College Planning Connections, LLC is committed to helping students find their “best fit” schools where they will thrive academically and socially. As principal of College Planning Connections, LLC, Kiki Steele has the experience and expertise to guide and support students and their parents through every step of the college search and application process. Kiki can assist in everything from deciding which colleges to aim for, to tackling the college essay, to preparing for college interviews, to completing the Common Application.
Some students may already know that they want to be an engineer, or a math major or a musician, but some may have no idea what the future looks like and that’s okay, too. Kiki is here to help them find their way. She will meet with them individually and learn about their academic backgrounds, strengths, talents, and passions. Then she will develop a personalized strategy to get them where they want to go.
Contact College Planning Connections, LLC to arrange a free consultation.
At College Planning Connections, LLC my goal is to make the college admissions process as stress-free an experience as possible for both the students and their families. I provide you with a plan of action that incorporates a full spectrum of services to help manage all aspects of the process. With careful consideration to college guidance, our experience and intimate knowledge of the admissions process to help you to select the most appropriate colleges for your child. I take into account your child’s personal preferences, desires, and strengths, both academically as well as socially. Take comfort in knowing that, as a parent, you have done everything possible to help make college a reality for your child. Let us help you in the process. It is never too early to start planning for college.
College Planning Connections strives to give you all of the tools you need to survive and conquer the college application process. Our Comprehensive Package includes the following services:
First we listen. We meet individually with students, and get to know who they are. We talk about strengths, weaknesses, talents, and goals. Next we provide a list of target schools tailored to each specific student, based on their wants and needs. The list is a living thing, it’s not set in stone. We refine it throughout the process and ultimately narrow it down to college application submissions.
Our goal is to help every student write distinctive essays. After spending as much time with each student as we do, we can uniquely help guide them in this area, by brainstorming, and through thorough edits and review. We help each student find his or her own personal voice that allows them to shine.
We work to prepare students to excel at their college interviews, by taking them through full interview coursework and mock interviews. We also strategize the order in which their interviews should occur. The more familiar they are with the process, the more confident and relaxed they can be to present their best selves.
The Common Application
We provide in-depth guidance on completing the Common App. We know a careless mistake can reflect poorly on a student, so we go over the app with a fine tooth comb. And then we do it again.
We employ the use of college planning software that is student accessible. It’s a great tool for researching schools and file sharing. We also make recommendations on standardized testing, summer courses and opportunities, college visits, letters of recommendation guidance, and building and review of the activities resume. We also review all acceptances and make recommendations, offer waitlist and deferral strategy, and offer transition advice. We are available for one-on-one meetings, by email, phone, or via Skype.
Simply stated – we are there for you – both the student and parents, from the beginning to the end of the process, for any help you need, or any questions you may have.
College Consulting for the Student Athletes
Student athletes have specialized needs when it comes to achieving a balance between academic and athletic goals. We help college-bound athletes navigate the confusing environment of college sports recruiting, and support you during every step of the process, guiding students and families regarding NCAA rules and eligibility. Additionally, we can also offer referrals to specialized sports admissions consultants when necessary.
College Consulting for Creative Arts Students
We guide college-bound artists, actors and musicians to help them develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to find the right colleges for their particular talents. From academic planning to essay/artist statement review, to portfolio preparation and presentation, to auditions, we provide the assistance a student needs to find just their “best fit” college for the quality and breadt of creative study they are looking to do. We can also make connections for you with Music and Theater Audition Coaches.
College Consulting for Students with Learning Differences
Not all colleges are created equal when it comes to LD support. Students with learning differences interested in pursing a college career may require additional support at school, and we offer guidance services in identifying those colleges with the correct level of support for the student, to ensure that their college experience will be a positive and successful one.
Standardized Testing Referrals – We offer connections to private tutors, as well as make recommendations to several highly vetted on-line SAT and ACT test tutoring sources.
Kiki Steele, Independent Educational Consultant, holds a Certificate in College
Counseling from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.S. from
Emerson College. She is a member of the National Association for College
Admission Counseling (NACAC), a professional member of the Independent
Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the Higher Education Consultants
Association (HECA), as well as the New York State Association for College
Admission Counseling (NYSACAC). She also attended the 2013 IECA Summer
Training Institute in Educational Consulting at Swarthmore College.
Kiki is committed to staying up to date with admissions trends and statistics and
attends regional and national conferences annually to stay current. To match
students to their best fit schools, she travels extensively touring colleges all over
the United States and Europe to give her a clear understanding of their academic
programs, unique opportunities, and distinct campus cultures.
Kiki spent twenty years working in Television Production in Los Angeles and NewYork City, working for five years at Saturday Night Live and capping her career as a producer for Comedy Central. She turned her attention to college consulting after raising her three children. Kiki is a current member and past President of the Rhinebeck Rotary and is a frequent local volunteer in addition to her pro-bono college counseling work.
“Kiki helped our daughter and us through a stress free college application experience and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. It was so reassuring to know that our daughter had an easy time scheduling appointments and getting hold of Kiki whenever she needed to during the process. Kiki would send us updates, which we also appreciated especially when there seems to be a lot of moving parts happening all at once. Kiki’s guidance and feedback with the college essay and supplements were extremely beneficial and contributed greatly to our daughter’s success and confidence for this important milestone in her life. When she was accepted early at her first choice school, we were all thrilled!
–Carolyn, Los Angeles parent
“Kiki proved to be an extraordinary resource for us. With a warm, professional manner, she brought clarity and order to what seemed a confusing and overwhelming process. In person and online, Kiki spoke with our daughter, a junior, and got to know her academic achievements and personal interests. She then came back and walked us through a carefully researched list of recommended schools. We were struck by Kiki’s knack for identifying colleges that hadn’t been on our radar and that seemed a fantastic fit. She laid out a detailed and multi-tiered strategy for pursuing “reach” schools as well as safe ones, and counseled our daughter on how best to present herself in her applications. Kiki’s expertise and insight brought a sense of calm and confidence to our daughter, and gave us a great framework for moving forward.”
“We used College Planning Connections in our daughter’s senior year of high school for advice and we ended up with so much more!!!. From programs to determine what major would best meet our daughter’s career goals, to a listing of schools that would best fit her needs and our pocketbook and every one of our questions (both anticipated and unanticipated) was answered. Our daughter was accepted into her dream school! We would strongly recommend College Planning Connections for any family looking to maximize their knowledge when faced with a college bound student.”
“Through College Planning Connections, Kiki offered first-rate service that has proven invaluable in our daughter’s college search. Providing expert guidance and insight into the college application process, Kiki converted an otherwise daunting task into a creative, meaningful, and successful experience for our 17-year-old daughter. In addition to her exceptional professionalism, integrity, and dedication, she brings genuine warmth and enthusiasm to connect with her clients and deliver highly customized, tangible results. I look forward to working with her again and know we’ll be in good hands with College Planning Connections when the time comes for our younger children to pursue college.”
The following is a partial list of college acceptances from students whose families we have worked with.
Albany College of Pharmacy
College of Wooster
Franklin & Marshall College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Lewis & Clark College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ohio Northern University
Plymouth State University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Saint Michael’s College
Sarah Lawrence College
State University of New York at Albany
State University of New York at Binghamton
State University of New York at Geneseo
State University of New York at Stony Brook
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
University of Manchester
University of Massachussetts at Amherst
University of Michigan
University of New Hampshire
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Rhode Island
Univeristy of South Carolina
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Washington University in St. Louis
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Your Initial College Search
Search these sites for information on colleges.
www.ctcl.org – Colleges That Change Lives
www.Questbridge.org – For first generation or low-income students
Virtual College Tours
To get a feel for the college campus, try these sites.
The ins and outs of aid and how to apply.
See what your strengths are.
Explore careers you might be interested in:
Everything you wanted to know about how to find and apply for scholarships.
Students with Disabilities
Sites specifically aimed toward making college a reality.
www.ncld.org – National Center for Learning Disabilities
www.ncset.org – National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Applying as a Student Athlete?
Everything you need to know.
www.athletic.net – Search schools that have your sport
www.ncaa.org – The official site of the National Collegiate Athletic Association
https://web1.ncaa.org/hsportal/exec/links?linksSubmit=ShowActiveLinks – Eligibility Requirements
http://new.berecruited.com – “The nation’s number one online networking destination for high school student athletes seeking recruitment from college coaches and universities.”
http://www.collegestudentathletes.com – Division III sports and strong academics
Thinking of Majoring in Visual or Performing Arts?
To help in your search.
Information for diverse populations.
What Do Other Students Think?
For an on the ground point of view and to get your questions answered!
Thinking of Taking a Gap Year?
Not everyone is ready for college right out of high school.
Helpful sites to help you study for your standardized tests, and some are free!
What Should I Do in the Summer?
Practice that passion during the summer, and have something great to put on your application at the same time.
www.whatkidscando.org/featurestories/2012/04_summer_academics/index.html – List of Pre-college academic summer programs
*Many more volunteering sites available!
Even More Great Information:
You can never have enough!
www.commonapp.org – Get to know the Common Application and find out which colleges participate.
www.Fairtest.org – List of colleges and universities that don’t consider standardized test scores for admission
www.getmetocollege.org – Lists fly-in programs and has an app that lists more than 600 college and university application requirements!
Please contact College Planning Connections, LLC today to arrange a free consultation.
Independent Educational Consultant