Barbara Coughlin, PhD.
College Essay and Applications Coach
College Fit Chicago provides individualized guidance to your child by asking the right questions and encouraging reflection to ensure they find the right fit for them.
The process consists of a series of meetings, and sometimes, a little “self-exploration homework” for the student. The initial goal is to make you and your family feel comfortable and to share many of the realities and myths about the college application process.
Review student's grades and test scores
Create a list of schools that range from "reaches" to "safeties"
Review extracurriculars, specific coursework, work experience, and any other factors admissions directors like to see
Identify academic interests and possible majors
Gain an understanding the student's learning style
Choose a type of school environment that will make him or her feel the most comfortable
With my guidance, we will identify, explore and evaluate college programs that are a good match and financially appropriate
Meet with you, the parent(s), and the student to narrow down the list for final applications
Summer for rising Seniors is the perfect time to focus on writing their personal essay.
Decide on a personal essay topic
Edit and help them find there own tone of voice that conveys their unique values, interests, and ways of viewing the world
Ensure the essay is ready to be read by Admissions Departments
What We'll focus on:
Prior to becoming a college consultant, I practiced in the field of clinical social work for twelve years. I received my Master's degree from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the Institute for Clinical Social Work. Through those years, I enjoyed helping children, adolescents and their families work through emotional struggles in order to get back on track developmentally.
My background as a psychotherapist, continues to influence the way I perceive and interact with my college bound students. I view the transition from high school to college as a normal, yet, major developmental juncture which can be eased by a helpful hand. As a college consultant I am able to navigate students and their families through the college application and admissions process in a stress-free way.
My main goals for your child are "the fit" and the admissions essay. Productive college experiences are born from a great fit between the student and the school. Each graduating senior is an individual with unique needs and expectations from their education. The student's essay needs to be concise and personal while also speaking to the college's educational philosophy and culture - because ultimately the admissions department needs to feel confident that your child will thrive in their institution. I am confident that with a little reflection, we can achieve both of these goals together!