College Admission Success Stories

“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


Christel “Suzi joins me in thanking you for the outstanding job you did on behalf of our daughter, Emily. Our family was a bit behind the curve with respect to college admissions planning when we called you in September. Your thoughtful and wise recommendations helped us immensely. Your materials and outlines were terrific and the one-on-one time you spent with Emily was invaluable. As a result of your fine work, Emily was able to present strong applications to some fine universities. I am pleased and proud to tell you that she has been accepted to Elon University, James Madison University, University of South Carolina, University of Virginia, and Wake Forest! She will now be in the enviable position of actually being able to choose between these fine colleges. Our family is forever grateful for your hard work and efforts on Emily’s behalf!”

Craig Via, Parent
James River High School


“Dear Mrs. Milak-Parker: I would like to tell you how grateful I am for your help these past 24 months. You have made the college process much more understandable and I could not be more satisfied with the outcome. Knowing you and having you there for help has really been a blessing for my family”

Collegiate School


“Dear Christel: I just wanted to thank you for everything. None of this would have been possible without you. Last night was one of the happiest moments of my life. You made my dream possible. I cannot thank you enough.”

Alex McClanahan, Student
James Monroe High School, Fredericksburg, VA

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. There are some people you meet who have a huge positive impact on one’s life, and yet often they don’t realize it. You have made such an impact on my son. I can’t begin to thank you. . I just can’t believe that I just found you on the internet one day and thought that it might be a good idea to call you. That must be my guardian angel.”

Irene Utlee, Parent
James Monroe High School, Fredericksburg, VA


“When we started the college search and application process for our son, we were overwhelmed with the complexity of the entire project. After just two comprehensive meetings with Christel, we were able to focus on a clear plan, with scheduled steps and checkpoints. She helped our son shorten his list of schools to those that best embodied his aspirations. And she provided expert guidance that inspired our son to write more effective, personal essays. In addition, Christel contacted college admission staff directly to provide us and our son with ideas to tailor applications to his major interest. We couldn’t have been more pleased with her involvement.”

Douglas O. Zeigler, Parent
Douglas Freeman High School


“I am the parent of a high school senior at Midlothian High School. The fall of senior year is an extremely busy time with college applications and graduation plans. For my family, it was even more stressful than usual because of an aging grandparent�s needs. I didn�t see how I could possibly guide my son through the college application process with all the demands that were placed upon me by my mother�s illness. I called College Connections for help, and it was the best money ever spent.

The first consult helped tremendously by breaking down the application process into a series of steps. My son now knew what he should do first and why. Christel first guided him through the creation of a college resume. After that, he spent each week writing a college essay which she would edit, suggesting areas of improvement. Finally, she supervised the completion of the actual college application on-line.

I am happy to report that he was accepted into two colleges, and we are waiting to hear from the third. Christel is extremely knowledgeable about the various requirements of the different schools. Her knowledge and experience were invaluable to us at a very difficult time.”

Linda Smith, Parent
Midlothian High School


“Christel Milak-Parker of College Connections takes the burden off the parents in applying to colleges. She helps the student select his essays and then in a decisive but nurturing way makes suggestions and editorial comments. Knowing when the applications are due, Ms. Milak-Parker schedules her visits so that the student is prepared ahead of schedule. I didn’t have to nag my children about completing their applications. They had them done well in advance of the deadlines. Ms. Milak-Parker’s attentiveness helped us avoid what could have become an adversarial experience. I highly recommend her to any family who is preparing their child for college. “

Linda Chenoweth, Parent
Trinity Episcopal School and James River High School


“Christel helped me so much through the college application process that, looking back on it, without her help, I doubt that I could have completed my applications as successfully as I did. On every essay, I sent my drafts to Christel for editing, and she would always have a better choice of words for certain phrases, which would aid me so much, because my essays, with her corrections inserted, would always then flow better and say what I wanted them to say without being confusing. I called her house frequently for advice on what I should change in my essays, and she would always have an innovative approach that I hadn’t thought about yet. She also called the universities that I applied with questions about what was needed on certain parts of the application, which was such a relief, because I didn’t have time during the day to call all of the schools for every question I had, but Christel did.

As a senior in high school, I already had such a ridiculously busy schedule that I didn’t need the extra pressure of calling schools and re-editing my essays. Christel’s assistance saved me hours of time on each college application; she helped me strategize essays and other components of the applications so I could use them for numerous schools versus creating new materials when it was unnecessary. By reviewing my application materials with a critical eye and providing me with time saving techniques, Christel took so much pressure off my shoulders.”

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School

“College Connections took the burden for the college application process and placed it squarely on the shoulders of our daughter – where it rightfully belonged, although many parents want to assume this task. We knew that with College Connections working in concert with our daughter all filing deadlines would be met and the monkey would not be on our backs. Our experience was great – College Connections, working in a team effort with our daughter, shielded us from the “deadlines” and numerous revisions. I don’t mean to imply that we weren’t involved, but our involvement was as we desired throughout the process and for final review. We knew that with College Connections working with our daughter, not only would the deadlines be met, but also a critical eye had reviewed and provided guidance on the essays where necessary – a task that our children often think we don’t know anything about.”

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School


“We used College Connections to help my daughter with all facets of applying to and choosing the right college for her. Christel helped her explore the right colleges to apply to given her interests and grades and test scores. Then she helped with essays and follow up. We now plan to use her advice to help Ruth with her final decision. What made this so wonderful is the fact that the whole application process was my daughter’s responsibility and did not create any friction in our relationship. She has felt empowered and in charge of her destiny which is worth its weight in gold.”

Mary Ruth Burton Parent
Douglas Freeman


“I was very fortunate to work with Christel Parker on my college applications. It is a very intimidating process, and she helped me to prioritize where I wanted to go and what I needed to do to get there. Having her give me pointers on essays pushed me to get the essays done early. Otherwise, I would have probably procrastinated until school started when I was busy with activities and AP classes at James River High School. I was so excited to find out early that I have been accepted to UVA. Thanks, Mrs. Parker!”

James River High School

“We were thrilled to have Christel work with our daughter. Teenagers and parents don’t always agree, and it was great to have an independent third party who had actual data to help us plan. I wish I had known about her when my son was applying for colleges–it would have been much easier!�Christel began working with Chandler in the summer, particularly on the essays. Starting early enabled Chandler to avoid the crunch of having to write essays during the busy senior year and to apply by early decision to UVA. Even better, Christel’s guidance with the essays was helpful in Chandler’s being accepted by early decision!”

Chandler’s Parents


“When a friend of mine gave me Christel’s brochure, I initially thought, ‘Why would my son need a college coach? He’s a bright, motivated boy with a great resume and SAT scores.’ As we began the process, we soon realized how complicated the process is, in spite of using the Common Application. Christel’s expertise was invaluable, especially since our high school counselors are responsible for hundreds of students and do not have the luxury of giving significant amounts of individualized advice and direction. We soon realized that the application process is a many-fold task. It’s not as simple as sitting down for a weekend and ‘punching’ out the essays and the applications. We came to depend on Christel for proofing the essays and giving advice that our son would hear from her and not his parents. He felt comfortable enough with Christel to call on her whenever he had a question or wanted a meeting to discuss a certain issue. I have since recommended Christel to many friends and acquaintances. Those who have used her services have been more than pleased and have gone on to recommend her to other people.”

Anne Moseley Parent of Student
Freeman High School Leadership Program


“Christel Milak-Parker was not only able to help me find a college that suited me best but she also saved me thousands of dollars. Before I received her help, I was only applying to out-of-state colleges; at her encouragement, I went to look at a small in-state public university that I had previously not heard of, Christopher Newport University. She encouraged me to apply and I followed her advice. I have now just graduated from CNU and I have to say that Christel’s advice was invaluable to me. She prevented me from wasting thousands of dollars in out-of-state tuition and she found a school that suited me. I would recommend Christel’s services to all high school juniors and seniors.”

Emily Scarborough
Midlothian High School and Christopher Newport University