Case Studies

 

 

Popp & Associates advises families living throughout the United States and abroad. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and have diverse academic profiles, interests, and college aspirations. Get to know some of our clients and discover the benefits that Popp & Associates can provide to your family.

 

Building a Balanced and Successful High School Experience:
A High School Freshman and Her Parents Hire Popp & Associates for Strategic Guidance

The parents first contacted Popp & Associates during their daughter’s 9th grade year at a public high school west of Boston. While their daughter was earning all A’s and enjoyed her classes, the parents, who were educated abroad and were unfamiliar with the college application process in the US, wanted to make sure that they were not missing any critical steps in their child’s high school education. The parents, therefore, hired Popp & Associates early on in their daughter’s high school experience to provide them with invaluable strategic guidance and ensure a successful college application process down the road.

The student’s P&A counselor quickly realized that the student was talented academically, but she was hesitant to join extracurricular activities and spent nearly all of her time completing school work. Her counselor encouraged her to try different school-based clubs, as well as consider the school tennis team given her strong abilities and enjoyment of the sport. Lastly, P&A suggested that the student apply for summer programs in her areas of interest, including writing, scientific research and leadership skill development.

During the summer after the student’s freshman year, she successfully completed a summer program of her choice that focused on building writing skills. In the student’s sophomore year, she continued to earn all A’s in her courses, as well as strong scores on her SAT Subject Tests. With the encouragement of her P&A counselor, the student also decided to try out for the high school tennis team. Not only was she quickly added to the varsity roster, the student also began meeting new people and developing friendships. The student loved her experience on the team and even regrets not joining in her freshman year. While she embraced the competitive element of the sport, she most valued the new friendships that were formed and recognized how much they added to her life and enriched her overall high school experience.

The student’s academic record continues to strengthen as she embarks on a highly rigorous course load for her junior year. In addition, opportunities have expanded for the student on both personal and extracurricular levels as a result of her taking creative risks and exploring her interests. Since beginning her work with Popp & Associates, the student is more invested in extracurricular life, both at school and in her community. The student recently shared that she feels happier with her high school experience given the new changes. While the student always had confidence in her academic performance, she felt there was room for improvement in her extracurricular involvement and social life. Now that the student is enjoying a more fulfilling high school experience, she is not only achieving her potential in the classroom, but also in all areas of her life. Given the balanced life that the student now leads, more doors are opening for her in high school, and opportunities for success will only increase as she advances to college.

Seeking Academic Improvement:
Parents and Their 10th Grade Daughter Come on Board at Popp & Associates to Address Academic Challenges and Their Potential Impact on the College Application Process.

 

The student’s father contacted Popp & Associates during his daughter’s sophomore year at a public high school because he was concerned about her grades. The student was primarily a B/C student, often earning C’s in her core academic classes and B’s or higher in elective courses. While the student usually earned A’s on homework assignments and class participation, she received D’s and F’s on major exams, including midterms and finals. Not surprisingly, her GPA suffered significantly. As a result, the student’s parents were nervous that if this pattern of low grades continued, the student’s prospects for college would be limited. In addition, the student’s P&A counselor recognized that this issue needed to be addressed to ensure that the student could be successful in college, where midterm and final exams often comprise the majority of course grades.

After several college counseling sessions, the P&A counselor determined that the student would benefit from tutoring with a reading specialist to strengthen her reading comprehension skills. The student participated in outside tutoring for several months and reported improvements. Later into the counseling sessions, it was also discovered that the student was struggling with anxiety, which impeded her performance on exams.

Popp & Associates recommended that the student learn coping techniques to better manage her anxiety and referred the student to an outside counselor. After less than two months of therapy, the student showed less concern prior to major tests and started earning A’s and B’s on her final exams. The student often shared that she arrived at school on the day of her exams feeling relaxed and confident, instead of being scared and doubtful in her ability to succeed.

As a result of the student earning higher grades, her college prospects improved significantly. She was accepted to 13 out of 18 colleges and is excited to attend one of her top-choice schools. In addition, the student feels that she is more confident and better in control of her learning. Because of the work that the student did at Popp & Associates and with outside providers, she is positioned well for not only growth and success, but also happiness in her college years.

Looking for a Second Opinion:
A High School Junior and Her Parents Engage Popp & Associates to Provide an Expert Perspective on the College List, Essay Topics, and More.

The family, who lives in a suburb north of Boston, had just completed the college application process with their oldest daughter when it was time to start again with their second child. Their youngest daughter was an honors student in 11th grade earning A’s and B’s at a well-respected public high school. In addition, she was an avid dancer, and much of her time outside of school was dedicated to the art. In the summers, the student traveled abroad and taught English in a working class suburb of Beijing, China. The student was accomplished from all perspectives, and her family was very familiar with the college application and financial aid processes. The parents recognized how stressful the application process can be for a student, and therefore wanted to retain the services of Popp & Associates to make sure that their daughter felt well-supported and not overwhelmed. While the family was very organized and the student had a clear focus regarding a prospective academic major, assistance was still needed with various tasks. During the student’s junior year, her P&A college counselor helped her refine her college list, develop a schedule for taking the SAT and ACT exams, and plan productive college visits. Once the application process began in the summer before 12th grade, the student and her parents relied on their P&A counselor to guide the student through the essay-writing process and ensure that the essays captured the student’s voice in a compelling manner. The student met with her counselor on a weekly basis, and both worked together to make sure that the application process moved at a steady, but manageable pace. All applications were submitted in advance of deadlines, and with the help of her P&A counselor, the student was able to effectively balance the demands of the application process with her academic and extracurricular obligations. In addition to receiving several merit scholarship offers, the student earned acceptances to 5 out of 6 colleges, including her first-choice school.

Evaluating Early Decision Options:
A Senior and His Parents Ask Popp & Associates for Advice about Applying to a First-Choice College and Preparing Additional Applications

The student’s mother contacted Popp & Associates after her son completed his junior year at a private Catholic school in the Boston area. The student had earned A’s and B’s throughout high school and was active in various community service initiatives in his school community. In addition, he loved to attend opera performances and spent much of his free time caring for his elderly grandfather who lived with him and his parents. The student began the college counseling work at P&A with a college list already in hand. He and his school-based college counselor had worked together on the list, but the student needed assistance making final decisions. One of the first tasks that he and his parents wanted to address was deciding whether or not the student should submit an Early Decision application. The student liked a number of the colleges that he had visited, but one school really stood out in his mind. The student felt strongly that he wanted to join a campus community that was similar to the one he had enjoyed throughout high school. After several visits to his first-choice school, the student and his family decided that applying Early Decision (ED) was the right path to pursue. During the late summer and early fall, the student completed the ED application, as well as others, just in case he did not receive favorable news. The student’s P&A counselor helped him prioritize his application essays, as well as manage his time. The student wrote essays that reflected on meaningful experiences in his past, as well as how he felt he could benefit from and contribute to different campus communities in the future. The student was accepted to his first-choice school and recently shared that it was a perfect match for his goals. He is currently a junior in college.

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