It’s too late for me: My daughter graduated from college last year and my son is already a full-time college student.
But maybe it isn’t too late for you to make use of the services of College Prep Professionals, which helps students and their families find the best college fit, get admitted to these schools, and prepare to succeed there.
Based in Atlanta and founded by Rudy Jackson, Ph.D., who has deep experience in higher education as an administrator and instructor, College Prep Professionals offers families guidance in an arena that few are equipped to navigate on their own.
What kinds of families hire these services? “I basically work with families who’ve invested in their kids, who’ve had their kids in the right schools, and who’ve hired tutors or coaches,” says Jackson.
That doesn’t mean your kids need to be perfect, but Brian Ashford, a father who hired Jackson, says those who would benefit most from such services would be in the top 10% of their class.
Ashford, whose eldest daughter, Lauryn, is now a rising junior at Tougaloo College, says his family’s focus was identifying the best college fit for Lauryn. “Dr. Jackson was outstanding,” says Ashford. “He was very helpful with refining her essays and making us aware of programs that had a lot to offer.”
Lauryn, a high-performing pre-med high school student at a less-than-stellar high school, was accepted to all 10 colleges she applied to. Of those 10, four were historically black colleges.
After visiting Tougaloo, speaking with the provost, and meeting with all the biology and chemistry professors, the Ashfords learned about the school’s pre-med partnership with Brown University, an Ivy League school. Lauryn was offered a full ride.
The college application process
What’s key, Jackson says, is helping students to differentiate themselves from the thousands of other students that look like them on paper—who have similar SAT scores, GPAs, and community service.
“UGA got 22,000 applications last year; Georgia Tech, 27,000. It isn’t raising your SAT score by 30 points or taking more AP classes that will make the difference,” Jackson says. “It’s the intangible things that make students stand out. I show them how to develop those qualities over time and how to reveal them in their college application.”
The more time he has to work with a student, the greater impact he can have, says Jackson, who works with students remotely as well as in person. He provides consultation, courses, and one-on-one coaching. He recommends that families start preparing for college in middle school.
“Juniors can get 60% to 70% of the college application process completed before the first day of their senior year,” Jackson says.
For more information, visit the website of College Prep Professionals.