Peak Learning Solutions


Offering the most comprehensive, highest quality
educational assistance available to students, families, and schools.
95% of Peak families would recommend us to others!

General FAQs

Peak Learning Solutions is a full-service educational organization founded in 2007 by educator and educational psychologist, Drew Sarmiere MA Ed. Psy. Peak provides a broad array of educational services to students and families including executive functioning and academic coaching, tutoring in all subject areas, ACT and SAT test prep, and college admissions counseling, and life coaching. In addition, Peak partners with schools and nonprofits to provide a wide array of services and bespoke programs. Peak is here to ensure that every student with whom we work experiences a happy and successful academic journey and achieves their peak potential as a student and person.

When you choose Peak Learning Solutions, you join an organization of dedicated educators that are here to support you, your child and your family throughout your child’s academic journey from day one until graduation. Be it middle school, high school, college, or graduate school, we are here every step of the way. If academic issues arise at any point, we are here to help solve them. If you are ever in need of academic advice or guidance, we are here to provide it. When it’s time to prepare for college, we will be sure your child has the skills, the test scores, and the applications that will make him stand out. If the transition to college is difficult, we will provide the planning and guidance your child needs to make this transition smoother and get the most from his college experience. Peak is here to ensure that every student with whom we work experiences a happy and successful academic journey and achieves their peak potential as a student and person.

Peak offers a variety of educational services that allow us to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of students. “From K through college” we like to say. Whether a student is behind in reading or math in elementary school or struggling with the difficult transition to high school or college, we have the experience and knowledge to help.

  • Academic Coaching designed to help students develop into confident, self-regulated learners
  • Content Tutoring with a dual focus on developing self-regulation and metacognition as well as effectively teaching key concepts and material from class
  • Test Prep for major standardized tests including the SAT and ACT (and others).
  • College Admissions Counseling structured to help students prepare and submit competitive and impactful college applications and essays
  • Life Coaching - Guiding teens into adulthood and supporting parents along the way.

We start every family off with a free initial consultation with one of our directors. During this meeting, you have the opportunity to explain your needs in detail, giving us a clear idea of exactly why you’re reaching out regarding our services. Based on this information, we develop a learning plan and outline a set of service options available to meet your educational goals. Unlike many other organizations, we develop a unique learning plan for each individual student. Just give us a call or send an email to get started.

Our rates vary depending on the services you choose to utilize and how often you meet with an instructor. We proudly pay our teachers some of the highest pay-rates in the industry. As a result, we are able to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers available. Furthermore, more of your money goes directly to the teacher working with your child rather than overhead and other costs. Despite the high pay rates for our teachers, we are still able to provide our services at rates that are competitive with, or lower than, many other tutoring organizations. Call or schedule a free initial consultation with one of our directors to find out more.

The fact that we often turn away potential teachers that have experience working with other well known tutoring organizations says it all. Our hiring standards are the highest in the industry, resulting in the strongest staff of teachers, coaches, and counselors available. Furthermore, every teacher must take a series of extensive, formal assessments as well as undergo rigorous training along with a period of shadowing lead instructors prior to working with students. We are extremely proud of our excellent staff of teachers.

No all services can be modified as needed.

Since our approach to each student is unique, the length of time students spend with Peak varies considerably. The time required to reach your academic goals also depends on which services are chosen and how they are utilized. After the free initial consultation, we will be better able to give you an idea of both what supports we recommend and how much time it may take to reach your goals.

From a broader perspective, we are a trusted partner that parents and students can turn to for guidance and math support throughout their academic careers. Relationships that begin in elementary school with reading support may transition to academic coaching later on, then to test prep and college counseling as graduation nears, and then on to content support for that tough college chemistry course. We are here for our students and families every step of the way, from kindergarten to bachelor’s and beyond.

Peak meetings are typically scheduled for 90 minutes, though there are times when meetings can be scheduled for more or less time. Typically, we start students off with 2 meetings per week; however, students sometimes require more intensive help resulting in more frequent meetings. As example, secondary students that join Peak in the middle of a semester with a low C or lower in one or more classes may require 3 meetings per week at first in order to get caught up. As students progress and improve, the weekly frequency of meetings is reduced until, ultimately, no further meetings are needed. We offer a significant discount in rates for families that are receiving three or more hours of support per week.

Our services are available 7 days/week, 24 hours/day assuming a teacher is available to meet; however, most families choose to take advantage of our services Sundays through Thursdays in the afternoons/evenings.

We provide our other services in the manner that’s most convenient for you. Most families choose to meet virtually. However, a teacher or coach can come to your home or other requested location as well (this typically involves an additional cost). Our services are also available online. Provided through Google and utilizing live audio AND live video, your child can meet face to face with one of our teachers in real time and without the commute! For online tutoring, a parent doesn’t even have to be home for sessions to take place. While you’re finishing work for the day, your child can be at home working one-on-one with one of our teachers. Or, you can mix these services together as needed, choosing to meet in person for some meetings, and online for others. It’s simply a matter of which options are most convenient for you.

Yes. We offer a money back guarantee after the first online session if you feel that meeting online was not a good fit.

Life Coaching FAQs

A life coach is someone professionally trained to help you maximize your full potential and reach your life goals. Life coaches complete extensive training that teaches them how to ask the right questions, communicate effectively, and get to the heart of your needs and desires in life. A life coach encourages and counsels clients on a range of professional and personal issues. Life coaching is distinct from giving advice, consulting, counseling, and administering therapy. A coach helps you grow by analyzing your current situation, identifying limiting beliefs and other potential challenges and obstacles you face, and devising a custom plan of action designed to help you achieve specific outcomes in your life.

First and foremost, life coaching is about looking toward the future while therapy typically involves looking into past experiences or behaviors and how they are impacting your health and happiness. With life coaching, we look to move forward rather than focus on past issues. Additionally, life coaching is not meant to address significant mental health issues. Rather, it is designed to address the types of common issues and frustrations most people experience in their daily lives and to help individuals plan for and execute future growth.

Frankly, most of us could benefit from an unbiased, experienced, and trained third party to help us work through challenges in life and maximize successful growth and change. This is particularly true for adolescents and young adults as they mature toward adulthood.  That said, here are a few issues I commonely encounter:
  • Parent-adolescent conflicts that continue to go unresolved
  • Teens and young adults who are floundering and unsure what path(s) to take through high school, college, and beyond
  • Parents concerned that their teens are sharing less and less with them, causing them to feel "in the dark."
  • Teens and young adults who feel that their parents "don't understand" them or are not someone with whom they feel comfortable sharing their deeper thoughts and emotions
  • Teens and young adults struggling socially with peers 
  • Feelings of insecurity and lack of confidence
  • Unhealthy social media and technology use
  • Academic and other school struggles that lead to conflict at home
  • Divorced parents struggling to co-parent in a healthy manner 

Typically, life coaching sessions start out once/week, sometimes twice/month. Over time, coaching sessions tend to become less frequent.

Sessions last 45-50 minutes. The next 10-15 minutes is used by the coach to reflect on the session and write up notes.

You may choose to purchase a package of 8 sessions resulting in a per-session rate of $105 or you may pay as you go for $135/session.

While you will be required to sign a Client Services Agreement, you are not locked into any contract or program. You can end or make changes to life coaching sessions at any time (outside of 24 hours of a session).

Simply reach out to schedule a free initial consultation after which you can choose if life coaching is the right fit for your needs.

Academic Coaching FAQs

Peak’s founder is an educational psychologist and long-time educator who has developed and honed the Peak approach to academic coaching since 2007. Peak’s academic coaching methods are supported by studies in the fields of educational psychology and other fields of research associated with academics and learning. Academic success requires are broad set of skills and habits that can be learned and developed over time. This development is accelerated and maximized through Peak’s comprehensive, evidence-based academic coaching program taught by highly trained, knowledgeable academic coaches.

The best time to begin focusing on the development of effective academic skills and habits is during late elementary school or early middle school. It is during this time that these skills really become more and more important. In addition, there typically are reduced academic pressures (as well as other pressures) during this time, allowing for the development of strong academic skills and habits without high levels of stress and anxiety. Ideally, students should enter their freshman year in high school having already developed a strong set of academic skills and habits, allowing for a smooth transition to this critical time in their educational careers. Of course, additional support during high school may be needed as the rigors of school and learning increase. What’s most important is to avoid a “crisis scenario” in which students have poorly developed skills and habits, poor motivation and confidence, and high school grades looming that will impact their future college and career opportunities. Unfortunately, we see this all too often. So many families tell us they wish they’d begun working with us sooner. This can be avoided by being proactive and getting started sooner rather than later.

Yes. A significant number of our tutoring and academic coaching students have one or more diagnosed learning differences: ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, processing speed issues, executive functioning issues, auditory and verbal processing disorders, and others. Students with learning differences can learn to be just as successful as any other student; however, they often need to spend more time than other students learning and developing a strong set of academic habits and skills.

Yes. In fact, it is often with these students that academic coaching can yield the greatest results.

Developing a strong set of academic habits and skills takes time, and the more intense students’ academic challenges are the more often they need support. Students who begin coaching earlier in their academic journey - late elementary or early middle school - can often benefit from meeting just once/week. Students who begin coaching late in middle school often typically need to meet twice/week. Students who begin coaching in 9th grade or later typically need a minimum of two sessions/week to start. Ultimately, the goal is to teach students how to succeed on their own and to wean them off of coaching over time, but this does not happen overnight.

Most coaching sessions are 1 hour. Younger students sometimes meet for less time.

There are two key factors that determine how long a student will need academic coaching support: how far behind the student is in terms of both achievement and skill set and how motivated the student is. Motivated students who are open to changing/developing their academic habits and skills progress the most quickly. These students can begin to transition out of regular academic coaching within a few weeks to a few months. Students whose motivation is poor (often mixed with a lack of maturity) often need academic coaching support in some form or another for several years.

Sometimes, what students and parents need most is a breather from one another. We understand this, and academic coaching often begins with parents taking a step back from things and let us take over for awhile. However, until students mature into independent, responsible young adults who no longer rely on their parents for structure and accountability, the role of parents in the academic success of their student remains integral. Prior to students becoming independent young adults there are three key contributors to their academic success: the school, the student, and the parents. Peak forms a fourth level of overarching support encompassing all three of these pieces. We can step in and take on the responsibilities of any one (or more) of these pieces in the short-term. In the long term, however, if students are going to develop into self-regulated learners that no longer need additional academic support from Peak, then all three pieces of this “academic pyramid” need to be strong. The more that parents can set appropriate expectations and provide effective structure and accountability at home, the sooner that academic coaching support will no longer be needed. Over time, students will become more and more independent from their parents and more self-reliant; this also happens between students and their academic coach at Peak. Of course, this is our ultimately goal: an independent, confident, self-regulated learner.
We understand, however, that sometimes, for a variety of reasons, significant support by parents at home is not feasible. When this is the case, Peak is here and able to provide additional support until the time comes that students have matured and developed enough as students that the parental role is no longer integral to success in school.

Whenever possible, we utilize the work students have been assigned from school, which is the vast majority of the time. Only during rare situations in which the work assigned at school is insufficient will we supplement students’ assignments.

During the school year, the majority of Peak’s academic coaching is done one-on-one. Students have different classes with different teachers and different assignments; additionally, students often vary widely in terms of their academic strengths and weaknesses. So, it is typically most effective to meet one-on-one. Groups of two will sometimes occur due to parent/student request, but this is rare. During the summer, however, or at the request of schools throughout the school year, we provide group programs.

No coaching session is the same as another; however, a typical session starts with checking and managing organization. This is followed by a planner check. Next, there is a thorough academic analysis for each class combined with planning for assignments and assessments. Once this check-in process is complete, students and coaches begin diving more deeply into planning for, managing, and completing assignments. As assignments are discussed and work is completed, coaches teach and model proven and effective skills and habits.

Tutoring FAQs

There are a number of reasons to choose Peak:

1 - Peak provides an evidence-based dual approach to tutoring that combines both direct content instruction with academic coaching that addresses both the symptoms of a student’s struggles (lack of comprehension of course material and poor grades) and the causes behind a student’s struggles (lack of effective academic skills and habits). This dual approach to tutoring is unique to Peak and is the most effective method of getting students caught up and able to succeed on their own.

2 - The quality of Peak’s tutors is unsurpassed. Peak only hires and trains quality, experienced teachers. Additionally, Peak has developed a proprietary set of assessments that ensure our tutors are experts in their content areas. In order to teach within a given content area, each tutor must take a rigorous assessment and pass with 90% proficiency or better. Our AP/IB Biology assessment is over 160 questions long, which gives you an idea how extensive our assessments are.

3 - Peak maintains a level of oversight and communication that cannot be found elsewhere. During every meeting, Peak’s tutors take extensive notes which are sent home to parents and to the Director who reviews the notes each morning. Our Directors work hand-in-hand with our tutors to be sure students are receiving the most effective academic support possible. With permission, we also reach out directly to schools in an effort to coordinate our efforts with those in the classroom. The more people involved in supporting a student’s academic success the better.

4 - Peak develops a unique learning plan for each student which is continuously monitored and modified as necessary. Students are not plugged into a prescribed program like you often find elsewhere. In short, you will not find a higher quality group of educators nor an organization more dedicated to the success of its students than Peak Learning Solutions.

We offer tutoring for virtually all subjects from middle school through college.

Yes. A significant number of our tutoring students have one or more diagnosed learning differences: ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, processing speed issues, executive functioning issues, auditory and verbal processing disorders, and others. Students with learning differences can learn to be just as successful as any other student; however, they simply often need to spend more time than other students learning material and developing a strong set of academic habits and skills.

Yes. Tutoring is often extremely helpful for these students.

Typically, students start off tutoring twice/week for 90 minutes, though this can vary. Some students may not need to meet twice/week; this is usually students who are already doing well in a class but want to do better. Other students may need to meet more than once/week; this is usually students who have a low C or lower and/or there’s limited time left in the semester to catch up. Every student is different and we develop a unique learning plan for each student.

Most tutoring sessions are 90 minutes. Younger students sometimes meet for one hour.

Whenever possible, we utilize the work students have been assigned from school, which is the vast majority of the time. Only during rare situations in which the work assigned at school is insufficient will we supplement students’ assignments.

Most of Peak’s tutoring services are one-on-one. Students needs often vary quite drastically from one student to another, making one-on-one tutoring the most effective approach. We do, however, offer small group tutoring in some cases; this usually occurs when there are multiple students taking the same class together who would like to work as a group. Lastly, we also offer Math Lab for students who would like to get math help as needed (maximum of 5:1 student teacher ratio).

No tutoring session is the same as another; however, a typical session starts with briefly checking and managing organization for class. This is followed by a quick planner check. Next, there is an academic analysis combined with planning for assignments and assessments. Once this brief check-in process is complete, students and coaches begin diving more deeply into covering material and planning for, managing, and completing assignments. As assignments are discussed and work is completed, tutors teach and model proven and effective skills and habits.

Test Prep FAQs

Test Structure English
Writing and Language
Math Section 1 (no calculator)
Math Section 2 (calculator allowed)
Test Length 2 hours (no essay) 2 hours 50 minutes (with essay)
Number of Questions English - 75
Math - 60
Reading - 40
Science - 40
Total - 215
Reading - 52
Writing and Language - 44
Math 1 - 20
Math 2 - 38
Total - 154
Time/Question 1.17 minutes/question 0.81 minutes/question
English Tests punctuation, grammar, and rhetorical skills Called the Writing and Language Section on the SAT. Very similar to the ACT.
Reading 4 total passages, one dual passage 5 total passages, one dual passage, at least one historical passage, higher reading level than ACT
Math Topics Pre-algebra , algebra, geometry, algebra 2, trigonometry, statistics. Covers a much broader set of math concepts than SAT, questions tend to be straight forward math questions Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, algebra 2, data analysis. Narrower set of concepts than ACT, questions tend to be more analytical in style
Math Calculator Use Available for the entire math section Available only for the second math section
Science Full science section (reading tables and graphs), much more intensive than the SAT A few tables and graphs scattered throughout the test, two science reading passages
Multiple Choice Entire test is multiple choice Test is multiple choice other than a few questions in each math section that are not
Essay Optional Optional
Scoring Two scores 200-800 points each that are added to create a composite score of 400-1600 Four scores of 1-36 that are averaged to create a composite score of 1-36
Test Dates Offered about every 4-6 weeks throughout the year Offered about every 4-6 weeks throughout the year

The best way to answer this question is to take both tests and do a comparison. Peak offers a baseline assessment program which includes a full-length ACT, a full-length SAT, a test analysis and a follow up consultation. Based on a student’s scores and our test analysis, we can recommend the test that is best for each student. If students already have a set of recent scores, we can use those as well. Factors to consider include test scores, sectional scores, processing speed and pacing, reading level, math/science skills, and student confidence/preference. NOTE - we strongly recommend students take these tests privately rather than on a national test date in order to keep these initial scores private.

We generally discourage students from prepping for and taking both tests, though there are times when this is appropriate.

Students doing test prep with Peak typically take one of three paths: one-on-one test prep, a test prep program, or a combination of a program followed by one-on-one prep. Students also have frequent opportunities to take full-length practice tests.

Since 2007, Peak has helped thousands of students earn top scores on the ACT/SAT. Our results are proven. Furthermore, over the years Peak has developed its own proprietary test prep materials that are the most comprehensive and effective materials available. No other organization has a more comprehensive and effective approach to test prep.

Students can successfully prep on their own given the existence of three factors: a high level of discipline, a high level of motivation, and strong self-teaching/learning skills. That said, progress typically occurs more quickly and the resulting scores are typically higher when students work with a skilled and knowledgeable test prep instructor.

As long as students have completed math through algebra 2, they can begin test prep. If possible, we recommend beginning prep over the summer after sophomore year. Otherwise, prepping during junior is best.

Students who begin prep over the summer after their sophomore year should take their first test in the fall of their junior year. Students can take the tests at any point moving forward from there. Most schools will offer a free test during the spring of junior year. Ideally, students should be done taking these tests by the end of their junior year. That said, it is possible to test over the summer and into the fall of senior year and still get scores to schools on time.

Peak offers 8-week SAT programs and 10-week ACT programs. Other than these set programs, test prep time can vary considerably from student to student. Even a handful of sessions can yield results. However, for those students who really want to maximize their prep and get the best possible score they can, the process of maximizing scores can take 4-6 months. During the consultation, we can help you determine the best approach for you and your student.

Unless it is required by the college/university, we do not recommend signing up for the essay. Be sure to check with each school of interest to find it if the essay is required.

No. All colleges accept either test and weigh them equally.

The process of qualifying for accommodations on the ACT/SAT can take time, so it’s best to start early. Coordinate your efforts with your school counselor and reach out to College Board and to get things started. Among other things, you will need recent evidence of a learning difference diagnosed by a professional (within 3 years), accommodations recommended, and demonstrated use of those accommodations at school. You should apply for accommodations on both tests regardless of which test you’ve decided to take.

Peak’s test prep courses are extremely comprehensive and effective, and they are the most economical way to prep. For those students who are simply interested in improving their score, Peak’s programs are a good fit. Students who want to maximize their score or who need a large increase in score will benefit more from one-on-one prep (or a combination of a program followed by one-on-one). Students who are scoring between the 50th and 75th percentiles are also good candidates for the test prep programs. Students scoring outside of those percentiles may find the program to either be too advanced (lower percentiles) or cover too much foundational material (upper percentiles). At the consultation, we can help you determine the best path for your student.

The ACT has a science section that is not found on the SAT, so more time must be spent covering the specific skills and strategies for this section. Also, the ACT covers a broader range of math concepts than the SAT, requiring additional time to get through the extra math.

There is little to no reason for students to prepare for any pre-ACT tests (e.g. the PLAN), and, for the vast majority of students the same is true for the PSAT. These are practice tests that colleges will never see. For a small percentage of students, however, it can make sense to prepare for the PSAT they will take during the fall of their junior year. These are students who did exceptionally well on their sophomore PSAT (minimum of 90th percentile) and, therefore, have a chance to score well enough on their junior year PSAT to possibly qualify for National Merit recognition. Unless a student does exceptionally well on their sophomore year PSAT, prepping for their fall PSAT is typically not worth the time, energy, or money.

NMSQT stands for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which is the PSAT that students take during the fall of their junior year. This test is used to determine if students potentially qualify for National Merit recognition or possibly the National Merit Scholarship itself. Students typically have to score in the 99th percentile on the NMSQT in order to be considered. Therefore, we recommend that only students who are already scoring in the 90th percentile or higher (based on their sophomore year PSAT) consider test prep for the NMSQT.

One way to answer this question is to look at the percentile score rather than the score itself. For example, a student who scored in the 80th percentile performed as well or better than 80% of all of the students who took that particular test. Whether or not you feel this is a good score or not depends on your expectations. Truthfully, “good” is relative; a good score for one student may not be a good score for another student. What’s most important is that students earn a score that allows them to reach their academic goals.

Colleges and universities post their admissions requirements on their websites. To find these, carry out an online search for “school name freshman profile” (e.g. University of Virginia freshman profile). Then, click on the link for the admissions information for that school. It’s always best to go directly to the school’s website rather than some other website that compiles this information; so, look for the school’s name in the website address and the web address “.edu.”

When students register for a test, they can choose to send the scores automatically to schools of interest. We recommend that students do not send their scores to any colleges when they sign up for the test. This allows students to better control what scores are sent to schools. Why send in any scores that aren’t your best scores? Some schools require students to report all scores. This is uncommon, however. Regardless, we recommend that students do not automatically send their scores when they take a test. You can choose to send them later as needed.

Some schools will superscore students’ test scores. This is when the school looks at multiple tests and chooses the highest sectional score from each test creating a “super” score. They then use this superscore when considering admission.

No. Some schools do and some don’t. Additionally, some schools will superscore one test but not the other. You can find this information on the school’s admissions page.

Typically, two to three times. Some students will take the test once, get the score they want, and be done with it. Most students, however, will want to take the test a second time, even if they do well the first time. For one, scores can improve with multiple attempts. Secondly, superscoring is not possible with only one test so it would be a mistake not to take the test a second time if you’re interested in schools that superscore. Finally, even if you did well on your first test, you could be missing out on scholarship opportunities based on test scores. So, there are a number of reasons to take the test more than once. Taking the test more than 3 times usually is not very helpful.

No, more schools are becoming test-optional these days. That said, the vast majority of schools require one of these tests and that probably isn’t going to change anytime soon. You can determine if a school is test optional by visiting its admissions page.

Lots of students think they are bad test takers when the truth is that they just need to be more prepared for tests. Quality test prep with an expert instructor can help all students improve.

Students and parents must remember that these scores represent one test on one day. There are a lot of factors that can impact how a student performs on any given test, and it’s not uncommon for students to have good test days and bad test days. This is another reason why it’s often necessary to take the test more than once. It’s important that students and parents not place too much emphasis on one particular test day and understand that it’s normal and common to need to take the test more than once in order to reach your goal scores.

College Admissions FAQs

The path to college starts well before high school; however, the college application process itself begins in earnest during the spring of junior year, continuing over the summer, and finishing in the fall of senior year. As an outline: during the first two years of high school, it's important that students are take the right classes, do well academically, participate in extracurricular activities, and develop leadership opportunities. During this time, students may want to meet once/semester or once/year with either a college counselor or a Peak Director in order to be sure everything is on track. At some point, it is important to start visiting schools. If a student is serious and mature enough while in lower grades, school visits can begin in 9th or 10th grade. Typically, however, this is a bit too early for many students, and college visits should begin after 10th grade. The summer after 11th grade is the key time to focus on filling out college applications, writing essays, visiting schools, etc. We strongly recommend students get the majority of the applications process completed before they start their senior year.

This depends on the amount of support students need and how close they are to the application deadline. Sometimes, multiple meetings in one week is necessary; other times, students may go a few weeks or more between sessions. Our counselors will ensure that the appropriate meeting frequency takes place to reach each student’s goals.

This can vary greatly. Some students meet only once or twice to gain some guidance and insight, others meet periodically over several years with the majority of meetings occurring during the spring of junior year through fall of senior year.

Students can schedule a visit to a school by visiting the admissions page on the website where there will be a link to the schedule for their tours and admissions presentations.

While it’s not a prerequisite in order to apply, considering the importance of this decision it would be a mistake to attend a school that a student has never visited. If a student is going to bother to put in the time to apply to a school, he/she should take the time to visit the school in order to be sure she has interest.

The answer to this question will depend on the goals of the student. Generally, students are advised to apply to 8-10 schools at the most. It is important for the student to research the colleges and visit when possible to assess whether the institution may be a good fit. Students should create a 3-column list including a few “safety” schools, a few “target” schools, and a few “reach” schools.

No. Some colleges superscore, some don’t, and a few will superscore one test and not the other. You can find out specifics on each school’s website.

No. Some schools require that all students send in all of their scores. Students are always advised to go to the college’s website. The information will be provided on the admissions page.

Early Decision is a binding agreement between the student, his/her family, the school counselor, and the college. Once a student is accepted through Early Decision, all other applications must be withdrawn. A student may apply to only one Early Decision school. A student must be absolutely certain of their interest and intent to attend a specific college before making this decision. Early action is a non-binding application option where students may apply to as many Early Action schools as they wish. Admission decisions will be made earlier than those applying Regular Decision.

The best way to determine a school that is a good fit is through the college visit. Students can assess whether the campus is a good size for them, a location that is suitable, programs they seek, activities in which they have an interest, and a student population that reflects the diversity they seek.

After spending time researching colleges that are of interest, each student should compile a list of colleges that are considered “reach” schools or those that are more competitive and have requirements that may be above the student’s data, “target” schools which would appear that the student would have a good chance at being admitted, and “safety” schools or those colleges that admit students having data below what a student will be submitting.

For the most part, students will submit applications under the Early Action option, if the schools offers this. Most schools admit a majority of their incoming class from the Early Action applicant pool. If a student is continuing to work on improved ACT or SAT scores, then they may wish to apply under Regular Decision. Additionally, if their grades place them “on the bubble” for a school, they may wish to apply later in order for the colleges to see an improvement in either category.

The best way to answer this question is for students to take each test as a baseline to see which testing option they prefer with regard to timing and the objective of each test. Peak offers full-length, real ACT and SAT tests along with an analysis of scores during a follow up consultation and can help students determine which test is the best fit.

Students will want to check the college website to ascertain whether the school will accept self-reported scores, or if they wish to have official scores sent from the testing agency.

Writing a quality college essay is extremely important and a daunting task for many students. The best way to ensure students are submitting excellent essays that will stand out amongst the thousands submitted is to work with an experienced college admissions counselor.

It is important to take the college tour and hear the presentations given by the college officials. They provide excellent information that a student would not get from a self-guided tour or a drive-by. There are lists of questions to ask the admissions counselors and ambassadors online, which would be good resources rather than trying to create a list; however, think about what you will want to know from the school and write down questions prior to your visit. It can also be helpful for students to attend some classes, stay the night in a dorm room, or find other ways to learn as much as possible about each school.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students and parents can learn more and apply at Students who meet the criteria and can demonstrate need are eligible for financial aid of various types: grants, scholarships, loans, etc.

There are virtually an infinite number of scholarships large and small available to students. The best way to find and apply for scholarships is to work with an experienced college admissions counselor or college financial planner. Students and parents can learn more at
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