Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is CollegeSmartboard different from other college counseling services?
CollegeSmartboard provides a comprehensive service. You may look at it as: creation, enhancement, matching and supporting. (Please read “About Us” page). We put ourselves in your shoes to understand your point of view and then address that point of view in numerous of ways. It’s creative problem solving at its best! We have packages with 2, 3, 4 and 5 year contracts and also a-la-carte services.
Our team consists of experts who can not only bring know-how to the table but also all kinds of personal experience and recommendations for internships and externships.
We have been international students ourselves. We know what it entails – new country, new culture, new roadmaps and how to beat the culture shock.
We are parents. We understand the anxieties and issues parents experience when they let go of their children. We want the parents understand what they and their students are signing up for. Keeping in mind FERPA rules and client confidentiality, we provide as much information as we can to help the parents negotiate this challenging time.
We have placed students graduating from U.S. high schools as well as international students. We know the difference.
Our methodology is based on sound and time tested approaches created by a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt* and Design Thinking** experts to ensure success. No guess work!
We have educators on the team who can assist with their advice from a college standpoint.
Educators help make the perfect match between the student’s interest / aptitude / need with specific colleges for the best fit.
We try to balance all the student’s/family’s needs while matching.
Lastly, we are truly concerned about you. We offer ourselves even after you join a college to make sure you are happy!
We are ethical and affordable! (Please contact us for pricing information)
2. How stressful is it for the students?
Stress could be due to academic pressure, navigating unknown territories, unfamiliarity with the process. Our goal is to provide assistance so as to alleviate stress! We help you plan your courses so that incremental steps ease stress. We encourage and assist with students’ self-regulation and self- improvement. We take care of the college search so that you are not fumbling with the unknowns. And last but not least, we scaffold your entire journey so that you are not lost!
3. Do you guarantee admission?
No. Nobody can or should. The criteria for admission varies from school to school. It is not only a very guarded process but also very dynamic in nature. The rubrics change year to year based on the school’s needs, goals, and laws. We can work with you to help build your portfolio / candidacy to the best you can and increase your chances of acquiring admission.
4. Are you connected to any University’s admission department?
No. We are counselors, not “agents”. Some universities have hired agents (who get paid by the university) to increase their enrollment. They may or may not be concerned about “fit”. They should also not accept any payments from you. They serve on the university’s side. We work for you.
5. Is being long distance going to be a problem?
Not at all. In today’s digital age, many services, jobs and communication are based online. We communicate with you via phone, email, video conference platforms, etc., on a mutually confirmed medium and time.
6. Do you help with the college application essays?
Yes, from brainstorming to editing! Knowledgeable and experienced consultants will provide you all the help you need; however, we DO NOT author any essays for you!
7. Can you help us gain financial aid?
No. We guide and consult but we cannot guarantee financial aid. We work with the unique circumstances of each family to create a plan to afford college. With experience in working with financial aid officers at colleges and creating CSS profiles, we are able to provide the best solution for your student’s college funding. However, we provide you with links for external scholarship opportunities that you may avail. Please contact us for more information.
8. Do you help in the tuition financial planning?
Yes, we work with students from all financial backgrounds to be able to afford college by creating a plan that utilizes the maximum potential of the student as well as each family’s resources. Please contact us for more information.
9. Do you help special needs students?
Not at this time. We are not equipped to take care of special needs. We may add that service in the future.
10. Do you help with graduate school admission?
Only for certain majors. But we do have future plans for Grad schools, Law schools and Medical schools.
11. Do you help students get into only specific schools?
No. Since we are not agents, we are open to any schools that may work for you.
12. How do you help students with deadlines?
We give notices and reminders via software programs or notification platforms with substantial time in advance to regulate the process so that students don’t fall through the cracks.
13. How many times or how often can we contact you?
Once we have signed the contract, we have our regular scheduled meetings / correspondence as per schedule (please see onboarding process for International Students or for U.S. Students). Besides that, you can send us emails / calls / text messages any number of times. We are here for you and hopefully can answer your questions in a timely manner.
14. When is the right time to enroll?
You can jump aboard anytime, but remember that once you’re under our care we can only help you going forward from that point. We cannot enhance, alter, or substitute your past portfolio / resume. Therefore, we suggest, you enroll as soon as you can so that we can assist your candidature by building from the foundation.
15. How do you help international students?
If you have completed your secondary education and earned a certificate of completion that enables you to be admitted to a university in your home country, and it is equivalent to a U.S. High School Diploma, you are eligible to apply to any undergraduate program in a U.S. university. We guide you through that process. We also offer our services to you when you are in college during your freshman year (An extra year’s service free of charge!). We have college professors who are familiar with the trials and tribulations of students (especially international) during their transition year in the U.S. and can provide guidance.
16. Do you provide career guidance?
Yes. We do an initial career match based on the student’s interest and courses completed. We then guide them toward other courses that may assist in gaining admission in the area of their interest. However, careers are not an absolute in itself. Once they are in college, many of our students find their own opportunities as they gain more in-depth knowledge in their fields and carve out their own paths.
17. Do you have any special consulting for student athletes?
Yes. It’s a package in itself. There are various levels of athletic scholarships available at US colleges. We help you create a profile to present yourself to coaches and gain maximum exposure. Please contact us for more information.
18. Do you help with the visa process?
No. We have no connections with the INS department. Once you are admitted to a university, their International Office will send you the requisite paperwork and direct you through the steps. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
* Developed by Motorola
** Developed by Stanford University