We know the college process can feel overwhelming for students and families. We are here to make it manageable, understandable, and less stressful. Since we want our students to have good choices when it comes to college, we believe in the importance of a balanced college list. We do not get students into college.
True Fit College Counseling is based in Redmond, Washington. We primarily work with students applying to US colleges who attend public high schools. Working remotely means that we are not restricted by where a student lives. In addition to working with high school students applying for undergraduate programs, we also work with students applying to specific programs or majors, transfer students, and students applying to graduate school (MCAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT).
True Fit College Counseling believes finding the right college for a student is more important than college rankings. About 30% of college freshmen don’t return to the same college for sophomore year and the biggest reason is a lack of fit. While input from parents and other professionals is important, it is crucial that students take control of the college application process to understand why they are selecting a college.
Students need to own the process because it is ultimately their journey – no one else’s. We are here to guide, motivate, and sometimes nag students, but we also understand and encourage students’ independence in this process. Since we want our students to have plenty of education and career choices, we believe strongly in a balanced college list. We are not the right counselors for families who only want their children to apply to the most selective colleges.
About Mary Pat O'Neil
I started True Fit College Counseling when my youngest child was getting ready to go off to college. After 17 wonderful years of being at home and volunteering at school and church, I decided to become a college counselor because of my love of working with teenagers and helping people.
I completed UCLA's Certificate in College Counseling (awarded with distinction). I enjoy working with the students because every student is different. I do not have a "one size fits all" approach to college counseling. Everyone's path is unique. Teenagers (and parents) feel a lot of anxiety about the college process; my goal is to alleviate that anxiety and stress of the college application process. Keep in mind that 80% of colleges in the United States accept at least 50% of applicants.
It bothers me to see the enormous amount of inequality in education. I volunteer my services at the Lake Washington Schools Foundation and developed the Find Your Fit program. These free workshops educate parents and students on the college application process.
Before motherhood, I worked in the investment brokerage industry for 13 years where I obtained my Series 7 and insurance licenses. I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Detroit-Mercy. I am honored to have been awarded the Silver Wolf award from the Eastlake PTSA and the Golden Acorn award from the Alcott PTSA. I am a member of NACAC and PNACAC.
We moved to Seattle in 1999. I live in Redmond with my husband Tim and our dogs. We are the proud parents of a daughter and son; we are now empty nesters.
About Jensen Woods
Like many students, I felt the pressure and anxiety of applying to and attending a “good” college when I started the application process. But when I started looking at colleges, I had no idea what I wanted or what to major in. I took on the process by myself which caused a lot more confusion and stress than was necessary. I attended Colorado State University (undeclared!) which turned out to be the perfect fit for me. I met amazing people, had wonderful co-curricular and work experiences, and ended up earning a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies, a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary liberal arts, and minors in ethnic studies and business administration.
I graduated from Oregon State University with a Master of Science in College Student Services Administration and a specialization in cultural dimensions of organizations. I love working with students to foster their development as individuals. I understand how stressful the application process can be for students and families and it's important to me to help alleviate that stress in any way I can. I utilize theories in student development, counseling strategies, and a broad understanding of American higher education to support students throughout their application process. I also pull from my own experiences as an advisor to students to help students and parents understand that there is no “right” way to success – everyone has their own path.
I strongly believe education is a human right, not a privilege. My experiences in higher education have taught me the great power education has to improve the lives of individuals, communities, and society at large. Unfortunately, I have also learned how exclusive and oppressive American higher education has been and still is. I am passionate about making higher education more inclusive and accessible to all people, as well as supporting students in their individual journeys to and through higher education.