Frequently Asked Questions

What do you DO?

Arete Academic Solutions is a full service educational consulting company that helps students, ages 14-24, make a broad range of educational decisions.  We help all students!  With our assistance, students have gained acceptance to McGill, Oxford and Ivey School of Business, but equally as important, they have also gained admission to their dream colleges, professional, culinary and trade schools.  We welcome all students and their families.  Our main areas of expertise include:  adolescent career counselling, post-secondary advising (including Canada, the US and the UK), and educational support services (course selection) We also assist student athletes and complete Educational Assessments.

My child has no idea what he/she wants to do – do you help with that?

Yes, we offer a broad range of personality, interest and career surveys.  These tools help students explore: who they are, what careers/occupations are right for them, what they want to study, and what school environment is the best fit.

What is a good age to bring my child in for an appointment?

For most students, we recommend they begin the exploratory process in the middle of grade 8.  This allows them to do some pre-thinking before they have to pick their school courses for high school.  This also is the time many students start wondering about life after high school.   If your student is interested in attending a US institution, we recommend they schedule an initial session as early as possible. The US preparation and application process and scholarship process for University/College starts far earlier than the Canadian process.

How many times will you need to see my child?

This is one of the most asked questions and also the most difficult to answer.  The number of sessions is dependent on a student’s goals.  Career and interest counselling usually requires two to three sessions.  Creating a list of Canadian universities based on interest usually takes two sessions.  As a general rule, we encourage grade 12 students to have an appointment each month in grade 12 to ensure the process is handled in a timely and efficient manner.

When should we book appointments?

Please note there can be a waiting list for an initial appointment.  We advise you to please e-mail us immediately when you are considering our services.  Please don’t wait to the point of crisis (the night before a deadline) to call for an initial appointment.


What is covered in the initial session?

The initial session serves as an introduction and discovery session.  The objectives include:  introductions, background gathering, boundary and value setting, establishing student objectives/goals, and the beginning steps in creating an action plan.  Each initial session has a basic structure to it but also is customized to the client’s individual needs. We want to be sure that each student leaves with an individualized action plan of next steps.  Please also advise us of any specific topics you would like covered, when you e-mail to make an appointment.

How long is the first session?

We prefer the first session to be an hour long.  We find this the most appropriate amount of time to complete the above tasks.

What should we bring to the first session?

A copy of the student’s most recent report card is a good place to start.  We also love to see resumes and activities profiles to help showcase all dimensions of a student.  Also, feel free to email any background information you feel is important for us to review before the session (eg. IEP, Psycho-educational assessment, etc).  If a student is interested in US institutions, it is most helpful to bring along their full academic record beginning with grade 9.

Should the parent (parents) attend the first session?

This is a family decision.  We encourage parents to attend the first session, as this is where boundaries and values are set.  We also realize that some students want to handle this process on their own and that tensions can run high in families with adolescents.  No matter what you decide as a family, we value communication.  Parents are always welcome to communicate with us via e-mail.

How does payment work?

We require full payment prior to each individual session.  We accept Visa, MasterCard, cheques or cash.  Please note that Arete Academic Solutions has a strict 48-hour cancellation policy for all sessions, and that any session cancelled fewer than 48 business hours in advance with be assessed the full cost of the session.


Do you help students with learning challenges?

Absolutely, we do.  We have had great success placing students with learning challenges in appropriate educational institutions.  We look at this as a team-based process and are happy to work in conjunction with your student’s existing advocacy team.  We also help many students whose families are frustrated by a lack of resources for their student’s individual learning challenges.  Please send your student’s IEP and Psycho-educational assessment to us before your first appointment.  We also assist students with supplementary individual and group services to support their needs; including goal setting, study skills, exam prep and essay writing group sessions.  We encourage students to continue with their recommended accommodations while attending post-secondary institutions and guide them toward the appropriate organizations on campus.

My student doesn’t have straight A’s, do you help non-Honour Roll students?

Absolutely, we do.  Even though the media has highlighted how difficult it is to get in to university these days, not all places are ultra-competitive.  Many institutions are accessible and appropriate for students with lower than Honour averages.  Also, many colleges just require high-school graduation to attend.  We also help students assess their motivation, study skills and executive functioning in order to be sure they know how to “work smart” and make the most of their study time in order to build a solid foundation for post-secondary study.

Do you meet with students who have graduated from high school or currently attend post-secondary institutions?

Absolutely, we do.  We recognize that every student has his/her own timeline.  We are happy to meet with individuals under the age of 24 in order to help them assess their career and educational options and paths.  In fact, a solid portion of our client base has already left the high-school environment before their initial appointment.  Our services can be very valuable both for students not in a formal environment, but considering it, and those already enrolled at a post-secondary school but lacking concrete direction.

If my child is not looking at traditional universities, is this service a good fit?

Absolutely, it is.  Over the years, we have helped students in many different areas, beyond the scope of a traditional university.  Arete Academic Solutions has placed students in trade, professional and special interest schools all over the Canada and the world.


What other services do you offer?

For grade 12 students, we offer support for the application process by holding Application and Writing workshops during the fall/winter – to assist with completing applications and their required supplements (the pesky writing requirements).

Do you help with university applications?

Absolutely, we do.  Application season (October-February) is very busy at Arete.  We offer a variety of services to support our students through the post-secondary application process.  Many universities require extensive application supplements, which include activities profiles and essays.  We guide students through the specific writing requirements in both individual and group formats.  We have specific admission and educational writing experience and training.

What about help with US university applications?

The US application process is extensive, exhausting, and intimidating.  We help our students break the overwhelming process into small, manageable steps.  We help with all aspects of the US application; from the pieces of the Common Application to the University of California Personal Statements.  We believe the most successful applications are authentic, themed, and succinct.  We help our students create a quality, dimensional application.

Do you do interview prep? 

Yes, we do interview prep.  Arete Academic Solutions has worked with a network of alumni to understand the purpose and perspective of the admissions interview.  We help students prepare for their big interview day through self-reflection, practice, and coaching.  We are happy to assist with US, UK medical/law, and graduate school interviews.

Following is a selection of institutions that Arete Academic Solutions advisors have supported students for acceptances into:

Canadian Universities and Colleges:

  • University of Western Ontario
  • Richard Ivey School of Business
  • Queens University
  • Ryerson University
  • University of Toronto
  • York University
  • Laurentian University
  • Carlton University
  • University of Ottawa
  • Wilfred Laurier University
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Victoria
  • St. F.X.
  • Dalhousie University
  • Acadia University
  • Mount Allison University
  • McGill University
  • Dartmouth University

American Universities and Colleges:

Amherst University of Colorado – Boulder, Colgate, Dartmouth, University of Denver, Fordham, Middlebury, Pepperdine, Texas

UK Universities and Colleges:
 Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, King’s College London, Limerick University, Warwick