The Expert College Consulting Specialist

Hi, I'm Mr. Admissions, a college coach in New York.Let's talk about how I can help you and your student navigate the college application landscape and find the perfect fit for their future.Your first consultation is on me.

Let's find your dream school together!

westchester college admissions coach and consultant
westchester college admissions coach and consultant
westchester college admissions coach and consultant


As one of the country’s most renowned college counselors, Jason Stern (Mr. Admissions) helps students present the best versions of themselves through his dynamically innovative approach to college applications and admissions. College applicants are encouraged not to seek out the “best school” but to think outside the box and find the school that represents the “best fit” for them, academically, socially, logistically, and emotionally. With a background as an attorney, a college counselor, and motivational speaker, Jason engages students to “make your mark” on the world.Jason is also the founder and Executive Director of The Harlem Project, a charitable organization that inspires hope and ignites empowerment among the next generation of leaders around the world. Jason is 100% committed to motivating this generation of students to be high achievers and to strive for success in all aspects of their lives.

Price Plans


The Presidential Plan is our top-level college prep package designed to help parents and students entering their junior or senior year every step of the way from pre-application through admission and enrollment. Every item of college preparation is covered, including: SAT/ACT guidance; College selection; Essay planning and editing; Application tactics; Waitlist and deferment strategies; LOCIs; Financial aid and scholarship searches; and Volunteer opportunities. The Presidential Plan features:

  • Twelve Months of 24/7 Access to Mr. Admissions via cell/text

  • 52 Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls (30 Minutes)

  • Three Hours of Initial Consultation (Live or Zoom)

  • Exclusive Access to our One Hour Webinar “Everything You Don’t Know About College Admissions”

  • Starting at $9850


The Chancellor Plan is a structured system designed to help parents and students entering their junior or senior year navigate the application, admissions, and financial aid process from beginning to end. Every item of college preparation is covered, including: SAT/ACT guidance; College selection; Essay planning and editing; Application tactics; Waitlist and deferment strategies; LOCIs; Financial aid and scholarship searches; and Volunteer opportunities. The Chancellor Plan features:

  • 52 Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls (30 Minutes)

  • Three Hours of Initial Consultation (Live or Zoom)

  • Exclusive Access to our One Hour Webinar “Everything You Don’t Know About College Admissions”

  • Starting at $7450


The Scholar Plan (also called the RUSH plan) is a three month structured system designed to help parents and students quickly navigate and complete the application process from beginning to end. Ideal for seniors who have taken their final SAT or ACT exams, beginning in late Summer or Fall, we will start with an intensive three hour consultation before diving into the college application process. Over a three month period, we will meet weekly via Zoom or to discuss every aspect of our college preparation progress, including: College selection; Essay planning and editing; Application tactics and strategies; Waitlist and deferment strategies; LOCIs; and Financial aid and scholarship searches; and Volunteer opportunities. The Scholar Plan features:

  • Three Hours of Consultation (Live or Zoom) (Can be split)

  • Twelve (12) Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls

  • Exclusive Access to our One Hour Webinar “Everything You Don’t Know About College Admissions”

  • Starting at $4750


The Underclassman Plan is a Six Hour Q&A program consisting of five hours of consultation plus a one hour webinar for your freshman, sophomore, or junior student. Ideal for students who are self-starters and parents with experience assisting with college applications, over the course of our five hour consultation, we will thoroughly review every aspect of college preparation, including: SAT/ACT guidance; College selection; Essay planning and editing; Application tactics; Waitlist and deferment strategies; LOCIs; Financial aid and scholarship searches; Volunteer opportunities; and everything else under the sun. The Junior Plan features:

  • Five Hours of Consultation (Live or Zoom) (can be split)

  • Exclusive Access to our One Hour Webinar “Everything You Don’t Know About College Admissions”

  • Starting at $2850


Not ready to commit to a plan? Looking for a second or fresh opinion? Need some clarification about something? Whether it’s college selection assistance, essay planning and editing, application tactics and strategies, waitlist and deferment strategies, LOCIs, Financial aid and scholarship searches, volunteer work or anything else that’s on your mind, Mr. Admissions is here to provide you with clear and concise directions and advice to help you guide your student to the college that represents the best fit for them.Got everything else covered but absolutely befuddled by your essay prompts? Whether it’s planning your MIT short essay responses, writing a letter to your future roommate at Stanford, responding to the standard question ‘Why Us?’ or just needing some expert guidance and feedback on your Common App Essay, Mr. Admissions has you covered. As a published author, journalist, writer, and former NYC English teacher, I will work with your student to plan an essay that highlights their creative and intellectual strengths and passions in a way sure to capture the attention of the Admissions Committee.Starting at $500/hour


A LOCI (pronounced Low-Key) is a a Letter of Continued Interest. If you student has been deferred or waitlisted, it is imperative that a LOCI be submitted by the student, reiterating their interest in the school and making the case for their admission. Without a LOCI, chances of being accepted off the waitlist are close to zero. Each LOCI will include a complete review of all documents and a 2 hour consultation.

Why Do We Need a College Coach?

Let's face it -- the game has changed since we applied to college 30 or 40 years ago. The College admission process can be a complex, overwhelming and stressful journey for both parents and students. With so many colleges and universities to choose from, along with multiple applications to complete, test scores to improve, and essays to write, the process can be exhausting and time-consuming. Hiring a college coach or consultant can significantly reduce the stress and help the family and student in making informed decisions throughout the admission process. Perhaps most importantly, things have substantially changed since the days when we were high school students. No longer will an A+ average and a 1500+ SAT score guarantee anyone admission to an Ivy League college.One of the most significant benefits of hiring us is the wealth of knowledge and experience we have to offer. We are well-versed in the admission requirements of various colleges and universities and can help families understand what colleges are looking for in applicants. We can also help with identifying potential colleges, determining the best fit, and guiding your student in the admission process.With an early start, we can also help with creating a roadmap for the student to achieve their academic and career goals. We can help with creating a customized test preparation plan, assisting with essay writing, and helping the student highlight their strengths and achievements in the best possible way.Hiring a college coach or consultant is also a fantastic investment for parents because it’s an investment in your child’s future and can save you time, money, and heartache. We can help you make informed decisions throughout the process, reduce your stress and anxiety that often comes with the process, and ensure that your child is on track to achieve their academic and career goals. And finally, as your child sets off on this last step before leaving the nest, they need to begin the process of developing independence from mom and dad. This is a big step for everyone and there are a lot of emotions involved. But don't worry, I will be there for you and your child -- both separately and together -- with the compassion and encouragement that every family deserves.At the end of the day, hiring a college coach or consultant is a smart investment for families who want to ensure that their child has the best chance of success in the college admission process. With our expertise, knowledge, and experience, we can help families and students navigate the complex and competitive college admission process, reducing stress and making informed decisions. You’ve given them all of the tools and knowledge to be a successful high school student — so let’s finish strong and let Mr. Admissions take it from here!

new york college admissions counseling coach and consultant

You've invested in them since the day they were born.

new york college admissions counseling coach and consultant

You nurtured them and got them to this point.

new york college admissions counseling coach and consultant

Let's finish what you started...together.

Reviews & Testimonials

Eben T.

"I'm super grateful for you. This whole process would've been an epic disaster if you weren't waiting in the wings after our ED school blew up. I never would've thought of GW and absolutely wouldn't have known about the Corcoran Scholars Program."


"You saved us countless battles and more than $250,000 by helping her secure a five-year scholarship and admission to their prestigious music program. We will be eternally grateful for you and all you have done!"

Jennifer P.

"The way you connected with my daughter and were able to convey so much information to both her and us in such little time was nothing short of remarkable. You truly have a gift for what you do!"

Freshman Checklist9th GRADE COLLEGE PLANNING CHECKLISTAcademic and Extra Curriculum Suggestions

- Get to know your School Counselor: Schedule a meeting just to introduce yourself, even if you don’t need any help at the time. Guidance counselors are required to write recommendation letters for most colleges, so make sure he/she gets to know you (and like you!) over the next four years.- Consider Your Future: Think about where you want to be as a senior and map out a four-year roadmap to get there. Do you want to take AP classes in junior and senior year? What prerequisites do you need in 9th and 10th grade to be ready for advanced classes?- Get Involved!: Join clubs or find outside activities that let you pursue your interests. If you want to start something new, now is the time to try—colleges want to see passion and commitment. If there is something that really excites you, explore it. Just don’t wait till junior year to get started!- Keep Track of your Accomplishments: Make a Googlel Doc, Apple Note, or just write down a summary of your activities, jobs, and experiences to use in creating a resume and also for generating ideas for college essays.- Buckle Down and Work Hard!: Grades in your freshman year count equally towards your overall GPA and in the eyes of college admissions. In fact, 99% of the time, your freshman grades count MORE than your senior grades because colleges don't see your senior grades until AFTER an admission decision has already been made!- Don’t Waste your Summers: You don’t have to do anything fancy, but use the time wisely. Are you entrepreneurial? Start a small business…even if it’s just mowing lawns. Having a job, even at a local ice cream store, will show you are reliable. Consider volunteering in an area you have interest in. Or possibly take a summer class to get ahead and prepare for more advanced classes.- Make sure there’s a solid foundation: The best test prep for college entrance exams is for your student to have a solid foundation and understanding of their course work. Good grades may not always mean they truly learned the subject matter. And not-so-good grades mean they need more help to really understand the subject matter.- Consider Hiring a Tutor: A single point can make a $50,000 difference for your student's loans! If tutoring isn't an option, push your student to ask for help from their teachers and to utilize free online tools such as Khan Academy.- Test Early, Test Often!
Remember that there is absolutely no reason not to take the SAT or ACT as frequently as practicable. Scores are kept private unless you want them released. Studying and practicing exam questions at home is great but nothing can replace taking the exam under the exact conditions as they’ll be taking it when it counts the most. If you’re not seeing a year over year increase in score by at least 100 points, you should identify where your student’s weakness is and dedicate some time (and even tutoring) to leveling up.

Sophomore Checklist10th GRADE COLLEGE PLANNING CHECKLISTAcademic and Extra Curriculum Suggestions

- Register to Take the SAT: Even if your school is not offering it, this will give your student practice. Use free tools such as Khan Academy to practice. Remember, no one's first run is their best run.- Start Researching Colleges Now is the time to get a head start looking at colleges that might interest your student.- Attend a College Fair: Work with your student to help them get an idea of the differences between colleges. A college fair is a great place to maximize your efficiency in seeing as many schools as possible in the shortest amount of time. Check out NACAC for fairs close by.- Visit College Websites: Now is a great time to start building a list of potential schools and review the college admissions statistics. This will give your student an idea of what types of grades and test scores are needed to get into schools he/she may be interested in. By registering an email with the website, you will have shown 'expressed interest' and many times will receive a fee waiver for your application!- Build Student-Teacher Relationships!: Start building bridges with teachers, especially in subjects students are strong in. This will help when asking for college recommendations, and may even help their grades!- Start Visiting Colleges: If you live by any colleges, consider visiting to get an idea of the type of school your student might be interested in – urban/rural; big/small; public/private. Also, learn to maximize your efficiency by getting on as many campuses as possible -- far better to walk three campuses in 30 minutes and catch the vibe than spend 3 hours on a boring tour. No one needs a 3 hours sales pitch (especially in the summer!) Trust me, when they know, they know!- Think About Majors: For some it's too early, but others may already be interested in pursuing a major. This will help them decide what schools to include on their list of potential colleges. And if they're undecided that's okay too!

Junior Checklist11th GRADE COLLEGE PLANNING CHECKLISTAcademic and Extra Curriculum Suggestions

Junior year of high school is the most important time for students in the college admissions process!We created a college planning checklist for you and your 11th grader to help you navigate the journey and help your student prepare now — while there is still plenty of time to impact their future and select a school they can both get into and you can afford.If you haven’t reviewed our College Cheatsheet Checklists for 9th and 10th Grades, please do so!. Those suggestions still apply for junior year!- Academic and Extracurricular Suggestions: In the past few years, Extracurriculars (commonly referred to as ECs) have become more important than test scores! Give a lot of consideration to how much time your student is putting into ECs that do nothing to improve their college profile. Instead, focus on finding ECs that are consistent with their academic and career goals in college and beyond. And check out our EC College Tier List!- Talk About College: This is the year to have a real discussion about college costs, what your family can afford, how much debt you and your student are willing to take on, and what your student can do to improve their academics and extracurricular involvement. Parents who dodge the subject of affordability frequently find themselves in extremely stressful situations when a student has been accepted to their “dream school” and the parents cannot afford to pay for it. Manage your student’s expectations and do so early in the process.- Take the Rigorous Classes: Grades and course rigor are important to admissions officers. It’s not a bad idea to look into online community college courses that offer credit for both high school and college, which will give your child a leg up on college credit and stand out on their applications. That being said, a student's mental health is not worth the expense of a rigorous workload, especially for student-athletes who might be overloaded.- Extracurricular Activities: Whether at school or in the community, the in-depth pursuit of an interest reflects something that you are passionate about. Colleges no longer want “well-rounded” students, but rather are looking for students who are unique, focused, and angular in their interests.- Create a Test Prep Plan: Whether a student is taking the SAT or ACT, everyone needs a detailed plan of study. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish! Review the year’s scheduled dates for SATs, ACTs, and SAT subject tests. Depending on your student’s results, plan test dates so they can take the test twice before the start of senior year. Senior year is very stressful and students should consider taking the SAT/ACT in the fall of senior year only if they feel they can do better than previous tests. The summer before 11th grade, make a plan for test prep and a schedule for which SAT/ACT tests you plan on taking. If your student has a specific weakness in math or verbal subjects, get to know some local tutors or see if your student is able to learn via Khan Academy or various math teachers on YouTube. Feel free to message me for specific subject recommendations (algebra, geometry, etc.).- Discuss Majors and Careers: Find out what your student is interested in. Talk to them about your job and your friend's jobs. I'm always astonished how many students don't even know what their own parents do for a living! For many students this feels premature and causes anxiety. DO NOT DEMAND that they pick a major or career. These are starter conversations. Consider having your student take a DAT (Diagnostic Aptitude Test) to help identify skill strengths and weaknesses and allow the DAT to suggest specific careers based on their results. If your student has an interest in the arts, continue to support that but encourage them to consider combining that with a traditional career option as a double major.- Create a Preliminary List of Colleges: Divide schools into three categories: REACH, ZONE, and SAFETY. A reach school is one with a less than 25% chance of admission. A zone school would be in the 25-75% chance of admission and a safety would be a greater than 75% chance of admission.- Use the 20/60/20 Formula: Make sure about 20% of your schools are reach, 60% are zone, and 20% are safety. On a basic level, this would mean when applying to 10 schools, 2 would be reach, 2 would be safety and 6 would be zone. Include schools that will be financial safety schools your family can afford.- Research Schools Online: Check if your student’s potential major is available and if there are specific course requirements or prerequisites. It’s also worthwhile to look at a school’s student newspaper and career center.- Watch Youtube College Videos: Times is precious. Be efficient. Every college has dozens of videos showing tours of campus, dorms, classes, and more. Don't waste time spending money on long weekend trips to tour a college your student could've eliminated by watching a 5 minute Youtube video! Make watching at least three videos about a college a requirement before scheduling a trip.- Start Visiting Schools: If possible, visit when students are still on campus. Get your student on as many campuses as possible. Don't feel the need to do 2-3 hour tours. Most students will know within a few minutes how they feel about a school or campus. If you do decide to engage in a formal tour, prepare questions to ask the tour guides. Take notes and rate the school from 1-10 as soon as you're done and the visit is still fresh in your mind. Use pre-application visits to rule out schools, but remember not to “fall in love” with any reach schools!- Attend College Fairs: College fairs are a great way to garner a ton of information in a relatively short period of time. If you combine Youtube videos and 1-2 college fairs, you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary trips to faraway colleges!- Teacher Recommendations: Think about which teachers you would like to ask for recommendations and start asking for letters at the end of junior year.- Organize: Create a physical and online folder to keep your information and brochures. I like Google Docs and Sheets for easy sharing and editing.- Common App Essay Dates: They are usually released late spring or early summer.- Brainstorm Essay Ideas: Work with a coach or professional writer to edit those ideas and bullet-point them to help with organization and keeping word count limits in mind.- Get Started: Work on your applications and essays over the summer: There is too much pressure once senior year begins and good essays need time for cultivation and revisions.- Make This Summer Count!: Use this summer to continue pursuing your out of school interests or fine-tune any academics you’d like to strengthen.- Don’t create accounts on college search websites: Just use the sites to search and compare. Many of these sites track online actions that you may not be aware of and sell this information, along with your data as leads to colleges.- Request Information from Colleges: Get your student's name on their lists if your student has any interest in applying: This can allow your student to show demonstrated interest to the admissions office. Register or create an account to receive more information and many will even offer you a fee application waiver.

by Jason Stern
Mr. Admissions

When it comes to preparing for college, there's no denying that the process can be overwhelming, both academically and financially. As a college consultant, my mission is to guide parents and students through this journey, helping them find the perfect college fit while also ensuring they make the most of available financial opportunities. One aspect of this process that often goes overlooked is the significant impact that a single point on your ACT score can have on your merit scholarship opportunities.Let's dive right into it with a real-life example from the University of Missouri. At Mizzou, an ACT score of 27 can earn you a commendable $8,500 per year in merit scholarships. However, what if I told you that by increasing that score by just one point to 28, you could unlock a staggering $21,500 per year in merit scholarships? That's a jaw-dropping difference of $13,000 annually, which translates to a whopping $52,000 over four years. This illustrates precisely how crucial that one extra point can be in securing substantial financial aid for your college education.But why does this one-point difference matter so much? To understand this, we must recognize that many colleges use a tiered approach when awarding merit scholarships. These scholarships are often based on specific ACT score thresholds. Crossing from one tier to the next, even by a single point, can lead to a significant boost in your financial aid package.Here are a few more examples to drive home the point:1. Florida State University:
- ACT Score of 30: $6,000 per year
- ACT Score of 31: $9,600 per year
- That's a $3,600 annual difference or $14,400 over four years.
2. University of Alabama:
- ACT Score of 32: $18,000 OOS
- ACT Score of 33: $28,000 OOS
- Here, one point means an extra $10,000 annually.
3. University of Texas at Austin:
- ACT Score of 31: $10,000 per year
- ACT Score of 32: $20,000 per year
- A single point boost results in an additional $10,000 annually.
These examples underscore the importance of meticulous ACT preparation. Investing time and effort into ACT prep can lead to substantial financial gains. Whether it's through self-study, tutoring, or taking preparatory courses, the return on investment can be staggering.So, what can you do to ensure you make the most of your ACT score?1. Early Preparation: Start your ACT preparation early, ideally in your sophomore or junior year of high school. This gives you ample time to practice and improve your skills.2. Quality Resources: Utilize high-quality study materials, practice tests, and, if needed, consider hiring a tutor or enrolling in a test prep course.3. Strategic Retakes: If your initial score falls just short of a scholarship threshold, consider retaking the test. A small improvement can lead to big rewards.4. Research Scholarships: Research colleges and universities you're interested in to understand their scholarship criteria. Know the ACT score thresholds required for different levels of merit aid.5. Apply Widely: Apply to a range of colleges that match your academic profile. This increases your chances of receiving merit scholarships.In conclusion, every point on your ACT score can potentially translate into thousands of dollars in merit scholarship money. It's an investment in your future that should not be underestimated. With the right preparation and strategy, you can maximize your ACT score and unlock financial opportunities that will make your college dreams more affordable and achievable. So, ACT now, and watch how a single point can make a monumental difference in your educational journey!

Why the ACT may be better than the SAT for Students with Attention Deficit Disorders
By Jason Stern
Mr. Admissions

The ACT with its four sections may be a better option for students with ADHD compared to the SAT with its two sections:Section Variety and Breaks: The ACT’s four-section format provides more variety and breaks throughout the exam. This can benefit students with ADHD by allowing them to shift their focus between subjects and providing brief pauses for mental rest. Switching between sections can help prevent excessive mental fatigue and sustain attention throughout the test.Time Management: Students with ADHD often struggle with time management and may require more time to process information and formulate their responses. The ACT generally offers more time per question compared to the SAT. This additional time allows students with ADHD to work at a comfortable pace, reducing the pressure of rushing and giving them the opportunity to think through each question more thoroughly.Science Section: One unique feature of the ACT is the inclusion of a separate Science section. For students with ADHD who excel in science-related subjects, this section provides an opportunity to showcase their strengths. It allows them to engage in a topic they may find interesting and feel more confident about, potentially boosting their overall score.Reading Section Approach: While both the ACT and SAT have a reading section, the ACT often employs a more direct and concise question style compared to the SAT. Students with ADHD may struggle with sustained attention and may benefit from questions that are straightforward and to the point. The ACT’s reading section tends to focus on comprehension and analysis, requiring less inference and interpretation, which can be helpful for students with ADHD.Remember, while these points highlight potential advantages for students with ADHD, individual needs and preferences can vary. It’s essential for students to consult with their educators, parents, and medical professionals to determine the most suitable testing approach based on their specific circumstances and abilities.

It's Okay to Be Undecided

Are you or your child grappling with the daunting question of what to study in college? Don’t sweat it — uncertainty is a natural part of the journey. Take a deep breath and relax: It's okay to be undecided.When I was in 8th grade, my English teacher Mr. Williams taught us the Japanese concept of IKIGAI, a term that represents a person's "reason for being" or their true calling. IKIGAI is visualized as the intersection of four circles labeled:1. Things you love.
2. Things you are good at.
3. Things that are needed.
4. Things that make money.
This concept beautifully encapsulates the essence of finding one's purpose. It's a reminder that many individuals don't stumble upon their IKIGAI until their college years or even later in life.The pressure on high school students to make career-defining decisions can be overwhelming. Parents, relatives, counselors, and teachers often ask them, "What will you major in? What career path will you choose?" The weight of these questions is substantial. In an ideal world, many students would honestly respond that they are still exploring, unsure of their true passions and abilities.Undecided students, particularly those in their sophomore and junior years of high school, are, in fact, intriguing to guide. It's essential to acknowledge that at this stage, most students haven't fully discovered their passions or talents. Self-reflection can be a challenging task for young minds. Factors such as job prospects and income potential are often distant considerations.So, how can parents, high school counselors, independent counselors, and college admission counselors utilize the IKIGAI model to assist undecided students?Instead of directly asking, "What do you like? What are you good at?" there are more subtle and effective questions to encourage introspection:1. "Have you ever casually considered careers that piqued your interest? What fields do your parents encourage you to explore?"
2. "Which of your friends possess skills that you secretly admire? What do they admire about you?"
3. "What activities do you enjoy during your free time?"
4. "If computers didn't exist, what subjects would you read about in books?"
5. "If you had to teach someone a subject, what would you choose, and why?"
6. "Do your friends come to you for help in specific subjects?"
7. "What's your 'rabbit hole,' something that captivates you so much that you lose track of time?"
Furthermore, encourage students to consider hidden talents, aspirations for the future, and unexplored interests. Involve them in designing their ideal college experience. This exercise includes questions about location, campus size, subjects, extracurricular activities, and more.For those students seemingly set on a particular career, it's vital to explore backup plans. Ask them about their Plan B, Plan C, and even Plan D. This exercise helps them keep an open mind and prepare for alternative paths in case their primary choice doesn't pan out as expected.These questions, though not exhaustive, guide students towards self-discovery. As a counselor, a vivid picture begins to form, leading to potential majors or programs that might resonate with the student's interests.The ultimate goal is to provide clarity on what they truly love, what they excel at, career prospects, and a list of colleges that align with their aspirations. While other factors like cost are essential, these insights form a solid foundation for students to embark on a fulfilling college journey.In essence, college can be a transformative experience that leads students to their own "IKIGAI" – their reason for being. By initiating this introspection and exploration during high school, we pave the way for a smoother transition to college and a more profound understanding of one's interests, passions, and talents.

By Jason Stern

MISTAKE #1: Visiting on a bad weather day. Hey, I know sometimes these things get planned weeks or even months in advance, but if you visit a college in terrible weather, you’re stacking the odds heavily against picking that college. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but generally it’s safe to say that first impressions are everything and if you don’t even want to get out of the car, you’re probably not going to fall in love with the campus or the school. Do yourself a favor: Plan in advance but by all means, check the forecast a few days out and if the weather says 30s and thunderstorms, don’t even waste the trip — just reschedule!!MISTAKE #2: Getting too attached to any particular school. The first rule of College Admissions Club is NEVER FALL IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT WITH A COLLEGE: You’re only setting yourself and your child up for heartbreak if they don’t get in. Remember, no one, I repeat, NO ONE is guaranteed admission ANYWHERE. If you and your student absolutely love a campus or the vibe, that’s great — it stays on the list. Maybe it becomes their top choice for Early Decision. But that’s it. Continue to tour and add schools to your list. I’m telling you as someone who has done this for decades: COLLEGE ADMISSIONS BREAKS HEARTS. GuaranteedMISTAKE #3: Failing to distinguish between a pre-admission visit and a post-admission visit. A pre-admission visit should include a general tour of the campus (either organized or on your own), the surrounding area, a meal or two in town, and act as more of a Rule-Out visit. If the campus, vibe, or town is a hard no, then by all means rule it out and cross it off your list, unsubscribe to their emails and have your student remove it from their common app list. A post-admission visit on the other hand is crucial to the process of selecting a school and therefore, should include a student-specific tour of the campus that shows where their major classes will be, meeting with department chair or professor, honors students gatherings (if applicable), having lunch in a dining hall with a student or two, meeting with Greek coordinator (if interested), and a tour of the dorms.MISTAKE #4: Not reaching out to their Admissions Counselor or Associate Dean of Admissions to help customize the post-admission tour. As mentioned in previous articles, the Admissions Counselor (sometimes titled Associate Dean of Admissions) is the most underestimated and underutilized resource that a college provides. As soon as you’re in the planning stages of organizing your post-admission college tour, reach out to your Admissions Counselor and ask if there are dates to accommodate admitted students and make any specific requests you have. Your Admissions Counselor should handle the extras — meetings with department chairs or professors, Honors gatherings, lunch with students, Honors dorm tour, and anything else specific to your student. .MISTAKE #5: Visiting a school (pre or post admission) without your student! Look, I get it — you and your significant other are super excited about your DS or DD heading off to college. In fact, you’re even more excited than they are! But if you are touring colleges minus the actual person who will be attending college, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG! You’re literally just wasting time. This isn’t where you’ll be living for the next 4-5 years. It’s where your kid will be living. If they’re not ready or too busy hanging with their friends or playing videogames or not interested enough to visit then do this: Wait until they’re ready. And if they’re still not ready or interested when the time comes, then it might be time for a serious conversation about whether they’re ready for college.

Extra-Curricular EC Tier List

Tier 10
Recruited Division 1 Athlete
Intel Science Talent Search Top 10
Siemens National Winner
Intel ISEF Top 3 Grand Prize
Published in Nature, Science, or similarly rigorous journal
Carnegie Hall Soloist
Tier 9
Siemens Finalist
Intel ISEF Best in Category
Intel STS Finalist
NFL Nationals winner
Research Science Institute (RSI)
Tier 8
USPhO/USChO/USABO/USACO National Finalist
Siemens Semifinalists
Intel STS Semifinalist
Intel ISEF 1st – 4th place Category Award
Published in a respectable journal or publishing house
Starting a successful business
AMC Perfect Score
Presidential Scholar
Davidson Fellow
Presidential Scholar of the Arts
Scholastic Art & Writing Portfolio, Gold Award
Tier 7
Selective summer programs (EX: SSP, Clark Summer Program, NIH Research, MITES)
Having a patent
Intel ISEF special award
USAMO qualification
ARML Tiebreaker Round/Top Team
Scholastic Art & Writing National Silver or Gold Medal
NFL Nationals qualifier
USAMTS Gold Medal
MATHCOUNTS top 12 sprint/countdown round
Tier 6
Columbia Scholastic Press Crown
Appearance on Teen Jeopardy
Intel ISEF Finalist
Science Olympiad National medal
First Robotics National Championship
State Athletic Championship
Science Bowl/Ocean Science Bowl/NAQT winners
Tier 5
Columbia Scholastic Press Medalist (if Editor-in-Chief, 5; if Editor, 4; if other staff, 3)
Mock Trial State Champion (depends on state)
National Latin Convention 1st Places Academic Contests
All-Eastern/All-Regional music
National History Day winner
Congressional Award Gold Medalist
AIME qualification
Science Bowl national qualification
National AP Scholar (note: as a junior or prior)
Class President
President of a large, academic, serious club (EX: MUN, Mock Trial, Science Olympiad)
State AP Scholar (note: as a junior or prior)
Tier 4
National Latin Exam perfect score (multiple years)
The majority of state-level awards (athletic and academic)
All-State music
Science Olympiad state medals (depending on which state)
National History Day
ETS TEAMS National Finalist or Regional winner
Model United Nations Best Delegate Gavel
1st Place State-level Debate
AMC 10/12 school winner
Congressional Award Silver Medalist
Eagle Scout
President of a smaller/less serious club
Student Council position
Tier 3
All-County music
Winning (1st–3rd place) at regional science fairs
1st Place Regional-level Debate
National Merit Scholar
Rensselaer Medalist
Leadership in an academic club (EX: Vice President, Treasurer)
Tier 2
Bank of America Awards
The majority of local awards
Essay Contests
State History Day
Membership in a club (that requires some work)
Tier 1
National Honor Society
Beta Club
School Departmental Awards (EX: math dept. award)
Book awards (EX: Harvard book award)
School Honor Roll
Varsity Sports
Key Club
Interact Club
Tier 0
Who’s Who
National Honor Roll
National Society of High School Scholars

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Presidential Plan

  • Twelve (12) Months of 24/7 Access to Mr. Admissions via Cell/Text for students and parents
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Chancellor Plan

  • 52 Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls to keep your student on track included
  • Three (3) Hours of Initial ConsultationLive or Zoom
  • Exclusive access to our One Hour Webinar 'Everything You Don't Know About College Admissions'
  • Chatbot Accessunlimited


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Scholar/Rush Plan

  • 12 Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls to keep your student on track included
  • Three (3) Hours of Initial ConsultationLive or Zoom
  • Exclusive access to our One Hour Webinar 'Everything You Don't Know About College Admissions'
  • CollegeBot Accessunlimited
  • Websites unlimited


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Underclassman Plan

$2750/ yr
  • Five (5) Hours of Consultation(Live or Zoom)
  • Exclusive access to our One Hour Webinar 'Everything You Don't Know About College Admissions'
  • CollegeBot Accessunlimited


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Presidential Plan

  • Twelve (12) Months of 24/7 Access to Mr. Admissions via Cell/Text for students and parents
  • 52 Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls to keep your student on track included
  • Three (3) Hours of Initial ConsultationLive or Zoom
  • Exclusive access to our One Hour Webinar 'Everything You Don't Know About College Admissions'


Buy now

Presidential Plan

  • Twelve (12) Months of 24/7 Access to Mr. Admissions via Cell/Text for students and parents
  • 52 Weekly Zoom or Telephone Calls to keep your student on track included
  • Three (3) Hours of Initial ConsultationLive or Zoom
  • Exclusive access to our One Hour Webinar 'Everything You Don't Know About College Admissions'


Buy now