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Admission By Design provides expertise on a comprehensive and à la carte hourly basis

Strategic Assessment

Objective evaluation of student’s credentials — transcript, scores, activities, background, interests, special talents, college & career aspirations.

Personality, Career, and Learning Style Assessments

Valuable insight to help pinpoint strengths and interests and assist with career guidance, prospective majors, and finding right-fit colleges.

Admissions Coaching

Guidance on early decision, early action, college visits and fairs, the role of college admission representatives, interviews, demonstrated interest, recommendations, effective use of additional information section.

College Research, Recommendations, and List Development

Three-tiered customized list – Reach, Target, Likely – to maximize options and success based on student’s specific interests, academic record, preferences (e.g. academic programs, location, environment, student life, affordability) and personal needs. Knowledge of hidden gems and merit scholarships. Research and exploration methodology to help students identify schools with the right fit.

Special Talent and Portfolio

Students with special talents — musicians, athletes, dancers, actors, mathematicians, scientists, researchers, inventors, writers, artists, etc. — can often provide additional application materials. Specific requirements and timelines for auditions and/or supplemental materials vary by college.


Guidance on the transfer process to help students identify suitable schools, complete applications, get the most out of what they have already accomplished at their current institution, and to streamline move to the next college.

College Admissions 101

Overview of the college admissions process and what’s important. Guidance for testing, activities, volunteer service, and campus visits.  Included in a comprehensive package.

College Visits

Advice for planning college visits and maximizing the experience. Guidance for “demonstrating interest” and colleges that value campus visits.

Strategic Differentiation

Most colleges don’t seek a class of well-rounded students; they seek a diversified and well-rounded class.  Strategic advice and a streamlined approach to find your “hook” and communicate your most appealing and intriguing self.

Application Coaching

Guidance for navigating and streamlining the application process including worksheets, templates, and assistance with the presentation of honors and activities with emphasis on articulating tangible accomplishments and measurable impact.


Advise student on nurturing and securing recommendations — who, when, best approach, and  what to provide each writer. Assist students with writing points about their experiences to help teachers and counselors write more effective recommendations. Suggest and evaluate potential for additional recommendations from activity advisors, coaches, etc.

Comprehensive Guidance

Ongoing coaching, planning, and frequent review of academic record and progress to keep student and family informed and on-track.  Focus on inspiring and motivating students to figure out their passions and key activities with guidance on how to take them to a higher level. One-on-one meetings and access to GuidedPath, cloud-based college research and admissions process management portal, with accounts for students and parents.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Guidance for understanding the financial aid process, deadlines, EFC calculations, merit scholarships. Discuss goals, strategies for avoiding pitfalls and maximizing assistance.

Entrance Exam Strategies & Timetable

Guidance on which entrance exam(s) to take  — SAT, ACT, Subject Tests — and when. Advise on tutors, free test-prep resources, and accommodations.

Summer & Enrichment

Coaching to identify programs, activities, research opportunities, internships, and MOOCs (e.g. edX, Coursera) to broaden, deepen, and confirm interests and enhance intellectualism.

Resume / "Brag Sheet"

Templates, examples, and assistance for developing resume to showcase academic and extracurricular achievements, quality of involvement, specific accomplishments, and intellectual vitality.

Essay Coaching, Editing, & Support

Strategic assessment of student’s life story to find the best material to present for maximum impact. Time-tested brainstorming and coaching techniques. Assistance with structure, storyline, reflections, personalization, and incorporation of student’s unique attributes, character, values, and interests. Assist with ongoing revisions. Suggestions for editing content, grammar, and vocabulary.

Strategic & Tactical Plans

Streamlined approach for what matters. Curriculum, activity, summer, and enrichment guidance to make the most of high school years, cultivate interests and “hook”, and develop admission narratives.  Priorities, tasks, and timelines to stay organized and on track. Guidance for inspiring and motivating students to uncover passions and take hobbies and interests to a higher level.

Community Service

Random community service hours is not a strategic use of time.  Guidance to find and focus on something the student is passionate about, where they can make a meaningful difference.

Interview Coaching

Using guides, FAQs, coaching, and mock interviews, Admission By Design provides positive and fun preparation to help students feel more confident and prepared.