Clients say...

"We've been saving for our children's education for years and felt the need to get professional advice on selecting schools that meet the specific needs of our kids. Julia provided valuable insight and a proven process to help them select the best fit.


"Julia was very organized and her knowledge and experience were extremely valuable. Not only did she help our kids find the best fit, but she helped them navigate the entire admission process which can be very daunting. Julia was a tremendous help. We highly recommend her services.”

Joe and Teresa S., Parents, Sherwood, Oregon

What Kind of Education Counseling Services Does College Ahead Offer?

When the student is beginning high school, near the end of the junior year or considering how to spend the summer between junior and senior years, it's time to call in College Ahead for education counseling services.

Julia Surtshin is dedicated to making the process of choosing colleges and applying for college admission a rewarding experience. She believes that the process students employ is nearly as important as the colleges they attend. Counseling services are tailored to the specific needs of individual students and their families. Julia supplements the work done by high school counselors and whenever possible, collaborates with them.

What are included with the College Ahead education counseling services?

The College Ahead four-step approach is designed to demystify the college search and application process and make it easier for both students and parents. Julia meets with students one-on-one and communicates by phone and email to support them in actively engaging in the college search with both confidence and optimism. Her approach covers:

  • Student Assessment
  • College Identification and Research
  • Application Management
  • Final Decision

Education counseling services include:

  • High School Course Selection Recommendations
  • Summer Planning Suggestions
  • Financial Aid Consultation, Application, & Award Evaluation
  • Student Assessment
  • College Identification
  • College Research & Analysis Guidance
  • Strategic College List Development
  • Standardized Test Planning
  • Campus Visit & Interview Preparation
  • Application Management
  • Scholarship Search Assistance
  • Essay Development & Review
  • Final Enrollment Decision
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Initial Contact

During the first meeting, Julia will outline the College Ahead approach and process, explain what colleges are looking for in applicants, discuss the important decisions that are on the horizon, review your student's transcript(s) and answer any questions you may have. 

This meeting will enable you to gather important information and learn how College Ahead can expertly guide you through the transition to college with education counseling services.

Jump Start Package

Based on the completion of needs and preference inventories, Julia will develop and present a formal report of college recommendations for consideration, including their top features and reason for their inclusion on the list.

This option is recommended for students whose primary concern is identifying suitable college options and who do NOT need assistance with college research, application management, interviews, or essays. 

College Essay Package

Your personal college essays play a critical role in application portfolios. Many families find assistance here is an invaluable segment of College Ahead education counseling services.

This package includes the development and editing of one primary college admission essay (typically associated with the Common Application) and two supplemental personal statements. Students who have additional editing needs may supplement with hourly services.