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Equitable College Counseling is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Donations are tax-deductible

EIN 87-3565061

Our model is different

Our student-centered advising model aggressively flips the traditional and exclusive model of private college counseling.
It truly levels the playing field.

The Problem

Planning for life after high school is confusing, and students have lost belief in and enthusiasm for the college process. Students everywhere are feeling increasingly disenfranchised and do not like asking for college planning help at school. Teenagers no longer trust that institutions have students’ best interests at heart. However, there are barriers beyond the absence of faith in adults that prevent students from accessing support.

Young adults are busier than ever and do not always have time to access advisors between rigorous classes or during lunchtime. Nontraditional, online, homeschooled, and international students may not have a traditional high school counselor at all. Students have diverse needs and varying levels of readiness that require differentiation; these cannot be met during one-size-fits-all classroom guidance presentations about college. Some kids may prefer privatized support during evenings, weekends, and summertime. Even at high schools with robust student services, students today prefer flexibility and choice while seeking assistance.

Timely post high school planning is critical. Starting college planning by at least 9th grade leads to more positive outcomes for students. Unfortunately, college planning at many high schools does not begin until later. 11th grade is when 44% of high schools initiate formal college planning and 54% start sharing information about paying for college. While 90% of high schools offer support to help students plan for college, under 46% of high schools report more than half of juniors and seniors taking advantage of available services. (Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling)

First-generation students are disproportionately affected by poor planning. Of the 20 million students currently attending U.S. colleges, 24% of those have parents with no postsecondary education. 56% have parents who do not have a bachelor’s degree. (Source: Center for First-Generation Student Success)

While private college counseling is an option for affluent families, the pivotal weakness in the existing paradigm is that the families who have the greatest need for individualized help have the least access to services.

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The Solution

The most formidable barriers for students who need help are time and cost. We directly these hurdles by aggressively flipping the traditional and exclusive model of private college counseling.

Our advising is free, a la carte, and available online during evenings, weekends, and summer. This radical shift addresses the diverse needs of all students and allows unrestricted access to the high-quality advising necessary to craft competitive applications to top universities.

An individualized yet free online service resolves multiple issues for students. Generation Z is more likely to seek help on the internet than walk down the hallway at school to speak with an adult. Gen Z is also accustomed to instant answers and encyclopedic information at their fingertips. This becomes problematic when online college application tips are not reputable. Motivated students who take initiative by finding answers online sometimes become further confused or even harmed by internet misinformation.

Our model improves upon the current paradigm in numerous ways:

• Individualized advising differentiates to meet diverse student needs unlike high school “one-size-fits-all” counseling programs.

• Online delivery eliminates the need for a fixed location and traditional business hours.

• No-cost advising addresses economic inequity.

• Professional advising ensures that students do not utilize unreliable online resources.

• Flexible appointments encourage students to take advantage when they are ready.

• Modern communication builds trust and student buy-in.

• An all-in-one platform streamlines the complicated college app ecosystem.

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Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to furnish post high school planning that surpasses the quality and convenience of privatized services but mirrors the affordability of school-based services.

Our vision is for all students to graduate from high school with a postsecondary plan.

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Why We Are Free

The best way to fulfill our mission of equity was to eliminate the biggest barriers for families: cost and time. Since we provide no-cost services that are accessible from anywhere, students worldwide have access to high-quality advising regardless of their family circumstances. Our model truly levels the playing field.

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Online Appointments

We meet with students virtually. Advisors are also available through direct messaging.

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Who We Serve

We primarily serve students who are applying for undergraduate study at U.S. colleges and universities.

We originally aimed to support students who lack traditional high school advising or cannot access private college counseling due to economic, time, location, or other barriers. However, all students can benefit. Without eligibility requirements for students, we deliver truly equitable services that reach beyond borders and across income brackets.

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Services We Provide

We provide no-cost, private college counseling to students by building their college lists, perfecting their essays, raising their SAT scores, and maximizing financial aid to be admitted into selective colleges.

We specifically provide the following post high school planning services:
• Researching colleges & universities
• College application help
• College essay revision
• Career exploration
• High school course selection & four-year planning
• Resume building
• Locating scholarships
• Financial aid information & FAFSA support
• SAT & ACT tutoring
• Armed Forces information
• Trade schools & apprenticeships

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Since launch, we have assisted diverse students who originate from at least 30 U.S. states and territories, 30 countries, and 5 continents.

Our students have been accepted to top universities including Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Penn, Duke, Northwestern, Brown, Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, and USC.

We are the first organization with the ability to unlock the potential of the most unique and talented students, previously overlooked by universities, anywhere on the planet.

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Our Advising Pillars

Our advising framework is rooted in three pillars, all of which are achievable through leveraging existing free resources

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"Planning" Pillar

• Discover your major
• SAT/ACT strategies
• Network with colleges
• Track application milestones

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"Sell Yourself" Pillar

• Research essay prompts
• Frame yourself properly
• Highlight your unique strengths
• Tell your story

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"Zero Debt" Pillar

• Learn sources of aid
• Find scholarships
• Apply for aid
• Understand financial aid offers

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