This winter, I had the pleasure of helping a smart and hardworking 8th grader (and his smart and hardworking parents) navigate the complicated maze of private high school applications in San Francisco.
What most people don't realize is that applying to private high schools (especially in highly-competitive urban areas like San Fran) is actually much more complicated—and sometimes even more competitive—than applying to prestigious colleges. I know it sounds crazy, but consider two factors: First, high school applications are not uniform—there is no singular common app with one convenient essay question for hundreds of schools. Instead, each school has its own creative essay assignment. Second, each school has a parent questionnaire as well that is just as (if not more so) time-consuming.
In spite of these circumstances, Max got accepted to his first-choice private school!
"This year, our son applied to six San Francisco and California High Schools most of which required separate essays, short question answers, creative writing samples and parent statements. The amount of work was daunting and I doubt we could have gotten through it without Yelena.
We started the application process by strategizing with Yelena on the best way to approach all the applications. We then set out the timeline with deliverables from both sides to make sure we could accomplish everything on time. Yelena encouraged us to write freely and give a lot of examples to help our son come alive before the Admission Committees. She then skillfully edited our answers to highlight his strengths and show how he was working on his weaknesses.
As we moved along, to ease the process, Yelena created a master file with all of our answers so that we could reuse them efficiently. She not only edited each application package, but also helped us ensure that we were consistent between the parent and the student essays, covered everything we needed to, and were not repeating ourselves—no small feat with such a volume of work!
I am very happy to say that we completed all the applications several weeks before the deadline and feel very good about them. We could not have gotten this done without Yelena!"
—Regina, parent of Max, who was accepted to St. Ignatius College Preparatory & JCHS