Why Independent Counseling?

  • Students and parents want the best educational opportunities available to them.
  • The college application process is increasingly complex and the outcomes more unpredictable. We guide students and families as they navigate through it, helping students present themselves in the best light possible to colleges and preventing missed deadlines and lost opportunities.
  • High school counselors often have enormous case loads or administrative responsibilities that detract from their ability to give every student the time and attention he or she deserves.
  • Every student deserves a personal, educational counselor, totally dedicated to his or her individual goals, needs and desires.

Why Sykes Educational Consulting?

  • Mary Sykes is an experienced academic and college counselor who is permanently certified as a school counselor in New York State.  She commands knowledge and understanding of high school academics and the college process.
  • Through working in both public and independent schools since 1995, she has helped hundreds of teenage boys and girls and their families successfully navigate high school and the college admissions process, ultimately attending colleges they love.
  • The hallmarks of Mary’s work have always been quality, personalized counseling services, and an excellent understanding of the complexities of the process. Her students are admitted to a wide range of colleges of all levels of competitiveness and geographic locations.
  • Mary’s knowledge of her subject is always current. She has an excellent working knowledge of numerous colleges and has visited virtually every major college or university in the country over the last few years. She has also visited principal universities in Canada, England, and Scotland.
  • She stays in touch with the latest developments in education and college admissions through participation in leading professional organizations such as the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, the Independent Educational Counselors Association, the Higher Educational Consultants Association,  and the College Board.
  • You can find out more in our Credentials section.

Why Sign On Now?

  • Because your son or daughter will apply to college in a year or two. In order to be most effective, an independent counselor will ideally work with a student beginning in junior year so there is time to impact course selection, summer activities and testing strategy. This said, a counselor can also work with a student on a shorter basis in order to focus on a particular part of the college process, such as essay writing or creation of a college list.
  • Because your younger high school student or rising ninth grader needs an academic plan. For students beginning high school, it is important that they carefully plan their four year curriculum so they will be where they want to be when they apply to college. Even tenth graders often need to readjust their academic or extra-curricular programs to be well positioned for the colleges they desire.
  • Because private counseling spaces are limited. To be able to give personal attention to each student, an independent counselor can only accommodate a certain number of clients. Once that number is met, a counselor is limited in his or her ability to take on new clients.