Pursuing higher education can be a complicated, stressful and overwhelming process for students and families, so several Valley businesses are stepping in to help.
For Mountain Ridge High School senior Sai Namitha Palnati, navigating Varsity tennis, school clubs and volunteer work came easy. That was not the case when it was time to apply for college.
"I was at a complete loss, I didn't know where to start," said Palnati.
That is where Erin Goodnow came in.
"I'm an independent college admissions consultant," said Goodnow, who is also the CEO of Going Ivy. "I help students and their families navigate the process of college admissions from where you want to apply to school, to all the different requirements associated with that application."
A quick Google search shows several Valley businesses promising to ease stress and give students the personal attention school guidance counselors may struggle to provide.
"High school's getting a lot more competitive now and everyone's racing to the top," said Palnati. "They're trying to get all their extracurriculars in, playing all the sports they can, getting their grades up, getting the best test scores and it's very stressful."
Goodnow's key takeaways include starting early, looking at a full list of schools that include some 'reach' and 'safe bet' options, and once you are accepted, do your research to make sure it is the best fit for you.
"I felt like the eight that I applied to were the best for myself," said Palnati.
Palnati was already accepted to the Honors colleges at Baylor and Arizona State University.
"I think a lot of students this is their first huge decision as kind of an adult and you don't need to be that stressed about it," said Goodnow. "You don't need to take it so seriously, you're going to have a great future no matter what."