Highland Village-based Guru Academic Advising aims to help each student find their path

Guru Academic Advising covers a range of topics, including understanding areas of study, applications and financial assistance. (Courtesy Guru Academic Advising)
Guru Academic Advising covers a range of topics, including understanding areas of study, applications and financial assistance. (Courtesy Guru Academic Advising)

Guru Academic Advising covers a range of topics, including understanding areas of study, applications and financial assistance. (Courtesy Guru Academic Advising)

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(Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Erika Dietz got her start in college advising by working in admissions while studying education. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Guru Academic Advising covers a range of topics, including understanding areas of study, applications and financial assistance. (Courtesy Guru Academic Advising)
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Guru Academic Advising covers a range of topics, including understanding areas of study, applications and financial assistance. (Courtesy Guru Academic Advising)
Every student and family is unique in the steps they need to take to prepare for college, said Erika Dietz, founder of and lead counselor with Guru Academic Advising.

This is why the students her team advises do not all follow the same curriculum. Instead, she said, advisers talk through general topics with students and their families and then plan an advising timeline with different points of focus.

“Nobody’s college process takes the same format,” Dietz said. “One student might be applying to a really cool foreign language program. ... Another student might be writing an essay to start working on their [New York University] application.”

Students can come to Guru at any stage in their planning process, with many starting between ninth and 12th grades.

Roughly a third of Guru’s clients come from LISD and the Flower Mound area, Dietz said. Guru offers a free first session with one of its eight advisers who do their best to cover as much ground as possible.


“The college application process ... is way too convoluted, and it creates a big barrier for access for a lot of families,” Dietz said.

Guru also offers a number of opportunities for students to receive free advising, including a few programs at Lewisville ISD, such as Farmer Ready, an application-based program with multiple sessions.

In these types of programs, Dietz said, she is able to better educate students on their options for college, such as approaching schools that have higher price tags but may also have more financial aid opportunities than local schools.

For each family and student at Guru, Dietz and her team are upfront about the fact that college counseling is helpful but is not needed for everyone, she said.

“We do work with students and help them apply to some very competitive schools every year, and they’re successful in that, but we never want a business like ours to intensify the stress that families already feel,” Dietz said.

Guru Academic Advising

2300 Highland Village Road, Bldg. 2, Highland

Village

972-755-9507

www.guruacademicadvising.com

Phone hours: Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Flexible advising schedule
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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