College Placement

Parents, are you confused about an application and selection process that has dramatically changed from your own experience?

Is your student interested in colleges/universities that you would like to know more about but do not know how to evaluate or match with your child’s interests and academic profile?

Are you unsure about college entrance exams and timelines?

Are you overwhelmed with too many choices and not enough personal assistance?

Do you need guidance with financial aid and academic scholarships?

Designing Steps to Academic Success can help!

Information Overload
A trip to the local bookstores or a quick Internet search dramatically demonstrates the overwhelming wealth of information on SAT/ACT Test Prep, Little Ivies, Hidden Ivies, colleges that impact lives, college rankings, how to write stand-out college essays, cracking the code to gain entrance to Ivy League institutions, and how best to pay for college to name just a few hot button topics.  Why then are so many families so stressed when it comes to helping their children get accepted to college? 

What I Do For You
After decades of counseling students and families about college admissions and how-to’s, two conclusions stand out: 

  1. Parents want the very best for their children.
  2. Parents want the biggest bang for their buck.

Designing Steps to Academic Success understands the pitfalls to avoid and the tenets to be followed for a successful high school and college preparatory program. I have visited colleges throughout the Midwest, Mid Atlantic, New England, and Northeast. In addition, I am familiar with Southeastern colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other schools that are both popular and good fits for many New Jersey students.

College Placement and Admissions Services
Depending on the age of your child (8th grade is not too early to start!) and your college aspirations, my services will be a customized mix of the following college placement tenets:

  • Collaborative course selection - 9th through 12th grade
  • Monitoring and maximizing grade point average (GPA)
  • Maximizing strengths/minimizing weaknesses
  • Summer opportunity planning
  • Collaborative extracurricular activity planning
  • College standardized testing advisement
  • Collaborative Identification of “best fit” college list
  • Visual and performing arts college advisement (if appropriate)
  • Campus visitation and open house planning
  • Campus interview advisement
  • High school transcript review
  • Collaborative college essay planning
  • Organization of college materials suggestion
  • Time-line advisement for college admissions process
  • College application and financial aid time lines
  • Collaborative review of final application
  • Collaborative decision making regarding teacher/other recommendations
  • Explanation of financial aid basics
  • Provision of college-bound related websites
  • Career planning
  • Advisement of special awards, opportunities and scholarships

Start Now
While it is never too late to start, for the best results, we start with middle-school.  Both course selection and talent recognition are important in determining a strong and standout high school path.  Using the services listed above, Designing Steps to Academic Success coaches high school students of every grade to improve their application success. 

Don't wait!

If you or your student is concerned about college applications, schedule a private appointment with Designing Steps to Academic Success today.  My initial consultation is always free.  By understanding your goals and accomplishments, I can determine exactly how to help your child in the quest to be accepted to the college of his or her choice.

Designing Steps to Academic Success
Brenda S. Williams, M.A.


8 Carlton Drive

Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

973-783-8324 office

973-452-8774 cell

973-783-0148 fax

Office hours by appointment only.

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