Category Archives: Blog

My College Expertise is Earned

Charlotte Klaar, PhD

Parents don’t hire me because I promise to get their students into prestigious schools.  In fact, the only promise I make is to help students find the best school for his or her needs – academically, socially and financially.  And, since entering this profession in 1995, I’ve helped hundreds of kids get accepted and graduate from college.

One student I worked with was Gabe, an intelligent young man with learning differences.

He had been attending a music preparatory program at a respected college in his hometown.  The college wanted him as an undergraduate student, and he wanted to go there to be close to home.  He was concerned about moving out of his comfort zone. However, his parents wanted him to think bigger and grow musically.  I showed him other music programs and how they didn’t need to be far away.

 “He didn’t want a large school or to be too far from home, she helped direct him to the right program. He ended up at Catholic University of America.  It wasn’t his first choice, but when he did the first piano audition they called him, and got him scholarships,” said his Mom.

How did that work out for Gabe?

“Gabe graduated last year and is doing his Masters in Piano Performance, also at CUA, so she (Dr. Klaar) really helped him make the best choice for him (perfect school size, location, great piano teachers…). He felt comfortable enough to not apply for any support and found his own way of studying and made it through college successfully (Cum Laude and Dean’s list seven semesters out of eight!)” Gabe’s Mom reported recently.

College Made Simple

Get a jumpstart on your college app and essay with one of these “College Simplified Summer Camps!”

Hearing that brought tears to my eyes.  That’s why I’m passionate about what I do. I understand the importance of taking the time to get to know students and their families well enough to create a college career path for each student’s unique goals and strengths.

Let’s face it, the whole college admissions process can stressful for parents and kids. One of the roles I play is to act as a buffer between you and your student.

I use a friendly but no-nonsense, no-excuses style to work with students to help make the college search, application and essay process a delightful adventure of self-discovery and growth. Along the way, I help students learn to make more informed decisions and to own the process.

That’s why students trust me, respect my knowledge and experience and work hard to meet their assignments and deadlines.

Benefit from Dr. Klaar’s expertise at the “College Simplified Summer Camps”  in Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC and Frederick, MD, in June and July 2019!

My knowledge and experience is hard-earned; I belong to all of the top College Consultant professional organizations, and was the third college consultant to be honored with the Steven R. Antonoff Award for Professional Achievement at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Spring Conference in Boston, MA in 2016.

The award was created to recognize an IECA professional who has distinguished him or herself by their outstanding contributions to the profession of independent educational  consulting.

I also keep my professional knowledge up-to-date by visiting colleges nationwide, attending conferences and keeping up on changes in this profession.

So, if a college consultant promises to get your child into a certain college, or a top-ranked college, take a good look at their professional background.  The actions taken by the educational consultant at the center of the Varsity Blues case are in direct contrast to IECAHECA, and NACAC, which specifically bar admission guarantees and emphasize truthful, accurate application materials that are the student’s own work.

Every college is a good college for some students, and what a student does once they get to college is far more important than the college name on the diploma.

My professional memberships:

  • Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
  • Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA)
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • American Institute of Certified Educational Planners
  • Southern Association for College Admission Counseling
  • National College Advocacy Group (NCAG)
  • National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
  • York County Chamber of Commerce

Benefit from Dr. Klaar’s expertise at the “College Simplified Summer Camps”  in Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC and Frederick, MD, in June and July 2019!

 Other professional qualifications

I hold a BA in liberal studies from the University of the State of New York, a teaching certificate from William Paterson University, a MS in interdisciplinary science studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in general psychology from Capella University. My graduate work was focused in the area of family psychology and I’m well-versed in the issues facing teens and their parents.

For resources to help students with Autism, visit this page of our website.

Limited Time 10% Discount Available on Our Most Popular Programs

For the first time ever, from now through March 31, 2019, Charlotte Klaar, 10% discountPhD, is offering a 10% discount on three of her most popular services!  Take advantage of this special and save up to $500!

EXTENDED THROUGH MARCH 31!

1. Developing Your Strategy…and Your List!

Regular price – $2,700.  Now through March 31 – just $2,430!

This includes:
– Review prior academic accomplishments
– Advice on which upcoming courses would be best for your senior year
– Important advice for extracurricular involvementPlaying sports
Review of recommendations for testing (SAT or ACT)
– In-depth interview on college preferences (with both student and parent)
– Career planning using a career assessment/
personality inventory
– Refine choices of college type and major
– Advice on making successful college visits that count
– Prepare a selected list of colleges that are uniquely suited to your student

The approximate duration of this service is 6-8 weeks. It is suggested that
it begin in the fall of junior year, after the student’s PSAT scores have arrived.

2. Completing Your Applications

Regular price – $2,700. Now through March 31 – just $2,430!

This includes:
– Action plan with organizational timeline
– Plastic file tote to use as an organizational tool
– Essay brainstorming session(s)
– Edit common application essay
– Edit the activities résumé
– Edit up to five additional essays (subsequent essays charged at hourly rate)
– Recommendations and practice for college interviews, if requested
– Review applications for up to 10 colleges
– Help with making your student’s crucial final choice when decision letters arrive

This contract covers up to 10 applications using two unique applications, i.e. The Common Application plus a state school, or the Common Application and Coalition Application. Additional applications beyond 10 colleges, or using multiple application types, may be assessed an additional fee of up to $500 each.

The approximate duration of this service is 10 months. It is suggested that it begin in the summer before senior year, as most early decision/early applications are due in November of senior year.

3. Comprehensive Service – includes the above two programs – ordinarily $5,000 – and there is:
– No limit on the number of essay edits!
– No limit on the number of application reviews!

When you pay in full you ordinarily get a 10% Discount and save $500! But, with our limited time offer, you’ll get a 15% discount and save $750! 

Ordinarily, the Comprehensive Program with the payment plan is not eligible for a discount. But through March 31th, you receive the 10% discount and save $500!  Here’s how it works:

Comprehensive payment plan is $5,000 with a 10% discount = $4,500.
$1,500 is pre-paid before starting. Then make four subsequent payments of $750 each to your credit card.  Contact Dr. Charlotte Klaar at 803-487-9777 or [email protected] for questions and a contract.

Act now!  Dr. Klar can only accept a limited number of students, and her calendar will fill up quickly! Download this fillable pdf now!

No 4.0 GPA? College is still possible!

Reading the newspapers or listening to other parents, you’d think that the only kids who get into college are those with a 4.0 GPA and a list of accomplishments most adults don’t yet have.

This is simply not true!

In my 20-plus years of working with high school students from all levels of accomplishment, I know that there are colleges for everyone who wants to attend, and work when they get there.

Here are some tips to finding the colleges that value YOUR accomplishments:

  1. Be realistic: If your GPA is 3.0 or lower, don’t aim for the most selective Happy studentscolleges – the 24 – 50 colleges whose names everyone knows. Recognize that in many cases these colleges are not better than ones no one has heard of, and they are definitely not the best for you.
  2. Know what colleges are looking at: they’ll look at your unweighted GPA in your core classes, and at what’s available at your high school. If a student tries to stretch within the curriculum and earns B/B+ in Honors or AP classes, that student is preferable to someone who took only standard level classes and got all A’s.
  3. What you do outside of the classroom is almost as important as what you do in it. Get involved in your school community through clubs, sports, fine arts, and community service. If nothing at your school interests you, find an activity outside of school to become actively involved in. This could be tutoring, a job, community service, Scouting, Big Brother/Big Sister, religious groups, or any of the other opportunities that exist in all communities.
  4. Take the time to really think about your application! Make sure that it is both accurate and complete.
  5. Answer the questions asked in the essays and don’t repeat what can be seen elsewhere in the application. This is your chance to become a human being to the college. Don’t rehash your activities or use it as the place to explain why you are not a good test taker.
  6. Choose your recommenders carefully. They should be teachers who really know you as a person and like who you are. Give the teacher the courtesy of asking well in advance if s/he is willing to recommend you.
  7. Work with someone who knows the college process and can help you navigate it to present yourself in the best light, while still being honest.

I work with students from all parts of the academic spectrum and find that it’s often easier for students not in the top 10% of the class to find the right colleges for them. These students are realistic, know how to work for their grades, and are multi-dimensional. For more insights, I recommend the following resources:

Finally, if the worst happens and none of the colleges you have applied to accepts you, a list is published each year after May 1st of colleges that still have room in their freshman class. Many of the names on this list would surprise you.

If you need more help with this or any other aspect of college planning, please call me at 803-487-977 or email to [email protected].

 

Why You need to Complete the FAFSA Even if You Don’t Apply for Financial Aid

The 2019 FAFSA becomes available on October 1, 2018 and should be FAFSAcompleted as soon as possible after that date. You can find it at www.FAFSA.gov Even if you do not plan to apply for financial aid, you should file a FAFSA because there are some merit scholarships that you cannot get unless there is a FAFSA on file.  (I know! That is ridiculous but it is fact.)

I came across this tutorial and it may be helpful to you:

https://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/Media/FAFSASimplification/index.html 

Here are some additional tips from a colleague, Jeff Levy, of the California-based Personal College Admissions:

  • About 250 colleges and universities also require you to submit the CSS/PROFILE. This can be accessed and submitted at https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/beginning October 1, 2018.
  • The deadline to submit these forms varies college to college. Check each college’s website or financial aid office to find out the final deadline for each. Missing these deadlines will seriously impact your child’s eligibility for financial aid.
  • A growing number of colleges now have a November 1 or November 15 financial aid deadline for Early Decision and Early Action applicants.

How to get started with the FAFSA:

  • The FAFSA belongs to the student, although many parents complete this FAFSAform on their child’s behalf. To begin the FAFSA, the student must create their own FSA ID (Federal Student Aid identification number). This ID is like an electronic fingerprint, and each person wanting to access a student’s FAFSA will need their own. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do this:
  • ttps://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/attachments/050415FSAIDReplaceHowToCreateFSAIDGuideATTACH.pdf
  • Parents wanting to complete the FAFSA on their child’s behalf will need their own FSA ID.

 Who should file the FAFSA and/or the CSS/PROFILE:

  • Anyone wanting to receive need-based aid who believes they might qualify
  • Anyone who thinks they may require financial aid at any point during their child’s undergraduate career. Many colleges will not consider a financial aid application from a current student admitted as a full-pay freshman if they did not submit the FAFSA
  • Anyone who expects to have two or more children in college at the same time, which significantly lowers the threshold for need-based eligibility
  • Anyone applying for merit aid at institutions that require either the FAFSA or PROFILE for consideration for such awards

If you have any questions about whether or not you should file, please contact me directly during the next few weeks: [email protected] or 803-285-1920.

FAFSA Opens October 1 – Act Now!

In this post I’m sharing some excellent information from a colleague, Jeff Levy, of Personal College Admissions, a California college consulting firm.

FAFSAOctober 1 is the first day that anyone expecting to apply for financial aid can access, complete, and submit the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE.

Here’s what you need to know about these forms and their deadlines:

    • All institutions require submission of the FAFSA for financial aid consideration. For current high school seniors expecting to attend college next year, the 2018-2019 FAFSA can be accessed and submitted at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ beginning October 1, 2017.
    • About 250 colleges and universities also require submission of the CSS/PROFILE. This can be accessed and submitted at https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/ beginning October 1, 2017.
    • The deadline to submit these forms varies college to college. It is necessary to check each college’s website or financial aid office to know the final deadline for each. Missing these deadlines will seriously impact your child’s eligibility for financial aid.
    • A growing number of colleges now have a November 1 or November 15 financial aid deadline for Early Decision and Early Action applicants.

Here’s what you need to know to begin:

    • The FAFSA belongs to the student, although many parents complete this form on their child’s behalf. To begin the FAFSA, the studentFAFSAmust first create their own FSA ID (Federal Student Aid identification number). This ID is like an electronic fingerprint, and each person wanting to access a student’s FAFSA will need their own. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do this:
    • ttps://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/attachments/050415FSAIDReplaceHowToCreateFSAIDGuideATTACH.pdf
    • Parents wanting to complete the FAFSA on their child’s behalf will need their own FSA ID.

 Here’s who should file the FAFSA and/or the CSS/PROFILE:

    • FAFSAAnyone wanting to receive need-based aid who believes they might qualify
    • Anyone who thinks they may require financial aid at any point during their child’s undergraduate career. Many colleges will not consider a financial aid application from a current student admitted as a full-pay freshman if they did not submit the FAFSA
    • Anyone who expects to have two or more children in college at the same time, which significantly lowers the threshold for need-based eligibility
    • Anyone applying for merit aid at institutions that require either the FAFSA or PROFILE for consideration for such awards

If you have any questions about whether you should or should not file, please contact me directly during the next couple of weeks, [email protected] or 803-285-1920.

Five Steps You Should Take to Prep for College!

It’s summertime, and summer college prep may be the furthest thing from your mind. But even as you enjoy your summer break, you’d be wise to use this free time to your advantage.

If you’re a rising senior, be aware of the fact that September will Summer college prepcome all too soon.  And by the time school starts, you should have a final list of colleges, so you can begin your applications.  This fall will be a busy time, with essays, letters of recommendations, college applications, etc.

By taking advantage of these long summer days, you can get a real jump start on your college application process!  Here are some tips for maximizing your summer college prep:

Read

Reading will help keep your mind fresh and help build language Summer college prepskills. You don’t need to read classic English literature – popular young adult books will do the trick.  And take a book on vacation with you!

 Volunteer

Volunteer for an organization that you are interested in and passionate about. This is a great way to build your resume and to narrow down potential fields of interest.

 Get a job

Earn some extra cash while taking on responsibility.  Colleges like to see that you have responsibilities outside of your schoolwork.

Visit colleges

Make time to visit colleges you are interested in.  Since school is not in session, summer may not be the most ideal time for college visits, but you can still get a feel for the place and visit again if necessary. Taking a family vacation? Plan to visit colleges along your way.

 Think about what you want out of your college experience

Take time to think about what you want in a school, your interests, and what you would like to get out of your college experience.  Long car rides to the beach are perfect for brainstorming.

Have a fun and meaningful summer!

Charlotte Klaar, Ph.D.

For more information about how Klaar College Consulting can help lead you to college success, call us at 301-834-6888 and visit the many resources available on this website.

May Spring Sale!

We are offering a rare spring sale on our complete College Consulting package!
Whether your student is finishing his or her freshman, sophomore or junior college consultantyear, spring is a great time to get started on college planning!

Call 803-487-9777 or email me at [email protected]

Watch this Free Webinar on the Top 5 Mistakes when Choosing a College

The Top 5 Mistakes when Choosing a collegeClub Z! Tutoring, the nation’s largest in-home and online tutoring and test prep company, is hosting a FREE college prep webinar at 8 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. Pacific) on March 22, 2017. The topic is how to avoid the top 5 mistakes when choosing a college.

The topic for Club Z!’s March webinar is “The Top 5 Mistakes When Choosing a College,” which will focus on how to avoid common pitfalls during the college selection process. From using the wrong criteria (following a friend, for example) to not applying to a school based on your anticipated financial aid package, the webinar will explore issues that may lead a student to choose a school that ultimately is not a good fit. Hosting the call is certified Educational Planner, and Club Z! college admissions advisor, Charlotte Klaar, PhD.

“Families too often waste time on colleges that are not a good match for their student. This leads to unhappiness, needless disappointment, and costly transfers,” offers Dr. Klaar. “My goal with this webinar is to shed some light on these potential issues, and offer strategies for finding the right school.”

Please join Club Z! and Dr. Klaar on March 22, 2017 at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific for this important webinar. Attendance is absolutely free, but does require pre-registration as space is limited. To join us on March 22nd, click here to register.

Senioritis…the Disease College-Bound Students Should Avoid

Already accepted to college? Beginning to lose interest and focus in school? Be careful not to catch senioritis!

Senioritis– a disease effecting high school seniors, especially during second semester; identified by laziness, lack of focus, repeated absences, and a strong desire to graduate.

Senioritis can sneak up on you faster than you think! Here are some tips we senioritisgive all high school students for avoiding this dread condition:

Take a strong course load

Don’t take a relaxing course load just because you think you can. This is your time to shine!  Many high schools only require three years of all the basic subjects (math, science, history, etc.) and four years of English.  If you’re a college-bound high school student, go above and beyond and take a fourth year of quality courses.

Avoid taking study hall or three different gym classes to get out of studying your senior year.  Admissions officers view hard work and dedication late in the game as a good indicator of how you’ll perform in college.

Already accepted to college? Beginning to lose interest and focus in school?  Be careful not to catch senioritis!

Senioritis can sneak up on you faster than you think! Here are some tips we give all high school students for avoiding this dread condition:

Take a strong course load

Don’t take a relaxing course load just because you think you can. This is your time to shine!  Many high schools only require three years of all the basic subjects (math, science, history, etc.) and four years of English.  If you’re a college-bound high school student, go above and beyond and take a fourth year of quality courses.

Avoid taking study hall or three different gym classes to get out of studying your senior year.  Admissions officers view hard work and dedication late in the game as a good indicator of how you’ll perform in college.

Your senior grades can make or break you

You know that colleges look at your grades for the first three years of high school.  What you may not realize is that your senior year grades are just as important!  Colleges require you to submit your first quarter, mid-year, and end-of-year grades.  If you have a downward trend in your grades, colleges will notice and take that into account in determining your acceptance.

The college application process is competitive and there are many students on a wait-list ready to take your spot.  Don’t become a red flag and give colleges a reason to revoke your acceptance. They do this regularly.

Tired of high school classes?

Take a course at a local community college.  This is a perfect way to senioritisdemonstrate your thirst for knowledge, plus you can earn college credits in the process.

About the author:  Dr. Charlotte Klaar is a Certified Educational Planner and founder and director of Klaar College Consulting in the greater Charlotte area.  If you’d like more information on any other aspects of the often-complicated college testing, admissions or financing process, Charlotte can be contacted at: 803-487-9777, [email protected] or www.cklaar.com.