Deidra Fisher, founder of OneUp College Consulting, is a former high school English teacher, professional writer and business consultant, and mother to two college-aged children. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Baylor University and a M.Ed. from Houston Baptist University. Deidra previously worked in graduate school recruiting and admissions for the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development, and also teaches pre-college prep courses through SMU’s Lifelong Learning department.
As a former teacher in an International Baccalaureate school, I had the privilege of working with students of all academic abilities and backgrounds in their college search and application journey. I believe firmly that finding the best college FIT is most important, and is not limited to a short list of highly selective universities. My goal is to help students explore the colleges that interest them, and ultimately find the right school for their unique academic and social goals, personality, and career interests. I strive to help my clients leverage their unique talents and experiences, and showcase their accomplishments while easing the stress for families of an intricate, time-consuming process.
Counsel you can trust
Deidra is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. The hallmark of an IECA member consultant is an extensive knowledge of schools, colleges, and special programs. Hiring an independent educational consultant who is a member of IECA ensures that you will work with a professional who has proven expertise, is fully vetted, and demonstrates the highest standards in education, training, ethics, and experience.
Deidra participates in IECA annual conferences, webinars, and training sessions for ongoing professional development. Her travel with IECA counselor tours across the country enable her to get insider access to schools she is recommending for her clients.
OneUp helps college-bound students with:
Assessment of student needs, academic profile and preferences for college placement
Developing an appropriate college list
Coaching for college visits and interviews
Brainstorming, writing and editing essays (ApplyTexas, Common App, Merit Scholarships, Supplemental essays)
Resumes--paper and e-based
Application tracking and follow-up
Financial aid and scholarship search
Private tutoring (AP English and writing)
What clients are saying
If you’re about to start the application journey, I can’t recommend OneUp College Consulting enough. Deidra kept my son on track every step of the way, fine-tuned his essays and short answers and kept him going when the going got tough. I got to be the proud spectator, and our relationship remained peaceful! Cassie Freeman, Lifestyle Blogger
If the idea of college overwhelms you, I highly recommend OneUp College. Deidra helps with every single step of the process, from college lists to essays, and we’re sure she has saved us thousands of dollars! My senior got a 5/5 acceptance rate to her top schools, with THREE Presidential Merit Scholarships. We are so grateful we called Deidra.
Polly Simon, Artist/Designer
How I Can Help
I offer individualized college essay instruction, essay workshops for small groups, as well as advising for transfer and graduate school students working on admission and scholarship essays.
I also offer full-service college application packages to help you and your child with school research and applications, test strategy, essays and resumes and scholarship searches. With a full-service consulting package, you and your student benefit from my curriculum, TrackIt (see below), which takes a deep dive into everything you need to know to find and apply to the right colleges for your needs. Full service clients also gain access to my technology platform, College Planner Pro, which helps students research schools, manage deadlines, view admission and application requirements and stay informed about tasks they need to complete. Students RAVE about the power of this tech platform in keeping them informed and on schedule throughout the process.
College Essay consulting
You've got 650 words to create your best impression. YIKES!
Most students say this is the most daunting task of the entire application process. And this is where I can help you shine. Using my process, you'll connect your core values to personal life stories so that you become much more than another applicant in a pile of forgettable essays. You'll probably even learn a little more about yourself along the way. I'll help you find the inspiration to create a compelling, memorable essay that stands apart, and illustrates who you are beyond your test scores and grades. I WON'T write your essay--but I will help you discover a simple process for telling your inspiring and engaging personal story.
In our time together, we will:
Discuss possible topics and compare strong vs. weak samples.
Evaluate your unique values, character traits, interests, goals and experiences
Discuss writing strategy and how to add voice, structure and detail to your story
Edit, revise, edit, revise, edit and revise until it's PERFECT
Your voice. Your story. Your knock-out college essay.
(Fees are below)
Law School and Business School Personal Statements
Like a college essay, your law or business school personal statement is a way for you to “come to life” beyond your LSAT/GMAT score and your undergraduate GPA. The competition is fierce for the most coveted schools. Let your personal statement clearly demonstrate who you are, what you’ve already accomplished and what you can achieve. Your ability to write is an important part of success in post-grad studies, and I can help you refine the skills you already have. Personal statement consultations and reviews range from $500 to $750, depending on the number of drafts.
Full-Service College Application Packages
Many parents and students find that using a college advisor for multiple services helps streamline a complicated and time-consuming process, ensuring that deadlines are met, test scores and resumes are improved, essays are carefully crafted, and tensions are lowered. But using a different expert for essay writing, college choice advising and application tracking can often mean just more headaches for you and your child. I can help with all of these services! If you are looking for a college concierge to help take the guesswork and stress out of your final year at home with your child, I offer two consulting packages, depending on the age of your student.
Refine and finalize college list, and provide guidance for college visits and interviews
Deliver college essay prompts, brainstorm essay ideas, assist with draft development and essay editing (Common App and Apply TX essays included in package price)
Assist with resume development and editing
Communicate and monitor application deadlines, requirements, completion and submission
Review and edit applications for up to 8 colleges (Apply Texas and Common App)
Provide guidance regarding early action, early decision, acceptance letters and possible scholarship awards.
Conduct personal inventory and personality assessments to discover qualities and characteristics that make specific colleges a good match
Initial consultation fall or spring of the junior year to create a list of appropriate universities and plan test prep
Deliver university research including student demographic, academic offerings, tuition, testing requirements, deadlines, etc.
Review earliest scores, plan for subsequent testing and comparison of requirements for target schools
Deliver essay prompts in the spring and help brainstorm and edit essays (Common App and Apply TX essays included in package price)
Provide guidance for college visits and tours
College interview coaching
Senior year inclusions listed above
Comprehensive Track It curriculum
I use an engaging and comprehensive college planning curriculum called TrackIt, which breaks down a complex process into individual "lessons" for parents and students. Lessons include detailed Fact Sheets, Student Worksheets, a PowerPoint presentation and Parent Newsletter. The TrackIt curriculum includes 9 units: Self Assessment, Academic Planning, College Applications, College Search, Essays, Financial Aid, Testing, Scholarships, and Communications. Special units are included for Student Athletes and Visual & Performing Arts students. TrackIt empowers students to take charge of their college preparation and assures parents that they are getting expert guidance and advice.
Essay Only ADvising
If you do not want a full range of services, you may carve out services for essay development and editing.
Common App/Apply Texas Essays
$600 for initial meeting, resources to help develop topic and up to 3 rounds of revision for a single primary essay (Common App, Coalition App or Apply Texas).
University of California System Personal Insight Questions
$850 for initial meeting, resources to help choose 4 of 8 prompts and brainstorm topics, and up to 3 rounds of revision for 4 prompts. These essays are required for all UC system colleges (UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, etc)
$1000 for initial meeting, two main essays (i.e. Common App and Apply Texas) and up to 5 supplemental essays (i.e. UT short answers, Why Us? essays, Extracurricular essays, etc.)
When consulting on college essays, I don't "rewrite" or create a "voice" for you. But I do help you develop a strong topic, organize your ideas and provide feedback about mechanics, style and focus. I prefer to work with students BEFORE you've written anything so that I can help you brainstorm ideas and find a topic that will tell your unique story in a memorable way. Generally, a top-notch essay will require 3-4 drafts (sigh). Yes, that's what it takes, but you will have a finished product that you can be proud of when it's over!
Initial Consultation Fee
For college counseling and essay advising, I charge an initial consultation fee of $150. The consultation includes informative materials and resources you keep and use for the application process regardless of whether you choose to retain my services.
If you wish to retain my services on an hourly basis, my fee is $125 per hour, billed in 15 minute increments.
Give your child the edge.
It's a competitive world out there. Choose a college advisor who works in the best interests of your family, and provides the support and confidence your student needs to choose colleges that will be the right fit, navigate the application process and stand out with university admission officers.
Deidra Fisher (972) 365-8610
Serving the Dallas metroplex area. I also can work with clients "virtually" through Skype, Zoom and other technology tools.