Helping Students Soar from 8th Grade through College.

What I Do

Hawk Higher Education Counseling is an independent educational counseling practice created to guide students and their parents through the high school to post-secondary education and careers. Our experienced counselors are available to work in person or virtually with you and your parents to create an individualized plan that simplifies the process of college selection or career training and reduces stress.

The strategies used by our counselors to achieve those goals include: career and interest exploration; guidance for high school courses and activities; standardized test information and planning; college application guidance; financial aid education; and, college decision guidance.

I listen.

I spend time getting to know the student and their family.  I listen to them to learn what has been sucessful in the past, their interests, and how they vision their future.  This information helps in identifying strengths, needs and priorities of the student and family which will guide the consultation process.

I Consult.

After learning about each student and their family, I help educate and guide them based on their needs. Some families want guidance beginning with high school curriculum through selecting the college to attend, other’s need guidance in specific areas. The flexibility of the services offered allows me to meet the different needs of each student and their family.

Need Help? Contact me and schedule your free consultation.


Shelly Hawk was extremely helpful in leading me to find my path and deciding which college I wanted to attend. She made me aware of different resources I could use and helped me consider a number of factors for applying to college, financial aid and also scholarships. She's been a tremendous help and a valuable resource.
Emily Rankin
The application process is very different than we my husband and I attended college. Shelly helped our daughter an us feel at ease and confident during the process, and she helped our daughter discover exactly what she wanted from her college journey.
Heather G.

My Story

Shelly began Independent College Counseling as a second profession after discovering her passion for helping students as they transition from high school to college. When working with high school students she noticed that the process of identifying their interests in careers and the options for education can be overwhelming. Shelly’s goal is to guide students through the process as they find their path to reduce the stress and help the students feel confident in their choices.

Shelly began her career in education with the Regional Office of Education in Macomb, Illinois as a program manager developing and implementing multiple educational programs, including programs for children with special needs and their families. After 15 years she created her own business providing educational and support services to children and their families…

How Much Will Your Loans Cost You?

The federal student loan interest rate for undergraduates is 4.53% for the 2019-20 school year. Federal rates for unsubsidized graduate student loans and parent loans are higher — 6.08% and 7.08%, respectively.

Private student loan interest rates can sometimes be lower than federal rates, but approval for the lowest rates requires excellent credit. If you have good credit, you may be able to refinance existing student loans to get a lower rate.

Federal student loan interest rates decreased for the 2019-20 school year and apply to loans disbursed between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020. The interest rate for all new federal direct undergraduate student loans decreased to 4.53%, down from 5.05% in 2018-19. Unsubsidized direct graduate student loan rates decreased to 6.08%, down from 6.60%. Rates for PLUS loans, which are for graduate students and parents, dropped to 7.08%, down from 7.60%.

The average student loan interest rate is 5.8% among all households with student debt, according to a 2017 report by New America

Student Loan Repayment Calculator

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