support wherever you are in the planning process

Service Overview


Each family comes to the college planning process with their own unique perceptions about what the process will be like and their own goals. PEP offers a range of services to meet the diverse needs of families entering the college planning process at different stages of the game.


This package is designed to provide wrap around support beginning in the Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior years.   


For Freshmen and Sophomores, the emphasis is on establishing students’ trajectories towards their college goals. The focus is on pre-planning to include:  ongoing academic review, helping students become highly successful, recommending early intervention in case of academic struggle, summer program participation, and looking ahead to course sequencing throughout high school.  In the Junior year the emphasis shifts to developing a balanced list of great fit colleges and preparing to apply. In the summer between Junior and Senior year the real work of the applications and essays is accomplished to allow students to submit early in the Senior year to afford students the best opportunity.  PEP’s comprehensive support continues throughout the Senior year with academic review and analysis of offers from colleges as they arrive. 

Our comprehensive packages are designed to ease the burden of the process from search to submit and beyond!


This option for students in their Junior year focuses solely on developing a balanced list of great fit colleges. 


Your college list will be based on knowledge of who you are, what you value, and your concerns about college costs. This package does not include application support. 


The Senior Focus package is for students beginning the process a bit late. We will create a timeline and carefully prioritize remaining tasks. 


Let PEP reduce your stress and help you through the college selection and application process. This package is only offered on a space available basis for students beginning between June 1 and August 1 of the summer between their junior and senior year of high school.

Students working with PEP have access to our Custom College Plan software suite.  When students log into their account they are able to explore and research colleges across multiple platforms including  the Fiske Guide. They have up-to-date, detailed information on admissions requirements and deadlines for their applications.  PEP also offers the Achieveworks Suite of Assessments to all of our students, including Personality, Multiple Intelligence, Learning Style, and Skills assessments.  PEP’s custom platform allows students and their advisor to collaborate on and track the entire college research and application process together with confidence.

What People are Saying

Sharon was great to have in my corner as a parent.  She made appointments directly with my daughter and kept her on task kindly but firmly.  It truly gave me confidence my daughter was meeting deadlines without being too Involved. Not only did this “keep the peace” it was a good learning experience for my daughter to become responsible for her future!  Highly recommend!!

A Lexington KY Mom

Sharon began working with our son on his college plans when he was a freshman in high school.  She provided great advice on planning the right path through high school to help our son be well positioned to apply to colleges.  It was a relief to have Sharon manage this process. Our son was accepted to all the schools on his list, offered honors college admission, and received great scholarships as well!

Proud Metro DC Dad

Sharon’s knowledge of a large number of schools makes her an invaluable resource.  She devotes time to learning as much as possible to make recommendations compatible not only with the student’s grade point average and résumé but also her temperament and level of maturity.

Sharon was adept at putting everyone at ease while identifying universities and colleges that mapped to my granddaughter’s goals and capabilities.  She worked with her to prepare her for visits and interviews. Applications, including a draft of essays and a résumé, were the next milestone. The admissions process can be daunting – but Sherpa Sharon kept everyone focused and confident. Most important, Sharon demonstrates her genuine caring for the young people with whom she works. Long after Sharon’s fee was paid, she continued to check-in, encourage, and coach her.

I highly recommend Sharon Hanson, the consummate professional, whose work is inspired by the desire not only to help students select schools but to help them grow in the process.

D. McIlree  from Grasonville Maryland

    Working with Sharon was a seamless experience! I was impressed by how organized she kept my daughter from start to finish. The recruiting process was so much easier with Sharon looking through the lists of colleges attending tournaments, editing emails to coaches and coaching my daughter through phone calls with college coaches. The application process was a breeze (even the essay) with the guidance Sharon provided. In the end, it allowed our daughter to have every confidence in the process and with her final decision.

     Parent of an Annapolis Area Student

    Sharon worked extensively with my nephew during high school, helping him to plan his course selection, develop a list of colleges, and apply for highly competitive honors and scholarship programs.  He was ultimately offered more than a 50% scholarship to his top choice school and a place in their honors college.  It’s really hard to keep track of all of the various deadlines for college applications, but Sharon kept him on task.  Everything was completed ahead of deadlines and submitted early; what a relief!

    Proud Aunt of a Suburban MD Student

    Sharon was a great help to our daughter, especially at keeping her on track with all the many deadlines.  When my daughter decided to apply to summer college programs, she was very encouraging and assisted in ensuring all deadlines were met in that process as well. She was a great resource to us.

    Delighted Mom of an Annapolis Area Student

    A Few Words About Ethics

    The question of ethics in college admissions consulting was catapulted to the headlines by the now infamous Varsity Blues scandal. When you engage the services of an Independent Educational Consultant, you need to be sure you are working with a vetted professional who holds to the highest ethical standards. Afterall, you are trusting that individual to provide expert advice and guidance for your child’s educational future. Ethics and integrity matter.

    PEP adheres to the best practices and highest ethical standards as outlined by the IECA and NACAC professional organizations. I am a member of IECA and PCACAC, the local chapter of NACAC. I hope you will take the time to visit these pages to acquaint yourself with the ethical standards I hold.
    IECA Principles of Good PracticeNACAC Principals of Good Practice 2017



    It means I will not write any part of the application for the student and I will not write the student’s essays.  The student is the one applying to colleges, not me.


    But I will brainstorm, advise, encourage corrections to grammar and syntax, and guide the student in the preparation of all portions of the applications.


    It means I will not promise admission to any college; that decision rests with the college.


    But I will help the student develop a balanced list of colleges to apply to.


    It means that If the student is deferred, wait-listed, or rejected by a college, I will not call the college to “Fix it” on the student’s behalf.


    But I will advise the student as to actions he/she should consider taking in these instances.


    It means I will not accept payment from colleges for referring students to them. 


    But I will work for my students and their families and will offer objective, unbiased advice.

    Ultimately, my goal in working with students is not to help them get into any one particular college; it’s about finding and applying to colleges that are right for them. I do not believe there is only one best fit college for any student.  I believe there is a range of schools that can provide a great fit for each student and I look forward to helping you find the schools that will excite you and make you smile.


    Schedule a Free Consultation

    Finding the right fit in a consultant is crucial in your quest for the right college. PEP is happy to offer a complimentary consultation to answer your questions about planning and preparing for the biggest decision your teen will make before graduating from high school.

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    Schedule a Free Consultation

    Finding the right fit in a consultant is crucial in your quest for the right college. PEP is happy to offer a complimentary consultation to answer your questions about planning and preparing for the biggest decision your teen will make before graduating from high school.

    Questions? contact pep today!