This is a recent Q & A with Knavigator’s founder, Namita Gupta that we thought you might find interesting and helpful.
QUESTION: Why do PARENTS reach out to Knavigators?
ANSWER: The short answer is that we help them find the best-fit colleges for students and then guide the student through the application process. As an intermediary, we alleviate the significant stress and anxiety that the college admission process puts on the parent/child relationship. We provide a full analysis of schools and their programs and deliver the real story about schools – far more than what you will find on the school’s website! Parents also like that we step in for the student as cheerleader, sounding board and that strong voice of accountability when deadlines need organized and met.
The college selection and admission process is vastly different now from what it was when the parents themselves were students. The process has become complicated and highly competitive. Most students and families can benefit from our assistance. We clarify their options and provide rich insight into the right college. Many students need more individualized attention than their high school counselor can give them. The college search, selection, and application process requires organization and a sound strategy – we help the student “own” that process from the beginning.
QUESTION: Why do PARENTS ultimately choose to work you?
ANSWER: Time and again it comes down to the personal attention we provide. We spend time learning about student and finding out what kind of institution would be best academically, socially, geographically and financially. It is so much more than finding an impressive school – it is about everything in balance, weighed against the cost of tuition and offset by aid and scholarship opportunities. We help with it all.
Parents also like that we provide an affordable service. While it is an investment in their child’s future, Knavigators is no-frills, no-nonsense, realistic and pragmatic in it’s approach. Working with these kids is my passion and I go above and beyond to see them succeed. I stay with them and won’t give up. Until the student has done things to the absolute best of their capability, I stay with them and keep on them to give it all they can.
We motivate kids for higher goals and expect for them to achieve MORE than what they initially believe is possible. Because I know how to evaluate colleges, I know how to stretch a student to become more than what they think they are, while matching them with schools that continue that stretch – without breaking them. My aim is that each student thrive and graduate from the school they entered as a Freshman.
QUESTION: What are your inherent strengths in working with PARENTS?
ANSWER: I understand parent’s point of view. I understand the demographics of the area and appreciate their values and expectations. I believe in the Goldilocks approach: Just right amount of needed support – not too much or not too little.
As we find the right balance, I am happy to consult by the hour. If limited amount of help is required or families are on a budget, Knavigators targets the area that will yield the most positive impact in the most cost-effective way. Maybe you just want us to help you develop a list or help on essays – you can do that on an hourly basis.
Clients can also hire Knavigators for school research and selection, complete application management and support – all in one comprehensive, all inclusive package
QUESTION: How much say does the STUDENT have in the choice to work with you?
ANSWER: On average, its 90% parents and 10% students. Initially it is the parent that leads the charge and once the student starts working with us and begins to see what is possible, our students start to lean in. The students really want expert guidance and feedback in crafting an exceptional essay and putting forth an application that truly reflects their “best self” – academically and personally. We tease all that out of them – as we do, our students take full ownership of the process. It is really exciting to see these changes.
QUESTION: Why do STUDENTS like to work with you?
ANSWER: It varies student to student. These are a few I hear regularly:
- Help students identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to assess what schools would be a good fit.
- Understand the need for the right balance between academic and social/community needs.
- Break the process down into phases to make goals more manageable.
- Understand how busy teens are and set-up realistic, achievable goals while simultaneously stretching what they believe is possible for themselves.
- Educate students on how their applications are evaluated and what they can do to highlight their assets and stand out in the field of applicants.
QUESTION: What are the conflicts that arise between parents and students during this time of life?
ANSWER: Differences of opinion often center around:
- School prestige
- Geographical location of school
- Major/area of study
- Expectation mismatch
- Organization & planning for deadlines
These are some of the frequent areas of disagreement between parents and students. Having a knowledgeable, outside source can remove much of the tension from student/parent relationship and decrease the anxiety of the student. As a result, the parents and students enjoy a more comfortable relationship and can begin to enjoy the process. They begin to see it as the great adventure it is.