Frequently asked questions


When is the best time for our family to start working with you?

I work with students from 9th-12th grades.  Any earlier would be far too soon, but there are decisions to make in 9th grade that could affect a student’s college search and application outcomes in 12th grade.  Of course some students simply aren’t ready to start thinking about college in 9th grade.  I know I wasn’t.  Tenth grade forward is the most common time to start working with me.



How are parents/guardians involved in the process?

The initial meeting should be with the student and parent/guardian.  It’s important to me that families know exactly how the process will unfold, and that everyone is clear on goals and expectations.  From the second meeting on, I meet with the student one-on-one.



How much do you cost/is there a minimum “package” we need to purchase?

I will be happy to discuss pricing when you contact me.  There are no “packages” to buy.  I charge by the hour.  Some meetings will take a full hour while others may be shorter—or longer—depending on where students are in the process.



How often do you meet with students?

This depends on students’ particular needs.  A fall semester senior who is filling out applications will likely need more regular meetings than a junior or sophomore.  I will tailor meeting schedules to match students’ circumstances.



What are your hours?

My hours are totally flexible.  I can meet during the day, at night, on weekends, and during most holidays.  The November and December holidays are crucial periods for seniors who are filling out and submitting their applications—a time when they need to ask many questions.  I make myself available to meet this need.



We don’t live near San Jose.  Can we still meet with you?

Yes.  Skype, email, and phone conversations make this easy.



Do you offer guidance on standardized testing and course selection?

This is a huge part of my work.  The testing landscape is confusing and frequently shifting.  I outline exactly which tests students need to take and when to take them.  I also make suggestions about which courses students might want to pursue at their schools, always circling back to the reality that kids should live balanced, healthy lives, with plenty of sleep.



Is there a limit on the number of families you will take onto your client list?

Yes.  Because customer service matters deeply to me, I will only work with a small number of families.  I want all of my clients to get the attention they deserve.



How do you determine which colleges and universities represent the best “fit” for students?

I get to know students through extended conversations with them and their parents/guardians, through questionnaire results, and by examining their written work.  Sometimes, conversations about students’ favorite books, bands, movies, or sports teams will open a window into their personalities.  This, combined with their academic records, allows me to think about good colleges and university “matches” for them.



Will you help us plan college visit itineraries that make sense?

Yes!  It’s especially daunting to plan trips for families that haven’t been through this process before.  I love suggesting to clients where to visit, how to set up tours and information sessions, how many colleges to visit in a day, how to make a campus visit effective—in some cases even where to stay and which restaurants are best.



How do your counseling services differ from our student’s school counseling services?

Because I was a school counselor for so many years, I respect them tremendously and count many of them as friends.  But at some schools, especially larger ones, counselors can find themselves stretched thin among many responsibilities.  At Clear Path, I have the luxury of time to devote to a small client base.  This means regular contact, accessibility, and responsiveness.  I get to know students in a way that some school counselors, through no fault of their own, simply don’t have time to do.



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