Preparing For College Admission

Meeting students where they are and guiding them to achieve their own success.

Since the road to college is different for every student and family, I offer a range of services, including hourly consulting, essay and application review packages and an all-inclusive package. If you are looking for help in an area not listed here, please contact me for more information.


I work with students and families to clarify and explore the following questions/topics:

Curriculum and extracurricular activity planning
Clarifying academic and career goals/interests
College list preparation
College selection criteria overview/review
Exploring options for students with learning disabilities​
Reaching out to colleges of interest
College visit prep
Test recommendations (i.e., SAT v. ACT)
Timeline and college roadmap development
Essay topic development and review (includes Common App supplements)
Application review
Requesting recommendations
Interview prep
Early decision/action assessment
Reviewing offers of admission
Understanding and navigating the financial aid process
Assistance with the the college transfer process


A+ College Essays

College essays are a critical part of college applications.  I work closely with students to find essay topics that showcase their values, goals and achievements as well as provide an edge in the admissions process.  Throughout the process, I offer guidance on writing style, mechanics and voice so that students not only produce top-flight college essays, but improve their writing ability in the process.

Application Review

For students who complete their applications and essays independently, a review of their materials prior to submission can build confidence and bolster admissions opportunities.  When reviewing application packages, I not only spot errors and omissions, but offer suggestions for strengthening essays/supplements and wording.


I have helped many students prepare for and improve their scores on the Critical Reading and Writing sections of the SAT and the English, Reading, Writing and Science sections of the ACT.*  My in-depth knowledge of both tests allows me to customize a study program for each student that focuses on his/her learning style, strengths and timeframe.  If you have not yet taken either or one of the tests, I will provide a pre-test that will help determine our areas of focus and the preparation time needed.  Along the way, I provide you with strategies and understanding that will boost both your scores and your confidence.

*Upon request, I am happy to refer families to local tutors who specialize in preparing students for the Math sections of the SAT and ACT.


This program begins during the junior year of high school and continues through students’ college acceptances.  It includes everything a student needs to learn about the college process, research schools of interest, develop a balanced and well thought out college list that includes reach, target and safety schools, prepare for college entrance exams (excluding the math portions of the tests), prepare essays and Common App supplements, learn about early decision/early action options, prepare applications and monitor all deadlines, prepare for interviews, request recommendations, review acceptances, evaluate financial aid offers and make informed decisions about which school to attend.

The all-inclusive program includes all of the services listed under “College Admissions Questions & Topics,” “College Admission Essay and Application Review” and “SAT/ACT Reading and Writing Prep” as well as unlimited email and in-person contact with me throughout students’ junior and senior years.


Barbara was instrumental in helping our daughter navigate the college application process. Together, they created a thorough and practical plan for completing her college applications. More …

“College essay writing is truly an art. Barbara Shore’s “Art of the College Essay” tutoring provided our son, Jake, with the guidance he needed to produce succinct, imaginative, meaningful essays that captured his unique personality and translated his accomplishments into one-of-a-kind works of art!  More …

“Having a private college counselor for our high school senior proved to be the best investment and experience we could hope for. Barbara Shore really got to know our son and his particular needs in regards to finding a small learning environment for college.  More …

“As a mother of four children who have all needed tutoring at one time or another, I look for a tutor who can provide not just tools for learning but a deeper connection to my child in order to provide motivation and encouragement. Barbara has a heart of gold and a mind like a steel trap. More …

“Barbara Shore provided language arts tutoring for our daughter, McCall Barbara is such an important part of our girls’ education. She has worked with their individual strengths and weaknesses to help them develop into stronger, more confident readers and writers. The improvement has been tremendous and we are so thankful for the caring support she provides.”

She also knew that Barbara was on her team because Barbara even offered to be available by phone or to skype with McCall if she needed it. The proof of Barbara’s methodology was apparent when McCall arrived home at the semester break grinning from ear-to-ear and announcing, “I got an A in English—thanks to Barbara!”   More …

(707) 765-6350

  • Time Is Short. The Time To Start Is Now!

    The life of a student is filled with school, activities and friendships. It is never too early to learn the goal-oriented, disciplined study habits that lead to a successful college career and professional life.

  • Time To Unlock Your Potential

    Perseverance and continuous, focused action–rather than intelligence or strength–are the keys to unlocking potential. My work with students involves teaching the skills and habits they need to unlock and realize their potential.

  • Become A Star Performer

    Setting challenging yet reasonable goals–and then achieving them–is a thrilling experience. I meet students where they are and empower them to achieve their own success.

Contact Barbara Today!

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