Recently, the College Board modified their scoring system such that the PSAT score is now an estimate of your SAT score. There are numerous tables available to help you convert the SAT to an ACT or CLT score. With this information, there is a lot that can be done....read more
Recently, Julie Mack wrote an excellent article (What many older people don’t realize about college costs today). She points out (with great charts!) a number of factors that contribute to the challenge high school students face today. In the ‘60s, ’70s, and ‘80s,...read more
Get in the Groove to Succeed at Life (and School)!! As I see it, we humans have two choices. We can do the things that will make us successful, or we can be miserable. For those who aren’t sure, please watch: 7 Ways to be Miserable Then you’ll see...read more
Raise.me – Scholarships or Sham??? Raise.me sounds great! Who doesn’t want to be rewarded for their efforts? The idea of getting “micro-scholarships” for getting good grades, etc. sounds ideal. A little too ideal, perhaps. Let’s...read more
FAFSA, More Changes 2017 The only thing true about college is that things are always changing. The DRT/Data Retrieval Tool was introduced a few years ago to help families pull information from their tax returns into the FAFSA forms. It was designed to eliminate the...read more
Is Your Senior Thinking About College?Senior year is an important time in a teenager’s life. It is the last year of high school and college is just around the corner. For many teens, this is a time when they start to think about adulthood and what they wish to be when...read more
ZeeMee is a new way for students to showcase themselves for admissions. A growing number of colleges are including the option of connecting a ZeeMee.com profile to your application. Students include information about themselves (their “elevator pitch” or 60 second...read more
Preparing for CollegeCollege is often considered a milestone by many people – and that’s why it’s important not only for students to prepare but for their families as well. There are a lot of factors involved in going to college: figuring out how one is going to pay...read more
It’s Not Too Soon Planning for college is a very important step for every individual. A lot of families start saving up and planning for their children’s’ future early on and if you are already in high school, it is time for you to start considering your choices,...read more
Some Good Advice for your Grown Up Kid For some parents, the idea of a kid finally going off to college can mean they will finally get the chance to enjoy themselves once again. For others, it can be a stressful and sad experience. Either way, all parents want what’s...read more
Schedule A Meeting with Katherine
During your one hour College Readiness Consultation, Katherine will speak with your college bound student about his or her plans and preparations so far. Then she will discuss your financial preparations and the options. There will be time for your questions as well as time to explore our various services. This is a professional consultation. There is a $250 consultation fee which can be paid by check or credit card. Sign up Today!
What People Are Saying
“I felt compelled to write you and let you know how invaluable your assistance has been. It’s just impossible to put a price tag on what you have done for our son, Christopher, a high school senior getting ready to enter college in 2015. You were able to do more for Christopher in three months that I was ever able to do in years of working with his three older siblings, researching the best colleges for just the right fit. There is absolutely no way for even the most involved parent to do anywhere near what you have done in narrowing down the colleges which best fit my son after considering all the factors: academics, athletics, financial aid, majors of interest, post-graduate and career ambitions. I cannot say enough about the value which you bring to this extremely daunting, complicated process of college/scholarship searching. Your efforts have certainly removed a huge load from our shoulders. You are helpful, responsive, and always encouraging throughout the entire process. In short, you are awesome!”Michael Chavarria
“If you’re ready to launch your teen successfully for the lowest costs, then listen to Katherine O’Brien. She tells it like it is and equips you for success!”James Malinchak
“Katherine O’Brien’s assistance has been invaluable – that is…impossible to put a price tag – as she has opened up a world of possibilities for my son, Christopher, a high school senior looking to enter college in 2015. Ms. O’Brien was able to do more for Christopher in three months than I was ever able to do in years working with his three older siblings researching the best colleges for just the right fit. There is absolutely no way for even the most involved parent to do anywhere near what Ms. O’Brien has done in narrowing down the colleges which best fit my son after considering all factors: academics, athletics, financial aid, majors of interest, post-graduate ambitions, career ambitions. I cannot say enough about the value which Ms. Katherine O’Brien brings to this extremely complicated process and pressure-filled task of college (and scholarship) searching. She has removed a huge load from my shoulders. She is worth her weight in gold!”Mike Chavarria
“As our family prepared to send our first child to college, Katherine helped us to unravel the mysteries of college entry. Like any valued professional services provider, she defines duties and timelines for both herself and her client from the outset, making sure that the student, her parents, and Katherine all have a time-sensitive list of action items toward meeting a successful outcome. Our child ended up at a great school and field of study that she feels are made for her. If your family needs a college advisor who is well-informed and who calls it as she sees it, then I recommend you hire Katherine O’Brien.”Tom Hanson
“This past school year my senior son and I have worked closely with Katherine O’Brien of Celtic College Consultants. Katherine has been a tremendous help, offering aid in evaluating career choices, researching universities which previously had not been on our radar, and putting me—a home school mother—at ease in my new role as high school guidance counselor. Katherine’s extensive experience as a college admissions consultant gave our family intimate knowledge of what schools are looking for. Especially as a home schooling family, we were not aware of how transcripts and other supporting documents should be prepared. Katherine was a great help in providing templates and advising us on document preparation. Most importantly, her assistance with my son was priceless. She provided him with timelines for deadlines and weekly “to dos” to meet those deadlines. Additionally, she was a tremendous aid in proof reading essays and offering suggestions to make those essays “pop” off the page. With Katherine’s partnership, my son was accepted at all seven of the schools to which he applied. She made a daunting year-long task into a manageable, step-by-step process, which culminated in a happy ending. For this we are especially grateful.”Monica Trainor
“We use Katherine as a consultant for several reasons. The first is I don’t have the time to manage all the details of college admissions – what tests to take, when to take them; what programs to look at that match my son’s interests; how to proceed with financial aid applications. She knows all the deadlines and timetables and will research which colleges are worth looking at. She will also research programs at schools we want her to look at. She meets with my son routinely to review his admissions process, which motivates him to get the admissions work done….In my world as a physician, I have learned to leave the specialty work to those who know it best and let them do their jobs. …I am pleased Katherine takes the initiative and is very proactive with my son. She is a go getter.”Dr. Neil Levine, MD
“TWhen my daughter was a junior and my son was in community college, I met with Katherine to talk through her services and process. I was very lucky that, at the time, my kids both knew what fields they wanted to pursue, so that part of the process was already taken care of. I figured “I’m a professional project manager. I can do this myself.”
For almost a year now, I have had a second job. That second job has been researching school options, doing campus tours, narrowing the list to 3 for my son (a transfer student) and 5 for my daughter, overseeing the application process (state schools, common app, common app supplements, custom apps – all of them!), financial aid applications, scholarship research and applications, and more. It has entailed developing special spreadsheets to track it all, incessant hounding of two kids at the same time to keep them on track with the deadlines, ridiculous numbers of hours on nights and weekends to gather together information, review essays, upload, download and upload some more. It has been exhausting. The invasion of Normandy comes to mind.
My kids are both accepted into colleges now, with good financial aid packages. However, the process of getting here while managing my job responsibilities, and general daily life has been exhausting. One of my son’s top schools doesn’t make its transfer decisions until the end of June, so we’re still not done!
I will admit at this point that I was penny-wise and pound foolish in not engaging Katherine to do more of this for our family. Her services are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. If you decide to take on the college research and admissions process yourself, you need to be unfailingly organized, ready to nag your kids regularly, and ready to spend hours and hours…and hours of your free time over months. It’s no fun to do this yourself, so if you can find the money, save yourself the grief. If I knew then what I know now, I would have happily signed on the dotted line.”Valerie Gieseke