Get prepared for college with Corinne Connor.
Preparing for college is difficult, which is why there are several services out there to help parents and students through the process. SAT prep courses, tutors, coaches and mentors all encourage students to plan. Corinne Connor, owner of College Apps Made Easy, stands out from the rest.
Connor created her own niche within the wide “applying to college” support base that’s out there. College Apps Made Easy caters to the student’s needs and creates a stress-free environment. She gives students as much or as little help as they need in the process. Connor acts as a buffer between parents and students to mitigate what could be a tense situation at home for all.
“I keep the parents involved and get their approval,” said Connor. “I make friends with the student, too. They can be open with me about what they want, and we work from there.”
Guidance counselors now have large caseloads, but Connor provides individualized attention. She aims to change the college application process from an intimidating, stressful ordeal to an exciting rite of passage from kids and parents alike. College Apps Made Easy positions the student to be in the best place they can be in to apply for college. A high school course plan starts this process early. This is not to create pressure for the student, but to give them the highest amount of options possible. Connor has worked with students as early as freshman year not as a “hovering black cloud,” but as a guide to get to where they need to go.
The high school course plan takes stock of the student’s academic abilities early on in high school. Connor asks the student a vital question, “Where do you want to be your senior year?” and works with them to develop a course plan to get there. The plan is flexible, and College Apps Made Easy accommodates each individual plan to the student’s abilities and goals for the future.
College Apps Made Easy also provides services targeted towards seniors in high school. Connor’s most popular services include essay coaching and developing the ever-dreaded college list. “The key is balance,” said Connor, discussing the importance of having a mix of reach, target and safety schools on the list.
And, of course, this list differs for every student and should fit their needs. For some, it’s a reality check. For others, it’s a push in the right direction or hope that they can get into college at all. Ultimately, it’s up to the student to decide where they want to go. College Apps Made Easy sets them up as best they can to get more college acceptances than rejections. College Apps Made Easy gets the student in good personal and academic standing so they have freedom to choose.
“The hardest decision I want these kids to have to make is which college they should go to, because they have the option to choose,” said Connor.
The essay, which Connor can spend up to a month on with the student, has a lot of weight in college admissions. Many students dread writing their college essay, but Connor spends time developing an idea with them and finding a topic.
“The essay needs to be the voice of the student. The reader needs to see something about the student in that essay that they can’t in the application,” said Connor. “It’s like a Vine, you know, those six second videos? Just a quick snippet, but it needs to be unique, passionate, heartfelt. It can make or break an application.” In addition, Connor looks at school costs with her students and parents, helping them decide what school is most appropriate for them.
Connor started researching the college application process after her daughter went through it in 2003, and she did it with her son three years later. She was familiar with Montclair High School courses and teachers, and knew what it took for a kid to apply to college. She has volunteered at IMANI, a community-based organization that helps Montclair High School minority students with their college applications, for over ten years. She started College Apps Made Easy in 2007.
Connor said there’s no better feeling than receiving a call from a parent or a student crying happy tears as they hold their acceptance letter. “No two kids are alike but they all have the same dream: to go to college and be successful,” said Connor. Her dream is to help them get there. You can contact Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-412-0313 or visit collegeappsmadeeasy.com.