What Meg Glass & Associates, LLC can do for you…we will post actual Case Studies from time to time. We will also have these available under Client Confidentiality. No names are used to guarantee confidentiality and compliance with law protecting students’ rights. However, it is good to know how the process works. For that reason, some Case Studies are presented for you to understand the impact of college process planning and support.
Case Studies: Student A
Student A was affected profoundly by auditory-processing disorder and less affected by ADHD. We met during the spring of her freshman year in high school. She was a very good student; she had mostly A grades and a few honors level classes. She was diagnosed at a very early age and had benefited from extended time on testing, supportive tutoring services, and adjunct programs after school to help her through elementary school. She had mastered reading with the help of a language specialist but needed extended time for any assignments in which a good amount of reading was required.
She was enrolled in a small private secondary school. We were hired to help establish a good plan and time table for college. We discussed what to do during that first year summer in high school to help her prepare for more rigorous courses in order to help her secure a spot in the highly competitive Advanced Placement courses. After exploring her psychological evaluations and her transcripts, we discussed what would help her most. Math and Science were her best opportunities for getting into an AP. The reading required for US History and Government were too taxing and should she try for those classes, her other courses would surely suffer. We enrolled her in an intensive Algebra II course for a few weeks in the summer and sent her to a tutoring center to get some help with advanced biology. We planned to secure a spot in AP Bio and AP Calculus AB for her junior year. We also wanted her to get bumped into honors Math as a sophomore and petition to get her into AP Environmental as a sophomore.
Our strategy worked. It was not easy to change her course plan but armed with our grades and recommendations and willingness to sit for a placement exam, if necessary, we petitioned the school at the end of July to change the course schedule.
We also started a PSAT training program with her that summer. We offer a 10 session introductory course with three or four practice tests. We help kids, especially those with disabilities such as hers, to understand the best strategies for taking the test. We also offer support for The PLAN. The reports come out right before or after Thanksgiving during the sophomore year. Many schools are very competitive with AP and advanced IB programs. The GPA and scores of sophomore year are what trigger the invitation. So we wanted to stack the deck in her favor, as standardized testing was exceptionally difficult for her. She started with very weak scores. She did better but not certainly what we would wish when she was applying to college. However, she was high enough to be considered for the AP courses in her junior year. We wanted her to have at least three very advanced courses on her transcript by the end of junior year.
Sophomore year, she needed support with her courses as now she had three honors level and one AP course. She was language exempt because of her disability, so we added another math, Statistics, to her schedule. She did well with math, both linear and visual. She had an A in her Geometry class from Freshman year. We also wanted to position her in activities that she had a good chance of gaining leadership position by Junior and Senior years. She played soccer and tennis. She also took fitness during the winter as Yoga. She was an average athlete. Her school required two sports a year, so we stuck with what she was doing, but we needed to expand her opportunities. She loved doing Community service projects but was not fond of any particular club. So we suggested she start her own club. This guaranteed us a leadership position. She had been particularly affected by the death of her Aunt from Breast Cancer. There were no clubs that specifically dealt with Breast Cancer. So we asked her to research if there were clubs associated with the National Cancer Society in schools for Breast Cancer. She found out about The Breast Cancer Alliance and spearheaded a chapter at her school. She and very quickly she found two others deeply affected, began several campaigns to raise awareness and money. By the time she graduated, the Club had over 30 members. As its Founder and Leader over the three years, her club raised over $25,000 for Breast Cancer research through its races, bake sales, car washes, dances and other events.
By the summer of Sophomore year, we had to seriously turn our attention to college planning. She had to raise her SAT score at least 550 points for her first choice school, which was a family legacy school. The school is so popular that legacy really couldn’t do much for her chances, except guarantee that her application would get read. She had to change her academic profile to match its. So we started a rigorous SAT preparation program with her that would extend throughout Junior year and into Senior fall. She took the SAT in March and May. She took SAT Subject tests in June. She then took her SAT again in the fall of Senior year in October, and then she was done. After three tests, she had risen her SAT score 710 points! Yes! She was a most assiduous student. She was an exception, but goodness how she worked. She was also very mature. She chose not to attend a school dance her Homecoming weekend in the fall of junior year because she had to take a practice SAT the next morning. All of her friends told her to stay for the dance as the SAT was months away. She told them point blank that if they had her SAT scores, they would want to practice as much as she did!
The spring of junior year, we started the school visits. She went to the South, Middle Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast to look at colleges. Her parents could afford to go on five different visits from spring break vacation to Senior fall October. The list changed a lot by the end of the summer, but initially, from what we thought and what her school’s Naviance system printed out, we winnowed the list to 12 schools. She fell in love with two of her safeties, which is always advised. We specifically planned the visits to be just her and her parents, not groups of friends. We needed her to love her safeties because we did not know that eventually her SAT scores would be so great. They were good going into the summer but her reach school was too competitive for any of us to believe it was a target. We did manage to complete her resume before summer break, at least, which helped tremendously during the college trips and when filling out the applications.
She was challenged for time during the summer and fall. She had sports camps, and also a trip for several weeks with family. So she did a draft of her essay before she left. It was not very good but we had to prioritize as to what needed to happen in the fall. Senior fall is very difficult in terms of time. She had to take an SAT. She had to write 11 essays. She had to complete 4 different applications because three schools were not on the Common Application. So we segmented weeks into what needed to be done first. SAT’s took up three weeks of September. Essay drafts were worked on but not done during that time. Applications were filled out for personal information and so forth. Her mother and father and sister helped out. After the SAT, she went on two college visits, which took away weekend time. But then the personal statement had to be finalized. This took a few days of time and serious flexibility on all our parts. She was applying Early Action to 5 schools. No early decision as her number one choice was Early Action. She did not want to go for Early decision anywhere else as it is binding. Then we got all those supplement essays done.
We could breathe a bit and work on the regular decision through to Thanksgiving, which we did. All were submitted the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. All transcripts were sent, all SAT scores released, all AP scores released. We had personal letters of reference sent, and also a hard copy of her detailed resume was sent to all the schools. She had two recommendations sent from people outside of school, one from her summer job working at shop in town, and another from Breast Cancer Alliance. We finished up and said prayers.
On December 18th, we got a lovely email telling us, she was accepted into her first choice school, Early Action! That year, she and her good friend, who was also a client motivated each other so much, they both went up over 700 points on their SATs and they both got into the same school. This past Memorial Day, she graduated from college.