Mine was a very different experience. We received their info, probably based on College Board access with near perfect SAT scores/5’s on all AP etc… We also had the hard sell- had only 24 hours to decide because they only had “one slot”. We went with the more expensive package with personal coaching. If I had to choice knowing what I know now and going through the experience, I would NOT recommend their services. We were nervous about the whole process as this is very different then when we went to college and thought we needed direction because school GC was overwhelmed and of no help. Seems to me that the latest trend is to get a decent score on the SAT , but not necessary perfect score, Subject 2 tests ( no less than 700, near perfect for STEM), don’t spread yourself thin with many EC- have a peak ( meaning demonstrated interest in a certain subject and demonstrating that year after year including the summers - could be business, charity work, academic matter, building something etc…- early the better), and leadership roles (VERY important!). References should be someone who really knows your child and can talk about the vague qualities like kindness, respect for others, likability, getting along with others, accountability, inquisitiveness, learning from mistakes and improving themselves, demonstrating leadership etc…in addition to handling class workload. Pay really close attention to the essays to show genuine personality, not what you expect the ad com to hear but what makes you unique and what YOU can bring to the table. For the elite colleges it really is hit or miss what attracts their attention so always make sure there is a strong safety college on the list. Make sure you are in the situation where you can afford the college that you applied to unless you are in position for need based aid. Merit scholarships are harder to come by in the elite colleges. Remember, most people don’t focus on where you went to undergrad, it’s where you went to med/ law/ grad school and that can be costly. I went to public high school, public state university, higher ed school then president of a successful private corporation. When we interview potential partners, where you recently studied was more important than undergrad school. Save your money! If you have questions- ask in these forums. You have access to parents, students, sometimes admission counselors who had undergone this recently and they are much more qualified. One more thing for students- think about colleges early ( the earlier the better!) and investigate where you may want to go, narrow your list, get the applications early so you have time (once fall senior starts your heavy coursework may suffer and you need to keep your grades up as the schools will want first semester grades), and pay attention to deadlines- application, SAT/ACT scores, transcripts, recommendations, etc…Good luck!