Savvy Strategies is a college coaching service based in Columbia, Missouri. Its founder and chief savvy strategist, Kristie Beck, brings 25+ years of experience as a teacher, principal, leader, and parent to the college coaching arena. She’s been through this process hundreds of times. If she doesn’t know the answer to a question or dilemma, she knows someone who does. Whether you live in Columbia MO or anywhere with internet access, we’ve got the savvy strategies for you!


Why should I pay for this service? Can’t we do this ourselves?

  • Students certainly can apply to college without help. However, it’s likely that you and your student will have questions at nearly every step of the way. With our experience, we can walk with you through the entire process: answering questions, providing guidance, and offering options that you probably hadn’t even considered.
  • Parents hire private coaches for their kids all the time: speed coaches, tumbling coaches, pitching coaches, tennis coaches, voice coaches. College is an important (and expensive!) piece of your child’s future. Hiring a professional to guide you through the process of choosing the best-fit school with the right programs and putting together the best possible application is truly an investment in your student’s success.

How can you help my student?

  • We can help your student navigate this process from beginning to end. Even more, though, we offer assistance with the essays, with the development of a list of colleges that suit your family’s individual needs and priorities, with managing deadlines, with test planning and preparing. We have an online portal where your student can keep all college application information in one place: testing information, application information, college information, essays, passwords, and more. Our experience and insights can help reduce the stress ¬†and increase the likelihood of success in this high-stakes process.

What expertise do you have to offer?

  • Years and years of it. Our founder and chief strategist was a high school English teacher for 15 years, and a high school principal for 10; she’s guided hundreds of students through this process and read thousands of essays. (She also has guided four of her own children through this process so far, so she knows the parental stress involved!)

What services do you offer?

  • For students, we offer a range of services from Essay Writing workshops for groups of stressed-out seniors to individual, customized, year-long ongoing and continuous college coaching.
  • For parents, we offer local seminars, access to resources, and a real person to talk or text when you have questions or concerns.
  • We’ve got all kinds of free stuff too! Check out our social media pages for links and likes.

Do you only work with clients in Columbia, Missouri?

  • Heck no!
  • Our essay workshops and parent gatherings are typically local.
  • Our individual college coaching packages are available to clients anywhere, although meetings will be remote (via Skype/FaceTime or whatever works).
  • Our free resources are available to anyone with an internet connection.

Are you accepting new clients?

  • Yes, although at this time we can only accept a maximum of 25 students in grades 11 and 12. (Those spots are filling fast!)

My student is so busy, how can I possibly add one more thing to his/her schedule?

  • That busy schedule is exactly why our services can help! We won’t do the work for your student. But, we can offer guidance in setting priorities, and we can help with reminders of important deadlines. This is a critically important phase – it’s what you and your student have been aiming for! Don’t run the risk of missing deadlines or not budgeting enough time for quality applications and essays. We help busy families navigate the calendar as much as the process, and guide your stressed-out student to the finish line!

Does my student need a minimum GPA to work with you?

  • Not necessarily, but we’re most likely to be of valuable assistance to students with a 3.0 or better. If your student has special needs or a lower GPA, it is possible that a different kind of service would be more beneficial. Our initial free consultation can help determine this.

Will you contact schools for my student?

  • Nope. Not at all. We will guide your student as he/she makes contact with college and university admissions, and we will urge your student to be in regular contact with the school counselor at his/her high school. But we will not make those calls. Your student is preparing to go off and manage his/her own life at this point; we’re going to nudge that process along, too, by making sure your student takes ownership of this process.
  • We will make calls to gather information, though, and to find resources and information you need.

When should we start?

  • If you’re reading this page, probably NOW.
  • Students starting 9th grade should be looking at the road ahead. It’s hard for anyone to reach a goal in four years if they don’t even know what that goal is or how to get there. We offer basic services to 9th and 10th graders, just to make sure those students are headed in the right direction. 11th and 12th grades are the big years, and we offer an array of services to support students in those grades.

What do you charge?

  • Services vary, and so do the costs involved. Contact us for details.
  • An initial consultation is always free.

Do you have any guarantees?

  • We guarantee that we will do all we can to guide your student to success.
  • We guarantee that if you and your student are enthusiastically engaged in this process, that you will learn and grow in ways you had never anticipated and be better prepared than you had ever imagined.
  • We guarantee to offer you and your student the best and most up-to-date information that we can acquire.
  • We do NOT guarantee that your student will be accepted into his/her first choice college, or any college. The decision to admit or not admit a student is up to the college, and each has its own processes, standards, and priorities.