Free Seminar at Greenwich Library: “College Calmly: Navigating The College Process Without Driving Yourself Crazy”

On Sunday, October 23rd independent college counselor, Jennifer Burstiner, and The Critical Reader’s ACT/SAT tutor, Valerie Erde, will present a free seminar on the college process: College Calmly:  Navigating the College Process Without Driving Yourself Crazy.  This two-hour seminar will be held Sunday, October 23rd, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Greenwich Public Library’s 2nd floor meeting room.

While it will be geared primarily toward parents of high school sophomores and juniors, all are welcome, including students.  There will be an opportunity for Q&A at the end.  Refreshments will be served.

Having worked with many parents and students over the years, Ms. Burstiner and Ms. Erde developed this talk because they wanted parents and students to know that the college process doesn’t have to be as crazy and stressful as people think.  Approached with the right mindset and planning, the process can be an exciting and rewarding time of growth, bonding, and learning for families.

Ms. Burstiner tells families that “when you break the process down into manageable steps, do your research well in advance, and stay organized, you can get through this time in a much calmer way.”  Since one of the first exposures students often have to the college process is through taking an ACT or SAT, Ms. Erde adds that “you can immediately alleviate a lot of stress by becoming familiar with these tests and making the ACT vs. SAT decision early on.”

During this talk, Ms. Burstiner and Ms. Erde will touch on a variety of topics including: setting academic and extra-curricular goals throughout high school, researching colleges to find a good fit, demonstrating interest, and preparing for the ACT/SAT and subject tests.


Jennifer Burstiner. Contributed photo

Jennifer Burstiner has been active in the field of college admissions since 1994 and has advised hundreds of students on the college process as both a certified high school guidance counselor in Long Island, New York and currently as an independent college consultant in Greenwich.

A Greenwich High School alumna, Ms. Burstiner, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hamilton College (for which she also serves as an alumni interviewer), and a master’s degree in counseling psychology and guidance, from New York University.

Ms. Burstiner is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) and Higher Education Consultants Association(HECA), and was trained at the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions.

Jennifer works with students and their families starting at any point in the college process.


Valerie Erde. Contributed photo

Valerie Erde has spent the past eight years working in K-12 education, including as managing editor of content development for AP course digital review guides with Brainscape, an educational technology company.  She is currently director for the Greenwich office of New York City’s The Critical Reader – a highly acclaimed boutique ACT/SAT tutoring company founded by best-selling ACT/SAT author and longtime tutor, Erica Meltzer.

Trained personally by Ms. Meltzer, Ms. Erde loves helping students all over the country and the world prepare for and improve on the ACT, SAT, and SAT II English tests.  In addition to ACT/SAT prep, Ms. Erde offers college essay coaching, and in collaboration with former Yale and NYU admissions staff, she has organized panels about the college process for high school musicians.  Ms. Erde has a dual degree in Political Science and French from NYU (for whom she is also an alumni interviewer) and has an M.B.A. In international marketing.

There is an EventBrite sign up for the free workshop:


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