1. More Counseling Time/Less Students

Quite simply, you’ll get more attention. When our Director, Mr. Goran, formed IvySelect, he knew that the standard counseling model did not apply for high-achieving students. The overwhelming majority of general practice college counselors work with 40, 50 and even 70 rising seniors in an admissions cycle. Each IvySelect college admissions consultant works with about 20 and no more than 25 rising 12th graders.

By limiting the number of students we work with, we are able to spend many, many more hours than traditional generalist college counselors on the things that matter, like essays. Four or five hours of total essay help as part of a generalist’s “comprehensive package” is a ridiculously low amount of time when you’re applying to highly selective schools with many supplemental essays and short answers.

We typically spend five times as much on essay work as the “counselors around the corner.” Our comprehensive package is truly more comprehensive, as we devote often double the hours of general counseling firms to your case. Our counseling is obviously more individualized too, as we can work with you one-on-one for much longer.

As a high achiever applying to top-tier schools, you want every edge you can get. You want to know that you’ve spent the necessary time and done the work to standout from the competition. It’s a no brainer: get what you need from IvySelect.

2. We Specialize in Students Like You Applying to the Ivy League & Top Colleges

IvySelect is one of just a handful of college consultancies in the United States that truly specialize in working with top students gearing for top schools. And, we’ve been doing it for a long time.

Our focus isn’t split among the 3,000 or so colleges in the United States, like the vast majority of general college counseling firms. Since we’re Top College Specialists, we truly hone in on the Ivies, extending to the 50 to 100 schools to which our students invariably apply. Our Director, Michael Goran, keeps on top of the current state in Ivy League admissions. In fact, Ivy League newspapers often quote him as an authority.

While generalist “counselors around the corner” may work with a smattering of A students, they’re also rightly focused on their B and C students as well. This means that they need to spend time learning about hundreds and thousands of colleges that may be good fits, and visiting a much broader range of schools than we do.

Our approach is vastly different. IvySelect consultants focus their research, college reading, professional development, interactions with admissions officers and college visits on obtaining insightful, detailed and current information about Ivy League admissions extending to the top 100 colleges in the U.S. To help you make informed choices, we learn about the academic choices, campus culture and extracurricular opportunities available at these universities in order to help you garner your best-fit options.

Be smart. Work with an IvySelect college counselor to get the insights, experience and guidance that a specialist can offer.

3. Our Students Routinely Attend All The Ivies & Other Top Schools

We hate when people ask us about our track record, but we understand where the question is coming from. Parents and students want to make sure not only that we know what we’re doing, but that we add value to a highly competitive process.

Relax. We are incredibly experienced in guiding you through the highly selective admissions process. However, we don’t believe in playing games with numbers. Nor do we analyze and list percentage “success rates.” We focus on fit, not “getting in.”

Think of it this way. What purpose does it serve to tell you how many kids who worked with us got into Stanford, if you’re not a competitive applicant to the school?

For your information, though, we currently have students attending every Ivy League school, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech, Duke, Chicago and many other elite universities. And, yes, we currently, for example, have multiple students studying at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and MIT. A more detailed list of where our students have been accepted can be found on the web site.

In the end, though, it’s unproductive to ask how our other students fared in the admission process, when we are dealing with a different and unique individual – you!

We are eminently qualified to help you navigate the highly selective college admissions process. Our goal is quite simple – to help you find your best fit among the nation’s selective and highly selective universities.

4. Our Global Practice Is Truly World Class

IvySelect differs from other college-counseling firms in another significant way: our consultancy has a vibrant global practice. Unlike “counselors around the corner,” who provide guidance to students from a group of “feeder” schools in their area, our vision and knowledge base extend around the world.

This difference is significant, as we get to work with a group of students who represent a microcosm of what admissions officers in highly selective colleges are exposed to in their applicant pools. Whether it’s students from the most prestigious private and boarding schools in America, upper middle-class suburban high schools, city schools, rural schools or students from Europe, Asia, Latin America or Africa, we’ve been there and done that.

Our practice extends way beyond the limited experience of general counseling firms. We grasp the nuances of IB programs and AP’s, A-levels and the GCSE. We’ve managed the complexities of very different educational systems in China, India, Russia and Argentina, to name just a few.

Our global vision and understanding of the worldwide applicant pool at top colleges in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., means that you will get to see the big picture and transcend the competition. When you work with IvySelect, you’ll avoid falling prey to the provincialism of general counseling firms.

5. Experience, Experience, Experience

People often ask us about our experience. It’s a totally valid concern. After all, as a student, this will generally be the one and only time you apply to college. If you’re a parent, you want to make sure that your child is in expert hands. Families not only want to know that, by utilizing a particular college consultant or firm, critical mistakes will be avoided but that the guidance is top-notch.

Our Founder & Director, Michael Goran, is one of the top college counselors in the country. He is often quoted for his expertise in Ivy League newspapers and national periodicals. You can feel confident working with him, as he’s guided hundreds and hundreds of high-achieving students over the past decade navigate the highly selective college admissions process.

All IvySelect college consultants are at the pinnacle of our profession and offer top-flight academic backgrounds and professional experience. To put it bluntly, we’re smart, talented and knowledgeable. And, yes, very, very experienced!

6. We’re Very Talented & Intelligent

Our students who apply to elite universities are talented and intelligent. So is the competition – the tens of thousands of students who have the same schools on their list. To stand out, you need guidance. But not any guidance will do. You need to work with a college consulting firm whose consultants are experienced, knowledgeable and who can function at the same high intellectual level as you.

Face it, there are an abundance of college counselors offering guidance who may possess deep experience in college counseling, but who are bereft of the intellectual abilities to have gotten into a top-level university – the type of schools to which you’re seeking admission.

You don’t need to work with an Ivy League graduate simply because you’re filing applications to Ivy League schools. But, we’re of the opinion that more intelligent college consultants are in a better position to help you shape a standout strategic plan. The college counselors at IvySelect also possess the talent to assist you in developing top-flight applications and essays.

We’ve spoken with many consultants who don’t feel that they’re up to the challenge of helping students with their essays. So they farm out the essays to writers, English teachers and college students. Or worse, they think can help the students write exceptional essays, but they lack the insights and skills to really help you.

At IvySelect, we’re on your level.

7. Our Credentials Are First Rate

You’ll find more in-depth information about the background of our senior staff in other areas of the web site, particularly on the “About Us” page.

A bit of pertinent information here, though, will reinforce the point that our credentials are top-notch. Our college consultants possess Ivy League pedigrees through both admission experience and education. Our Founder, Mr. Goran, also attended the respected, graduate-level College Counseling Certificate Program at UCLA.

Mr. Goran has been vetted by the leading educational counseling organization, the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) as one of just 375 or so counselors in the world to possess the appropriate graduate-level education, background and abilities to attain the Professional Member status as a College Specialist. This designation clearly differentiates him from the self-anointed “college admissions counselors:” the freelance writers, essay editors, parents who decide that they are expert in college admissions since their child got into an Ivy or other newly minted college advisors.

His membership in top college counseling associations offers access to the collective knowledge base of a small, elite group of counselors as well as professional development. Our families can be sure, too, that we adhere to the standards of ethics and good practice that are a part of our membership requirements.

As a result of our experience, you will be extremely confident working with IvySelect.

8. Strategic Planning & Positioning Is A Cornerstone Of Our Practice

Students who attend top private high schools and their parents often develop a false sense of security that the counseling they receive is top-notch. The truth is, although their college counselors will generally cover the essentials, they do not offer their students a cohesive, strategic plan.

While they make speak to their students about their various interests and how to follow up on those interests, the counselors most often do not address the underlying synergies in both the academic and extracurricular context. They simply do not help the student develop a plan that will make them stand out from the competition.

You can be certain that if some of the finest boarding and college prep schools in the country do not help provide strategic planning for their counselees, then suburban public high schools and schools with student to counselor ratios of 700 to 1 also are failing to meet this essential need.

At IvySelect, we believe that strategic planning and guidance is fundamental to the process. Our expertise in this area is one of the things that separate us from our competition. It is a cornerstone of our practice.

Whether we are laying the groundwork in the academic and extracurricular contexts for a 9th grader, or we are helping to ramp up the profile of a junior, we are excellent at creating a plan that will help you stand out. For those students who are not certain of their direction, IvySelect’s college admissions counselors will assist you in finding your passions.

9. Our Essay Assistance Is Unsurpassed

It goes without saying that your grades, rigor of curriculum and (most often) standardized test scores will play a major role in your admissibility to the best universities in the country. But if tens of thousands of students have similar GPA’s, SAT’s, ACT’s, Subject Test Scores and coursework filled with honors, AP’s, IB classes, etc., what differentiates one applicant from another to admissions officers?

One of the primary factors is what you have to say and how you say it in your essays. Often students fail to realize that the supplemental essays that virtually all elite schools require, and not just the “main Common App essay,” must be excellent and connect with the reader – the admissions officer.

You’ve worked years and years to achieve high grades. Are you willing to risk your admissions chances by getting inferior essay assistance?

Let’s be blunt. Not all writers are great, nor are those that teach writing. There is a wide variance in the skill set of teachers, coaches and counselors. And, unlike freelance writers, essay editors, English teachers and coaching companies, we are professional college consultants.

You need a counselor who has the background and talent to help you in the writing of your college essays and short answer questions. You want someone who can truly assist you in elevating your writing, while still having it sound like you, unlike the great majority of consultants and essay coaches out there. You require a consultant who is more intelligent and talented than those individuals.

Our Director possesses a wealth of experience that will inure to your benefit. He was an editor at a New York publishing firm and is an award-winning writer. Mr. Goran is also an Ivy League graduate with the ability and talent to teach you how to write standout essays.

Michael attends college conferences with admissions officers, where he discusses the unique admissions processes as well as features of their universities. Through professional development seminars, he learns more about the schools. He visits campuses across the country too, which provides first-hand insights about the colleges that may benefit you as you write college-specific “why” essays.

IvySelect’s college counselors will provide you with the unsurpassed essay assistance that is critical in the highly selective college admissions process.

10. We Are True International College Counseling Specialists

Although increasing thousands of applicants from abroad are applying to top American universities, there are very, very few college admissions counselors in the U.S. who are truly international specialists.

Our Director, Mr. Goran, is one of a handful of college consultants who is a bona-fide international college consulting expert. He helps international students, whether they are completing their high school education in the U.S. or overseas and whether they wish to study in the U.S., Canada or the U.K.

Michael was one of the first and one of only 17 Professional Members of the IECA throughout the world who are College Specialists to have received the International Specialty Designation, attesting to his high-level knowledge and experience in this niche. As a result of his background, he is well positioned to serve as your “eyes and ears” should you not be able to visit college campuses.

Our Director’s ability to “take you on campus,” providing you with a sense of the school environment, culture and geography in which a particular college is located is invaluable. He will assist you in understanding cultural differences. Most importantly, he will help you navigate the oft-confusing admissions process at American colleges.

Feel confident by putting yourself in the hands of a true international college counseling specialist at IvySelect.