• We can take the stress out of the college admission process

    What is your "Best Fit" school?

  • About Us

    We are Independent Educational Consultants (IEC) dedicated to helping families navigate the rigors of the college application process. We offer objective advice, access to reliable information, and the kind of individual attention necessary to make an informed decision.​


    Finding the right school, college or program can be a rewarding process, but for some families, the experience is challenging, overwhelming and at times frustrating. Few decisions have as great an impact on a student. Families may find themselves at a loss to properly evaluate their options and make appropriate choices. Seeking the services of an independent educational consultant can be the wisest investment a family can make.


    For families considering college, the main reason to hire an IEC is our individualized attention and firsthand knowledge of hundreds of educational opportunities. Most high school guidance counselors would like to assist students individually with the college application process, but they have too many students to manage. And, they often have many more responsibilities other than college counseling like scheduling as well as other social and emotional issues that face high school students today.


    We can take much of the stress out of the college admission process and be an objective, third-party, helping you through the process of transitioning from high school and the comforts of living at home to going off to college and experiencing living in a dorm. We are experts at finding the "Best Fit" school, one that will help foster both the student's academic and social growth.

  • The College Connect 101 Process

    Standardized Test Prep

    We first give you access to a SAT and/or ACT practice test given in an actual test environment by a proctor. After we receive the results of your testing, we prep on either the ACT OR SAT test which includes (5) individualized sessions (1hr each) instructing on proven test-taking strategies for your optimal score.


    Build the College List

    We create a best-fit college list based on our years of industry knowledge, using data points obtained from the result of our personality profile survey, combined with your academic and extracurricular profile.


    Over 95% of our students are accepted into one of their top three schools, because of our guidance in matching them with the most appropriate schools.

    Craft Essays and Complete Applications

    Our expert essay coaches will assist you with brainstorming and topic selection. We will also teach you how to develop and craft your personal statement in addition to all of your individual school supplemental essays.


    Also, our coaches will walk you through the entire process of completing all of your college applications, including preparing your student resume.

    Financial Aid Advisory*

    Lastly, we will work one-on-one with your family to provide assistance with your school-specific financial aid forms, FAFSA, CSS Profile, IDOC documents, Verification Forms, Parent Plus Loans, and also advise on special circumstances such as professional judgments.


    Most of our clients are successful in securing additional financial aid based on our industry expertise and knowledge of award package negotiating.


    * Not Applicable with all packages

  • Packages

    Standard Plan

    Basic College Planning



    • Prepared college list of up to 20 schools to match both your academic and financial profile based on our online college fit assessment.
    • Expert assistance in crafting your personal statement and supplemental essays to best reflect your unique experience.
    • Common Application and/or any institutional application review and detailed feedback
    • Online College Planning Portal
    • Student Resume

    Comprehensive Plan

    College Planning w/

    Financial Aid Processing


    • Prepared college list of up to 20 schools to match both your academic and financial profile based on our online college fit assessment.
    • Expert assistance in crafting your personal statement and supplemental essays to best reflect your unique experience.
    • Comprehensive assistance in completing your Common Application and/or any institutional application
    • Online College Planning Portal
    • Student Resume
    • FAFSA Preparation and Processing
    • CSS Profile Preparation and Processing
    • Institutional / Verification Forms
    • College/Parent Plus Loan Assistance
    • Custodial / Non-Custodial Forms
    • IDOC Documents

    Most Popular

    Ultimate Plan

    College Planning w/ Financial Aid Processing & Planning and Standardized Test Prep

    • Prepared college list of up to 20 schools to match both your academic and financial profile based on our online college fit assessment.
    • Expert assistance in crafting your personal statement and supplemental essays to best reflect your unique experience.
    • Comprehensive assistance in completing your Common Application and/or any institutional application
    • Online College Planning Portal
    • Student Resume
    • FAFSA Preparation and Processing
    • CSS Profile Preparation and Processing
    • Institutional / Verification Forms
    • College/Parent Plus Loan Assistance
    • Custodial / Non-Custodial Forms
    • IDOC Documents
    • Custom Financial Aid Timeline
    • Expected Family Contribution Review and Analysis
    • Estimated Need-Based Award by School
    • Comprehensive Award Letter Review
    • Direct Appeals Initiation
    • Professional Judgment Letters
    • Student Loan Counseling
    • College Cost Comparison
    • 10 sessions of Standardized Test Prep (ACT  or SAT)
  • Our Acceptances

  • Our Team

    Gigi M. Frye, M.A.

    President / CEO

    After her realization that valuable information on how to fund her daughter's college education was not readily available, Gigi sought out to personally demystify the stressful process of obtaining adequate financial aid. In short time, Gigi had diligently researched various sources of financing, and through that daunting experience learned firsthand the tools of the trade.


    As a result of her extensive research and the professional guidance of several college financial aid administrators, she gleaned valuable insight that enabled her to develop a proven methodology for obtaining the maximum amount of financial aid possible. All of her hard work came to fruition when her daughter was fortunate to graduate from Loyola Marymount University without any student debt.


    Empowered by her success, Gigi founded College Connect 101 in 2010 with the mission of helping families overcome the challenges of college affordability for their children. After a few years of working exclusively with financial aid, Gigi realized that if she could work with students to help them navigate through the rigors of the application process, enabling them to submit their best overall application, they would receive more merit aid which will inevitably help to offset the total cost of tuition. To learn more about the college application process, she joined professional organizations such as the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to learn best practices which she uses to continuously place her students into prestigious schools.


    Gigi received her Master of Arts in Behavioral Sciences from California State University, Dominguez Hills and enjoys attending college admissions workshops and visiting colleges and universities across the country.

    Terrence L. Watkins, MBA

    Chief Financial Officer / COO

    Terrence currently oversees College Connect 101's financial management and business development, including overall operations. He joined College Connect 101 in 2014 shortly after he was retained as a business consultant to advise in growing the business. After learning more about the IEC industry and directly seeing the positive impact of helping high school students matriculate to college, he decided to leave the field of management consulting to focus his efforts full time to our students and has been personally fulfilled ever since.


    Prior to College Connect 101 Terrence served in various managerial positions in the areas of Corporate Finance and Strategy. He has assisted both public and private companies, applying a diverse set of skills to improve performance, such as developing complex business models and leveraging six sigma methodologies to evaluate and monitor business performance and efficiency.


    Terrence received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Howard University and his MBA in Finance from the Graziadio School at Pepperdine University.



    Janet Baker

    Essay Coach

    Janet is the consummate writer and is an expert in helping our students reveal the best version of themselves through their essays.



    Janet received her education at Boston University School of Public Communications. Janet's background is in advertising where she worked in various facets of the industry for major advertisers such as American Airlines, Pepsi, Budweiser, and many Proctor and Gamble products. When her son became school age, Janet left the world of advertising to raise her son and study writing. During that time, Janet has written three screenplays and is at this time unproduced. (But getting great feedback). When her son was preparing for college, she found her passion in helping him, along with several friends and acquaintances with their essays. Her son was accepted at eight schools and just graduated from UC Berkeley.


    In her spare time, Janet enjoys writing her own humorous personal essays, reading, live theater, cooking and hanging out with her friends and two dogs.


    Tim Burke

    Standardized Test Tutor

    A graduate from Dartmouth College, Tim has been a full-time professional tutor 1985 and had taught high school English before that. His specialty is tutoring for most standardized tests, including: ISEE, SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, CBEST, HSPT, and COOP to name a few. He also tutors in all subjects including PreCalculus and college admissions essay writing. In his free time he enjoys playing ice hockey (Buffalo native) and playing in various bands as a professional guitarist/guitar synthesist most weekends.

  • Testimonials

    What our clients are saying about us

  • We interviewed several college advisors and I’d say we made a brilliant choice!! From start to finish the College Connect 101 team was involved in all aspects of the process. Starting with the “Find your Path” survey and finishing with valuable insight which ultimately helped my daughters decide where they would spend their next four years. Creating a college list, setting realistic goals, course loads, ACT, SAT prep, application process, essay writing, financial aid, and overall “straight talk” with our daughters when we couldn’t get through to them.


    Gigi and her team assisted both of my daughters and between the two of them, they were excepted into 30 colleges finally deciding on Univ. of Portland (nursing program) and Harvard. It’s a long process with so many steps along the way, but Gigi and her team kept them on task which took a TON of pressure off of us parents during those rebellious yet critical times. Do yourself a favor, this is a complicated process, let Gigi and the College Connect 101 team help you navigate through it. So happy we chose College Connect 101!


    J. and D. Jones - Harvard University and University of Portland Parents

    College Connect 101 has been instrumental in helping my daughter pick schools, coaching her with all of her essay prompts, and guiding her through the entire application process for all of the schools she was applying to. Gigi was a God sent as being a single mom, I felt so overwhelmed with the many deadlines and information required. Her guidance, support and knowledge helped my daughter get into her first choice, and now I can say I am the proud mother of a Brown University student.


    With College Connect's help, Hannah was accepted to all five universities where she applied: Brown, University of Chicago, Tulane, Case Western, and Fordham.


    I can only say that they put their heart and soul into our applications, constantly reviewing our essays, pushing Hannah to challenge herself resulting in admission into her "Dream School", and I can't help but to show my gratitude for Gigi and her team at College Connect 101!



    B. Jennings - Brown University Parent


    "My wife and I can't thank College Connect 101 enough for helping our son and daughter with the college application process, including financial aid. Many times you went the extra yard for our family. Only with your guidance and attention to detail that those applications and forms required did our college dream for our children become a reality. We would ask you again, in a heartbeat, to help us if we had to do this all over again. GO IRISH! and GO BRONCOS!"


    M. Partyka - Notre Dame and Boise State Parent


    "Thanks to College Connect 101’s expertise and personal engagement, our family managed the daunting college application process with ease. College Connect 101's services surpassed my expectations at a surprisingly affordable rate. They committed countless personalized hours to our student, focusing on career goal development, school and major research, resume building, essay review, financial consultation, and accuracy of data entry. Their attention to detail was exceptional!"


    I. Bryan - UCLA and University of Arizona Parent


    College Connect 101 took the stress out the College app process! We would have not had the same experience or outcome without Gigi’s strategic knowledge and insight. My husband and I cannot thank College Connect enough. With our daughter being a performing arts major, she had a host of options. We were simply unsure of the best fit for her next academic adventure. In addition, Jordyn was booked on a major television show during the college application season so it was critical that we had a partner and consultant that could help us get the job done.

    As a result, I am thrilled to say that my daughter was accepted into her Top 2 choices and had so many other options to choose from!


    M. Warren - University of Southern California Parent



    "I cannot thank College Connect 101 enough for all that they have done for both of my sons! Gigi is extremely strategic and knowledgeable especially when it comes to financial aid. She gave us ideas and suggestions on how to get more grants and scholarships directly from the school.


    My oldest son just graduated from NYU and Gigi was able to secure a $20,000 grant four years in a row. In addition to that she expertly crafted our appeal letters which lead to more grants & scholarships. Our youngest son was originally awarded $5,000 in grants this year, but with Gigi's amazing guidance, that $5,000 turned into over $40,000 in grants and scholarships! We haven't taken out any loans so far! I would DEFINITELY recommend using Gigi's services to guide you throughout your entire college process."


    M. Givens - NYU & University of San Francisco Parent

    I cannot sing the praises of College Connect 101 loudly enough. The professionalism and expertise of this phenomenal service are unmatched. They were able to guide us step by step through the testing, application and admission process with years of experience and industry knowledge through programs I had no idea even existed.


    Through the access to all of the comprehensive services provided by College Connect 101, my daughter was able to secure 17 college admission letters, and ultimately CC 101 helped with securing scholarships that have practically covered the cost of a private college education. I do not know where I would be without the services of College Connect 101. They are the South Bay's best-kept secret for college planning/guidance and financial assistance service needs. I happily recommend College Connect 101 to any parent for pre and post-college guidance and services.



    K. Curry - Santa Clara and UC Irvine Law Parent




    "I have used College Connect 101 for two consecutive years to complete my daughter’s FAFSA, for financial aid advice and for scholarship advice and it has been a lifesaver! Gigi was able to successfully appeal a parent loan denial prior to my daughter entering her first year of college. I did not encounter any residual financial aid difficulties when I used College Connect 101 to enroll my daughter for her second year of college. I highly recommend utilizing College Connect 101 for all of your college financial needs whether you’re a parent of a current or a prospective college student!"


    D. Siegel - Univ. of Washington and Univ. of Colorado Parent

    After looking for other similar service providers we chose College Connect 101. First, we connected my nephew who received tremendous help with essay and financial aid and he ended up accepted by UC Berkeley.


    Last year, my son, got a comprehensive service including SAT tutoring as well as assistance on essays. He applied to the top twenty schools in the country and ended up getting accepted to 11 top-notch schools. Our investment truly paid off. Gigi’s knowledge in the college application and all the other essentials details that come with it is superb.



    A. Hagos - Parent of Loyola Marymount University student

    It’s never too late! I didn’t think we needed help with college applications and financial aid. My daughter’s high school provided college counseling and I applied to college (26 years ago!), so I thought we had it under control. From the first meeting with College Connect 101, it was clear that we were in over our heads. The application process seemed extremely confusing, the competition is fierce and frankly, I didn’t have the time I wanted to devote to the process. They demystified the process, took the burden of maneuvering through the maze, and provided my daughter the comfort that she was working with professionals who knew what they were doing.


    Once my daughter made the decision on the university she wanted to attend, we were disappointed because we don’t qualify for that much financial need, but we also couldn’t write a check for private college tuition, so it was a God-send that College Connect 101 stepped in and helped secure an extra $20k/over the four years. That made all the difference and we could send in the ‘accepted’ decision to the university.


    Would we go with College Connect 101 again for our current 9th grader? Yes!



    T Djedjro - American University Parent

  • Contact Us

    6826 S. LA CIENEGA BLVD.
    INGLEWOOD, CA 90302