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College admissions counseling

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College admissions made stress-free

Our students have gained admissions at the top Ivy League programs, Stanford University, MIT, Rice University, Georgetown University, and many other prestigious academic programs.

9th-11th grade: Pre-application High School Mentorship

The best college applications are built over years, not days.

  • Academic course planning with a focus on the student's interests
  • Resume building with a focus on helping the student develop his or her personal brand
  • Volunteer and extracurricular activities advising
  • Finding research internships
  • Summer program search and application advising

12th grade: College Admissions Counseling

After years of hard work, we will help you put your best foot forward when it's time to apply to colleges.

  • The college search
  • Personalized essay coaching and review - Essays allow you to show off personality, creativity, and motivations. Guidance includes picking a topic, hooking the reader, and developing a story line.
  • Holistic Interview preparation
  • Developing a personal brand
  • Obtaining the best letters of recommendations
  • Comprehensive final application review








"You all were very good at helping my daughter feel as if the essay she was submitting was the best she could do. I think she felt that she put her best self out there and was very satisfied with her essays. The scheduling times to talk were perfect for a teenager."

-Suzie S. (mother of daughter who was accepted into UPenn, UVa, Boston College, and Northeastern)

Check out more testimonials and results.

College admissions resources

Ivy Planners Guides written by experts who've been there.

Admissions FAQ

How is Ivy Planners different from other college consulting and test preparation firms?
Aside from offering much lower prices than other companies, Ivy Planners have all recently and successfully applied to elite colleges whereas other counselors may not have experience with elite colleges themselves. Furthermore, it might have been decades since these counselors have attended college or have taken the SAT. Applying to college today is a completely different process than it was years ago. Thus, we can offer a perspective which others cannot.

Why do I need an Ivy Planner if I already have a high school counselor?
High school counselors are indeed a great resource. However, due to growing student bodies of high schools, many counselors do not have the time to devote as much attention to each student as each student deserves. In fact, approximately 5-10% of public school students and 15-20% of private school students work with an independent college counselor. Ivy Planners is able to give individualized attention and offers advice straight from the horse's mouth as we have recently gone through and succeeded in the college admissions process.

I'm a high school freshman. Am I planning too early?
No, it is never too early to begin the college admissions process. In reality, you are ahead of the game and will have an edge compared to your peers as you plan out your courseload and activities over the next few years.

I don't want to go to a high-tier college. Can you help me?
Of course. We work with students applying to any undergraduate institution - be it an Ivy League university, a private college, or a state school - to make the application process smooth. We also specialize in helping those interested in combined medical BS/MD programs.

Where are you located?
We offer our services to students across the globe through Skype and Google Hangouts. We currently offer in-person sessions to those living in the greater Houston area.

Why are more people applying to selective colleges?
Richard Vedder, Director for the Center for College Affordability and Professor of Economics at Ohio University, cites four reasons for the increasing desirability of a degree from an upper-tier university. Firstly, college is cheaper for low-middle income families due to generous financial aid. Secondly, the high cost of college is not “an insurmountable challenge” for Ivy League students. Thirdly, simply having a college degree does not cut it anymore in the increasingly competitive workforce. And finally, the same number of students are attending prestigious schools even though population and income have both increased..

Why are college admissions rates so low?
The New York Times reports that three reasons are driving low admissions figures: firstly, a demographic bulge from the baby boom period means more applicants for the same number of spots. Secondly, more high school students are enrolling in college. Thirdly, the average high school student will apply to more colleges due to the ease of online applications such as The Common Application.

When should I actually start my application?
You should always be thinking about schools you would like to attend. Be sure to know their specific application requirements. By the end of your junior year (and during the summer time), you should finalize your list of schools.To ensure that you are not scrambling to submit your application the day before it is due, we recommend starting the college application by the summer after your junior year.

Is regular decision or early decision/early action better?
If you consider early decision or early action programs, you may only have to apply to one school. This saves money, time, and - in the long run - stress. Because Early Decision (ED) applications are binding, admission rates are typically higher with ED. Therefore, ED is a great way to apply to a school that you are completely set on. Early Action (EA) programs are non-binding, you can have an admissions decision quite early with the flexibility of choosing from multiple schools.

What factor does the essay play in my application?
The essay can be one of the largest tipping factors which distinguishes you from the other masses of applicants. It is one of the few places in your application where you can actually show personality, rather than numbers (grades, test scores, GPA, etc). Though high test scores and grades are important, remember this: colleges want people, not numbers.

Should I send a college-specific application rather than the Common Application?
It is extremely unlikely that an applicant who used The Common Application will receive any advantage over an applicant who did not use The Common Application. The convenience conferred by The Common Application supersedes any possible edge gained by applying with the college-specific application. One should remember that schools are looking at you as a person, not by what format your application is in.

Where are you located?
We offer our services to students across the globe through Skype and Google Hangouts. We currently offer in-person sessions to those living in the greater Houston area.