(Translation by King Li) August 1st is the deadline for filing Common Application, a system for using a standardized application for over 400 schools including many of the ivy-league universities. The month of July is especially nerve-wracking for many ambitious students. Under the strains of current economy, many schools cut back resources available for students; however, that is not an option for parents who wish for a successful life for their children.

(Translation by King Li) August 1st is the deadline for filing Common Application, a system for using a standardized application for over 400 schools including many of the ivy-league universities. The month of July is especially nerve-wracking for many ambitious students. Under the strains of current economy, many schools cut back resources available for students; however, that is not an option for parents who wish for a successful life for their children.

According to Yin Lu, CEO and founder of Achieve! – an educational consultant organization – college preparation should begin as early as possible. As a matter of fact, college planning should start at 9th grade, and it should holistically encompass course selection and extracurricular activities.

Ms. Lu points out that college and career planning offered by public schools in the US is at about the ratio of 200 students to 1 counselor. Under that ratio, it is rare to get quality help from the school’s counselors. Furthermore, getting into an elite school is increasingly difficult – on top of a perfect 4.0 GPA and standardized test scores, many schools look into the student’s activities to determine their acceptance. “In order to be a ‘purple squirrel,’ the key is to find out and market the student’s strengths. And planning during summer will provide that extra time to get ahead,” said Ms. Lu.

Yin Lu has deep roots in higher education, with experience working in career counseling at California’s UCLA, admission committee of Duke University, and human resource at Microsoft Corporation. Born in China, she came to the United States early in her life along with her parents. “I understand the expectation Chinese parents have for their children’s education, but I also understand the obstacles encountered by the youths. My goals for Achieve! is to build an understanding between the need and the expectation, so to work toward a bright future even under limited resources,” said Yin Lu. Achieve! co-founder Arty Christianto had also helped countless students with over 6 years experience in college admissions.

Achieve!’s consultation starts at 9th grade, with a free initial consultation to understand the student’s aptitude, aspirations, and interests. From there they plan for the three coming years, including: essay preparation, career planning, extracurricular activities choice, admission interview technique, etc. Furthermore, parents can participate in regular discussions about their student’s progress.

For more information, please visit Achieve! on the web at http://www.youachieve.org/.

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