Michael Goran, J.D. – Founder, Director & Lead Educational Consultant

MGoran350x354Michael Goran is a nationally recognized college-counseling expert. His advice and insights have appeared in a number of competitive school, college and national newspapers and publications. As one of the premier college counselors in the United States, he has been honored as a keynote and featured expert speaker at a variety of prestigious college admissions seminars and workshops.

Mr. Goran possesses top-flight academic and college admissions credentials, which are detailed below. Beyond his deep experience as a college counselor, Michael has also worked as both a lawyer and investment real estate consultant, which helped refine his counseling, research, advocacy and writing skills. Meshing this background with the high-level of knowledge and experience he developed as an Ivy League consultant both defines and separates him from other private college admissions counselors.

Michael is also very different from the vast majority of his peers in another very significant way – he is both an award-winning writer as well as a gifted teacher of writing. He is exceptional at using his background and talents to help students craft standout essays and personal statements. Michael possesses the critical ability to help students brainstorm ideas for their essays that they, no doubt, would not have thought of without his assistance. Mr. Goran is among just a handful of consultants in the entire country to have the ability to help his students, no matter how talented or bright they are, elevate their essays dramatically.

WashUAboutUs3Michael wears another hat beyond that of being one of the best professional college counselors in the country. He is also the parent of a college and law school graduate who is a trademark attorney, as well as a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Due to his family background, he offers his students and families the empathy, compassion and sensitivity needed to alleviate the stress that is part of highly selective admissions. To Michael, his role as a college consultant is more than a job – he understands the emotions that are part and parcel of the process. He knows his parents are trusting him to assist their children in one of life’s milestone moments. He takes this matter of trust to heart.

It is also worth noting that Mr. Goran is truly a professional college counselor. He has been vetted by the top college counseling associations in the nation that provide professional development and require adherence to standards of ethics and good practice. Michael is especially proud of his membership in the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), as their standards for membership are extremely rigorous. He is just one of about 375 individuals in the world to be designated as a College Specialist by the IECA. Michael is one of the first 17 College Specialists of the IECA to also have been designated an International Specialist, based on his background in this area.

Mr. Goran also regularly visits campuses of top-tier and top 100 colleges across the country and throughout the world. He also gives back, working pro bono with students both privately and in high school settings.

Unsurpassed Expertise & Insight

First-Rate Education

  • University of Pennsylvania graduate, Dean’s List With Distinction
  • Top Twenty Law School Graduate: Emory University
  • UCLA College Counseling Graduate-Level Certificate Program
  • Independent Educational Consultants Association Summer Training Institute

First-Rate, Award-Winning Writer

  • UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television Postgraduate Professional Program in Screenwriting
  • First-Place Winner, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television Screenwriting Award
  • First-Place Winner, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Legal Writing Competition
  • Editor at Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich Publishing House

First-Rate College Counseling & Philosophy

  • Counseling students throughout the United States & internationally
  • Highest level of consulting skills resulting in exceptional college counseling: individualized coaching based on student personality outstanding researcher, top-flight writer, top-flight teacher of writing, superior organizational abilities assist students in meeting deadlines and developing time management skills, good listener, relate to high-school students (as both a counselor and a parent of a college graduate and current high-school student)
  • Unrivaled strategist, providing insight into the elements required for success in the highly selective college admissions process
  • Assists with the stress and anxiety inherent in the college admissions process
  • Focused throughout the entirety of the college admissions process
  • Passionate about students’ academic success
  • A caring coach & counselor who is an impassioned advocate
  • Determined counselor who assists his students in finding schools that match their academic & personal needs
  • Acts as a buffer between parents & students in order to maintain family harmony
  • Practices the highest ethical standards
  • Creates a sense of trust through loyalty & enhancing confidence
  • Believes in open communications with his students & families

First-Rate Background & Credentials

  • Former Admissions Interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania
  • Former Secondary School Committee Member, University of Pennsylvania
  • Member, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • Member, Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC)
  • Professional Member, Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
  • College Specialist Designation, IECA
  • International Specialist Designation, IECA
  • Member, Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), Member
  • Member, New York Bar
  • Admitted to Practice, United States District Court, Southern District of NY
  • Admitted to Practice, United States District Court, Eastern District of NY
  • Pro bono College Counselor at a National Blue Ribbon High School
  • Recent College Visits Include: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Columbia University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Brown, Duke, Chicago, Northwestern, Williams, Amherst, Tufts, Wesleyan, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, George Washington, American University, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Delaware, Rutgers, Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Hampshire, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hamilton, Colgate, Emory, Skidmore, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union, Syracuse, University of Mary Washington, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Elon, Guilford, High Point, North Carolina State, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Texas–Austin, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, University of San Diego, Cal Tech, Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Scripps, Pitzer, Occidental, University of Washington, University of British Columbia, American University of Paris, The Sorbonne
  • Counseling Conferences: IECA, HECA, NACAC, WACAC, Colleges That Change Lives, Regional Admission Counselors of California, U of California College Counselor Conference, USC Conference for College Counselors
  • Quoted & Interviewed College Admissions Expert: Boston Globe, Daily Pennsylvanian, Harvard Crimson, Brown Daily Herald, & various other national publications
  • Invited Expert Speaker: Princeton Review, The Highly Selective College Admissions Process; Johns Hopkins University Pathways to College Program; Junior State of America Conferences & more
  • UCLA Keynote Speaker: Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) College Program

Meenakshi A., Ph.D. – Senior College Admissions Consultant

IMG_3147Meenakshi has more than 35 years of experience in higher education and medical research. She is on the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine, where she serves as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology. In her role as a member of a top Medical School Admissions Committee for the last 10 years, Dr. A has acquired a deep-seated understanding of the admissions process. She has also been involved with many education and training committees of national organizations. As an adjunct to this involvement, Meenakshi has been on many national and international peer review groups. Her real-world experience reading thousands of admissions essays and interviewing hundreds of applicants for admission inure greatly to the benefit of our students. Dr. A is a true educator, mentoring high school, college, graduate and postgraduate students in scientific methods. As the head of her neuroscience research lab, she not only shares her knowledge of science, but also helps students develop strong analytical thinking abilities as well as assists them in honing their oral and written communication, organizational, and time-management skills. Assisting students in realizing their academic goals is incredibly rewarding to Dr. A. To help applicants get into their schools of choice or get that dream job, Meenakshi has written numerous letters of recommendation. Dr. A has developed deep professional insight into what it takes to attend an elite university. She meshes this understanding with her vast experience, energy and passion for helping students, to her role as a college consultant for us.

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