A: No. As our name suggests, we began by specializing in assisting art students with their college planning needs (including portfolio preparation) but we’ve grown to be much more. PortfolioPrep is now a comprehensive college consulting company, and more than half of our clients are not art students. In the meantime, our reputation as a national resource for college art education and careers keeps on expanding.
Q: What’s an independent college counselor and why do I need one?
A: An independent counselor is an educational consultant trained to advise the college-bound student, auxiliary to their high school guidance counselor. We provide one-on-one advisement through the entire process of transitioning to college that is tailored to your individual needs. PortfolioPrep works with high school and transfer students across the world, and specializes in advising those who wish to enter college-level art programs.
Q: I don’t know if your services are right for me? How do I find out?
A: Because our consulting programs are personal, we’ll help you learn and accomplish just what you want to, whether you’re at the beginning of the application process or further along. You can download the brochure for an overview, or better yet, call us at 203.746.0100 to schedule a free half-hour phone consultation. There’s no obligation whatsoever.
A: It depends on the program options you select, so you’ll receive one-on-one guidance in some or all of these topics:
• Academic planning
• College research and applications
• Time management
• Standardized testing
• Financial aid
• Essay review
• Portfolio development
• Artwork digitization
Q: I am really undecided. Are your programs appropriate for me?
A: Definitely. You’ll get information and experience through our meetings that will help you sort through the maze of options and choose the right college path for you. By the way, it is estimated that up to 50% of entering college freshmen are undecided about their educational paths or future careers. So don’t worry, we’ll point you in the right direction.
Q: When should I start planning for college?
A: The ideal time to begin working with PortfolioPrep is spring of your junior year. This allows enough time for strategic planning that includes in-depth discussions about your interests and abilities, goals and aspirations.
Q: What classes should I take now?
A: Planning your schedule ahead of time puts you in control – you’ll have less stress later on. We’ll review your high school academic plan to make sure it covers all graduation requirements. A sequence of classes and AP or Honors classes shows colleges your interest and commitment to academics and/or art.
A: It’s a personal decision we’ll help you to explore. You’ll learn about majors and career paths for artists and develop your art skills at the same time. Reviewing your options and working with PortfolioPrep will help make the decision easier.
Here are some things to consider:
• Is art your best or favorite class?
• Are you involved in any extracurricular art activities, such as outside classes?
• Do you explore art in your free time—go to museums, exhibits, performances?
• Do you read about or discuss art? Create and keep things on your own?
• Can you see yourself involved in the arts in the future?
Q: What about majors in art?
A: There is truly an abundance of major options, many more than drawing, painting or sculpture. Of course, the traditional disciplines are alive and well, but did you know there are 100+ art-related majors in US colleges? From fashion design to medical illustration to hybrid majors like photojournalism, you can be sure there’s an area of specialization that’s right for you. And there’s a bonus: graduates from art programs tend to be happier!
Q: Why do I need a portfolio?
A: Most art schools expect you to have one when you apply. In highly selective colleges, it can be the main factor that determines whether or not you will be offered admission. Guiding you as you accumulate, edit, prepare and submit your portfolio is one of the things we do best. We’ll help you document and communicate your artistic development to create and submit your best portfolio.
Q: How do I digitize my artwork?
A: Along with the portfolio requirement, colleges are very specific about how they want to see your work. Some ask that you present in person, while others ask to for a digital format: slides, PDFs, jpegs, and e-portfolios. So what do you do with your five-foot tall sculpture or the triptych you just finished? No problem: you bring the art; we’ll provide the expert instruction.
Q: I have more questions. Whom do I contact?
A: Lorraine Serra. She’d be more than happy to answer your questions.