Early Guidance & Counseling Program2024-02-02T15:22:29-06:00

Early Guidance and College Counseling
For 9th and 10th Graders

Your child deserves a private high school counselor they’ll actually meet with and who will provide unbiased, 3rd-party advice—because the best college applicants start forging their path at the very beginning of high school. They enroll in the most advanced courses, apply themselves to challenging extracurricular activities, and begin to define who they will become as young adults.

Many parents erroneously believe this process starts in 11th grade, but truthfully it begins the first day of high school as a freshman. The purpose of our Early Guidance and Counseling Program (EGCP) is to ensure that students receive personalized guidance throughout all four years of high school. 

The Road to College Acceptance Starts Before 9th Grade

The Early Guidance and Counseling Program consists of 6 semesterly sessions starting as early as the summer before 9th grade and ending with the the second semester of 11th grade. During each private, personalized session, the counselor will discuss with the student and provide a score in the following four domains (hover for more details):


The student’s answers to the “big” questions of where they see themselves in 5 and 10 years and how they will get there.

High achievers know they want to make a difference with their lives, even if they’re not exactly sure what that difference will be.


The student’s course selections and grades, along with the good study habits that make them possible.

High achievers select the most challenging courses and excel in them.


Everything the student does outside of class — how they spend their free time and what that says about them.

High achievers commit to just a couple of activities and rise to leadership positions.


The materials the student formally submits to colleges in 12th grade, including transcripts, test scores, resume, and essays.

The best applications are the most succinct, enabled by years of planning and success which don’t require dressing up.

Measurable Progress

While each counseling session is individually tailored to the student’s unique needs and aspirations, all discussions are guided by our proprietary Rubric for College Admissions Preparedness (RCAP). The student’s counselor will walk through the four domains and score each one from 1 to 4 to provide both the student and their parents a quantitative analysis of their current preparedness.

Commitment to Success

The Counseling Program is an affordable yet tangible commitment to ensuring your student’s high school success and collegiate viability.

  • Cost – $1200, one-time fee
  • Sessions – 6, one-hour, semesterly
  • Credit – $600 or 50% towards test prep and college applications beginning in 11th grade

EGCP does not include time for academic tutoring, test prep, or completing college applications, which are available optionally through our tutoringcollege counseling, and test prep offerings.

Structured Support 

We recommend scheduling regular tutoring sessions focused on academic coaching to supplement your student’s work with their EGCP counselor. Your student’s tutor will hold them accountable for following through on the action plan established at each semesterly counseling session, including:

  • Developing effective study skills and homework habits to maximize academic performance
  • Utilizing tools like planners, calendars, and smartphone apps to improve productivity and school-life balance
  • Researching college options on a regular basis to demystify the application process and bring their goals into focus

These sessions can be scheduled on an hourly basis, or in a 10- or 20-hour personal course package. Pricing is dependent on the tutor’s hourly rate and a:

  • 10% discount on the hourly rate for a 10-hour personal course
  • 15% discount on the hourly rate for a 20-hour personal course

If your student is already meeting with a tutor on a regular basis for subject prep, contact us about adding academic coaching and early college application support to their sessions.

High School Guidance and College Counseling FAQs

Can I cancel my enrollment in the program early?2022-05-13T15:04:47-05:00

Yes, parents may cancel their child’s enrollment in the Early Guidance and Counseling Program at anytime, and we will provide a pro-rated refund.

Does the Early Guidance and Counseling Program include test prep and college applications support?2022-05-13T15:05:08-05:00

No, the Early Guidance and Counseling Program package includes up to 6, 1-hour, semesterly counseling sessions. Additional services including academic tutoring, test preparation, and college applications and essay support are available separately. However, the package does credit back 50% of fees paid beginning in 11th grade towards ACT and SAT test prep and/or college applications and essay support.

Do I have to start the Early Guidance and Counseling Program in 9th grade only?2022-05-13T15:02:27-05:00

This program is best used when starting the summer before 9th grade or in the fall of 9th grade; however, we will also accept students as late as the summer before 10th grade. The fees and credits will be pro-rated accordingly.

What is the difference between your Guidance Counseling and College Counseling offerings?2022-05-13T15:05:53-05:00

The difference is in the timing and scope. The Early Guidance and Counseling Program (EGCP) is specifically for students entering 9th or 10th grades and leads up to college applications but does not include support specifically geared towards ACT and SAT test preparation or completing college applications. However, half of the EGCP fee is rebated to families toward use of these services beginning in 11th grade.

When should my child first meet with a counselor?2022-05-06T16:02:26-05:00

We recommend that your child first meet with one of our guidance and college counselors during the summer before their 9th grade year or in the fall of their 9th grade year.

Why do I need this program if my school already has a counselor?2022-04-28T14:06:02-05:00

The average public high school has just one school counselor per 455 students. Prestigious private schools in Houston are significantly better but at approximately 1 college counselor per 150 counselees, far from ideal.

Furthermore a school counselor has multiple masters and priorities including their district, principal, and other parents. At General Academic you and your student are our only priority. We provide you with honest, third party advice that is tailored just for you and your child.

Andy Peters leads our College Counseling services. He holds a Masters in Education from the University of Michigan and a Certificate in College Access Counseling from Rice University.

Why Choose General Academic for High School & College Counseling

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