College Application Planning, Essay Help, and More

College Connections is a college consulting firm based in Richmond, VA. A college application is a process, not just a senior project. We help students create a complete college application package, so that they may best represent themselves.

Comprehensive College Planning to Minimize Stress in the College Application Process

College Connections is a college consulting firm based in Richmond, VA. We work with students and their parents to survive the college application process.  We do this by providing a step-by-step plan that takes the burden of the college application process off the parents.  Your resulting college application package will emphasize your student’s strengths, making him/her look as competitive as possible on paper.

If you would like to replace college application stress with  admissions success, contact College Connections

Read about and apply for our summer seminar for rising juniors and seniors . Also, College Connections will offer a summer workshop on “Life and Study Skills For College Success” please download a registration form here.

College Connections is a participant in the Richmond Area’s College Counseling Package.  The College Counseling Package is a proactive, comprehensive approach to college planning.

Please contact us for more details or pricing information for any of our services.


College Connections offers guidance and services for the following:

College & Scholarship Essays

For many larger and/or public universities, the college essay takes the place of an interview. An effective college essay will give the admissions committee deeper insight as to who you are; therefore, the topic of your college essay is you. Some college applications ask for up to three essays, while others require one or none. College essays are usually the most time consuming part of the college application process. It is important to allow time for revising your college essays.

Curriculum Evaluation

Curriculum evaluation involves looking at the classes you are currently taking and determining if the strength of your curriculum matches the colleges and college major you are considering. Curriculum evaluation should be an ongoing process throughout high school. Are you challenging yourself in your academic strengths by taking higher level courses? Are your grades being compromised by higher level courses in subjects that are more difficult for you? Answering these questions is part of curriculum evaluation.

Advising for Athletes, Artists, Musicians, and Performers

Advising for Athletes, Artists, Musicians, and Performers

If you have a special talent to bring to the college application process, you can be admitted based on your special abilities, or you may be admitted based on both academics and your abilities. Depending on the school you are applying to, merit money could also be available for you based on your talent and/or academics. The ideal situation is to have strength in both areas. Your athletic performance, audition or portfolio could greatly affect an admissions decision as well as the tuition you pay at the colleges where you apply.


College applications can vary considerably in terms of their length and complexity. The most desirable method of submitting a college application is online. As a college applicant, your goal is to submit a college application that emphasizes your strengths and makes you appear as competitive as possible on paper. It is important to submit your college application materials meeting all deadlines. A missed deadline could prevent you from being admitted, even if you are a strong applicant.

Organizational Techniques

The college application process can result in a maze of paperwork. College Connections can create documents which help students track their application materials. We can also create personalized spreadsheets so important deadlines are not overlooked.

A Note from the Founder

I started my college consulting service, College Connections, in June of 2000. As a college consultant, I can help college bound high school students with the entire college application process. Some of my clients require assistance in all areas of the college application process, while others require only one or two of my college consulting services. My services are customized to my clients’ needs.

As a college consultant, my goal is not to replace the services provided by high school counselors or career centers but to supplement them. My role is similar to that of a private subject tutor. I encourage and advise my clients as to how they can benefit from the services that are available to them in their schools. However, not everyone can access these services due to their own schedules and commitments. College Connections provides highly specialized services to meet individual schedules and needs.

— Christel Milak-Parker, College Connections founder —


I have shared clients with Christel Milak-Parker of College Connections and found her to be very professional and thorough in her approach to the college application process. College Connections is a wonderful complement to the work of school guidance counselors. I recommend her highly to those who would like to structure their college application process to make the process proceed as smoothly as possible. As the owner of an SAT Preparation Service (e-mail for a schedule of classes) I have had many opportunities to see College Connections at work.”

Carolyn Scaniello, M.Ed.


“We met with the counselor on Friday at school, and if I haven’t said this enough already, please know how grateful I am that you were willing to work with my daughters. Its never been clearer that we would have fumbled badly without you. With our difficulties this past year, I honestly don’t see how we would have accomplished any of this! Its really been a blessing.”

Jeff Gumenick, Parent
St. Catherine’s School

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