Testimonials

Tim and his parents, Paul and Joy

(Homestead H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at Drake University, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, UW-Madison, and UW-Milwaukee

Matriculating at UW-Milwaukee

We sought out Tom's expertise in helping our son prepare for the ACT, especially for certain sections of the test that were detracting from his composite score despite scoring fairly high on other parts. Tom made himself available for tutoring sessions at our home that fit in with our son's busy schedule. He provided very practical advice with respect to the types of questions, as well as tips for pacing so that each section could be finished within the allotted time frame. Tom not only helped our son have more confidence going into the next test, but was very supportive regarding the entire college search and selection process, including the financial aid aspects of that decision. We are so pleased that we made the decision to utilize CAPs and will definitely look to Tom to assist our daughter as she prepares to the take the ACT later this year.

Rebecca and her parents, John and Terri

(Nicolet H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at Butler University, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Marquette University, and the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities

Matriculating at Indiana University

When our daughter was not satisfied with her initial ACT score, we contacted Tom to help her prepare for retaking the test. Tom was extremely knowledgeable and very familiar with all aspects of taking the test. He was able to help Rebecca feel comfortable with the test's format, as well as understand what to expect from each content area. More specifically, he provided her with tips and strategies on time usage and pacing, narrowing and eliminating answer choices, and lots of practice with a variety of question types. She was more confident and relaxed going into the second test and, as a result, raised her composite score by two (2) points, an achievement that is only accomplished by approximately one in seven (16%) of second ACT test takers.

The best thing about Tom was his flexibility and understanding. Our daughter had a very full, ever-changing schedule filled with athletics and other school activities (not to mention a little thing called homework...), but Tom was always willing and able to squeeze in a session whenever it worked for us. Additionally, he was always upbeat and friendly, and we all enjoyed getting to know him.

We will be contacting Tom again--and earlier in the process--when our youngest child is getting ready for college. We would highly recommend Tom and CAPs to any family looking for guidance throughout this complicated process.

Grant and his parents, Scott and Sally

(Marquette University H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at Iowa State University, Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechic Institute (RPI), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and UW-Madison

Matriculating at Purdue University

As a family, we could not be more pleased with the expertise and the advice we received from Tom Tonnesen and CAPs as he guided us through the particulars of college admission for our son. Tom's expertise and abundant knowledge about the ACT, college selection and applications, and his perpetually positive attitude, encouragement, and information resulted in our son being accepted at all the colleges/universities to which he applied for engineering. Tom is an individual who truly cares about his clients and their success. We recommend Tom and CAPs as an excellent resource for any family entering the college preparation and selection stage of their child's education. It was definitely money well spent. Thank you, Tom!

Kane, Kendra, and their parents, Keith and Sherri

(Cedarburg H.S., Class of 2012 and 2013, respectively)

Kane matriculated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kendra was accepted at the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) and Iowa State University, and is matriculating at “Ole Miss.”

We are tempted to sing “Tom, Tom, he’s our man! If he can’t do it, nobody can.” Seriously, listen to us. It is impossible to go wrong with Tom Tonnesen. His methods will produce amazing results for your family!

We initially employed Tom to prep our son, Kane, for the SAT. Kane and our family were impressed with every aspect of Tom’s methodology. Tom has the uncanny ability to “read,” or evaluate, his students quickly in order to tailor his test prep strategies to each student’s learning style. (Note: Do not play poker against Tom! He will spot your “tells” after the first hand.) This quality is crucial because Tom ascertains what his students must know for ACT and SAT success. Additionally, Tom’s dedication and passion for his task are always present. Students see it, hear it, feel it, and soon, buy into it. Kane actually told us he had to do well on the SAT not just for himself, but for Tom, too! (P.S. Kane scored magnificently on the SAT.)

We were so pleased with Tom that we hired him to do ACT prep with our daughter, Kendra, the next year. On the basis of her GPA and strong score on the ACT, both Ole Miss and Iowa State offered her academic scholarship money.

You do not have to horse around and gamble with college admissions. The best trainer on this track is right here in our neighborhood, TOM TONNESEN!

Niko and his mom, Katerina

(Homestead H.S., Class of 2012)

Matriculating at Northwestern University

Katerina, M.D.: Being a foreign graduate, I felt a tremendous level of stress about the college admissions process for my son, Niko. Finding a College Admissions Pathways (CAPs) flyer in my mailbox was the beginning of an exhausting, but very satisfying, road that led to Niko’s acceptance to Northwestern University as an early decision candidate. Tom began working with Niko and me at the start of Niko’s junior year in high school, and he expertly led us through all the steps of the college admissions process from test preparation to applying for financial aid. Tom not only displayed his talents as a professional educator, but he became involved in the process on a personal level and showed care and concern for Niko’s fate as if he were a family member. Like all parents, I believe that my son is bright and talented, and when combined with Tom’s professionalism, Niko was able to bring out the best of his abilities. If you want your child to achieve the highest results, Tom is the way to go. The added bonus—peace of mind for yourself.

Niko: Working with Tom was an absolute pleasure in all aspects. He prepared me superbly for the ACT and the SAT Subject Tests, both of which I only had to take once. Being a very amiable person, Tom shared my delight throughout the past year-and-a-half. Most of all, I owe Tom a big debt of gratitude for the help that he provided me as I worked on my college applications and essays. Without him, the path would have been much more cumbersome and stressful. I highly recommend Tom to absolutely any high school teen, no matter the grades or goals. Tom proved to not only be a fabulous mentor, but also a very down-to-earth companion on the long road of college admissions.

Susan and her parents, Hank and Marie

(Homestead H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at Ithaca College, Marist College, Marquette University, and Susquehanna University

Matriculating at Ithaca College

We contacted Tom after our daughter already had submitted applications to a number of mostly private colleges, primarily in the East. With an older daughter already in college, we were looking to Tom to help us better understand the entire college financial aid process, including how best to complete such forms as the FAFSA and the CSS/PROFILE.

Tom visited with us at our home a number of times and was most helpful in guiding us through the various forms and the specific requirements of each college. He helped us realize the actual costs of each college after factoring in financial aid versus what is published online, and led us to a number of informative websites and online videos where we were able to do additional research about each of the schools. After our daughter received acceptances and financial aid offers from four schools, Tom guided us through a comparison of the various offers, including the details of loans, grants, scholarships (both need-based and merit-based) and student employment/work-study, thereby verifying the net costs of attending each college. Additionally, Tom thoroughly answered a number of our telephone inquiries, provided us with copies of federal publications on the various student aid programs, and advised us on how best to communicate with college financial aid offices in order to request a reassessment of the original offer.

All in all, Tom helped our family become better consumers regarding the rather complicated world of college financial aid, and we would highly recommend Tom's College Admissions Pathways (CAPs) services to any family whose son or daughter is embarking on his/her college search.

Becca and her parents, John and Nancy

(Cedarburg H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at the University of St. Thomas, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Whitewater

Matriculating at UW-Oshkosh

Working with Tom was a wonderful experience for our daughter, Becca. She already had taken the ACT twice, and felt that she could use some assistance to prepare for her third attempt. Tom’s knowledge of the ACT’s content and format was far beyond what we had expected. The convenience of Tom coming to our home for Becca’s one-on-one sessions was an added bonus. Tom’s work contributed significantly to Becca’s composite score rising by two points, and she has now been accepted to the University of St. Thomas, UW-Whitewater, UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Milwaukee.

Having Tom come to our home and help with Becca’s ACT preparation was the best decision we could have made for our daughter. In addition to ACT prep, Tom also assists with scholarship searches and applications, college applications and their accompanying essays, and a wide assortment of related matters. It was money well spent to hire Tom and College Admissions Pathways (CAPs), and our only regret is that we did not discover Tom’s services earlier.

Matt and his parents, Gary and Lisa

(Cedarburg H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Milwaukee

Matriculating at UW-Eau Claire

Tom has a passion for education and it was apparent immediately that he genuinely wants his students to excel. He assisted Matt in acquiring the necessary skills to feel comfortable taking standardized tests such as the ACT, and worked with Matt on knowing the insightful inside tips and test-taking strategies that translated to success. The result? We began working with Tom after Matt's first ACT test, and on Matt's second ACT his composite score rose by six (6) points--a gain that is achieved by less than one (1) percent of those who take the ACT a second time. Bottom line . . . well worth it!!

Patrick and his parents, Kevin and Susan

(Marquette University H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at Marquette University, St. Louis University, UW-Milwaukee, and Xavier University

Matriculating at St. Louis University

As with most parents, our recollection of taking the ACT or SAT was that we showed up on a Saturday morning and took the test—once. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore. We had always planned on having our son take the ACT a second time. The first test would be a benchmark to see where the opportunities were to improve the second time. It was between tests that we contacted Tom. Standardized tests can be somewhat tricky and Tom’s knowledge about “how” to take the ACT helped our son understand the test itself and subsequently be more prepared and relaxed on that anxiety-laden Saturday morning. It worked! Patrick’s score increased dramatically and broadened the range of universities in his considered set. We are convinced that without Tom’s help, this may not have been possible. If you’re considering using Tom’s services and are on the fence, get off of it immediately. It will be the best decision you have ever made.

Zach and his parents, Larry and Lynn

(Cedarburg H.S., Class of 2012)

Accepted at Clemson University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of St. Thomas, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, and UW-Whitewater

Matriculating at UW-Madison

Excellent high school grades proved to be much easier for our son, Zach, to attain than was earning an acceptable ACT score. After Zach’s first attempt at the ACT, we knew we needed help, thus we asked Tom for his services. Tom is very knowledgeable at what he does, and we feel it was money well spent. Zach’s composite ACT score rose four points after working with Tom, a gain that is achieved by only 3 percent of those who retest. Zach has now been accepted into UW-Madison (the school he had his heart set on), and we realize that this would not have been possible without Tom’s assistance. Additionally, Tom guided Zach in completing all his applications and with the editing of his essays. We would strongly recommend Tom to any family looking to improve their child’s standardized test score and being accepted into the college of his/her choice.

Demetri and his parents, Tom and Theresa

(Cedarburg H.S., Class of 2011)

Accepted at Marquette University, UW-Madison, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), and UW-Milwaukee

Matriculating at Marquette University

The college application process has become much more competitive and complicated. We began working with Tom Tonnesen at the start of Demetri’s senior year, and he helped us navigate our way through the process while keeping us on track. He brought a level of knowledge, professionalism, and resources to the entire endeavor that we found to be invaluable. We are extremely pleased with the outcome, and we highly recommend Tom to any family that is entering the college application process. Our one small regret, if you can even call it that, is that we would have initiated our work with Tom even earlier in Demetri’s high school years.

Luke and his parents, Bill and Lee

(Cedarburg H.S., Class of 2011)

Matriculating at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

In a word, Tom was fantastic. He demonstrated a high degree of expertise and knowledge, and his years of experience were evident. Before hiring Tom, we felt overwhelmed and inundated with confusing information re. financial aid and scholarships. Tom explained it all in a manner that made it far easier for us to understand.

He was most helpful in reminding us of deadlines, e-mailing us when something was coming due and encouraging us to submit the FAFSA and scholarship applications early. (Not to mention deciphering the FAFSA.) When we attended a student-parent orientation at Minnesota, we could see other parents feverishly taking notes and feeling overwhelmed. We, though, felt ahead of the game, understanding fully what was being discussed and knowing that much of our work already was complete and on target.

Our only regret is that we wish we would have contacted Tom BEFORE the start of Luke’s senior year. He undoubtedly would have been very beneficial in helping us sift through our son’s college choices and career options. Even though the majority of our work with Tom has come to fruition, we know that we may call on him at any time and receive additional advice on Luke’s continuing education.

We would highly recommend CAPS and Tom and the services he offers!

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