The College Fairy has an unusual fee schedule…
The process of college search and selection has become rather daunting over the years. What used to be a relatively simple rite of passage with mild anxiety has for many students and families burgeoned into a hot mess. The factors contributing to this are many and complex–these include the sheer number of colleges in the United States (more than 2400 four-year schools); the streamlined applications which can be sent to multiple colleges; the proliferation of rankings; added and diverse requirements among schools; the absurd number of students accepted via preferential date admission (Early Decision and Early Action); and the equally absurd selectivity among a handful of schools that seem to receive far more attention than they should. As a result I have seen over the years far too many students feel as if they have no control whatsoever in this process
I, then, endeavor to give back some control to the students I select by insisting that they (the students) pay my fees. For one hour of my time a student will pay me what s/he earns in an hour at their job up to a maximum of $50 (and if the student actually makes $50 per hour in high school, we need to have a conversation about plans other than attending college…). If a student does not have a paying job, I would ask that the parent/guardian assign her/him domestic chores at a salary of $13 per hour (I just really like the number thirteen) which s/he can turn over to me. I will not neglect or shut out parents by any means–I just want my students to know that I belong to THEM. I am not of the parent or of the school–they (the students) are my boss and they can employ me as they wish. I won’t refuse an offer to help a student if a parent insists on paying–but, really, let’s give authority to the student
Please let me remove any guilt you may feel about “cheating” me or not paying me what I am “worth.” You, the student, and your future are priceless. My fee schedule reflects a conscious choice on my part; it is my choice to create this and there is no need for any of my clients to supplement this (I will, however, accept a Klondike bar or a small bag of Swedish fish as “tips”)
Can you purchase a “package?”
Sure! Same rates as above–you can pay me up front for up to five hours of assistance and we’ll work out the times and dates.
What’s your fee for e-mails?
Umm… none <smile> I am happy to respond to questions and concerns via e-mail. If the messages are too long or too frequent, I’ll request that you stop and set up a time when we can meet
How about helping with essays?
Here I am more circumspect… Having been an admissions official and assistant college dean, I have read my share of packaged essays. College admissions folk can tell if an essay was written by someone other than the student (seriously–how many high school students would use the word malarkey?). Consequently, I will not help a student write an essay. I will instead:
— discuss with a student appropriate and meaningful topics;
— read a completed essay/draft and provide feedback both on how it reads and on its grammar (I was an English major);
— ask questions about what the student meant and what s/he was trying to convey
No more! The essay must belong to the student <smile> There is no charge for this service
Suppose I just want to send you some money because I feel badly that you’re not getting paid enough. Will you accept it?
Ahhh… the offer you can’t refuse… I will actually refuse your kindness, though, and ask you instead to donate to one of the clubs/organizations to which your son/daughter (or you, if you are the student) belong. Alternatively, pick a worthy charity and donate in my name