Comprehensive Consultation Services
The most typical of services are comprehensive consultation services where ThinkYes takes the lead in recommending necessary guidance and the approach to achieve a student's best application. As a general framework, each consulting session addresses three areas: Academic, Non-academic, and Colleges/Application Process. More specifically, click below...
Guiding students in course selection, grades and standardized testing.
Understanding colleges' expectations with regard to extracurricular engagement. Demonstrating excellence in a student's chosen area(s) of interest allowing them to culivate character qualities of inquisitiveness, initiative, leadership, maturity, etc. Enabling a student to begin to perceive future possibilites in areas of interest and equally to test and discard ideas that do not hold their interest.
Understanding the admissions process from the college's point of view. Matching students with colleges for academic, environmental and financial fit. Guiding students to prepare their best application for each school they choose to apply to, including cohesiveness and quality of each application facet. Giving consideration to early application, college visits, demonstrated interest, supplemental information, and interviews.
Not captured in the above framework is the aspect of identifying and brainstorming previously unconsidered opportunities – be they academic or extracurricular.
Ideally, families begin thinking about college applications when students are freshmen and sophomores. This is particularly true for those anticipating selective colleges. ThinkYes focuses the first two years on maximizing the high school experience with a lens toward college admission. Meetings are typically few (3) a year, however can be more frequent based on a family's desires. They are held with both students and parents together as these years benefit from parent involvement. The intent is one of mentorship and the primary focus is developing, implementing, and adjusting a 4-year plan. Also of significant importance is identifying, with the family, substantive summer experiences. The summer between sophomore and junior years being the most important.
The junior/senior services shift from planning and growth experiences to standardized testing, researching of colleges, and presenting to colleges the best reflection of the student possible. Every effort is made to complete standardized testing by the end of junior year and to have a solid initial college list. This allows students to focus solely on preparing their applications during senior year.
For more information about services during Freshman/Sophomore and Junior/Senior years, click below...
Upon entering high school, college is secondary. Primary is finding a student’s interests, both academically and extracurricularly, and exceling in them. That excellence builds character. Excellence is demonstrated through recognition at the national/international level, the regional level, the local level. Membership, though not recognition, is valuable as it does paint a picture of the student therefore coloring the application.
ThinkYes works with families to convey conceptually how to make the most of high school with an eye toward college, then formalizing, through an individual 4-year plan, both academic and extracurricular personal goals and expectations grounded in a realistic awareness of today’s college admissions expectations. The plan is adjusted on a semester basis. Toward the end of sophomore year, a brief theme reflecting the student’s interests and core values is developed supported by their engagement both academically and extracurricularly. This theme provides further direction for junior / senior year engagement as well as cohesion for the application.
A typical timetable consists of two successive meetings immediately prior to, or as early as possible in, the school year. Progress update sessions would be held at the close of each academic quarter or semester. Meetings would include both the student and parent(s).Services delineated under the Junior / Senior Comprehensive Services are greatly enhanced when students have begun working with ThinkYes during Freshmen and Sophomore years. With a substantially greater understanding of the student, and the desires of the family, ThinkYes is able to increase options and better target colleges.
Junior / Senior Services — Testing, Research, and the Application
The junior year is focused on standardized testing, demonstrating extracurricular excellence, building teacher relationships, and researching colleges. The goal is that by the end of the junior year standardized testing will be complete, an initial list of colleges will be made, and letters of recommendation requested. Accomplishing these goals allows students to move into senior year purely focused on preparing their best college application for each school.
ThinkYes spends time getting to know the student in order to identify and properly advise regarding colleges where they can thrive, not merely graduate. This learning is continual and gradual. If new to ThinkYes as a Junior/Senior, initial sessions include student surveys as a basis for discussion, which demand self-reflection. Guidance is provided on how to research schools and a framework for that research is provided. A theme is developed that articulates the student’s interests and strengths demonstrated through their chosen activities. This theme is kept front-and-center as students begin to provide their high school counselors and teachers with information for college applications – typically through some form of a “junior packet”. ThinkYes encourages families to identify opportunities, both inside and outside of the school environment, where students can continue to acquire and exhibit ability and character.
Junior/Senior summer is a time to draft initial essays and the common application so that students can hit the ground running senior year without being overwhelmed with early application deadlines (typically November 1st). If desired test scores have not been achieved, this takes priority over the summer.
When the senior year arrives, focus shifts from developing the person to developing their best application, though that process in itself is a maturing one.
ThinkYes helps seniors refine their college list and evaluate Early Action (EA) or Early Decision (ED) application types. We provide guidance and editing of applications, primarily essays and activity descriptions, and ensure that a clear theme threads throughout the application that conveys the student. Timelines are set to accommodate multiple revisions. Interview preparation is provided. Where not complete prior to senior year, ThinkYes will guide students in finalizing standardized testing and choosing recommenders. Where desired, an overview session of financial aid / scholarships is provided parents. Support continues throughout the year up to the final decision and/or wait list strategy.
Sessions are typically every six weeks to monthly from July 1st through June 30th of junior year, moving to every two weeks or as needed during senior year through the final application submission, with a goal of submission two weeks prior to due dates.
Essential Services is an option offered for families who would like to conduct the college admissions process on their own, but would appreciate help with developing a college list and with a thorough review of a completed application before pushing the "send" button. The service begins with an in-depth 2-hour meeting, following surveys prepared by the student and submitted to ThinkYes. Together these provide ThinkYes with an understanding of the student — their performance both academically and extracurricularly as well as their values, interests, and priorities in a college. With this ThinkYes prepares and provides a college list. A second meeting is held to discuss the list, typically an hour to an hour and a half in length. The student then prepares an application on their own and submits it to ThinkYes for detailed review. With this feedback, the student can adjust as they deem appropriate and go forward with their remaining applications.
Individual Sessions — As Needed
ThinkYes fully relates to a family’s desire for advice on an as-needed basis and is happy to work with families to do just that. When a family chooses an hourly service, they take the lead with regard to their necessity of guidance. A few days notice of questions and relevant background information enables consideration prior to our session -- making our time together more efficient and effective. Realizing a 1-hour framework, questions are addressed in a family’s order of priority. The sessions can be as frequent or infrequent as desired. Individual sessions become a necessity when ThinkYes’ senior class, not to exceed 15 students, becomes full. WIth a highly motivated student, the approach can be effective.