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Getting Started & FAQs
Getting Started

Most clients begin the process with a 30-minute complimentary meeting (in-person, by phone, or Skype) to learn more about Admission By Design and to help determine if working together would be a good fit.  The initial, no-obligation meeting is an ideal opportunity to ask questions, discuss expectations, and to clarify your goals, needs, and priorities.

Most client engagements begin with an objective review of the student’s credentials and a discussion about goals, interests, and important aspects of college planning and the admissions process.   Students are often asked to complete an online assessment such as “Find My Spark” or “Do What You Are” to gain insight into potential college majors, schools that might be a good fit, and possible careers.  Based on this information, Admission By Design provides personalized strategic and tactical guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission to selective private and state universities has become increasingly competitive. The cost of higher education has skyrocketed, making the right college decision more important than ever.  At the same time, many school-based counselors are overburdened. Given the complexities of gaining an upper hand in the college process, many families find that a private consultant improves their options and reduces stress by delivering timely insight, objectivity, strategic advice, and an organized process.

Admission By Design clients range from “Ivy-League Hopefuls” to “Solid C Students”, including student athletes, performers, and budding scientists. Based on your interests, abilities, aspirations and achievements, Admission By Design works with you to develop a personalized plan for a higher education that is right for you.

The best time to begin is when the student is ready to become engaged in the process.  This can take place anytime between middle school and the fall of senior year. Some students start with a strategic planning session in 8th or 9th grade.  An obvious advantage of starting early is giving the student more time to develop and pursue a curriculum, activities, and passions that are consistent with their strategy.  Many students begin working with Admission By Design during junior year as the pressure builds towards entrance exams, visiting schools, and thinking about the future.

Admission By Design assists students living throughout the United States and internationally.  We use a combination of in-person meetings, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, email and telephone to complement Admission By Design’s state-of-the-art cloud-based Guided Path portal to manage the entire process.

These days most highly-selective schools use a holistic admissions process and seek students with intriguing passions and experiences.  In short, they are more interested in enrolling a well-rounded freshman class than admitting a class filled with well-rounded students. Solid academic credentials, coupled with a hodgepodge of interests and activities, is generally not the best strategy.  Admission By Design helps students identify their interests and find opportunities to pursue and express them with college admissions appeal.

Prior to founding Admission By Design, Lynn Radlauer Lubell served on the MIT Education Council for nearly ten years interviewing hundreds of undergraduate applicants.  Coaching for interviews, which includes helping students develop compelling narratives, is a strong area of expertise. Admission By Design also helps students compose their high school resume which can be useful for interviews as well as for college and scholarship applications.

Admission By Design has a good sense of what individual colleges find appealing and assists with brainstorming, content selection, structure, and editing.  Particularly important is providing insight into your character. Admissions officers want to get a feel for who you are and what makes you tick. Admission By Design coaches students to develop interesting and well-written essays that reveal desirable character traits and life lessons such as how you handled a challenge or overcame an obstacle.

Admission By Design utilizes a three-tiered approach – reach, match and likely – to maximize options and minimize stress. Based on your specific interests, academic performance, preferences (e.g. academic programs, location, size, student life, athletics, activities, affordability) and personal needs, and leveraging a broad knowledge of colleges and universities throughout the USA (including many hidden gems), Admission By Design will work with you to develop and fine-tune an appropriate college list.

Few families pay full sticker price for college.  Admission By Design is knowledgeable about enrollment management practices that selectively provide financial/merit aid to shape the incoming freshman class and meet the institution’s revenue goals.   At many schools, desirable candidates, often including international students, can be rewarded with generous merit aid regardless of ability to pay. Ivy League schools and MIT do not offer merit aid. Admission By Design incorporates affordability and potential aid into college selection recommendations based on the family’s needs and goals.

One of biggest challenges of the college process is staying organized.  Admission By Design’s Guided Path student portal (accessible from any computer connected to the Internet) makes it easy for clients to: view their college list; check admissions requirements and information by school; track deadlines and manage to-dos; schedule entrance exams and much more.  The automated reminders for SAT/ACT registration, upcoming meetings, milestones, and assignments enhances productivity and helps keep everybody on-task.

Admission By Design has a strong track record helping students gain admission to some of the most competitive undergraduate programs including MIT and Caltech.  By suggesting internships, research opportunities, enrichment, summer programs, science/robotics competitions, and other interesting experiences, students are able to develop themselves into desirable candidates.

Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Founder of Admission By Design is a member of HECA (Higher Education Consultants Organization) and a Professional Member of IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association).  IECA Professional Membership requires at least three-years of admissions consulting experience along with other rigorous criteria. Lynn stays informed by attending conferences and continuing education programs sponsored by IECA, HECA and Guided Path and by visiting various campuses.   Lynn is passionate about college-related research and keeping up-to-date on programs and admissions trends. Her college-bound website is recommended by guidance counselors throughout the world.

Yes – Admission By Design provides coaching, essay guidance, and interview prep for students applying to MBA programs, law and medical school, and other Masters and Ph.D. programs.

College Entrance Exams (SAT, ACT and Subject Tests) are important for admission and aid at most U.S. colleges and universities.  Admission By Design does not provide test preparation services but helps you decide which test(s) to take, and when.  Admission By Design also makes available a list of tutors and test-prep resources.

Admission By Design services are individually customized to each student. Strategic and tactical expertise is available on an hourly and comprehensive flat-rate basis.   Multi-year packages are payable over time.