College Planning

Few aspects of a student's high school experience can be as daunting as the college admissions process. From choosing a college that will be an appropriate fit to distinguishing oneself from thousands upon thousands of worthy applicants vying for a limited number of openings, students often need personalized guidance.

Our Range of College Planning Services

  • Evaluating a student based on academics, test scores, and activities

  • Suggesting an appropriate curriculum

  • Setting a schedule for standardized tests

  • Formulating a college list

  • Detailing how to glean the most from college visits

  • Preparing a student for college interviews

  • Creating a resume

  • Discussing essay ideas and polishing the finished product

  • Reviewing an application thoroughly

  • Establishing a master timeline to ensure no deadlines are missed

Bristow and her specialized team of experts can play as limited a role or as comprehensive a role as the student and family desire.

Our College Essay and Application Specialists

Our specialized team of Premier Essay and Application Specialists will showcase a student's individuality. They accomplish this primary mission by focusing on every element of the college application, and their experience, creativity, and attention to detail maximize the likelihood of earning admission.

From brainstorming one-of-a-kind essay topics to polishing a finished product, our Premier Specialists can help with every step of the process.

As with all of our services, clients are never obligated to any certain number of sessions, as we tailor our offerings to perfectly meet a student's individual needs.


Our Educational Consultants

Beth Bristow


With more than twenty years of experience in education, Beth Bristow specializes in academic coaching, test preparation, as well as college planning. Bristow first identified her unique ability to inspire students with a motivating and multi-sensory approach when she began tutoring as a freshman in college at the request of several faculty members. A summa cum laude honors graduate, Bristow received numerous academic awards as a college student, including membership in two honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi, and top honors in her biology major.

​​Upon graduation, Bristow served as an admissions counselor for a private college in North Carolina. Working behind the scenes enabled her to see how certain students were able to better market themselves in the admissions process. Helping students create their own well-developed angle to differentiate themselves from a pool of applicants became a personal goal that complemented her passion for tutoring.

Her rich background in education continued when she joined the ranks of a top learning center in Charlotte, North Carolina as a specialized academic tutor. She impacted the lives of students at all levels while tutoring them in an impressive array of academic subjects and helped develop a study skills curriculum.​

After relocating to Florida, Bristow continued tutoring and directed several privately-owned learning centers where she developed SAT and ACT preparation materials, customized academic programs, and served as an educational consultant. Her time as a tutor, an admissions counselor, and an educational consultant has proven invaluable in her current role.

Since 2005, Bristow has owned Beth Bristow Tutorial Services. Through the success of Bristow and her team of tutors, BBTS has expanded, moving from the original Paces Ferry location to our second learning center in Vinings Jubilee in 2014. More recently, Bristow earned College Board certification as well as the distinct honor of scoring two perfect scores on the SAT.

For over ten years, Virginia Shackelford has expertly guided students through the complexity of the college planning process.  Her extensive research and passion have helped a wide variety of students identify the right college list and present the very best application from highlighting their strengths to securing the best recommendations to polishing their essays.

Not only has the process and strategy she has developed been incredibly successful for the students at BBTS, she has also extended her gift into the community through mentoring Odyssey students. Her earliest experience was with her own two sons, both Westminster graduates, whom she navigated through the entire college planning process. Virginia's intimate knowledge of the curriculum and opportunities at Westminster continues to be pivotal in her consulting success.

Virginia feels that each student has a unique perspective, and her goal is to help her students present a complete, distinctive picture of themselves and the gifts they can contribute to the college environment.

Over the past eleven years, her students have been accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Penn, Duke, Williams, Vanderbilt, Davidson, NYU, University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins, Emory, Washington University in St. Louis, Rice University, Middlebury, University of North Carolina,  University of Virginia, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia,  Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Auburn University, Berry College and Agnes Scott - without having legacy status or recruitable athletic talents.

Through her understanding of how to plan for and craft a holistic strategic application, Virginia imparts her students with a competitive advantage in college admissions.

Virginia Shackelford