Navigate is a five-month, step-by-step guide to stress free college applications for high school seniors. It’s a community-based program that gives students everything they need to take control of their own college application journey. 

Do you feel totally lost and overwhelmed
by the college application process?

I don’t blame you! College applications are so stressful! Between the sheer number of college options, various application platforms, the requirements and deadlines that differ from school to school, the test scores, and the essays – so many essays! – it’s easy to see why many seniors and families with seniors dread application season.

Navigate is a community-based, online program that covers the entire application process from start to finish. For five months, I will host weekly virtual meetings that cover every aspect of college applications – you can join in real time or catch up later by watching the recorded session! I will provide everything you need to know to finish your applications on time and with limited stress. You will learn everything you need to make your application the best it can be. 

College application assistance and college counseling are notoriously expensive.

In an effort to provide as many students as possible with the opportunity for guidance  throughout their application process, we are offering Navigate for $149/month.   

How It Works

From July-November, we’ll meet weekly to work through every component of the college application process in real time, keeping you on track and organized to get through all of your applications by Thanksgiving! Because the program is done in real time, you’ll get relevant, timely information as you move through the application process. You’ll learn how to make college decisions that are right for you, stay organized, manage your time,  write strong essays, and not miss a single deadline. 

We’ll cover the application process from start to finish for the Common App, the University of California application, the California State University application, and institution-based applications. And even if you’re using other application platforms, you’ll learn everything you need to know to manage those as well.

  • Types of applications
  • Researching colleges
  • Making a college list
  • Tests (SAT, ACT, Subject tests, AP tests)
  • How to fill out the Common App
  • Writing Common App essays
  • Determining fit
  • Writing UC Personal Insight Questions
  • When/how to describe COVID circumstances
  • Understanding deadlines
  • Activities on applications
  • Financial Aid/scholarships
  • Supplemental materials on applications
  • Reaching out to admissions representatives
  • Managing time with applications
  • Institution-based applications
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Writing supplemental essays
  • Transcripts and other documents
  • Sending test scores
  • UC application
  • CSU application
  • Submitting applications
  • Plan for completing/submitting applications
  • What to do after you receive acceptances/waitlist/denials
  • Appeals
  • Choosing a college

Meet the Instructor, Sarah Patterson

As a former stressed out teenager myself, I remember all too well the paralyzing overwhelm associated with applying to college – and the process has only gotten more complicated since I was in high school! I joined Academic Impact in 2015 after earning my law degree from McGeorge School of Law with the goal of providing the tutoring and counseling resources necessary to help students reduce their school-related stress. As I built our one-on-one college counseling program and now our new community-based program, Navigate, I worked to ensure that students felt confident making the college decisions that were right for them and provided tools and resources to minimize their stress and keep them in control of their futures. 

Navigate students will

Be guided through every step of the complicated college application process

Methodically work on their college applications so that they never become overwhelmed and are never doing any application work at the last minute

Complete their college applications and be ready to submit by Thanksgiving

Frequently Asked Questions

Our regular college counseling program is one-on-one counseling in which students work individually with a college counselor. Navigate students will work with a college counselor in a group setting, working through the program in real time. While individual instruction is not included in the program, there is a community forum available to students where they can ask questions of each other and the instructor.

We cannot guarantee admission to any colleges for students who complete the program. What we can guarantee is that students who follow the program will be on top of their college applications, with the knowledge and understanding they need to make their applications the best they can be. By following the program, they’ll finish their applications early, with minimized stress and no room for procrastination.

All classes will be recorded so that if students cannot attend a live session, they will be available to watch at their convenience. Students who attend live sessions will have the benefit of being able to ask questions.

Classes will range from 1-2 hours, depending on the material that needs to be covered. Most classes will be about 1 hour.

The program is designed to be completed over five months (July-November) but students who wish to start after it has started can catch up by watching the recorded classes and working on the assignments in their own time. Students who start later than July will still be charged for five months of the program.

That’s fine! The first few classes in the program are designed to help students research and learn about colleges and determine which are right for them.

The program is designed to be done in real time, so to get the most benefit from it, it is important to complete each assignment on time. The steps of the application process are broken up over the course of the program to prevent any one aspect of the process from becoming too overwhelming. If something comes up and you are unable to complete the assignment, you can catch up on your own time.

One-on-one assistance is available for an additional fee of $150/hour and is available for essay review or additional one-on-one consultations.

“Starting to work with Sarah Patterson last year when our son was a freshman was a blessing for us. Sarah got to know our son quickly, and has continued to guide us through the clutter and confusion of college prep with a personalized plan to help ensure we would all be ready for the journey towards college. Sarah is very knowledgeable, kind, patient and persistent. Working with her has been one of the best and most important decisions we have ever made.”

~ Mike Schneider