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Welcome! If you’re a high school student (or the parent of one) and looking for help with applying to college, you’ve come to the right place! My name is Jennifer Thompson. I have worked with freshmen through seniors in all aspects of the college application process since 2008, and I can help you too. Whether you have just a few questions or don’t know where to begin, I can assist you every step of the way.

Please use the links in the menu to see services offered, my experience, rates, and how to contact me. I can help you with…

  • Researching colleges and universities to build your list of schools
  • Understanding “reach”, “match” and “safety”
  • Understanding what “fit” means
  • Reading essays
  • Reviewing applications and supplemental essays
  • Developing your calendar and to-do’s
  • Managing your timeline
  • Managing your stress!

Please contact me for a complimentary meeting (in person, through email or by phone) to see if we’re a good fit.

College Essay Workshop

I offer these summer workshops online to help rising seniors get a draft of a college essay written. Having an essay draft done before senior year even begins will take an immense amount of pressure and stress off of that fall semester! I encourage my students to get as many things done over the summer as they can, and that includes writing drafts of all the main essays they think they’ll need to write. Staring at a blank page can be paralyzing; getting a draft written over the summer will make future drafts that much easier to write!

These workshops will be limited to 8 students. In them, students will have 2 hours of group instruction and 1 hour and 45 minutes of individual consultation with me. A typical workshop week will like this:

Day 1: After brief introductions, we will have 1 hour of group discussion and instruction on common questions surrounding college essays and a variety of exercises designed to help students figure out what they might want to write about. Following this will be 15-minute individual meetings to follow-up on the exercises.

Day 2: 1 hour of group discussion and instruction on different types of essay structures, choosing a topic, and deciding which structure works best for the topic/story you want to tell. Following this will be 30-minute individual meetings to discuss the day’s exercises and help develop a topic.

Day 3: Students write a first draft! No meetings today.

Day 4: 30-minute individual meetings to talk about the draft and offer feedback. Students will then write a second draft (or a new first draft if that’s the better path).

Day 5: 30-minute individual meetings to talk about the draft and offer feedback as well as to discuss the next steps in the process and answer questions still remaining about college essays in general.

Cost: $190 This includes the 2 hours of group instruction, 1 hour and 45 minutes of individual instruction, and all materials. Students will need to provide their own computer with Internet access and a Zoom account.

Summer 2020 Dates and Times

Session 1: June 15 – June 19
Monday 6/15: 9 – 10 am plus 15-minute individual appointment
Tuesday 6/16: 9 – 10 am plus 30-minute individual appointment
Wednesday 6/17: writing day for students
Thursday 6/18: 30-minute individual appointment and writing day for students
Friday 6/19: 30-minute individual appointment

Session 2: June 22 – June 26
Monday 6/22: 9 – 10 am plus 15-minute individual appointment
Tuesday 6/23: 9 – 10 am plus 30-minute individual appointment
Wednesday 6/24: writing day for students
Thursday 6/25: 30-minute individual appointment and writing day for students
Friday 6/26: 30-minute individual appointment

To register, please fill out this registration form and pay the $190 fee to hold your student’s place. You may pay securely via PayPal at https://www.paypal.me/jenniferthompson2593 or mail a check (address will be provided in the confirmation email).

Services Offered

  • College research to build your list of schools: I can look over the list you’re already considering or help you build a list from scratch. I can also suggest resources for your own research.
  • Reach, Match, and Safety: I can help you understand these categories in terms of grades, honors and AP classes, test scores, extracurriculars, demonstrated interest, cost of attendance, etc.
  • Understanding “fit”: I can help you figure out what’s important to you when choosing a college.
  • Early Decision and Early Action: I can help you understand what these are and decide whether or not they make sense for you.
  • Essay reading: I can proof for grammar and punctuation as well as offer suggestions on readability and structure. I can also give you feedback on how your essay portrays you as a person and suggestions for helping you make an impact with what you write. I will not write or rewrite any of your work; your voice and ideas will remain true to you.
  • Extracurriculars: I will help you organize and describe your ECs.
  • Review of applications and supplemental essays: I will offer an extra set of eyes to make sure everything is complete and error-free.
  • Calendar and to-do’s: I will help you identify key deadlines and tasks based on your list of schools, early decision and early action deadlines, and so on.
  • FAFSA and CSS Profile: I can help you understand the basics of these financial aid forms and their deadlines.
  • For Rising Seniors: Summer college essay workshops

In addition to those more concrete services, I promise to…

  • Help you manage your timeline, including reminders (friendly nagging!) when deadlines are approaching.
  • Help you manage your stress! Sometimes it helps to have someone else on your side when things feel overwhelming.
  • Offer text and email access for urgent questions.
  • Offer personalized support throughout the process.

For younger students (9th – 10th) I can help you understand the UC and CSU a-g requirements, go over extracurriculars, choose classes, discuss summer options, review the timing of the PSAT, SAT, ACT and/or Subject Tests, and help you get and stay organized as you start thinking about college.

Please contact me for a complimentary meeting to see if we’re a good fit! A good rapport is essential, as is a level of trust, and that goes both ways. I want you to feel comfortable working with me, and I want to feel comfortable working with you as well. You’re looking for help and you’re reaching out to someone like me to get that help. If we have clear communication and realistic expectations, our working relationship will be a successful one!

I live in Ventura, CA and can work with local students in person as well as via email/phone/text. If you are outside of the local area, we can still work together virtually. (Zoom and shared Google docs and sheets make everything much easier!)

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