Hear What Families are Saying
Testimonials & success stories from satisfied families
Our college process was two-fold. It began with getting a jump start on the standardized testing, and not waiting until spring of junior year to focus. I believe our outcome was successful because we had a well-managed plan helped along by an expert, Janice Caine, of Custom College Visits.
The primary focus of her business is to arrange college tours, really good ones, which is how we found her, but once we got into the process, I realized that she could help us with much more. Because the process is so stressful, I hired her to work with my son to research and refine his college list. They met and worked on it slowly over the course of a year. The list they started with was different than the final list, schools crossed off for various reasons and others added to keep it balanced between likely, 50/50 and reach options. She interviewed me first, and then my son and they went to work together finding schools that met his requirements. We left it totally up to them and she emailed me occasionally to let me see the working list and show me where he was in the process.
"College" becomes a nasty word as you get deeper in, and having an independent buffer was very helpful, sort of like not tutoring your own child. She created a timeline and kept my son generally on schedule so I didn't have to be the task master. She gave him schedules of when the schools on his list were coming to our area so he could attend the local info sessions for a first impression. I loved attending those with him, it was a great mother/son bonding experience and we always went out to lunch or dinner before or after to chat about our impressions. She only called me in if he didn't respond to something she felt was important. They created a list of must haves and looked for schools that fit.
She encouraged him to include some schools on his list that were not too "reachy" for non-binding early admission applications. Not all schools offer early action, but many do, and spreading out the application deadlines is really helpful. Those should be to places they'd seriously consider going even if it isn't the top of their list. The idea is, if they get accepted someplace early, a little of the pressure is off for the January round of applications where you can focus on the harder schools to get into. Knowing you are going to college makes that second round a little easier and if your grades are good fall of senior year, those will be factored into the GPA when the January applications go out.
Janice’s true gift is planning the college tour! I am a good planner but she really knows her stuff. Because our school doesn't have a mid-winter break, we only had spring break and opted to see 6 east coast schools in 6 days. It was a long week, but another GREAT bonding experience! In addition to the standard campus tour and information session all schools offer, Janice arranged for him to meet students involved in his interest areas. We had lunch with them, he attended classes with them, he met professors in his subject areas during office hours, and we got a real up close and personal view of these schools. One of the students even invited him to see his real freshman dorm (not the staged one they show you on the tour) and his fraternity house.
My son’s first target was regional. Based on his grades and test scores he and Janice found three schools that met the criteria of “likely, 50/50 and reach.” He loved all three and would have been happy at any of them. He applied early where he could and because one school clearly stood out for him, he opted to give a binding early decision bid a try to his first choice school. If that didn’t work in his favor, he was ready with several more good options for the January round. Fortunately for us, that early bid paid off and he didn’t have to continue the process, but I am certain that he was prepared for whatever came next and would have had great choices in the end.
I find myself staring down the process one more time. My younger son is finishing his sophomore year in high school and we are ready to initiate his college search. Just like other families with more than one child, he is completely different than his brother, and I’m certain we will learn lots of new things from his process. Fortunately, we will have Janice by our side!
Lisa L. - Parent of High School Students
“Thank you SO MUCH for your involvement in the Splash Parents' Program this weekend! I am just reviewing the feedback forms, and your presentation received rave reviews across the board; many parents cited it as the highlight of the program for them! Some verbatim quotes include: ‘The Planning and Preparing for College Visits was a great eye opener;’ ‘The college presentation was very informative!’ ‘Parents' Program should have more talks like the 'Preparing For College Visits' presentation. Thank you for all the effort, energy, and enthusiasm you put into making the event such a success.”
Marisa M. Coordinator, Splash Parents' Program - Spring 2013
We had a wonderful trip to Philadelphia and Boston thanks to Janice Caine of Custom College Visits. She worked out an itinerary from start to finish. We visited 9 schools in 5 days and it was as smooth as possible. Janice worked out tours and information sessions as well as meetings with tennis coaches.We have boy/girl twins and both were happy which is not an easy achievement. Not only did Janice work out the schedule but she recommended great schools in both towns. We would highly recommend her.
Phil S. - parent of high school students
Thank you again for being so good at what you do. Our trip to the US was a huge success. I was on the verge of cancelling the trip but knew I couldn't let my son down. That I even found you on the internet was a direct answer to my prayer for a miracle.
The itinerary worked very well. I knew I was in good hands even before I boarded the plane to the US and your attention to detail far exceeded my expectation.
Egbe O - Parent of international high school student
This past weekend I went to Flagstaff with Justin for his NAU orientation. He’s registered for his classes, which I can’t believe start next month. Guess he is now officially a Lumberjack! I think he will be happy there as I feel confident this is the right school for him. I reminded him that you were the one who suggested this school. He told me that if it wasn’t for you mentioning NAU to us, he doesn’t know what he’d be doing as he really didn’t like any other school we looked into except for Michigan State. But, we all felt it was too far for him to go. So, we are really grateful to you!!
Diane M – parent of college junior (transfer student)
“We have been working with Janice and Custom College Visits for over a year. When we began, my son had no idea where to apply. Janice's system to help choose the right type of college helped him narrow down his search to schools that would be a good match. She then created a custom itinerary for our college visits that was easy to follow and allowed us to see numerous schools in a short period of time. Once we had our final 20+ schools, Janice worked closely with us to fine tune the list of colleges to which my son will apply.
“I have two more children and many nieces and nephews that will be applying to college in the future. I wouldn't go through this process again without the amazing knowledge and guidance of Janice and Custom College Visits.”
Diane B. - Parent of high schooler
Getting to the colleges is harder than getting into them! It was my parents’ idea to work with Custom College Visits and I’m so glad I listened to them. Custom College Visits took everything I thought I wanted into consideration and created an absolutely perfect list of schools. When we received a full itinerary of our trip to the schools, it was awesome. Custom College Visits lowered my stress level so much and I recommended it to all of my friends.
Heather C. – Sophomore college student
Custom College Visits does a fantastic job from the initial conversation to when the letters start coming in. They are a one-stop resource for everything related to the college search process. Janice was so personable and friendly and proactive. I felt like she really cared about my daughter and her future as opposed to just being another "client" in her database. The service we received was totally personalized for us. We are about to start the process again with our son and I feel relieved and confident that we've got such terrific support coming from CCV during this phase.
Alysa P. – Parent of college student