It’s time to buckle down and start thinking about college.
But where do you begin? Navigating the road to college seems overwhelming, with so many choices and so many steps in the college application process.
Truth is, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your essay writing skills and prep more for the SATs.
You could hire a professional coach to help you out but there’s the expense and finding the time to meet.
Luckily, there’s an alternative. CollegeThoughts, a college prep consulting service headquartered in King of Prussia, is launching an online subscription service called Inner Circle this month.
Inner Circle gives self-motivated students the tools they need to successfully navigate the college application process.
“What we’re trying to do is distill a lot of the good information we give to students when we’re doing one-on-one coaching and make it available so that if students want to unpack it on their own, they have access to it,” says CollegeThoughts founder Keith Wilkerson.
CollegeThoughts has teamed up with a variety of companies that offer online college prep tools, from test preparation and essay writing to financial planning, subject tutoring, and college searches.
Besides the tools, there is a priority line to answer student questions by email, a webinar once a month on a topic of interest, plus access to an online portal to run school searches and look up other information.
“The thing that gets most people into trouble when applying to college is that you don’t know what you don’t know,” Wilkerson says.
Inner Circle turns people into insiders so they have all the information they need to avoid blind spots.
Typically, subscribers receive six months of access for $499, but the initial 500 subscribers will receive a full year of service, including:
- A 30 minute virtual college coaching session
- Access to the Parent and Student Portal through College Planner Pro
- Monthly Zoom forum discussions on navigating the journey to college
- Nine months access to personalized online SAT and ACT prep through Test Innovators
- Full access to daily test prep and study tools through Everydae
- College essay management through Prompt
- Three months access to the College Library content
- Monthly Inner Circle newsletter
- 30 minute introductory session with Secure Financial Planners
- 60 minute introductory session with AirTutors—a subject tutoring partner.
Students can access many of the web-based services on their phones or computers anytime.
If they want to do a half hour SAT prep at 11 p.m., or review an essay while waiting in line, they can.
“Kids have such different schedules. They’re busy but they’re all busy differently,” Wilkerson says.
The service also works well during the pandemic when in-person meetings may not be possible.
Students have direct access to ask questions and get answers as they move through the college application process.
CollegeThoughts has worked with a variety of companies over the years and have used their tools in their coaching practice.
“These are the tools that we believe in,” Wilkerson says. “We’re trying to be the glue that brings all these companies together and all these resources together and give kids a better shot at an easier time getting into college.”
By partnering with the companies offering the online college prep tools, CollegeThoughts is able to offer Inner Circle at a discount while introducing the tools and the companies that provide them to families and students.
Buying each of the tools separately would run families about $800 and that doesn’t include the extra services CollegeThoughts is providing with the subscription.
Plus, as new tools come along, they can be incorporated into the subscription package.
Even if students do hire other companies to help them with their applications, the subscription service with its wide array of online tools is still a valuable investment as a practice aid or a source of information.
“If you just need the tools and you feel like you are driven enough and motivated enough to do the work, we’ll tell you what the right tools are and you just go to work,” Wilkerson says.
To find out more about the Inner Circle subscription service and to subscribe, click here.