It is impossible to overstate the impact that Mark Stucker of School Match 4U has had on my family. When I went to Princeton in 1982, over 20% of all applicants got into the Ivies and Stanford, and over 70% got into the University of Chicago. I was shocked to find out that today those percentages have dropped to as low as 5% for some of these schools! Also when we started our college process with Mark, my wife, daughter and I had no idea about the importance of rigor in High School courses, the importance of developing hooks in the college admission process, the appropriate use of test preparation to study for the SATs and ACTs, how to develop a balanced college list, or the importance of showing demonstrated interest for some colleges. With the help of Mark’s customized “one-on-one” counseling, his excellent book and his timely podcast, we were able to put our daughter on a path to success. We are so grateful as she heads off to Yale next fall. I believe Mark Stucker of School Match 4U offers the best college admissions package on the market today. I cannot recommend Mark highly enough for anybody interested in advancing their children to the right colleges for their future success.
21 Months of Comprehensive Counseling in Version 2 of Our Gold plan
Includes ALL of the services
- Administration and interpretation of our customized “School Match 4U Updated Student and Parent Questionnaire” (included)
- College Kickstart allows us to compare a student’s academic profile to other applicants at selected colleges with the most up-to-date data available. This tool enables us to ensure students have a balanced college list, assists in evaluating early admission opportunities, tracks key application requirements, and considers affordability as part of the application plan for those who are hoping to not pay full price for college. (included)
- In-depth discovery interview designed to understand the optimal educational conditions students and parents/guardians are looking for in order to discern what college environment the student will thrive in (included)
- Recommendation and interpretation of five different major tests for the student to confirm his/her interests (included)
- Examination of all academic records, teaching recommendations, testing, and activities for the student (included)
- Recommendation of at least 15 colleges or universities initially that match the student’s academic profile and the interests of the student and the parents/guardians (included). Note: Usually we recommend 20+ colleges
- Verbal communication and a thorough explanation of why the schools recommended were selected (included)
- Assistance in paring down these 15+ schools to a manageable level of schools that match what the student and parents/guardians are looking for (included)
- Delivery of verbal “Strengths and Weakness assessment” to communicate how the student will be viewed by admissions reps (included)
- Interview prep (one mock interview) with explicit interview feedback (included)
- Strategic advice about how to utilize powerful questions to impress counselors with your intelligence (included)
- Advice about what to include to showcase the student’s strengths in the written application and in any interviews (included)
- Help in planning and developing an effective strategy for college visits (included)
- Specific advice about what to do on any college visits, including post-visit debriefing and consultation (included)
- Strategic advice throughout the admission process; this advice can be done through phone calls, video conference sessions, or text messages (included)
- Strategic advice on how to utilize your school visits to create a maximum positive impact (included)
- Consult with the student and parents/guardians to help everyone understand how the SAT, AP, IB, or ACT scores will be perceived by the various colleges on the college list (included)
- Communication with your test prep professional (if applicable) to see how the test scores are progressing (included)
- Advice about the best test prep strategy to ensure that your student gets the highest test scores (included)
- Guidance as to whether SAT, ACT, or AP scores should be shared or whether your child should apply as a test-optional applicant. This advice will be given on a school-by-school basis
- Assistance with which applications to use for which schools (included)
- Assistance with how to maximize your effectiveness in working with your school counselor (included)
- Discussions about specific schools that we recommended or didn’t recommend and how they line up with what you are looking for (included)
- Advice about how to be authentic while simultaneously making the best impression at college fairs, information sessions, or other interactions with admissions professionals (included)
- Advice about summer planning and activities. This includes opportunities on campuses as well as other opportunities. (Included)
- Verbal advocacy or written advocacy directly to college admissions counselors are considered inappropriate for a private college coach at most schools, but we may recommend you connect with certain people at certain times who work for, or who have attended various colleges of interest. (Included)
- Willingness to do a thorough review of all financial aid paperwork to ensure accuracy; this may involve the FAFSA, CSS PROFILE, IDOC, or any institutional aid form requests. This also includes assistance with FAFSA verification. This will not apply if you are not applying for financial aid. (Included)
- Assistance with interpreting communication from colleges, including recruitment correspondence and interpretation of aid awards (included)
- Unlimited calls, texts, and emails for advice anytime (after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays for meetings, anytime on Saturday, and after 11:00 a.m. on Sunday). We put this in bold because this has been invaluable for other clients. Unlimited texts seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. This is something that Gold plan clients love. The Silver plan only includes 20 minutes a month of texting and emails (Included)
- Multiple revisions of up to 15 college-specific essays, personal statements, and/or scholarship essays by both us and by Margarita, our grammarian. This is something that Gold plan clients love. If you are looking at selective schools, these college-specific essays and questions are extremely important in their evaluation. Paying for this à la carte along with the two copies of each finalized essay by our grammarian (one copy is a proofed copy, where you can see the tracking changes she recommends, and the other copy is a clean copy) would cost several thousand dollars. Margarita is our grammarian, and you can read her bio here (Included)
- Should you need assistance beyond 15 essays, we will help you with additional essays, brainstorming, outlining, content development, and multiple revisions until the counselor and the student are happy with the essay. Grammatical revisions by Margarita are at the cost of $1 a word. Less than 3% of students have more than 15 essays. This usually only applies to students who are applying to a large number of colleges, multiple scholarships, or special programs that require essays
- Assistance with getting the best financial aid offer. This involves developing a scholarship strategy and game plan should this be of interest to you. (Included)
- Advice about what steps should be taken after the enrollment contract has been submitted to ensure a smooth transition occurs when your child matriculates to the college they select (included)
- Openness to do research if you ask us a question about something that we do not know (included)
- To prevent the freedom of this plan from leading to one client dominating the calendar of the college coach, the maximum meeting time per month with a School Match 4U college coach is four hours per month. The maximum number of meetings per week is two meetings, and these two meetings must be on different days of the week. If the four hours maximum of meetings are not used in a month, they do not roll over to the next month. The 12 months on the calendar will be used for tracking monthly activity. If a student started his/her service agreement on January 15, the first month would be Jan 15–31 and not January 15-February 15, so tracking can be simply done with the calendar months. This four-hour maximum meeting time per month could amount to up to 48 hours of meetings over the course of 12 months, and things like emails, texts, and the research a college coach does are not included in this four-hour maximum meeting time per month. Sometimes these meetings will be with the whole family and sometimes just with parents, but normally they are only with the student and the School Match 4U college coach. The student or parent is expected to take the initiative and book the meetings directly with the college coach when they have a need. (Included)
- Two 60-minute Spanish tutoring sessions designed to either strengthen your child’s Spanish skills, give your child an introduction to the Spanish language, or go over a plan for your child to master the Spanish language. Mark Stucker’s daughter has a degree in Spanish, and she was a Spanish middle school and high school teacher at a private school in Atlanta. She is a professional Spanish tutor and founder of Spanish Help Today. We will pay her to work with your child for two one-hour sessions. A parent or guardian can use these hours if the student has no interest or need for Spanish tutoring. Tutoring can be done for someone who does not know the alphabet or for preparation for the AP or IB Spanish exams (Included)
- Presentation of a three- to five-page report detailing the recommended colleges in three different ways (included)
- Either four free hours of “one-on-one” Zoom test prep ($600 value) from one of my test partners, or free 90 minutes of SAT or ACT test prep with a detailed score diagnostic report from another one of our test prep partners (included)
- Advice about athletic recruitment should your child decide to play a varsity sport in college (included)
- Access to a national network of college coaches who will have access to your child’s athletic and academic profile and who can begin to recruit your student through our partnership with an athletic recruiting service. This only applies to students who are interested in playing a sport at the varsity level. (Included)
- Develop a School Match 4U Action plan so your child does not have to be the one to figure out what he/she should be doing at any given time. This action plan will be communicated verbally in a Zoom or phone meeting. (Included)
- Help with breaking down the School Match 4U Action plan into bite-size doses by giving your child a short list of “to dos” that will help them to complete quality applications before any deadlines. We cannot be responsible for your child doing the things we recommend, but we will let them know what they need to do. (Included)
- Assistance with families that want us to hold their student accountable to implement the action steps that we recommend. Our Gold plans allow either 10 thirty-minute meetings (12-Month Gold) or 20 thirty-minute meetings with your college coaching (21-Month Gold) assistant to help with organization, planning, and accountability
- Three professionals are assigned to help your student. You get a lead college coach, an assistant college coach, and a grammarian who will all be dedicated to your student
- Access to our GuidedPath professional college counseling software, which will be immensely helpful for students and parents in this college admission journey. We have a paid membership with GuidedPath. It is a resource that significantly improves our ability to serve your child. There is also a student portal, which can help students with their “to dos,” and the parent resources, which is great for parent communication. (Included)
- List building applies to colleges in the United States and Canada (if interested). Families who are primarily interested in international universities. These families can learn here how School Match 4U helps students interested in international universities
- Advice about how to utilize college fairs to present your authentic self in the most favorable and winsome way (included)
- Advice about how to confirm that the college you are considering is the right college major for you (included)
- Authentic, genuine, straightforward, and honest communication at all times about all issues (included)
The Gold Package is recommended for:
- Families who want a minimum of two hours a month of assistance with Zoom calls, phone calls, emails, essays, application assistance, scholarship strategy, test prep/test score strategy, visit strategy, communication with college strategy, overall strategy, question-and-answer sessions, or help with any other component of the process. We use the word minimum because if you want two hours of any of these activities, this plan will pay for itself.
- Families that want the option to be able to send emails and texts to get prompt answers to quick questions without having caps put on this type of communication like the Silver plan has. The Bronze plan and hourly plans do not include built-in emails and texts.
- Families that are applying to selective schools that require a lot of college-specific essays and short-answer questions. Those essays and questions require hours and hours of work, and multiple content revisions of drafts of those essays will be provided by your School Match 4U college coach, and Margarita, our very talented grammarian, will produce both a proofed copy and a clean copy of all essays that are 100 words or more. It is a big money saver for the client to not have to pay for this à la carte.
- The 21-Month Gold plan should be $3,895 (12 months paid upfront) plus nine months X $324.50 (or $2,920.50) for a total of $6815.50, but these additional nine months are extended to you for only $1,100 (a $1,820.50 savings) additional dollars from what you would pay if you added nine months at the monthly additional rate of $324.50/month. This amounts to $122.22 a month for comprehensive monthly services for these additional nine months, less than 30 minutes in the hourly plan. We recommend starting the college process at the start of the summer of your rising junior year, so these 21 months of coverage will cover your student all the way to the National Candidate Reply date, which is May 1st.
- For a total of $4,995 paid upfront, you can have 21 months of full service for the price of fewer than 16 months.
- If you do not end up needing these additional months, two months can be gifted to a sibling, a friend, or someone in need of college coaching assistance. The additional two months DO NOT expire. The one caveat is that if they are extended to another student, they cannot be used for list building, but the other services we provide are all available options.
- If you need additional months beyond the 21, they are available at the flat rate of $295/month for comprehensive services or on a session-by-session basis
- More than half of School Match 4U clients select our Gold plan and this 21-Month Gold plan has become our most popular version of Gold, but we have made this plan substantially stronger by changing it from 20 months to 21 months and adding up to 10 additional thirty-minute meetings to focus on organization and accountability. We had a price increase on August 2022 for our Bronze, Silver, and 12-Month Gold plans but we had a price decrease for this plan. This plan is only $237.86 a month and this incredible value is intentional. One of the core values of School Match 4U is we want to make top-tier counseling affordable for everyone, not only the top 2% of income earners.
- Feel free to use your 30-minute consultation to get greater clarity about any of these plans.
Note: If you really like this plan and the more than four months that are free, but you hesitate to pay the $4,995 upfront, you can pay $3,895 upfront. The Agreement can be written to reflect that you want this plan, and the remaining $1100 can be paid 12 months after the Agreement commences. You can also pay with the same payment options that are outlined in the 12-Month Gold plan for the first twelve months. You can even have a payment plan for the final $1100 that is due after a year (if you don’t pay the $4995 upfront) for an additional $200.
Compare packages here.
Payment can be remitted using any of the following:
- Venmo, (@Mark-Stucker is Mark’s ID), and you will see Mark Stucker’s photo. You can also request that Mark friend you on Venmo. Do not select Goods or Services when paying with Venmo, or a 2% fee is added to your fees because this is what Venmo charges us, if you select Goods or Services. There is no charge if you pay as a friend.
- The Cash App ($MarkStucker11 is Mark’s ID or 404-664-4340). You will see Mark’s photo.
- Zelle (404-664-4340)
- For PayPal, use email@example.com to send payment. There is a 4% fee for this option.
Working with Mr. Stucker is one of the best decisions my mom and I have ever made. The college application process can be daunting but Mr. Stucker helped me through it and brought so many opportunities to my attention. This fall, I will be attending the University of Miami with a full tuition scholarship- an opportunity that I would not have pursued or received without the help of Mr. Stucker!
Prior to meeting Mark, I had undergone a tough college search with my daughter. We were overwhelmed and spent hours researching and visiting college campuses – 22 to be exact! It was a frustrating process, and I was dreading repeating the process with my son three years later. I reached out to Mark, and was impressed with his depth of knowledge, his resources and relationships, and his obvious passion for the work he does with students. He expertly guided my son through everything from developing a strong college list to coaching him through essays, ACT tutoring and testing, college visits, and all aspects of preparing his college applications. Ultimately, my son was admitted to every college he applied to and received merit awards as well! I will forever be grateful to Mark for his professionalism, his belief in my son, and his sincere commitment to helping students bring their best to the search process. Mark did what I thought was the impossible – he made the college search process a pleasant experience. Thank you Mark!