FAQ

 

How Do You Work?
The most important aspect of the college application process is selection of the college list, but unfortunately it is often the aspect least attended to.  Families often forget the most obvious goal of admissions, which is a positive result –or several — from the months and years of effort.   We at OES encourage the student to form a list based on honest self-evaluation and realistic future goals, not a list based on what he or she assumes are the “only” colleges to seek, or colleges other students seek.  The opportunities for academic advancement leading to career success in this country and abroad are virtually uncountable.  Hence, our Mission Statement:

“The privilege of each student is shape a unique destiny.”

To make that journey as successful and enjoyable as possible, we guide the student, beginning with simple self-assessment. (For students who need this, we offer a variety of assessment tools to help the student select a list, based on personal, academic and career factors.)  We also offer abundant information about the colleges themselves, from acquired knowledge, recent changes at those colleges, visits we have made, and published material.  The student eventually develops a list with many likely positive results. 

Students come to us from different stages of knowledge about college admissions and from a variety of personal backgrounds and ages.  While we recommend an early start to the journey, we have also helped students who began the process in the first semester of their senior year.   Generally, the earlier the process is started, ,the less confused and more confident the student and family become.
How Do Parents Fit Into This Arrangement?

We have found that open communication is most efficient and produces the best results.  Parents have much to offer in the way of important details about the student — details which the student often forgets or assumes to be unimportant.  Most parents who come to us are also very educated themselves, including about colleges.   Here at OES we pride ourselves on listening to parents and keeping them informed along the way.  In addition, parents often have many questions about how admissions works at various colleges and about the differences among colleges.

We have no objection to a student coming alone, but it is preferable to meet the parents first and allow the student to come alone for subsequent meetings, should the family desire that.

What Are Your Fees?
Our fee schedule is available by email:  omnieducation@gmail.com

Occasionally, people inquire about “packages.”  We have never found packages to be economical for the customer, even though packages are almost always profitable for a company.  Therefore, we do not offer them.  It is also impossible to predict how much time any student will need – even a student who already comes in with a list, has already visited colleges, and knows what he or she wants.   In addition, “packages” have been known to expire in many a company precisely at the time the student suddenly discovers he needs extra help, such as the week before an Early application is due, or after an Early admissions results.  In addition – and especially if an Early Round is involved – a student may end up needing much fewer than his “packaged” hours but have already paid for a nonrefundable number of those.  In those cases, which are many, the company wins while the family loses.

Finally, the efficient way in which we work ensures our customers the best return on an hourly fee arrangement.  Typically the student works independently on decision-making, additional college research, and essay drafts after joint brainstorming sessions with us, and returns for further feedback later, when student/family is ready.  Families use what they need from us in a la carte style.  For some families that has meant often; for others, seldom.   (Some families have chosen fewer hours or needed fewer than students with the same number of colleges.)  We do not operate on required minimums, and the first meeting, which is also typically the longest meeting, is always free of charge.

Feel free to ask us more particulars about fees by email, phone, or in person.
What Is Your Availability?
Available hours can be requested by email.  They vary only relative to our current student commitments, but hours are very flexible, and it has never been problematic to accommodate students with unusual needs or heavy activities.  Currently, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday have more openings than Monday or Friday. 
What Bay Area Cities / Locations Do You Service?
We travel to the family’s home if the family is within the following Bay Area counties:  Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Southern Alameda, Santa Clara, and Marin.

Cities include Oakland, Piedmont, Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Kensington, San Francisco, Mill Valley, Larkspur, Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Atherton, Palo Alto, and other nearby locations.

For families living outside those counties a more mutually convenient location may be needed.  We are also available to Skype any student on the U.S. mainland, including ongoing local students when time is of the essence.  However, if the family lives within the Greater Bay Area, it is always best if the first meeting is in-person.

What Are Your Company Ethics?
As our mission is to assist the student in expressing his or her own individuality, desires, acquired knowledge, and personal goals, we do not engage in ghostwriting. Although we realize that many companies do that, the results are generally disappointing for the student, as it is difficult for an adult to sound like an adolescent. That said, we provide help to any student whose writing needs improvement – by way of guidance, brainstorming for ideas, and detailed critiques of essay drafts.

We do not “promote” particular colleges or universities, nor do we have any marketing or financial alliances with any of them. 

We follow the NACAC approved guidelines in matters such as disclosures for Early Round applications, withdrawal of other applications after an Early Decision acceptance, and single acceptances of offers of admission in spring.
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