Turning High School Students Into College Freshmen

My Students Have Been Offered Admission To:
Washington University, Northeastern, USC, Tulane, UCLA, University of Michigan,
Syracuse, UCSD, George Washington University, UCSB, Cal Poly - SLO,
Boston University, Barnard, Trinity College, Bucknell, and many others

An Open Letter to Parents 


We all want the best for our children, and that has not changed over time.  What has changed is the path to that better future.  Applying to college today is nothing like it was when you applied.  The days of applying to only one or two colleges are long gone, and there are no more “sure things.”


Despite what many would like to believe, being accepted to college is not based on academic merit alone.  A 4.0 will not be enough to get your teen into his or her “dream” college. Colleges have their own agendas that are outside the interests of any one particular student. There are also factors that colleges consider that are outside of your control.  That’s why many students (and parents too) are left wondering why one of the peers with lower grades, test scores, extracurriculars etc., was accepted to a particular college, and he or she did not.


Furthermore, in today’s world of hefty college price tags, most parents are looking for some relief, but many colleges which offer significant discounts are not known to your teen because they are not common household names.


Why Does it Matter Where Your Teen Applies to College?


  • Because students dissatisfied with their college choices often drop out. As a matter of fact, more than 30 percent of students who start at a four-year college leave without graduating. That is a lot of potential debt with no degree to show for it.


  • Because your teen needs to be able to get in.  He or she is likely to spend a lot of time, money, and energy in the process of becoming a competitive applicant, so he or she better be sure they are applying to at least some colleges that want them as much as they want those colleges.


Each year, there are approximately 80,000 high school valedictorians and salutatorians and more

than a quarter of a million high school seniors applying to college with a perfect 4.0.  You have all heard

the stories of high-achieving students who were not accepted to any of the colleges to which they applied. 

You do not want your teen to be one of those stories!


  • Because you have to be able to afford it and where your teen applies can determine how much need-based financial aid and/or merit scholarship money they are likely to receive.  Cost will also likely dictate whether your teen will have to work part-time during his or her college years.


  • Because the college has to offer what your teen wants to study.  Not all colleges offer accounting or American History or neuroscience, etc.  Many students will change their major during college, but if your teen truly has a sincere interest in a particular area of study, it is a huge mistake not making sure the colleges he or she applies to offer that area of study.


  • Because your teen has to like it there.  The location, setting, class size, dorm conditions, academic challenge, social opportunities, etc., all impact a student’s satisfaction with their college experience.  They need to consider these things when choosing the colleges to which they will apply.


Why You Should Consider Hiring a College Counselor…


About 1.9 million freshmen enter college each year.  About 8% of those students worked with private educational consultants to help them navigate the college planning and application process, and one out of four of those students had superior grades and extracurriculars. 

How did this come to be?  Those parents realized that:


  • Even the most well-intentioned school counselors simply do not have the time to address the unique characteristics and ambitions of each student.


  • Typical high school guidance counselors in a public high school spend only 20% of their time on college-related issues; even in private high schools, typical guidance counselors spend only 50% of their time on college-related issues.


  • The average ratio of students to guidance counselors in public high schools in the United States is 500 to 1 and in California, the ratio is 750 to 1.


  • They don’t have the time or desire to educate themselves about the strategy behind gaining college acceptance.   


  • They want the expertise of a college counselor who has helped students achieve college admissions success. 


  • Academic merit alone will not get teen into the college he or she wants.


  • There are no practice rounds when applying to college; you have to get it right the first time.




Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid when Applying to College
    Increase Your Chance of College Admission         
Does this guide really work?  Yes - I've helped numerous students avoid costly mistakes, which can derail the college application process before it even begins!
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Linda Dennis, M.A. is the Founder of iCollege Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that helps high school students navigate the college planning and application process in order to recognize their dreams of attending college.  As an inspiring and in-demand counselor, trainer, and coach, Linda has taught students of all academic abilities through a unique framework to strategize and create college plans that produce results.  

Linda found her passion and life’s work in the field of college consulting - a perfect blend of her interpersonal and analytical skills.  As a former high school college counselor and private consultant, Linda’s depth of knowledge and expertise has been highly praised by former students and families alike. She holds a Certificate in Independent Educational Consulting from the University of California at Irvine, a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from The Phillips Graduate Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. 

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“Linda Dennis took the time to get to know our son, his interests and to provide recommendations for great colleges that met his needs and ones that we would not have found on our own. She was caring, flexible and responsive. We found the perfect place and our son is happy and performing well in his new environment. I highly recommend Linda Dennis and iCollege Consulting.”

                                                              J.Y. Parent

“Thank you so, so much for assisting me in the craziness of the college process.  This is an important decision for me and I am infinitely grateful that you stuck with me through all of it.  I will always appreciate all of your time, suggestions, and advice.”

                                                              H.A. Student

“Linda is highly intelligent and very resourceful. She has been highly professional at every stage of the application process.  I cannot emphasize enough how helpful she has been in choosing appropriate colleges and making sure that we followed through with what was required during all stages of the application process. Working with Linda has been a pleasure.  She has my highest recommendation.”

                                                              J.W. Parent


"Linda Dennis was phenomenal in assisting me in my college progress.  She was very knowledgeable, creative, and effective.  Linda Identified the schools  that were perfect choices for my interests and helped me achieve my goals in order to gain admissions.  I am most appreciative and would highly recommend Linda Dennis in her college counseling services.

                                                             M.A. Student


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The "STANDOUT" Program 


When Great Grades and Extracurriculars are not Enough!

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This program teaches students The "STANDOUT" framework to help them shine in the college admissions process, thereby, improving their chances of admission success.

  • Strategy -  (College Affordability, Selectivity, Preference, Major Availability)

  • Traits - (Personal qualities and characteristics)

  • Accomplishments

  • Novel -  (Looking for uniqueness)

  • Details, details, details

  • Overcoming -  (Obstacles/Challenges)

  • Upgrade - (Academic History/Extracurriculars 

  • Tell - (Admission officers why you belong at their college)


Let's Get It Started


Knowing what to do and

when can change 

the trajectory of

your teen's college future

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This program includes: 

  • 10 hours of live on-line training  (over 5 consecutive weeks (90 minutes of training; 30 minutes of Q and A)

  • Downloaded powerpoint presentations of course materials

  • Samples and templates for resumes, extracurricular activities, and essays.

  • Customizable deadline charts for the pre-application, application, and post-application phases of the application process.

Get step-by-step instructions and spreadsheets to guide your teen through the college application process. Not understanding the process leaves most teens in a state of overwhelm and anxiety, producing less than optimal results.  Since there are no practice rounds when applying to college, you have to get it right the first time.  Knowing what to do and when can make all the difference.


Don't Know Where

to Apply to College?

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A serious problem requiring a

serious solution

Get step-by-step instructions on how to build a list of colleges that make sense in terms of a student's academic history and accomplishments, career interests, family's ability to pay, and specific interest in a college's culture and environment.  

Choosing the wrong college can result in not graduating, acquiring debt with no degree to show for it, general disappointment and unhappiness, and a severe setback to career and personal aspirations.

Getting your list right the first time can provide a student with many college options where he or she will have the chance to flourish and move forward toward success.


Concierge College Counseling


A full service, individualized

counseling, and coaching


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At this level of service, I provide the student with individualized instruction and coaching through every step of the college planning and application process.  My goal is for the student to have several college choices of which he or she would be excited to attend and that meets the academic, social, and financial needs of the student.


The Ultimate "To-Do" List for High School Juniors Planning to go to College  
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