Going through the college application process can be daunting, even for the very best of students. The student likely has absolutely zero experience with the application process. If their parents applied to colleges as teens, that was likely decades ago, and the process has changed immensely since then.

Since the launch of the Common Application, applications have skyrocketed at colleges nationwide. It has become super-easy to simply add several colleges to your application list for very little extra work, if any. This has caused record-breaking college application numbers year after year, causing a logjam of competition for a coveted seat at what used to be more attainable schools.

Shelley Honeycutt has seen it all at her Westport offices. She used to work on the other side of the ball in the Boston University admissions department. Now, she helps SouthCoast kids get noticed during the selection process.

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"Most colleges take a holistic approach, from test scores, to transcripts, to the essay, to extracurricular activities," Honeycutt said.  "However, the strongest, competitive candidates have that 'one thing' that really stands out about them. Colleges want to know how this student will benefit the school and add to its environment."

Experience in cutting through the competition can mean the difference between an acceptance and a denial letter.

At her College Advisors NE offices in Westport, Honeycutt takes on a limited number of local students to help them (and their parents) navigate through what can be a very stressful chapter of their lives. However, in addition to the one-on-one college counseling, Honeycutt has developed an online portal that can help an unlimited number of families. It is called Pivotal College Years.

Why Did Honeycutt Develop Pivotal College Years?

Honeycutt said she developed Pivotal College Years specifically for families on a budget. Having access to college planners such as Honeycutt can be expensive.  They can run as much as $140 an hour. While Honeycutt can only meet with a finite number of students and families, the online portal she developed allows unlimited numbers of families to access her knowledge, experience and methods.

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"The portal is based on our proven method used in our face-to-face college planning practice," Honeyutt said. "Families get access to our live community and our team of experts within the portal. It offers college planning on your schedule without overwhelming your students. The best part is that the Pivotal College Years portal is delivered by our proven experts for only $12 a month."

Honeycutt said she can help simplify and strip away the mystery of the college application process.

"Families can absolutely learn this, especially families that have multiple children. I see it all the time. They get better and better at it each time one of their children goes through the application process. It's so satisfying to see families using the techniques they've learned from Pivotal College Years to help their children get into the colleges of their dreams."

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