Yale University

This Fall I will be starting my first semester’s study at Yale; once a dream that has now turned into reality. As an international student, the application process initially seemed daunting and overwhelming. However, Michael’s comprehensive knowledge of the American college system and his superb ability to connect it with my own school system, enabled me to put together an application that was ultimately successful not only at Yale, but also at other universities: Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown, to name a few. Thanks to Michael’s unwavering support, guidance, and invaluable insider information, I now am eagerly anticipating my commencement at Yale.

Yale University Student
Harvard University Student

I cannot praise Michael enough for his guidance, friendship, and enthusiasm throughout my college application process. Michael not only helped me identify excellent topics to write my essays on, but custom designed a comprehensive game plan for me that included how to spend my summer effectively pursuing my interests, and a detailed schedule of completing the necessary tasks that lay ahead. Thanks to Michael, I never felt any anxiety throughout the process, and was finished with all my applications a few weeks before the deadline. Having had many years of experience in advising students, Michael is very knowledgeable about the various programs schools offer, and what the admissions officers look for in an applicant. I also appreciated his straight forward, “tell it how it is” approach. I thank Michael for helping me earn early action acceptance to my top-choice school.

Harvard University StudentStudent
Yale University

IvySelect offers a service that is simply unavailable anywhere else, especially to students at large public schools where counselors often manage several hundred students at a time. For those of us that don’t attend Philips Exeter Academy, we can still get the same personalized attention and individual counseling that will set us apart in the very unpredictable admissions process. IvySelect is not a guarantee of Harvard, but they will help refine and present your application in a way that is still uniquely you, but also the best of you.

Yale University Student
Princeton University

Dear Michael,
After waiting on pins and needles for decision letters to arrive in the past few months, it was finally over with a big triumph.

Being accepted by so many great schools, Steve had every right to feel like a rock star yesterday. Needless to say, I am the proudest mom ever….. While I am still beyond myself right now, I know there is something I need to do first — to write you this note.

Words couldn’t begin to describe the gratitude Steve and I owe you. This result he never could have achieved without the professional and invaluable guidance that you offered. Thank you from bottom of my heart for everything you have done for Steve.

I think I need to give myself a pat on shoulder too for finding and trusting you for helping Steve with his college process.

Best regards,

Lilly ~~~~
( on cloud nine )

Princeton University Mother of Student
Brown University Program in Liberal Medical Education

I’ll bet you thought applying to colleges is hard. Well, it is. But if you’re applying to BS/MD programs, you can basically kiss your life goodbye for six months. All the applications (especially the essays) were giving me nightmares — I never thought I’d be able to find a college counselor who could cater to my specific needs. Thank God I found IvySelect . Michael and I started working right away: after he helped me crank out my EA Caltech application, we worked like crazy toward the December 1 and January 1 deadlines. Michael gave me invaluable advice on how to write great essays and even gave me tips on how to excel during the interview process.

Thanks to IvySelect , I was offered admission to undergraduate and BS/MD programs that I thought were way above my league — BS/MD programs at Ivy Leagues and tier 1 medical schools. IvySelect gave me the confidence I needed to apply to these super-competitive programs!!!

Brown University Program in Liberal Medical EducationStudent
Harvard University

As a university professor and associate dean, I wasn’t sure how much help my daughter would really need with her college applications. She was at the top of her class in a public high school, excelled at several extracurricular activities, and was a very good (essay) writer. In addition, I thought that with my academic background, I would be easily able to provide her any guidance she needed. However, after much thought, we decided to seek Michael Goran’s help – if only to have him serve as a sounding board for her college essays. While, in all honesty, we went in as skeptics about the usefulness of the college counseling process, we were very pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out to be. Michael was wonderful; he would touch base with her every week and go meticulously over every essay she had sent him for his comments. She found his comments and discussion extremely helpful; she is convinced that Michael’s input really sharpened the focus of her essays and made them much more compelling. In the end, even we were surprised at how well my daughter did – she got into nearly 90% of the 15-16 colleges she applied to, and the list included a half dozen Ivy League colleges. Michael’s contribution to my daughter’s success in college applications was invaluable.

Harvard UniversityFather of Student
Stanford University

The few months leading up to the college application deadlines were absolutely crazy. There were so many essays left and right. Michael was there with me through the entire process. I’m so glad that he was there to help me keep on schedule. Without him I couldn’t have kept everything so organized! He was always there to answer questions (even when he was on vacation!) and walk me through every decision. Michael helped me put together an application that truly reflected who I really was. I’m so glad I got into my dream school. I definitely made the right choice in choosing IvySelect as my college consultant and I would recommend working with him to anyone.

Stanford UniversityStudent
Cornell University

For me, the college application process was frustrating and complex. Each college seemed to have a selection of arbitrary rules designed to make would-be applicants pull their hair out. Knowing that the stakes could not be higher, I decided to enlist the help of IvySelect College Consulting. Immediately, Michael was able to lay out a simple, intuitive plan that would enable me to present the best possible application to top-tier colleges such as Cornell, Brown, Amherst, Princeton, and more. Crucially, he was able to offer insights and advice during the difficult essay-writing process. IvySelect made possible my ED acceptance to Cornell University. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more pleased.

Cornell UniversityStudent
Princeton University

i opened. and then it said CONGRATS

Princeton UniversityStudent
Johns Hopkins University

It’s no secret that students with perfect transcripts, near-perfect standardized test scores, and stellar extracurriculars get rejected from top universities. I knew this going into the college application process, and I was scared. I didn’t have the perfect transcript (a total of 4 B’s and a C going into my senior year), I didn’t have the most amazing SAT score, and my extracurriculars were respectable at best.

Right after the start of second semester junior year, I began working with Michael. We planned out how I was going to spend my summer in a way that would not only be beneficial for my academic growth, but also advantageous to my application. From August until mid-December of my senior year, we met virtually every week. Michael drastically elevated my essays and meticulously edited every draft, but never actually did any of the work for me. He kept me on top of deadlines and always knew how to keep my parents calm. I can promise that you won’t find a more personable and thoughtful college counselor anywhere. If you have a question and can’t wait until the next meeting time to get an answer, shoot him an email or call him, and he’ll give you a detailed response faster than you’d believe (don’t take advantage of him though!).

I never imagined that Michael would have such a large impact on my future, but I can honestly say that I would not be attending Johns Hopkins if it weren’t for him. I’ll forever be grateful to Michael for helping me gain admission into the college of my dreams.

Johns Hopkins UniversityStudent
Cornell University

After what felt like an eternity, I finally received the letter saying that I had been admitted to Cornell University. At that moment, all the tough times and the effort that Michael and I put forth seemed worth it. As an international student from China seeking a more elite and intellectually challenging academic environment, I was sure of my decision to transfer from a large public university. Yet, my path was rocky. I reworked my application essays multiple times, but they still lacked power and passion. At the same time, I felt overwhelmed by finals and papers from my current university. I was under pressure and frustrated. I could feel my dream school drifting further and further away. This feeling was so strong that I even lost control and cried right in front of Michael. However, Michael helped restore me with his patience and rebuilt my confidence through his rich experience. Most importantly, he also helped me find the best way to let my essays “speak for me.” Yes, my essays “talked.” I can’t find the words to describe my appreciation to him for not only making my dream come true, but also influencing me with his consideration and kindness. Thank you, Michael. I wish you all the best.

Cornell University International Transfer Student
Wharton/University of Pennsylvania

Thank you so much for all your help. Your exceptional understanding of the admission process really helped my daughter to get into UPenn/Wharton’s highly competitive dual degree Management & Technology program. It is not always about one’s talent/abilities; but communicating the same effectively is the key. You really helped my daughter communicate her strengths very effectively. Thank you for being part of this amazing journey. Dreams do come true!

Wharton/University of PennsylvaniaMother of Student
Brown University

The college process is this chaotic time of deadlines where fantastic grades, amazing scores, and great extracurriculars are often not enough. Typically, with these elite colleges, the presentation is just as important as the substance. From the start, Michael had a plan and with his thorough understanding of college admissions, he guided me with major elements such as essays to many minor factors that I would not have even considered.

Michael offered something that no other group or individual could offer: the perfect mix of intelligence and zealous passion. He truly got to know me and he never stopped working. I know—without the smallest doubt—that if I did not have his help, college decisions day would not have been nearly as joyous. At the end of the day, Michael got things done.

Brown UniversityStudent
Emory University

Hello Michael,

I am writing to express my sincere thanks to you. I know that your help and guidance has truly changed the course of my son’s life. He is now on track to Emory and will continue his pursuit in life. You really cared for Adam and did not mind contributing additional time and help when needed. You provided him valued support and excellent guidance. Thank you for all your help. The help you gave us is very much appreciated.

With sincere gratitude


Emory UniversityMother of Student
Wharton/University of Pennsylvania

The work I did with Michael changed my life. If it weren’t for Michael, my chances of getting into Wharton would have been hazardously slim. I began working with him late spring of my junior year and, oh-boy, did he open my eyes to the fierce competition. Although I had excellent grades, thrived in many extra-curricular activities, and engaged in many hours of community-service, Michael gave me the bad news that there are kids all around America doing the same thing-plus more. Yet, he also gave me the good news that there was hope.

Michael helped me develop strategies that highlighted my strengths and unique characteristics that top schools look for. What I really liked about the whole program was that Michael exploited the months before applications were due to perfect my essays and applications. He guided me in making a timetable of the deadlines for all my prospective colleges and made sure that I adhered to those deadlines. It all paid off when I received my Early Decision acceptance letter to Wharton. Thanks Michael!

Wharton/University of PennsylvaniaStudent
Kings College, University of London

Thank you soooo much. You helped me get through the whole process in such an organised manner that it seemed easier than I thought it would be. You helped me create an amazing resume, which gave my application an extra boost. This has been a very long process and I couldn’t have done it as well without you. Thank you once again.

Kings College, University of LondonStudent
Cornell University

My husband and I are very dedicated to our only child, Mark. When we started looking into the college selection process we had no experience with the college application system and quickly realized that it was very difficult to know what each college was looking for. This was especially true when applying to colleges that were in another area of the country.

Mark was first in his class academically throughout his high school career. It seemed like it should be easy to go from a great high school to an even greater college. We realized how important this was to make the right decision for his final education before joining the workforce with a lifetime career.

When we found Mr. Goran’s website and decided to hire him, little did we know that it would become the best decision we could have made for Mark’s future plan. Mr. Goran’s passion for the individual and working knowledge of the application process make the plan a reality. He tailored his approach to Mark’s specific needs, wishes and personality, rather than handing out a “pre-packaged” plan. The best part was that Mr. Goran could not have been more on target. He understood that Mark needed weekly communication and set clear goals to keep him on task. This took away the pressure of having to be a nagging parent in order to get things done. As parents, we are grateful that Mr. Goran could be here for Mark and help him to make all the right choices.

Mark was accepted by Cornell University, with the Dean’s Scholarship. We could not have been happier! We strongly recommend that all parents look into Mr. Goran’s college preparation program and start early with your child’s college plan.

Cornell UniversityMother of Student
University of Pennsylvania

I’m just going to put it bluntly: Michael singlehandedly saved me from making one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

When you begin to work with Michael, he doesn’t simply get to know you by what you’ve accomplished and what test scores you’ve received. Michael truly gets to know you as a person. When I began working with him, I prattled on mindlessly about becoming a doctor and attending a 6-year medical program. However, Michael seemed to know that it wasn’t the right path for me. Michael was the one who brought Penn to my attention, who convinced me to apply, and who suggested that I keep my options open in case I change my mind about locking myself into a rigorous medical school at a mediocre college. To make a long story short, I had an enlightening, choir-of-angels-singing moment when I realized that maybe Michael knew me better than I knew myself, and maybe medicine wasn’t for me. I’m not saying this to scare anyone into thinking that Michael will make you doubt everything that you’ve ever dreamt for yourself. But, in my case, I looked at my future through naïve eyes and needed his fresh outlook. The process that each student goes through with Michael not only got me into an incredible university that seems to fit me flawlessly, but it made me reevaluate and realize who I am as a person and what I want in my life. That understanding of myself, to me, is worth just as much, if not more, as my Penn acceptance letter. My family and I agree that IvySelect was the best investment we’ve ever made and I cannot stress that enough. It’s an investment in your future. We cannot wait until my younger brother begins working with Michael. Thanks for everything!!

University of PennsylvaniaStudent
Yale University & John Hopkins University

Our son decided he wanted to study in the United States. We commenced a successful relationship with Michael Goran of IvySelect who navigated us through the complex and bewildering process to apply for entry to Colleges in the United States. It is a system alien to the one we are used to here in Australia. The US system requires a candidate to paint a holistic picture of themselves as a person through a limited number of words. Selection is not based solely on marks or grades but rather across a range of areas both inside and outside the classroom and school. We did not know what the universities were looking for. We did not know where to start. Your application is like a canvas where every word has a spot to create this image, this picture. Michael helps you think through how you will do this and how to best showcase your strengths and your personality. Michael managed the translation of our educational system to the requirements of the United States.

Our son was offered a spot at Johns Hopkins. We were so delighted with the outcome that two years later we came back to Michael with our daughter who has accepted a spot at Yale. Our children would not have received either of those offers had we not had Michael on our team. As an international family, we strongly endorse Michael’s services.

Yale University & John Hopkins UniversityParent
NYU Core Program in Liberal Studies

Dear Michael,

There are no words that will adequately express our gratitude. Your expertise and kind approach with Elyse made the college application process a wonderful experience. WE WILL MISS YOU!

Much Love Always!

NYU Core Program in Liberal StudiesParent
Brown University

Before working with Michael Goran, I was completely overwhelmed by the prospect of college applications and the unpredictability of the whole process. There were so many supplement essays to write, so many interviews to schedule, and so many application deadlines to meet. But Michael immediately dispelled all of my worries pertaining to college with his individualized counseling. He helped me finalize my college list, prepare for interviews, and assemble a holistic application that showcased who I am. In addition, his specific comments on my essays were so helpful in polishing my writing and advising me on how to write more fluidly while keeping my essays true to myself. If something could be improved, Michael did not hesitate to point it out so that my applications and supplements would be as flawless as possible. Michael always kept me on track, and with his help, I was able to finish almost all of my Regular Decision applications and supplements even before I received my Early Decision acceptance to Brown University. I don’t know how I would have survived this grueling college application process without IvySelect!

Brown UniversityStudent
University of Pennsylvania

I’m extremely excited and grateful for all your help. Your guidance set me on the right path and helped me make lots of extracurricular and course decisions that were crucial to my success.

In the end, I got to choose between Penn, Columbia, Cornell and UC Berkeley on a Regent’s and Chancellor’s scholarship. I was honored to have these to choose from, and I wanted you to know that you were hugely influential.

University of PennsylvaniaStudent
Duke University

Just thought I’d write to let you know that Duke has been one of the best experiences of my life and just want to thank you again for all your help. Hope to hear from you soon!

Duke UniversityStudent
Yale University

If I had to rank the top three most time-consuming activities of my high school senior year, they would be stress snacking, doing homework, and filling out college apps. And NOT in that order. Choosing where to apply to college and deciding which of the many awesome parts of you to share with these schools can be one of the most nerve-racking things a teenager ever does. Of course, it helps to have help.

During the summer before senior year, all I heard from my recently graduated friends was, “Don’t procrastinate. Get it done early, or you will regret it.” I desperately wanted to follow their advice…but I was lost every time I tried to start. Then, I met Michael.

From our first telephone conversation, I knew that Michael was compatible for me. I was struck by his fathomless store of knowledge about the application process. He had a bottomless Mary Poppins carpetbag full of ways to extricate the best recommendation letter, make your resume concise yet commanding, and best of all, strategies (mostly involving expert planning) to save you TIME. That glorious thing, time.

The beginning was rough, as any beginning will be. But as we continued to work, the process got easier and easier, until by the end I was flying through applications. I am deeply grateful to Michael for all he has done, and I truly mean it when I say that he is worth every penny and minute spent with him.

Yale University Student
Washington University of St. Louis

As senior year began I was quite bogged down by the amount of tasks I had to complete for the college admission process. As the weeks passed, I had done nothing and the college admission process still loomed large. When my parents introduced me to Mike, he made sure I completed everything on time. As an avid follower of procrastination, I do not think I would have even completed my applications if not for Mike. Furthermore, he made sure that my essays were perfect. He did not allow any draft to go without being edited until it was a compelling essay worthy of a top tier school. As a rising freshman in Washington University in St. Louis, I cannot thank Mike enough for doing his best to make sure I got into such a great school. I will never forget you! You’re the man, Mike!

Washington University of St. LouisStudent