Getting Started for Independent Consultants - Large Practice Solution

    College Kickstart is a web application designed to help college counselors ensure their students have a personalized and realistic college plan that includes a well-balanced list and early admission strategy.

    From an initial list to a final list, College Kickstart empowers your students to research and fine-tune their plan with data and analysis based on their academic profile. You maintain oversight every step of the way. And, it's designed to complement the tools you already use, like Naviance.

    If you need any help using College Kickstart:

    • email
    • look for the Help search on every page

    In this Getting Started, there are instructions related to:

    • Adding students
    • Account ownership
    • Student history
    • College plan summaries
    • Running scenarios

    How do I add a student?

    1. Click Add Student


    2. Enter details about your student.

    First Name, Last Name, Email, High School and HS Graduation Year are required. Gender, Address, and Notes are optional.


    NOTE: If you cannot find your student's high school name, please contact to request that the high school be added. Temporarily, you may use OTHER or OTHER (International) as the high school name.


    3. Select Account Ownership.

    You have two options and you use the blue toggle to make your selection. They work this way:

    • Counselor (default): The counselor owns the student's plan and has 100% control over how to share it with their student.
    • Student: The student owns the plan and will be the only one able to create and refine it. The counselor will continue to have complete visibility of the student's progress and plan.

    Note: Counselors also have the option to start in Counselor ownership and switch the Account Ownership to Student later in the process. Once you have switched to Student ownership, the ownership cannot be changed back to counselor-only.

    4. Click Save.

    If you chose Student Ownership, an email will be automatically sent to the student on the counselor's behalf and include the student's account details and instructions on how to get started. By default, Add Student will stay open after you save, so you can continue to add students up to the limit you have licensed.

    Click on the rocket icon in the Actions column to run a plan for the student.




    How do I change a student’s account from Counselor Ownership to Student Ownership?

    1. From the Owner column in Student Summaries, click the Counselor icon.

    2. Use the blue toggle. Click Student and the account owner will change from Counselor to Student.

    3. Click Save.

    What happens when I give students ownership of their plan?

    1. Your student is sent an email. College Kickstart sends an email on your behalf to the student with their account information and instructions on how to get started.

    2. The student is encouraged to get started.

    In the email, there is a link to login into their account.


    3. Your student starts with their college list and academic profile.

    After your student logs in, they start on Your Profile where they enter the list of colleges they have in mind and their academic profile.  

    After they complete their profile, the student clicks Run Kickstart to create their first college plan. Every time they update their plan, you can track it in the Counselor Dashboard.

    How do I review the activity history for one of my students?

    By default, the Counselor Dashboard shows the latest plans created by each of your active students.

    To review an individual student's activity history, click All Students to see your entire list of students and select the student from that list.


    Am I able to compare different runs?

    By clicking on the PROGRESS REPORT icon under the ACTIONS, you will be able to select 2 different runs and compare how they were graded and how the schools were categorized.


    NOTE: Only available to accounts with 10 or more students


    Can I track both my current juniors and current seniors?

    Yes.  By default, when you sign into College Kickstart, the dashboard will show your current juniors' activity.  To see your seniors' plans, click on the dropdown at the top of the Student Summaries panel and select the option for the current senior class.


    Note that plans for seniors can be viewed but cannot be updated.

    How can I see a quick summary of my student’s latest plan?

    1. From the Action column in Student Summaries, Click Magnifying Glass.

    2. Click X in the upper right corner to close the Summary.

    How can I see the application requirements for my student’s latest plan?

    1. From the Action column in Student Summaries, Click the List icon.

    2. Click X in the upper right corner to close the Requirements Summary.

    Note: The Requirements data is updated by September 1 for the coming application cycle.

    How can I see the need-based aid for my student’s latest plan?

    1. From the Action column in Student Summaries, Click the Money icon.

    2. Click X in the upper right corner to close the Need-based Aid Summary.

    How can I see the merit-based aid for my student’s latest plan?

    1. From the Action column, Click the Award icon.

    2. Click X in the upper right corner to close Merit-based Aid Summary.

    Can I print custom reports for my clients?

    Yes, a personalized plan generator is available for all counselor plans with 10 or more students.  You can use this to print professional-quality reports for your clients that can be branded with your logo and customized with tailored commentary for each student.  The report closely follows the organization of the College Kickstart application and includes plan summary, application requirements, need and merit-based financial aid tables as appendices.

    If a PDF document icon is available in the Actions column, click on it to generate the custom PDF report for the student.


    A dialog box will appear that lets you add custom content, select optional sections, upload your custom logo, and generate the report.


    • You can generate the PDF by clicking on the "Generate PDF" button at the top right.
    • Depending on your browser, the PDF will be automatically displayed (e.g. Chrome) or downloaded (double click to open)

    Can I print individual report view?

    When opening each report, you will be able to print just that report by using the PRINT ICON on the top right of the window.



    How do I run my own college list scenarios for students?

    When you want to run your own cases independent of the student, click Run Kickstart above the Student Summaries.

    This will launch your personal version of College Kickstart and will not appear in the activity history of any of your students.

    Similarly, if an account is Student owned and you want to run “what-if” scenarios on for that student, click the Rocket icon in the Actions column next to the student's name in your Student Summaries.


    How do I select colleges for a student's list?

    1. Select schools using the search box.

    The text box is search-based and includes aliases for institutions. This means you can type UCLA instead of typing the University of California at Los Angeles.

    2. Begin typing the name of the institution to see your options. To select a school, check the box next to the school name to add it to the list.  

    3. List schools in order of preference.

    To rearrange the rank order of the list, hover your cursor over the Rank column and drag the school to the desired position in the list.

    4. Specify commitment.

    You can specify a commitment level to your top two schools. Click the Heart icon next to the school to indicate you are strongly committed to attending if accepted.

    What happens if my student does not have a standardized score?

    Due to COVID-19, many students were not able to take any standardized tests. College Kickstart will help college plans to run with not test scores as long as they have at least a GPA grade or RANK.



    A warning window will display indicating that the college plan run will take the GPA to make its best suggestion.



    What happens with the schools that converted to TEST-OPTIONAL?

    If there is no standardized test score or the GPA is better than the standardized score, College Kickstart will use the GPA to make its suggestion. You will be able to view it in the DETAILS tab.



    In the SUMMARY VIEW, you will also be able to view if applying TEST-OPTIONAL should be considered.



    What is the difference between CAMPUS VISIT and ON CAMPUS?



    With the start of COVID-19, many schools moved to online visits. Counselors will find a direct link for all schools who offer virtual tours of the campus under the CAMPUS VISIT field.

    Some schools are now offering on-site campus visits. Under "ON-CAMPUS," counselors may provide links to their students who wish to make appointments for on-site visits.




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