Irena Smith; PhD: College Admissions Counseling

Palo Alto, CA

Overview

Irena is based in Palo Alto, CA and provides private college admissions consulting to students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, across the United States, and around the world. Irena has extensive experience as an admissions officer, writer, teacher, and editor.

The initial consultation is 90 minutes and consists of an in-depth interview with the student and the student's family, either in person, by telephone, or via Skype. During the meeting, we will review the student's transcripts, test scores, extracurricular activities, and life experiences and discuss how each of these components will be evaluated by college admissions officers and how students can build on their strengths and interests in order to put their best foot forward -- in completing college applications, in and out of the classroom, and in life. The consultation includes a report identifying the student's strengths and goals, a strategic plan for the admissions process, and recommendations for follow-up as appropriate.

After the initial consultation, we meet twice a year, or more frequently as needed, to discuss academic progress, standardized test timing and preparation, letters of recommendation, extracurricular interests and accomplishments, and summer plans. Between the end of the student's junior year and the beginning of the senior year, we focus our work on identifying essay topics and helping students to find their own voice and to craft essays that are uniquely their own.

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