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Why PCC?


Our background…

Unlike most other providers, Postsecondary Career Consultants  have worked on “both sides of the gate” – as high school counselors and administrators, and as college advisors. In sum, our background and experience allow us to offer unique insight into the context and trends that impact college-related decisions; while our professional affiliations enable us to acquire college-specific information that is not readily accessible to school staff or to other private college counselors. As a result, we know how colleges – at all levels of selectivity – approach the admissions process, and we know why students achieve college success.

Our approach…

At PCC, we believe that the college admissions process should be about more than admission. We value personal growth and self-discovery as much as selectivity, and by doing so, we hope to bring perspective and intentionality to college planning.

Our fundamental objective is to guide students into good-fit colleges, where they can thrive and effectively pursue their personal and professional goals.  If you are a student with a disability, international student, military student, minority student, LGBTQ students, traditional and non-traditional student. We work will all student groups. We work toward this objective by leveraging our knowledge, as well as the knowledge of other professionals throughout higher education, with whom we have built extensive relationships over the course of our careers as researchers, counselors and consultants.

Please refer to our bios and testimonials for more information.

Thank you for your interest in Postsecondary Career Consultant. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, you may contact us anytime at or by filling out this form on the contact us page.


— Charkivia Hutchinson, PCC Consultant

  • How do we know if we need an independent educational consultant?
    Working with an IEC can be particularly helpful if your student is unclear about their college options, has limited opportunity to meet with a school guidance counselor/CAP advisor, is interested in a less common major or career, has an unusual academic background or admissions profile, if a high achiever striving for highly competitive colleges or would benefit from one-on-one assistance with college planning and applications. IEC’s can also be helpful when a student has learning disabilities or other special needs, when families are having difficulty agreeing on college choices, or for students who are particularly anxious about the college admissions process.Come explore with us today.
  • Is an independent educational consultant a replacement for the school guidance counselor?
    No. While an IEC can provide more personalized service than your high school guidance counselor may be able to provide, your school counselor/CAP advisor will still play a vital role in your or your child’s college application process. We do college planning full-time.
  • Why a private college counselor?
    Aside from purchasing a home, a college education represents the largest investment you will make during your life. If you take into account the personal and professional benefits associated with earning a degree, college will likely be your most important investment. Unfortunately, most schools have devoted less, not more, resources to college planning in recent years. School counselors, for example, play an extremely crucial role in promoting the personal and social development of our youth, but mounting responsibilities in the areas of standardized testing, course scheduling, academic remediation, and mental health support have forced many school counselors to shift their focus away from college-related tasks. Currently, the average school counselor spends only 30 minutes per year per student on college planning activities. In contrast, private college counselors focus exclusively on college guidance and can provide families with the personalized and intensive support they require. Ideally, private college counselors fill the need for greater college guidance by offering services that a typical school counselor cannot, such as those related to: Career and interest assessment Developing a student activities resume Extracurricular planning College list development Preparing for college interviews College application (detailed guidance, review, and packaging) College essays (brainstorming, proofreading, and editing) Organizing campus visits Private college counselors can also help families save on college costs, for example, by: Pointing students to good-fit colleges that are relatively inexpensive and where they are likely to receive significant (need-based and/or merit-based) financial aid. Teaching students how to maximize their financial aid eligibility and locate suitable scholarship opportunities. Pointing students to credit-earning opportunities before college admission, and helping them to navigate course (i.e. major and general education) requirements after admission – both shorten a student’s time to degree. Facilitating career exploration and recommending college majors that ultimately pave the way for professional fit and success. Ultimately, (capable and well-trained) private counselors help students enroll and succeed at good-fit colleges, while ensuring that families receive a substantial return on their postsecondary investment.
  • Why would we consider paying for private college counseling when there are counselors at our high school?
    By no means should an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) replace the role of the high school guidance counselor/CAP advisor. Rather, it should be an enhancement to the college planning process with a personal touch! With budget cuts, increasing enrollments and greater demands on Guidance Counselors, students and parents may feel the need for a more personalized and focused approach to their college search and application needs. PCC consultants are not limited to working with students and their families within the school year or the school day alone. With the flexibility of meeting in the comfort of their own home or other locations near home after hours or during the weekend ensures we know the students well, providing personalized and customized college counsel. PCC operates independently, we spend upwards to 20% of our time visiting college campuses all over the country to know about a college in person and not simply from a recruiters visit to the local high school! Additionally, we attend local and regional workshops and conferences for the purpose of staying abreast of growing trends in college admissions and financial aid. And perhaps most valuable, with over 2,000 colleagues across the country working independently with students, the collective knowledge is unmatched.
  • Can an educational consultant guarantee that my child will be admitted to a particular college?
    No one can guarantee a student admission to a particular college or university. If an IEC or anyone else suggests that they can do so, it is best to find another consultant. Professional educational consultants understand that many variables factor into admissions decisions and therefore they do not make false promises. They can, however, help students improve their chances of admission by identifying colleges that match their admissions profile and interests, and by guiding them through the college application process.Most applicants at top schools are nearly identical on paper. Essays are the most crucial piece in distinguishing yourself from the crowd. Let us help you today!
  • How are you different from other admission consultants?
    Our consulting group is one of the few run by a nontraditional IEC. I was a 1st generation college student who nativageted the process alone, so I had to learn the college admissions process in depth to be competitive. In recent studies, nontraditional college students are entering colleges and universities at an astronomical rate and having the expertise from someone who has navigated the process from this vantage point is refreshing for students and families. We are very familiar with all the factors that impact an admissions decision—many of which are unknown to other admissions staff members. These factors can make the difference between an acceptance or denial. With over 8 years of admissions experience, we provide accurate answers to your questions, eliminating the guesswork, so you can feel confident in your application. We have a fresh insight of the current changes of diverse applicants applying to college that will help pivot you into your dream school.
  • What is your experience with college admissions?
    We have worked directly in college admissions for over 8 years at colleges such as schools in the Florida College and State System. After reviewing hundeds of applications and essays pro bono, we know what stands out in a competitive applicant pool! As the former Advisor at the University of Miami, Charkivia Hutchinson has worked on campus committees to recommend students for admittance.
  • Who will I be working with?
    All students work directly with the college admissions experts who worked directly in admissions counselors at colleges and universities around the United States. We are the fields leading experts, and you will never meet with other assistants or counselors!
  • Will others know that I have worked with a private counselor?
    No. Maintaining your privacy and safeguarding your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us. PCC does not release any identifying information about our families unless our families explicitly instruct us to do so.
  • What is your success rate?
    We work closely with all of our students to develop a college list at which they can experience the greatest amount of success. We are proud to say that all of our past students have been accepted to one of their top-choice and best-fit colleges.
  • Why are your prices so high?
    Our rates are below average for our industry; however, we are sensitive to the reality that not all families can afford to pursue private college counseling. Therefore, in order to make our knowledge and expertise available to a broad range of students, we engage in a large number of pro-bono activities; operate a very extensive facebook page of resources; and devote a substantial amount of time to finding the latest information of admissions which offers comprehensive information and data on hundreds of colleges and their admissions and financial aid policies. For those who can afford services, but are still undecided about whether college counseling is a wise investment, we encourage you to consider the many ways in which we ultimately save our families money, for example, by: Guiding students to good-fit colleges that are relatively inexpensive and where returns on investment are relatively high. Teaching students how to maximize their financial aid eligibility and locate suitable scholarship opportunities. Pointing students to credit-earning opportunities before college admission, and helping them to navigate course (i.e. major and general education) requirements after admission – both shorten a student’s time to degree. Facilitating career exploration and recommending college majors that ultimately pave the way for professional fit and success. Explore the resources tab on the website for more information. We ae here to serve you to the best of our ability.
  • Why are your prices so low?
    Families researching the pricing and plans of multiple companies will soon find that our rates are significantly lower than nearly every comparable provider. We keep rates relatively low because we can and because we want to serve clients of all groups. Initially, as school-based teachers and higher education administrators, we sought work more practical and lucrative than that available in an academic setting, but that still enabled us to do what we loved: helping a diverse group of students enroll and succeed in higher education. We have developed an online presence and remote-based model that allows us to deliver services in an effective and efficient manner, while serving an increasingly broad array of families. Ultimately, we have been fortunate enough to build a business that contributes to more than one bottom line.
  • Do you offer installment plans?
    If necessary, students/families are allowed to pay fees for our Comprehensive Plan in two equal installments over the course of 6 months. All fees are due by August 1 of the student’s 12th grade year. In the case of our transfers, all fees are due by February 1 of the year in which they submit applications.
  • Do you offer discounts?
    Discounts are offered for students who are referred by PCC student/parent. Discounts are not offered on the hourly rate. Contact us for more information.
  • Can you work with students from anywhere in the country?
    Yes. We work with students across the country (and even around the world). Whether you are in Florida,California, Georgia, or any state, we will meet with you one-on-one by any of the virtual meeting platforms to guide you through each step of the admissions process.
  • What are the advantages of a remote arrangement?
    We are a remote model company to reach a broader range of families and better accommodate our students, many of whom have extremely busy schedules during the week, and as such, need to meet on short notice and/or during nights and weekends. Now, we communicate through e-mail, phone, and most often video chat (Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, etc.), responding to our families’ needs more quickly and offering greater flexibility and availability than we were able to under our former “brick and mortar” model. Ultimately, we believe our long-term success has been due to our responsiveness and unique knowledge set, rather than our location or proximity to certain students.
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  • How does the process work for seniors?
    We will work with you in a personal, customized manner. Immediately after you sign up, we will review all of your academic and extracurricular information with the same rigor that a selective college could.Charkivia Hutchinson will then create your unique positioning to develop your college strategy. We will meet with you to develop your essays, obtain strong letters of recommendation, complete your activity and honors lists, and prepare any supplemental materials. We have a senior rush pacakage just for you. Furthermore, we will review all of your application materials from beginning to end before you click submit!
  • How does the process work for underclassman?
    Similar to seniors, we will closely evaluate your profile to determine your unique positioning. We will then guide you step-by-step through the selection of courses, extracurriculars, and programs to support your strategy and maximize your chances of acceptance to top colleges during your senior year.
  • What is an initial consultation?
    The initial consultation consists of a review of our services as well as the student’s academic standing, goals and extracurricular activities during high school. Upon signing a consulting agreement, the fee for the initial consultation is applied to the grade-level fee.ter.
  • WHAT IS A “package”?
    We work on a “package” basis. What does that mean? For some consultants, it means you pay for a certain amount of hours up front and receive a limited number hours and applications per student. Not us. We offer each student an unlimited number of applications and will spend as many hours as it takes to get it right so your student can concentrate on the process instead of the clock.
  • Do you help with essays?
    Yes. Essays are the focus of the PCC approach. Many students applying to selective colleges have the grades and test scores to get accepted, so colleges rely on the essays to distinguish students from one another. We will help you develop the topics and content for each of your essays, along with providing edits and revisions to improve their strength and increase your chances of acceptance.We are here to help guide you.
  • Do you write essays?
    No, we do not write essays. Besides being unethical, a “ghost-written” essay can arouse suspicion, cloud the authenticity of your application, and negatively impact your prospects for admission. We do, however, provide guidance on essay topic selection, content, grammar, syntax, tone and much more. Altogether, we devote as much time as necessary to ensuring that your essays are authentic, compelling, and crafted in a way that will improve your admission prospects.
  • When are you available?
    PCC counselors are available weekdays, weeknights, and weekends. We work according to your schedule, and are fully committed to providing you with responsive and convenient support.
  • How many students do you work with?
    We only work with a small group of students at any given time. This ensures all students meet often and directly with us, the field’s leading college admissions experts. As space is limited, our calendar fills up quickly each year, so I recommend contacting us as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.We would love to be apart of your college preparation journey.
  • Why do you only work with a limited number of students each year?
    Our mission is to provide the best service for students applying to colleges and boarding schools. By limiting who we take on, we can give more directed and individualized attention to each student. We believe in quality over quantity. Rather than spreading ourselves thin, we aim to give each student we take on our undivided attention.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    In consideration of other students and families, PCC request cancellations to be made as soon as possible, but with at least 24 hours notice. While PCC make every attempt to reschedule students within the same week, as deadlines approach, the flexibility for same-week rescheduling becomes more difficult.
  • How do you help with financial aid?
    Beyond scholarship applications, there are different financial aid requirements for different schools. Within the comprehensive package, PCC educates students and parents on what forms are needed, deadlines, and how these forms are used. Parents fill these applications out, sometimes with the help of an accountant or financial advisor, and upon completion, I am available to review at parents' request.
  • Do you only help with Ivy League colleges?
    No. We help with any college or university. We will help you to submit strong applications that maximize your chance of acceptance to any college of interest!
  • If I am an average student, can you help me?"
    Of course! We help all students achieve their college goals. Even if you are a B, C student with average test scores, we will maximize the strength of your applications through your positioning and essays to ensure you get accepted to the best possible college. It is the art of identifying a particular strength, talent or experience that would be most valued by a specific college and presenting it in a manner that maximizes the chances of admission. Colleges are not looking for the most well-rounded students, but rather the most well-rounded class. You could be that student with our help.
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  • Is it too early (or too late) to start?
    It is never too early (or too late) to start! Your ambition to succeed brought you to this website and that makes this the perfect time to start working on your college strategy and/or applications.The bulk of our work together will occur in grades 11 and 12. However, ninth and tenth grade students can benefit from early planning—in the areas of high school academic advising, extracurricular planning, and major/career exploration, for instance.We encourage prospective college transfers to contact us at least six months before their applications are due, but we can and do take on students throughout the transfer admission cycle. Our help—at any point in the process—can dramatically increase your likeliness of acceptance. Whether you are an underclassman, transfer student or senior, we have services just for you!
  • Do you work with middle school students?
    Each year, we work with a few highly talented and ambitious middle school students. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at or by completing this form.
  • What are common mistakes you see families make in the admissions process?
    Waiting until the last minute to start the admissions process, assuming that grades and test scores are enough for top schools, underestimating how competitive Top 25 schools are to get into, and not spending enough time on essays. If most applicants have similar scores, grades, and extracurriculars how do you separate yourself other than through essays, activities lists, and letters of recommendations? PCC can help.
  • When should students take college admission tests (SAT and ACT)?
    While this is a question that is best answered by taking a student’s particular situation into consideration, there are some sensible guidelines that work well for most students. Keep in mind that discussion of the optimum time for taking tests will take place throughout the college counseling process. Timeline of General Recommendations Freshman Year Usually, there is no need for freshman to take any tests – not even the PSAT. Sophomore Year October: Take the PSAT or the PLAN. These tests provide opportunity for practice that can be very valuable. They do not “count” for anything, so students can be free of stress when they take them. Junior Year October: Take the PSAT. March/April: Take the ACT or the SAT. June: Take the ACT or the SAT. Senior Year September: Repeat ACT, if necessary. October: Repeat ACT or SAT, if necessary. November and December: Usually, the last opportunities to repeat SAT or Subject Tests (offered in November and December) or ACT (offered in December only).
  • What do I need to provide for my first appointment?
    Once you schedule your meeting, we will send you an email with a client information form and release attached. Student Records: Please email or fax the student’s academic records. This includes, but is not limited to, academic transcripts, and standardized test records. Written reports of educational evaluations over the past four years are also helpful. When you send the information, please indicate the date of your scheduled meeting. During your initial meeting, the counselor will review all of the student’s academic transcripts for the past two years and any standardized test results including school achievement tests, SSATs, or other tests that might be used in school. Please also send in written reports of any educational or psychological evaluations that might have been done over the past several years.
  • Should we plan on visiting colleges and, if so, when should we go?"
    Visiting colleges can be a very helpful way for students to get a sense of what kind of college environment seems like the best fit for them. Many parents are eager to take their adolescents on college visit trips during the early years of high school. This is fine, IF the student wants to go. If parents insist and the students resist, it can actually be counterproductive. PCC do recommend that students, along with one or both parents (if possible) plan to visit colleges during one of the breaks in the winter/spring of the junior year. Since the high school breaks are usually different from the college breaks, this enables students to see colleges when they are in session and the students are there. Sometimes sports or community service commitments prevent families from scheduling visits during this time. The summer between junior and senior year can also be a good time to visit. While the students are not there, the admission office is open and student tour guides have been hired to give tours. Students can also have interviews during the summer, which is not usually possible during spring break.
  • What are your services?
    You can learn more about our services by going to the Comparing College Advising Packages pages.
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