About Me

Test scores and GPA usually aren't enough to guarantee admission. Your college applications play an important role in showing colleges who you are as a person.

I'll help you craft college applications that showcase your strengths and make them want to accept you.

My Story

I wasn't a particularly impressive high school freshman. My grades were fine, but nothing spectacular. (I definitely never thought I'd go to an Ivy League!)

Some of my classmates had already begun the hyper-competitive winner-take-all battle for the honor of becoming valedictorian.

I didn't think I had a shot at competing with them and, to be honest, I didn't want to study 24/7/365.

I also knew I wasn't the kind of kid who gets a perfect 2400 on the SAT. (And I wasn't anywhere close to being popular enough to get elected Class President.)

However, I cared about my future, and I saw the entire college admissions process as a major roadblock standing in the way of my dream: to get into a top college and have a successful career.

I just knew I had to save my sanity by adopting a more unusual strategy:

I went outside the system and found a niche I could call my own.

It worked.

By senior year, I was able to wow Columbia's admissions team with a college essay about my experiences lobbying delegates at a United Nations conference in South Africa. (The real UN, not Model UN.)

Some of those delegates wrote my letters of recommendation. My résumé described my leadership in a national organization advocating sustainable development.

In the end, I became a high school superstar and got into Columbia University. (Best-selling author Cal Newport actually featured me in How to Be a High School Superstar.)

Even before I graduated from Columbia, friends, neighbors, and people I barely knew started asking me how to improve their college applications. I loved helping them achieve their dreams, so I began working with students throughout NYC.

However, that still wasn't enough, so I created this website, and the College Admissions Toolbox podcast, to share the lessons I've learned during my journey.

I haven't looked back since.

Over more than a decade, I've helped thousands of students craft winning college applications and gain admission to the schools of their dreams.

I can help you, too. 

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Through this website, you'll find my:
I also speak regularly on various aspects of the college application process to students, parents, and educators at schools and community organizations. I'd be happy to speak to your group.

For more information about other services I provide, please see my college essay courses and admission consulting packages, and feel free to email me with any questions.