Frequently Asked Questions
We want you to be able to make an informed decision; whether it is about working with us or about applying to a specific college. Below are frequently asked questions from our clients, and our responses to them. Though this list is fairly comprehensive, please do not hesitate to call us at (646) 266-6084 or email us regarding any other questions you may have.
What differentiates Lee Academia from other test prep / admissions consulting companies?
Lee Academia employs only the most qualified high school/college admissions consultants and tutors. Stephenie Lee, Founder and Director of Lee Academia has previous college admissions experience, and undergoes continuous research and training while always staying up-to-date with the high school and college process. Speaking with college admissions officers and visiting college campuses annually, Stephenie knows how to help her clients through the stressful application process. She will be the point of contact with the clients, while discussing the client cases with her team of consultants and instructors. This will ensure that all the clients receive firsthand help and services from Lee Academia. How often do you get to work with the Founder and President of a company herself?
We offer comprehensive admissions consulting services. Our consultants are far more than glorified proofreaders who check personal statements and essays for grammatical mistakes. They make sure that you understand and convey what admissions committees want to hear. Grammatically correct essays by themselves will not gain admission to the selective schools.
Our consultant will get to know you personally, through one-on-one consultations, and will devise the admissions strategy that will work best for your particular circumstances. Simply put, we will maximize your admissions chances at the colleges and universities you want to attend.
We are so confident of the services we offer that we only require a minimum 1 hour payment to get started for the high school/college/graduate school admissions process. Over 95% of our first-time clients return to us for additional services – and we are confident that you will be as satisfied with us as they have been.
Why are Lee Academia tutors and consultant willing to travel to the client's house for their services?
Despite having office spaces in Westchester County, New Jersey, Brooklyn,Queens and Manhattan, we can allow more students to be helped and get the necessary services.
This is part of our business model. We wanted to be able to service any client, big or small. Clients can just focus on the results, not the traveling, at their convenience. For this service, there is an additional fee based on the distance and number of hours.
Will I receive an honest assessment of my top-choice admission prospects?
Absolutely. While we increase our clients' chances of gaining admission to their top-choice schools, we do not pretend to be able to get any applicant into any program. We will not encourage a client to apply to a college or university for which he or she has no reasonable chance of gaining admission. If a client can do something that would make them a stronger candidate (take additional classes, gain additional extracurricular experiences, etc.), we will advise them accordingly. However, Lee Academia strongly feel it is unethical to encourage a client to put time and money into a college application that has no realistic chance of success.
What payment options do you offer?
Lee Academia charges an hourly consultation fee per hour. We also offer fixed-fee package options. We recognize that each applicant is unique and has unique admissions consulting needs. Different clients will want different things from our extensive list of admissions consulting services, which includes school selection, essay topic selection, essay editing, letter of reference advice, application review, scholarship and financial aid assistance, and interview preparation. We structured our billing to allow clients flexibility in the kind of amount of services they choose.
We invite new clients to sign up for only one hour of services up front, so that they can see for themselves just what type of value our services provide. You can apply the payment for that first hour toward one of our comprehensive fixed-fee service packages. We realize that both college admissions and personal consulting services are new experiences for many students, and that many or our potential clients are therefore justifiably cautious about committing themselves to any program or service. We are also well aware that there are less than reputable firms doing admissions consulting business over the Internet. We feel the best way to put potential clients' concerns to rest is to let them experience our services. Therefore we do not require a large initial payment or extended contract.
For the test prep or tutoring services (small group or individual) - we offer fixed-fee package options or hourly rates.
Is it possible to work on an hourly basis instead of a package?
If a student needs help with one or two selected aspects of the college admissions process, consulting on an hourly basis is available. There is a 2-hour minimum for hourly consulting, which includes a 1-hour initial consultation session with the student and parent(s) in order to thoroughly assess a student’s background, strengths, interests, needs and goals.
Why is a private college counselor useful in addition to the school guidance counselor?
A school guidance counselor serves a unique role as the liaison between the secondary school and the college, and establishes the high school context in which students function. Unfortunately, most school counselors now have an average caseload of over 450 students, and have limited time and many other responsibilities. A private college counselor complements the role of a school counselor by providing undivided, dedicated attention to every aspect of the college process, by keeping updated on changing requirements of college admissions, and by becoming thoroughly familiar with each student and his or her unique needs. In addition, our “round-the-clock” accessibility after school, evenings and weekends, by phone, email or in-person consultations, helps students meet deadlines throughout the application process.
How early should students begin working with an independent college counselor?
The ideal time to begin working with an independent counselor is in freshman or sophomore year so that the counselor can help guide the student’s choices of high school courses and activities to best match the student’s interests and potential. This approach of personalized planning can provide the most rewarding high school years and increase educational options in college.
For juniors and seniors, we focus on the college admissions and application process, beginning with the selection of appropriate colleges to consider. In senior year, the emphasis is on presenting yourself as strongly and genuinely as possible on each of your college applications.
How do you decide which colleges to recommend? Are college rankings helpful?
College rankings can be useful in providing comparative statistical data on schools. However, the rankings are based on factors that have little bearing on whether a particular student will have a happy, productive and successful experience at a specific college or university. Rankings do not take into account factors such as size, atmosphere and location, and rarely address issues of student engagement and learning. The “best” schools for an individual student are those colleges and universities that offer the greatest fit in terms of the student’s strengths, preferences, personality, interests, needs and goals. Determining this fit is a complex process that requires a full understanding of the student as well as a professional knowledge of the college environment.
Can you tell me about your proprietary database?
Besides the collective knowledge of our educational consultants, Lee Academia also tracks the results of our clients' applications. We work with a statistically significant number of applicants to each of the top schools. Analyzing our clients' acceptance rates increases our knowledge of schools' admissions patterns, such as preferences for specific story themes, the most optimal application rounds to target, and even degrees of flexibility with SAT and ACT scores.
What are your prices? I don't see them on your website...
We don't post exact prices on our site because every consultation and tutoring session is priced on an individual basis. This is why we ask you for a lot of information ahead of time – that way, we can accurately price the work involved (at least at the beginning of the service/program). Contact us for a price quote.
Why do your fees seem low?
Lee Academia is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive service. Stephenie and her team really enjoy what they do and if they did charge significantly more, they wouldn't be able to work with nearly as many applicants. This would mean we wouldn't have the specialist and we wouldn't have the large proprietary database. Without these two crucial elements, we would not have our very high success rate.
Will you write my essays and personal statements for me? What role does Lee Academia play in the writing of college essays? Is there a chance that students will appear "packaged" ?
Our goal is to help students express their unique voice and perspective, and not to fit into any prescribed “mold”. We do NOT write essays for students.
Lee Academia does provide extensive guidance to its clients on the essay and personal statement portions of their applications. We brainstorm potential topics for essays, based on our comprehensive understanding of a student’s background, strengths and interests. We review drafts of essays and offer detailed suggestions for improvement. We offer suggestions on both content and expression where we see opportunities for improvement, and proofread essays and personal statements for spelling, grammar, and usage. These essays are supposed to reflect your unique personality, and only you can properly express your own self and own voice.
The people who serve on admissions committees are not naïve. There is a very good chance that they will recognize that your essays were written by someone else. Admissions officers at the nation's top colleges review thousands of essays each year, and they learn to spot canned essays. With thousands of applications coming in, they are always looking for reasons to turn down applications. A single whiff of suspicion that an essay was ghostwritten is reason enough to consign an application to the reject pile.
We also review all other supplementary material submitted with applications, including resumes of honors, extracurricular activities, community service and employment, to ensure that students are presenting their background as effectively as possible. The objective is to assist students in identifying and expressing their distinctive strengths, characteristics, perspectives and life experiences, so that their personality shines through all their writing.
How important are college interviews? Do you provide mock interview practice?
Although a few colleges no longer provide interviews, most colleges still offer the opportunity for on-campus and/or alumni interviews. As the college admissions process has become more selective, every factor plays a role in the final decision. We have extensive experience in conducting college alumni interviews, and understand the factors that contribute to favorable outcomes. We conduct mock interviews with our students in a professional setting that replicates college admissions interviews, and provide valuable feedback on how students can improve the genuine presentation of their background and strengths. Work with a former Columbia University alumna interviewer who has strategies that work and has interviewed for internships, research opportunities, undergraduate, medical and dental schools successfully.
Who will be my consultant?
Your consultant will be Stephenie, an educational consultant with many years of highly success rate of getting her peers and clients into their choice high school, college and graduate schools. She is a college admissions professional who will be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the application process. Stephenie works with other consultants to make sure the clients get the best of Lee Academia's services. Some of her specialties are in the medical school, graduate school admissions process and SAT/AP test prep. Call us at 1-646-266-6084 to find out more about our consultant's specialties, and current availability.
How will I work with my consultant?
You will work together one on one with our Senior Consultant, Stephenie. You can speak directly on the phone, exchange emails and documents, meet on webcam or (where possible) meet in person – whatever you prefer. This method allows our consultants to gain the deepest understanding of your interests, goals, and circumstances. Your consultant may also take your case to other people in the company for advice. Our consultants network with each other regularly. This information sharing process means that you benefit not only from your consultant's own experience and knowledge, but from that of the entire pool of Lee Academia professionals.
Do I have to work with a consultant who lives near me?
No. As a virtual company, we are set up to provide consulting services by taking advantage of all modern communication mediums. We are proud to serve a diverse clientele of applicants hailing from North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and more.
How did your company get started in the admissions consulting business?
Before Lee Academia was relaunched and established, Stephenie Lee, the company's founder, successfully guided and tutored several friends, acquaintances and students through the tedious process of high school and college admissions and has worked in the admissions office and been an alumna interviewer for Columbia University. After witnessing how successfully her test prep and admissions strategies worked for these individuals – and being told by these same applicants that she should start an educational business– Lee Academia was formed. Soon thereafter, we expanded into college admission consulting, using the same successful formula of continued education and giving our clients individualized service. In the years since our founding, we have helped many applicants gain admission into their top-choice schools.
Please do not hesitate to call us at 1-646-266-6084 or email us if you still have any unanswered questions. We strive to provide a personalized response to all inquiries within 36 hours including weekends and holidays.
Copyright © 2017 Lee Academia - All rights reserved
Copyright © 2017 Lee Academia - All rights reserved