College Counseling

Best Fit

The List

The Essay

The Interview



College Planning Connections, LLC is committed to helping students find their “best fit” schools where they will thrive academically and socially. As principal of College Planning Connections, LLC, Kiki Steele has the experience and expertise to guide and support students and their parents through every step of the college search and application process. Kiki can assist in everything from deciding which colleges to aim for, to tackling the college essay, to preparing for college interviews, to completing the Common Application.

Some students may already know that they want to be an engineer, or a math major or a musician, but some may have no idea what the future looks like and that’s okay, too. Kiki is here to help them find their way. She will meet with them individually and learn about their academic backgrounds, strengths, talents, and passions. Then she will develop a personalized strategy to get them where they want to go.

Contact College Planning Connections, LLC to arrange a free consultation.


At College Planning Connections, LLC my goal is to make the college admissions process as stress-free an experience as possible for both the students and their families. I provide you with a plan of action that incorporates a full spectrum of services to help manage all aspects of the process. With careful consideration to college guidance, our experience and intimate knowledge of the admissions process to help you to select the most appropriate colleges for your child. I take into account your child’s personal preferences, desires, and strengths, both academically as well as socially. Take comfort in knowing that, as a parent, you have done everything possible to help make college a reality for your child. Let us help you in the process. It is never too early to start planning for college.


College Planning Connections strives to give you all of the tools you need to survive and conquer the college application process.  Our Comprehensive Package includes the following services:

The List  

First we listen. We meet individually with students, and get to know who they are. We talk about strengths, weaknesses, talents, and goals. Next we provide a list of target schools tailored to each specific student, based on their wants and needs. The list is a living thing, it’s not set in stone. We refine it throughout the process and ultimately narrow it down to college application submissions.

The Essay

Our goal is to help every student write distinctive essays. After spending as much time with each student as we do, we can uniquely help guide them in this area, by brainstorming, and through thorough edits and review. We help each student find his or her own personal voice that allows them to shine.

The Interview

We work to prepare students to excel at their college interviews, by taking them through full interview coursework and mock interviews. We also strategize the order in which their interviews should occur. The more familiar they are with the process, the more confident and relaxed they can be to present their best selves.

The Common Application

We provide in-depth guidance on completing the Common App. We know a careless mistake can reflect poorly on a student, so we go over the app with a fine tooth comb. And then we do it again.

We employ the use of college planning software that is student accessible. It’s a great tool for researching schools and file sharing.   We also make recommendations on standardized testing, summer courses and opportunities, college visits, letters of recommendation guidance, and building and review of the activities resume. We also review all acceptances and make recommendations, offer waitlist and deferral strategy, and offer transition advice. We are available for one-on-one meetings, by email, phone, or via Skype.

Simply stated – we are there for you – both the student and parents, from the beginning to the end of the process, for any help you need, or any questions you may have.

College Consulting for the Student Athletes

Student athletes have specialized needs when it comes to achieving a balance between academic and athletic goals. We help college-bound athletes navigate the confusing environment of college sports recruiting, and support you during every step of the process, guiding students and families regarding NCAA rules and eligibility. Additionally, we can also offer referrals to specialized sports admissions consultants when necessary.

College Consulting for Creative Arts Students

We guide college-bound artists, actors and musicians to help them develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to find the right colleges for their particular talents. From academic planning to essay/artist statement review, to portfolio preparation and presentation, to auditions, we provide the assistance a student needs to find just their “best fit” college for the quality and breadt of creative study they are looking to do. We can also make connections for you with Music and Theater Audition Coaches.

College Consulting for Students with Learning Differences

Not all colleges are created equal when it comes to LD support. Students with learning differences interested in pursing a college career may require additional support at school, and we offer guidance services in identifying those colleges with the correct level of support for the student, to ensure that their college experience will be a positive and successful one.

Standardized Testing Referrals – We offer connections to private tutors, as well as make recommendations to several highly vetted on-line SAT and ACT test tutoring sources.





“Kiki helped our daughter and us through a stress free college application experience and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. It was so reassuring to know that our daughter had an easy time scheduling appointments and getting hold of Kiki whenever she needed to during the process.  Kiki would send us updates, which we also appreciated especially when there seems to be a lot of moving parts happening all at once.  Kiki’s guidance and feedback with the college essay and supplements were extremely beneficial and contributed greatly to our daughter’s success and confidence for this important milestone in her life. When she was accepted early at her first choice school, we were all thrilled!

–Carolyn, Los Angeles parent

“Kiki proved to be an extraordinary resource for us.  With a warm, professional manner, she brought clarity and order to what seemed a confusing and overwhelming process.   In person and online, Kiki spoke with our daughter, a junior, and got to know her academic achievements and personal interests.  She then came back and walked us through a carefully researched list of recommended schools.   We were struck by Kiki’s knack for identifying colleges that hadn’t been on our radar and that seemed a fantastic fit.   She laid out a detailed and multi-tiered strategy for pursuing “reach” schools as well as safe ones, and counseled our daughter on how best to present herself in her applications.  Kiki’s expertise and insight brought a sense of calm and confidence to our daughter, and gave us a great framework for moving forward.”


“We used College Planning Connections in our daughter’s senior year of high school for advice and we ended up with so much more!!!.  From programs to determine what major would best meet our daughter’s career goals, to a listing of schools that would best fit her needs and our pocketbook and every one of our questions (both anticipated and unanticipated) was answered.  Our daughter was accepted into her dream school! We would strongly recommend College Planning Connections for any family looking to maximize their knowledge when faced with a college bound student.”


“Through College Planning Connections, Kiki  offered first-rate service that has proven invaluable in our daughter’s college search. Providing expert guidance and insight into the college application process, Kiki converted an otherwise daunting task into a creative, meaningful, and successful experience for our 17-year-old daughter. In addition to her exceptional professionalism, integrity, and dedication, she brings genuine warmth and enthusiasm to connect with her clients and deliver highly customized, tangible results. I look forward to working with her again and know we’ll be in good hands with College Planning Connections when the time comes for our younger children to pursue college.”



The following is a partial list of college acceptances from students whose families we have worked with.

Albany College of Pharmacy
American University
Amherst College
Bard College
Barnard College
Bates College
Beloit College
Bennington College
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Brown University
Bucknell University
Chaplain College
Clarkson University
College of Wooster
Connecticut College
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Dickinson College
Drexel University
Elmira College
Elon University
Emerson College
Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Georgetown University
Gettysburg College
Guilford College
Hamilton College
Hartwick College
Haverford College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Lafayette College
Lewis & Clark College
Macalester College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Middlebury College
Muhlenberg College
Northeastern University

Ohio Northern University
Plymouth State University
Princeton University
Providence College
Quinnipiac University
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Saint Michael’s College
Sarah Lawrence College
Scripps College
Siena College
Skidmore College
State University of New York at Albany
State University of New York at Binghamton
State University of New York at Geneseo
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Stonehill College
Syracuse University
Towson University
Tufts University
Tulane University
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
University of Manchester
University of Massachussetts at Amherst
University of Michigan
University of New Hampshire
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Rhode Island
Univeristy of South Carolina
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Vassar College
Washington University in St. Louis
Villanova University
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Yale University

Your Initial College Search
Search these sites for information on colleges. – Colleges That Change Lives – For first generation or low-income students

Virtual College Tours
To get a feel for the college campus, try these sites.

Financial Aid
The ins and outs of aid and how to apply.

Personality Assessment
See what your strengths are.

Career Development
Explore careers you might be interested in:

Everything you wanted to know about how to find and apply for scholarships.

Students with Disabilities
Sites specifically aimed toward making college a reality. – National Center for Learning Disabilities – National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

Applying as a Student Athlete?
Everything you need to know. – Search schools that have your sport – The official site of the National Collegiate Athletic Association – Eligibility Requirements – “The nation’s number one online networking destination for high school student athletes seeking recruitment from college coaches and universities.” – Division III sports and strong academics

Thinking of Majoring in Visual or Performing Arts?
To help in your search.

Diversity Resources
Information for diverse populations.

What Do Other Students Think?
For an on the ground point of view and to get your questions answered!

Thinking of Taking a Gap Year?
Not everyone is ready for college right out of high school.

Helpful sites to help you study for your standardized tests, and some are free!

What Should I Do in the Summer?
Practice that passion during the summer, and have something great to put on your application at the same time. – List of Pre-college academic summer programs
*Many more volunteering sites available!

Even More Great Information:
You can never have enough! – Get to know the Common Application and find out which colleges participate. – List of colleges and universities that don’t consider standardized test scores for admission – Lists fly-in programs and has an app that lists more than 600 college and university application requirements!




Please contact College Planning Connections, LLC today to arrange a free consultation.

Kiki Steele
Independent Educational Consultant