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.

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.

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. (Shared Google docs and sheets make everything much easier!)

My Experience

  • College counseling at Oak Grove School (Ojai, CA) since 2008
  • Participant in UCLA Extension College Counseling Certificate Program 2010-2011
  • Member, NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) and WACAC (Western Association for College Admission Counseling)
  • BS in Applied Mathematics, UCLA
  • M. Ed., UCLA
  • California Clear Single-Subject Credential (Math) UCLA
  • Math teacher in public and private schools for over 20 years, most recently at Oak Grove School for 12 years
  • Parent to a pre-professional ballet dancer (class of ’18); counseled her through her college application process (Ballet BFA major at the University of Utah, class of ’22)

A little more about me…

I have taught middle and high school math in Los Angeles, San Clemente, Ventura, and Ojai, and I’ve taught everything from pre-Algebra through honors and AP Calculus. I was first given the opportunity to step into a college counseling role at Oak Grove School, and I jumped at it. I love assisting my students throughout their four years at Oak Grove, and I find the entire college discernment and application process challenging in the best of ways. I truly enjoy it!

Outside of work, I help local animal shelters and cat rescues. Over the years I’ve fostered upwards of 20 cats and kittens, socializing them and helping to get them adopted. I have also volunteered for many years with Footworks Youth Ballet as the production manager for their shows twice a year. In my¬†remaining free time, I like to read, knit, crochet, tinker with new recipes, and spend time with my husband Drew and daughter Grace.

I’m also proud to work as a volunteer for the Matchlighters program that Ethan Sawyer (College Essay Guy) founded.

My Rates

Maybe you (the parent) didn’t go to college in the US and are unfamiliar with the process. Maybe you’re a family where both parents work (or a single parent household working full-time) and just need some help with managing the deadlines and tasks. Maybe you don’t enjoy doing research and would like some help finding the information you need. Maybe you simply need someone with less emotional attachment to help be the task-master! We can work together to build a package that fits your needs and your budget, or you can select from one of the following options:

We can meet periodically or you can simply have access to me via email, text, or phone for questions that come up: purchase 1 or more hours of consultation at a time. This is an excellent choice for freshmen and sophomores as well as students who have specific needs and are not seeking help with the overall process. If you later decide to pay for a package, your initial hours will be applied to that cost. Hourly Rate: $75

Senior Year (Early- to mid-August through May 1): Review college list and suggest changes as necessary, or help you get one created; discuss Early Action and Early Decision possibilities; review Common App, UC, and other essays; plan for SAT/ACT/Subject Tests if needed; help with “brag sheet” and/or resume; help selecting teachers for letters of recommendation; assist as necessary with filling out applications (you’ll still do the work but I’m available to clarify anything that’s confusing!); reminders about key deadlines; help with local scholarship opportunities; help selecting schools from acceptances; other personalized help as needed! Inquire for pricing.

Junior Year, Summer, and Senior Year (Beginning any time junior year): Help with determining what you want from a school (size, location, program, public/private, etc.); help researching potential schools; PSAT score review; SAT/ACT/Subject Test advising; transcript review; support with writing drafts of Common App, UC, and other essays; and all of the senior year items listed above. Inquire for pricing.

Junior Year or Summer (Beginning any time junior year through early August): Help with determining what you want from a school (size, location, program, public/private, etc.); help researching potential schools; PSAT score review; SAT/ACT/Subject Test advising; transcript review; support with first drafts of Common App, Coalition, and/or UC essays. Inquire for pricing.

Junior Spring, Summer, or Senior Fall: 2 hours of college list development and 4 hours of essay assistance. Inquire for pricing.

I also offer SAT/ACT math support (I have been a math teacher since 1992 in public and private schools) for an additional charge to the above options. Hourly Rate: $75