The name “Ducerus” comes from the Latin word ducere which means “to lead.” Ducerus is made up of a collective of college planning offices that are located throughout the United States and offer help with college preparation, financial aid, ACT Prep and SAT Prep for families that want to ensure a college education for their children without undue financial strain.

We offer several programs that are designed to meet various needs for hopeful college students and their families.

Click on a tab below to see a breakdown of what we do for our families:

 

Analysis

Our Analysis Service helps families find comprehensive, proven answers to what is often the most difficult question in college planning: how will I pay for this? The first step in answering that question is knowing what a family has to work with and what makes their financial situation unique.

As a Ducerus client, you are assigned a professional college planning advisor who will analyze your family’s financial data in the following ways:

  • Calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using Federal and Institutional Methodology
  • Detailed Awards Analysis for each School that admits yours student
  • Out-of-Pocket Expense Analysis

 We will ensure that every angle of your financial situation has been carefully analyzed so that your financial aid is maximized and your out-of-pocket expenses are minimized. Our goal in college planning is simple: leave you in better financial condition than when we found you. 

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you with financial analysis in college planning, explore our Programs section, especially the Analysis & Planning Program.

 

Planning

When you enlist our help in planning your financial strategy for college, you will receive the highest quality service. Besides offering the extensive services described on our Analysis page, your assigned college planning advisor will craft a winning plan that will include:

  • Help with Choosing Schools More Likely to Award Gift Aid (grants and scholarships)
  • Exploration of various Tax Scholarship Strategies, Asset Positioning Techniques, and Individualized Borrowing Strategies that could save thousands of dollars
  • Flexible College Plan Able to Adjust to Any Surprise

The goal of our Planning service is to establish a complete game plan for each academic year in which your student will be enrolled in college. We are with you every step of the way throughout your student’s college career.

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you with financial planning for college, explore our Programs section, especially the Analysis & Planning Program.

Financial Aid

Every year, billions of dollars in merit-based and need-based aid are available to assist students in affording college. In order to receive these funds, however, families must complete all paperwork accurately and on time. In our Financial Aid Program, your assigned Ducerus advisor will keep track of application deadlines for the schools in your student’s list and will assist with every financial aid form, including but not limited to:

  • FAFSA
  • CSS/Financial Aid Profile
  • Institutional Forms
  • Verification Forms

It is important to understand the financial aid process and know how to navigate the complicated rules and regulations that govern "free" money for college. And, frankly, many of these document requirements are lengthier and more complicated than federal tax forms!

We will help you complete every piece of this complicated puzzle with accuracy and timeliness in a way that greatly reduces the stress and hassle of the process.

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you with financial aid process for college, explore our Programs section, especially the Financial Aid Program.

Awards

A critical phase of any financial aid application is often what happens after the school offers the award. With our comprehensive financial aid program, your assigned advisor will evaluate your student’s financial aid award from each school and walk you through crucial steps that often result in more aid:

  • Confirmed Accuracy of the SAR with Help Making Any Updates and Adjustments
  • Comparison of your student’s Financial Aid Packages with the Historic Percentages of Aid given by each School
  • Evaluation of Every Award’s Fairness
  • Guidance Through the Appeals Process if Award is Not Fair (eight out of 10 of our guided appeals are rewarded more aid!). Sample appeal letters are available.

We pride ourselves in going the extra mile and exploring every possible option to maximize a financial aid award for a student. 

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you with financial aid award analysis, explore our Programs section, especially the Financial Aid Program.

Your Share

Creating a college plan that is affordable involves more than just maximizing a financial aid award. It also requires minimizing out-of-pocket expenses and maintaining smart money management throughout the duration of a student’s college career. In our Planning and Financial Aid Programs, we assist you with pinpointing every possible way to save money and minimize the financial burden of college, including but not limited to:

  • Out-of-Pocket Expense Analysis and Strategies for Managing those Costs Effectively
  • Guidance for Using Tax-favored Dollars to Pay Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Assistance with Unbiased Recommendations for Advantageous Parent and Student Loans (if necessary)

 Ducerus has a proven, highly refined method that will transform every step of your college planning journey. From the first day you begin searching for colleges to the finish line of graduation, we can guide your family through some of the most important years of a student’s life. 

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you plan for and minimize out-of-pocket college expenses, explore our Programs section, especially the Analysis & Planning and Financial Aid Program.

Careers

Have you developed a plan for identifying the careers that will be an excellent fit for your skills and personality? Do you have a proven strategy for researching career fields and the academic paths that lead into those fields?

If your answer is no, don’t be discouraged. Ducerus can help you find expert answers to all of the questions above. At Ducerus, our dream is to lead students to fruitful careers that bring both enjoyment and financial security. In our world-class Programs, Ducerus uses state-of-the-art career assessment software, expert counseling, and a proven method used since 1993 to achieve this dream for our clients.

It begins with an in-depth assessment of your interests and abilities. This assessment is then matched with compatible careers.

As our experts guide you through a carefully refined research process, we will help you analyze every aspect, including (but not limited to) the following central components:

  • The summary of what you’ll be doing in a job
  • A detailed, realistic analysis of the job conditions
  • How many new jobs there are in that field annually
  • How much each career pays

In addition, we not only tell you about the careers, we explain why they were matched with you using the most advanced assessment techniques and technology.

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you find the right career path, explore our Programs section, especially the Admissions Program.

 

Majors

One of the quickest ways to waste your hard-earned money that you have saved for college is to pick a major without doing your homework. 

And that means researching careers first. 

As described on our Careers section, Ducerus is the leader in career counseling for college planning. We use state-of-the-art, proven methods to get the best results for you. 

And once you’ve worked with us to create a carefully refined list of careers that are compatible with your personality and skills, we take the next step. We match those careers with the college majors that lead into those careers, and then our experts guide you through each major, making sure to ask the right questions: What’s the major’s purpose? What classes will you be taking in this field? To which occupations does the major open the door? How does it prepare you for those occupations? 

Ducerus will help you ask all of the right questions, and we will lead you to the right answers. 

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you select the right college major, explore our Programs section, especially the Admissions Program.

 

Colleges

At Ducerus, we position students to gain admission to their best-match colleges so that they can achieve a prosperous future, inspiring professional accomplishments, and personal success. 

We do this by beginning at the right places.

First, our experts assess the skills and personality of each student to match them with compatible careers that will bring both personal fulfillment and a comfortable living, as explained on our Careers section. 

Second, we guide students through an in-depth analysis of college majors until we have identified the correct majors that align with the careers, as explained on our Majors section. 

The next step in our process is crucial: we identify colleges that match the compatible majors and careers selected in the previous steps. We also make sure that you get away from your computer and experience the real-life campuses of a variety of schools until you develop a sense of what kind of college environments you like. 

But that’s only the beginning. 

We also assist you with evaluating each school. We coach you on when and how to visit each school, what to ask during your meetings with admission counselors, and what qualities to look for in a school. 

And these qualities that you look for are not generalized, one-size-fits-all attributes. Because we’ve already helped you research compatible careers and majors, you will have a crystal clear understanding of the specific criteria that a school must have. 

In other words, you will evaluate the school from a position of well-informed strength, not weakness. 

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you find the right college, explore our Programs section, especially the Admissions Program.

 

Positioning

Selecting the right career path -- including the appropriate majors and the best-match schools -- is the first major hurdle in college planning; and Ducerus can help you triumph through those initial steps, as explained in our Careers, Majors, and Colleges sections. 

But once you have cleared that hurdle and you have a solid list of schools, you must position yourself well if you ever hope to get into those colleges. At Ducerus, we work hard to get you ahead in the race, by: 

  • Guiding you through every stage of the admissions process
  • Providing comprehensive coaching for successful admissions interviews
  • Convenient web-based SAT, ACT, and PSAT* prep courses that will fit into your busy schedule. These software-based courses are educational, fun, and they guarantee results; and our team is at your student’s side every step of the way to coach them.
  • Close assistance with obtaining your letters of recommendation and completing your brag sheet, making sure everything is relevant and of the highest quality
  • Counseling you with pursuing and landing valuable internships that will position you for success on your college application

To learn more about how Ducerus can help position you for gaining admission to your colleges of choice, explore our Programs sections, especially the Admissions Program. 

* Note: for PSAT, you must take the test in 11th grade to qualify for scholarships and programs associated with the National Merit Scholarship.

Essay

If you need help with admissions essays, our professional essay editors will proofread your essays and help you improve grammar, content, spelling, and style. Editors will also offer guidance on how you can make the essay compelling, unique, and authentic -- qualities that will make your essay stand out! You will learn to effectively present your best qualities while preserving your unique voice and avoiding the clichés that alienate the reader and drive admission counselors crazy. 

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you write a fantastic college application essay, explore our Programs section, especially the Admissions Program.

Applications

Applying to college is a stressful process for most families. There are many deadlines to meet, essays to write, and forms to complete. We at Ducerus have made it our mission to help families overcome these confusion and challenges and to guide students through the college application jungle. 

You might say that we succeed because we take our clients through a carefully monitored college application boot camp:

  • We walk students through every detail of completing the college application with thorough, easy-to-follow instruction
  • Our college planning timeline structures the entire journey
  • We explain the confusing differences in the timing of applications -- i.e. Early Decision, Early Action, etc.

And although the idea of a boot camp might sound exhausting, our approach achieves the opposite effect: you are ahead of schedule, which means you are never scrambling at the last minute, and when Thanksgiving Break and other holidays come, you can actually rest and enjoy the feeling of being ahead of the game.

To learn more about how Ducerus can help you thrive in the college application process, explore our Programs section, especially the Admissions Program. 

 

Your Total College Solution

Your Total College Solution is our most popular program. A professional college planning advisor will be assigned to you, and you will have access to a team of financial aid, student services, and client services experts for your student’s entire college journey. This comprehensive plan will help your student gain admission to their top choice colleges and help your family afford the cost of school. Your college planning advisor will calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using both federal and institutional methodologies and, after reviewing all of your financial data, we will craft a customized financial aid and cost reducing strategy for your student’s college journey.

Through this program, your student will learn what qualities are desirable in a college and how to complete exceptional, stand-out college applications, essays, and interviews. Your financial aid expert will tackle all financial aid document requirements for you including, but not limited to, the FAFSA*, CSS/Financial Aid Profile, and any other applicable institutional forms. Our team will also evaluate your student’s award every year (not just the first year!), and we will guide you closely through the appeals process as needed. Throughout the entire college journey, we will be there to answer any questions. Through our proprietary college planning timeline, our constant email and phone support, and our many other excellent tools provided to your family, we will deliver consistent direction and support for every stage of your student’s college planning adventure.

* The FAFSA is a free government application completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov

Highlights

Your Total College Solution includes three of our A La Carte Programs:

Analysis & Planning Program

  • Assigned a Professional College Planning Advisor who Analyzes your Educational Goals and your Current Plan for Paying for College
  • Calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using Federal and Institutional Methodology
  • Out-of-Pocket Expense Analysis and Strategies for Managing those Costs Effectively
  • Help with Choosing Schools More Likely to Award Gift Aid (grants and scholarships)
  • Guidance for Using Tax-favored Dollars to Pay Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Exploration of various Tax Scholarship Strategies, Asset Positioning Techniques, and Individualized Borrowing Strategies that could save thousands of dollars
  • Coordination of all Negotiations and Appeals with Schools (if needed)
  • Assistance in Unbiased Recommendations for Parent and Student Loans (if needed)
  • Complete Game Plan for Every Academic Year of College
  • A Committed Team that will offer Regular Consultations, Phone Conversations, Email Support, and Annual Reviews
  • Flexible College Plan Able to Adjust to Any Surprise
  • Comprehensive Orientation that includes Detailed Timeline for Process
  • World-class Care with Access to our Experts and Immediate E-mail and Phone Support
  • Assistance Executing All Recommendations We Make through the Planning Process

 Financial Aid Program

  • Expert Help with all Financial Aid Forms, Including All Federal, State, and School-Specific Forms (and this includes the FAFSA*, the CSS/Financial Aid Profile, needed Institutional forms and any verification documents)
  • Calculation of your Federal and Institutional Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Confirmed Accuracy of the SAR with Help Making Any Updates and Adjustments
  • Detailed Awards Analysis for each School that admits yours student
  • Comparison of your student’s Financial Aid Packages with the Historic Percentages of Aid given by each School
  • Evaluation of Every Award’s Fairness
  • Guidance Through the Appeals Process if Award is Not Fair (eight out of 10 of our guided appeals are rewarded more aid!)
  • Assistance with Unbiased Recommendations for Parent and Student Loans (if necessary)
  • Comprehensive Orientation that includes Detailed Timeline for Process
  • World-class Care with Access to our Experts and Immediate E-mail and Phone Support
  • Assistance Executing All Recommendations We Make through the Planning Process

 College Admissions Program

  • Comprehensive Help through Every Stage of Admissions
  • Guidance for the College Search Process
  • Assistance, using In-depth Research, in Choosing the Right Major and Career
  • Comprehensive Coaching for Successful Admissions Interviews
  • Insightful Instruction for Making the Most of Campus Visits
  • Detailed College Planning Timeline that Provides the Big Picture
  • Client-Only Assistance Through Every Step of the Timeline
  • Convenient Web-based SAT, ACT, and PSAT Prep Courses
  • Expert Service from our Professional Essay Editors with Thorough Proofing and Tips to Improve the Essay’s Content
  • Close Assistance with Letters of Recommendation and Brag Sheet Review
  • Help with Pursuing Valuable Internships that will Strengthen your College Application
  • Comprehensive Orientation that includes Detailed Timeline for Process
  • World-class Care with Access to our Experts and Immediate E-mail and Phone Support
  • Assistance Executing All Recommendations We Make through the Planning Process

 

Analysis & Planning

Does your family have a well-developed strategy to pay for college?

Are you worried about your student running out of financial resources before they graduate from college? Are you sacrificing your retirement reserves?

Even if you have had the great fortune of saving everything you need to afford college, you might still be missing out on thousands of dollars in college cost savings through tax capacity and EFC reduction strategies?

Our Analysis & Planning Program helps families find comprehensive, proven answers to these questions. As an Analysis & Planning Program client, you are assigned a professional college planning advisor who will analyze your family’s educational goals and your current plan for paying for college. Your advisor will point out ways that you can reduce out-of-pocket college expenses, which will include choosing schools that are more likely to award gift aid (grants and scholarships), using tax-favored dollars to pay out-of-pocket costs, exploring and maximizing all financial aid possibilities, and employing additional strategies that will be unique to your family. The goal of our Analysis & Planning Program is to establish a complete game plan for each academic year in which your student will be enrolled in college.

Once you meet with your advisor through a number of sessions, a comprehensive plan will be created. From that point forward, our committed team will be there to guide you with regular consultations, phone conversations, email support, and annual reviews. We will ensure that your college plan is flexible and able to adjust to any surprise that life throws at you. The biggest benefit, of course, will be the relief of knowing that the entire college journey is in good hands, regardless of which school your student attends.

Highlights of the Analysis & Planning Program

  • Assigned a Professional College Planning Advisor who Analyzes your Educational Goals and your Current Plan for Paying for College
  • Calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using Federal and Institutional Methodology
  • Out-of-Pocket Expense Analysis and Strategies for Managing those Costs Effectively
  • Help with Choosing Schools More Likely to Award Gift Aid (grants and scholarships)
  • Guidance for Using Tax-favored Dollars to Pay Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Exploration of various Tax Scholarship Strategies, Asset Positioning Techniques, and Individualized Borrowing Strategies that could save thousands of dollars
  • Coordination of all Negotiations and Appeals with Schools (if needed)
  • Assistance in Unbiased Recommendations for Parent and Student Loans (if needed)
  • Complete Game Plan for Every Academic Year of College
  • A Committed Team that will offer Regular Consultations, Phone Conversations, Email Support, and Annual Reviews
  • Flexible College Plan Able to Adjust to Any Surprise
  • Comprehensive Orientation that includes Detailed Timeline for Process
  • World-class Care with Access to our Experts and Immediate E-mail and Phone Support
  • Assistance Executing All Recommendations We Make through the Planning Process

 

Financial Aid

Billions of dollars in merit-based and need-based aid are available each year to assist students in affording college. However, in order to access this aid, students must submit required financial aid documents to schools on time and with accurate information. These requirements include (but are not limited to) the FAFSA*, CSS/Financial Aid Profile, Institutional Forms, Verification Forms and more. Many of these document requirements are lengthier and more complicated than federal tax forms!

If your family is only interested in our assistance with merit and need-based financial aid applications, our Financial Aid Program is for you. With each year, the federal government and state governments add new regulations and complications to the aid process. Our highly trained team of Financial Aid experts will eliminate the anxiety and hassle of this process for you.

Besides help with financial aid forms, our diligent specialists will compare your student’s financial aid packages to the historic percentages of aid given by each school. With this comparison, we can evaluate whether an award is fair or not, and if not, we will guide you through the appeals process. Our statistics are astonishing: eight out of 10 of our guided appeals are rewarded more aid!

As a final step, if borrowing money will play a role in your family’s funding plan, we will help you select education loan(s) or alternative borrowing strategies that makes the most sense for your unique circumstances.

Highlights of the Financial Aid Program

  • Expert Help with all Financial Aid Forms, Including All Federal, State, and School-Specific Forms (and this includes the FAFSA*, the CSS/Financial Aid Profile, needed Institutional forms and any verification documents)
  • Calculation of your Federal and Institutional Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Confirmed Accuracy of the SAR with Help Making Any Updates and Adjustments
  • Detailed Awards Analysis for each School that admits yours student
  • Comparison of your student’s Financial Aid Packages with the Historic Percentages of Aid given by each School
  • Evaluation of Every Award’s Fairness
  • Guidance Through the Appeals Process if Award is Not Fair (eight out of 10 of our guided appeals are rewarded more aid!)
  • Assistance with Unbiased Recommendations for Parent and Student Loans (if necessary)
  • Comprehensive Orientation that includes Detailed Timeline for Process
  • World-class Care with Access to our Experts and Immediate E-mail and Phone Support
  • Assistance Executing All Recommendations We Make through the Planning Process

* The FAFSA is a free government application completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov

 

Admissions

Applying to college is a stressful process for most families. If you do not need a comprehensive college plan or guidance through the financial aid process but would like admissions assistance, our College Admissions Program will give you and your student comprehensive help through every stage. There are many deadlines to meet, essays to write, and applications to complete. Our Student Services team will take you through everything from the college search process to admissions interviews coaching -- even how to make the most of your campus visits. Our thorough instruction, college planning timeline, and other client-only services will answer every question you have and help you achieve great success as you navigate the admissions process.

The College Admissions Program also features web-based SAT, ACT, and PSAT prep courses that will conveniently fit into the schedule of your student. These software-based courses are educational, fun, and they guarantee results; and our team is at your student’s side every step of the way to coach them. Most colleges and universities use SAT, ACT, and PSAT tests to determine merit-based financial aid: an excellent performance on these exams could save thousands of dollars in potential college costs for your family.

If your student needs help with admissions essays, our professional essay editors will proofread their essays and help improve grammar, content, spelling, and style. Editors will also offer guidance on how the student can make the essay compelling, unique, and authentic -- qualities that will make them stand out! They will learn to effectively present their best qualities while preserving their unique voice.

Highlights of the College Admissions Program

  • Comprehensive Help through Every Stage of Admissions
  • Guidance for the College Search Process
  • Assistance, using In-depth Research, in Choosing the Right Major and Career
  • Comprehensive Coaching for Successful Admissions Interviews
  • Insightful Instruction for Making the Most of Campus Visits
  • Detailed College Planning Timeline that Provides the Big Picture
  • Client-Only Assistance Through Every Step of the Timeline
  • Convenient Web-based SAT, ACT, and PSAT Prep Courses
  • Expert Service from our Professional Essay Editors with Thorough Proofing and Tips to Improve the Essay’s Content
  • Close Assistance with Letters of Recommendation and Brag Sheet Review
  • Help with Pursuing Valuable Internships that will Strengthen your College Application
  • Comprehensive Orientation that includes Detailed Timeline for Process
  • World-class Care with Access to our Experts and Immediate E-mail and Phone Support
  • Assistance Executing All Recommendations We Make through the Planning Process

 

Consulting

Ducerus offers comprehensive, world-class service in every area of college planning, but some families have a more independent approach or they have very specific needs that do not require comprehensive service packages.

If you are already equipped to handle the admissions process or the financial aid application process but you would simply like an expert to look over your work before you submit it, our Private Consulting Program offers you help. We can offer support for any and all college and financial planning to any degree you wish. We will ensure that you are handling your college applications, your financial aid submissions, and any other important documents properly.

Even if you only need our services in smaller tasks, our goal remains the same: to leave you in better shape than when we left you!