Our college process was two-fold. It began with getting a jump start on the standardized testing, and not waiting until spring of junior year to focus. I believe our outcome was successful because we had a well-managed college plan helped along by an expert, Janice Caine, of Custom College Visits.
The primary focus of her business is to arrange college tours, really good ones, which is how we found her, but once we got into the process, I realized that she could help us with much more. Because the process is so stressful, I hired her to work with my son to research and refine his college list. They met and worked on it slowly over the course of a year. The list they started with was different than the final list, schools crossed off for various reasons and others added to keep it balanced between likely, 50/50 and reach options.
These were the two questions that had been pervading my household for two months. It all started on a hot day in August when I finally sat down with my son and asked him “Where do you want to go to college?” and “Where will you get in?”
My son had said he didn’t want big; 5,000 – 10,000 was the perfect size. So we called Janice, founder of Custom College Visits, to get her opinion on which schools he should apply to. She had helped us with our older son, and had him apply to a number of schools that we would have never thought about. Of course, it was one of these schools that he now attends.
Back to my other son. She explained to him that he needed to expand his list and gave us names of other schools she thought he may like, based on criteria that she had discussed with him. Some that were ‘reaches,’ some we hoped would be ‘likelies’ and others that seemed right on target. She even encouraged him to apply to a few big schools, because after talking to him she felt that he could really thrive at one of them.
"I found working with Custom College Visits a very positive experience. They were able to pinpoint colleges that were best suited for my daughter and the travel plans were well organized. In addition, they were able to set up an interview with a member of a college color guard, as my daughter had expressed interest in going to a school that had a color guard. I am very pleased with my experience with Custom College Visits, and would recommend them highly."