ll walk you through the process to ensure it is completed correctly.
- Student Aid Report (SAR): We will confirm the accuracy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) and make any adjustments, if necessary.
- CPSI Webinar Access: We will provide your family with access to our scheduled webinars on various college planning topics so that you know what you need to be aware of and what you should be doing to stay on track.
- Financial Aid Negotiations: We will provide a client-only webinar to discuss negotiation strategies, how to read your award letters, what to do if they don’t offer you enough aid, as well as additional tax and budgeting tips that revolve around paying for college.
- Financial Aid Negotiation Letters: We will provide you with a hard-copy of our tested negotiation letter and the exact steps to follow when negotiating with colleges, while we can’t negotiate on your behalf, we can guide you through how to best correspond with them.
- Financial Aid Regulatory Updates: We will provide updates of changes in legislation relating to college tax laws or anything that might affect your financial situation through our newsletters and webinars.
- On-going Support: We will provide families with unlimited telephone and email support (you are not billed by the hour). Therefore, you never have to worry about watching the clock. Our only concern is getting your questions answered!
Our Wealth Management Program provides families with critical help needed for financial planning by evaluating your family’s unique circumstance, developing strategies, maximizing benefits, and setting goals for the future.
- Retirement Plan design and oversight
- Tax Strategies
- Investment Management
- Asset Optimization
- Insurance Solutions
- Wealth Transfer
- Risk Management
- Business Succession Planning
- Employer Benefits
- Employee Education in the Workplace
- Retirement Planning
- Charitable giving
**We do not offer sports recruiting services or endorse any specific sports recruiter in Southern California.