About IvyWise

IvyWise By The Numbers

How do you measure success?

Is it with admission rates? »

Is it how families feel after working with IvyWise? »

Is it through individual experiences? »

At IvyWise, success is ensuring our students reach their personal and academic goals. Success isn’t about getting into the most selective college – it’s about helping students get into the right college for them, where they’ll be successful and happy.

IvyWise has proven results: In 2017, 91% of IvyWise students were accepted into one or more of their three top-choice schools.

Less
than 1% college
transfer rate

In our 19 years of counseling thousands of students, only four – less than 1% – have ever transferred (compared to the national estimated transfer rate of 33%).

Over
half of
clients are
referrals

IvyWise families are thrilled with their student’s success and share the great news: Over half were referred by previous clients or are relatives of previous clients

31% of clients
are international

IvyWise students are not just in New York City: 74% are outside of the New York metro area and 31% of our students are international.

Our students are at the heart of everything we do.

We help students find the schools that will be a good fit for them academically and socially, where they will be happy and thrive.

Average Acceptance Rates

2013-17

Our History of Success

Students accepted to one or more
of their top three choice schools

Testimonials

From Parents…

[Our daughter] came into the IvyWise process late but [her IvyWise counselor] quickly honed in on what she needed to concentrate on. She already had a rigorous courseload and top test scores but her confidence was low. He gave her confidence not only to apply to top colleges but to look at her academic interests differently. [Her counselor] helped her embrace her love of math. He encouraged her to pursue her poetry. [Her counselor] was a good match for [our daughter] because he could explain things intellectually and push her a bit when she wasn't decisive.

I can’t thank you and the incredible IvyWise team enough for your exceptional work with my son. He grew tremendously during this process—improving in introspection, writing ability, communication style—and so much more. I know that this was not an easy road for either of you. I appreciate you troubleshooting when the Common App essay was just not working and continuing to guide and coach him in a variety of ways. I admire your persistence in trying different approaches until we hit on one that worked. I know that my son admires you as a person and appreciates your intellect and thinking style. Through your work and guidance, I learned much about and became closer to my son. My husband and I feel that you and your team have given both of our children a priceless gift— access to an exceptional, life changing multi-faceted education and experience. I wish you all the best as you continue your excellent work.

We can't thank you enough for all of your help, guidance, patience, advice, etc. with [our student] these past few months (as well as with [our other student] 6 years ago!) and the fantastic job you did helping [our student] produce great applications. While we don't have another child, if we did, we would absolutely use your services again! Please also thank [the IvyWise team] for us and their helpful comments on all of [our student’s] essays.

In the highly competitive world of top tier college admissions where all applicants are superstars with high grade point averages and test scores, IvyWise’s expert services are essential for students and for parents. One of the most important components of the application process is ensuring that the college application demonstrates the student’s individual character through their profile, essays, extracurricular activities and course load. Our IvyWise counselor was essential in providing expert experienced guidance on these aspects of the college admissions process…because they know what it takes to ensure that an application provides the essential ingredients to differentiate superstars.

[Our IvyWise counselor] has been an absolute pleasure to work with. He has made this process so stress free. He was extremely thorough and insightful. I can't thank him enough for that.

We are so thrilled with [our student’s] success. [Our counselor] was an outstanding and wise counselor. I have spoken to [our student] some about the process and the one point she made which stands out in my mind is how [our counselor] made a highly stressful process not stressful. She kept [our student] on track with her timeline. Without [our counselor] it would never have happened. We felt [our student] was in very experienced and capable hands, whatever the outcome. Most importantly I felt that [our counselor] really got to know [our student] so well and understood her as a unique human being irrespective of the process. Making these applications requires much self-reflection and maturity. [Our student] was able to ride the journey with equanimity and a rock solid sense of her own self worth. I feel so blessed that [our student] had so many amazing choices. But getting off the Harvard wait list was truly the icing on the cake and I do believe it will be the right place for her. I have so much gratitude from the bottom of my heart for [our counselor] and IvyWise.

We were extremely pleased with our IvyWise experience. From the very start, our experience was well organized and professional, as well as warm and supportive. All logistical communications were prompt, efficient, and highly responsive. [Our counselor] was an excellent fit for our daughter, and they quickly transitioned to a productive dialogue. [Our counselor’s] deep experience with the process of college admissions was of strong moral support to us during the process, especially as this was our family’s first experience (in modern times!) with the Common App and college applications. Our daughter was well organized and motivated on her own initiative, but [our counselor’s] guidance, along with that of the essay review team, helped us to know she was on the right path. At the end of it all, our daughter was thrilled to gain admission to her top college choices.

Your continued guidance, support and encouragement has been pivotal in the success our children have received from the college application process. Offering superb and organized feedback, maintaining a manageable timeline for completion of work and keeping [our son and daughter] motivated was critical to making the application process a smooth and highly effective one. Their hard work and yours has paid off in spades with both [our children] being accepted to their first choice for college. We have highly recommended IvyWise to our friends and family whenever the topic of applying to college comes up.

IvyWise did a terrific job! They deliver [and] that’s what matters. From strategy to execution and superb coaching throughout the process…I strongly recommend them!

[Our son’s] application was authentic to who he is as a person - his interests, his accomplishments, etc. - and I am pleased Yale felt he would be a good addition to their class. We are so grateful for your guidance, and the end result is obviously fantastic! [Our son] enjoyed working with you and is thrilled to have the privilege of attending Yale.… You are so knowledgeable and guided him so adeptly through the process.

It all went so smoothly. My husband and I felt comfortable staying out of the application process because we knew our daughter was in such good hands with [her counselor]. IvyWise allowed us to keep the peace during what could easily have been a miserable year. And ultimately, the results speak for themselves!

Kat’s greatest strength is to assess each child’s unique skill and interest and work with that child to develop that interest. Over the years in working with Kat, our kids discovered a huge amount about who they are and gained the self-confidence and pride to be that person. I would have been happy to pay for that even if the kids didn’t achieve their school of choice, which of course they did.

We are very excited for the acceptance to MIT. Thanks to [our IvyWise counselor] for her help over the course of the application process. Also, thanks to the entire IvyWise team in assisting [with my student’s] applications.

From Students…

At the start of this process, I was unsure I would get into any highly selective college, let alone all of my top schools. I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards everyone at IvyWise, but especially my marvelous counselor. As a pro bono student, I would not have had access to such knowledgeable and encouraging counselors if it weren't for IvyWise. I always knew I was capable of thriving in college; IvyWise showed me how to reach that success.

Vienna V., Pro Bono, California - Accepted to Pomona College, Class of 2021

IvyWise gave me the tools and assistance to present my best self in the college admissions process, ultimately granting me acceptance to my top choice school, Cornell University, with a $60,000 independent scholarship.

My family and I had done extensive research and immersed ourselves in the ins-and-outs of the admissions process outside of IvyWise, but [my IvyWise counselor’s] unique insights as a professional offered much greater depth to our existing knowledge, and she was very generous in sharing those. My application benefited greatly from the way she helped me to look at it critically through the lens of an admissions committee's expectations, customs, and limitations.

[My IvyWise counselor] was a huge help in narrowing my interests in engineering. She pushed me to explore my interests, whether it was taking an online course or doing a summer internship. When choosing where to apply early, she showed me all the pros and cons of each college and gave me her suggestions, but she never pushed me to apply to a certain school over another. After I was deferred from Cornell, she helped me write an excellent deferral letter, and she helped me take all the necessary steps to get accepted. I could have never accomplished what I did without the help of [my counselor] and the whole IvyWise staff.

I just wanted to take the time again to thank you for all your help in guiding me through the admissions process. All the time and hard work has finally paid off with the acceptance, and I only have you to thank for it. After advising me on all the extracurricular activities, course selection essays, and more, I understand how much you contributed to the strength of my application. It is a huge relief getting in, and I look forward to relaxing a bit and enjoying my senior year.

I will be eternally thankful to IvyWise and my counselor for helping me be admitted into one of my dream schools. The attention to student's needs that IvyWise offers is like no other program I have ever seen. They want to make sure that you are creating the best application and that you are choosing schools that are the right fit for you. Through IvyWise, I was able to highlight high points in my application and make it more appealing to admission counselors. After the completion of my program I felt secure and happy about my application and the process I went through to achieve it.

My experience exceeded all expectations, and everyone I was involved with was organized and professional. IvyWise for did everything perfectly for me, so If it were up to me I would change nothing.

I would just like to thank you again for all the help you've given me to get me here but also to [my client relations specialist] and the whole IvyWise team for all their suggestions and support. I think the whole process was very thorough and well designed from the Initial Consultation to the organizing of the school choices to submitting the applications. I didn't really know what to expect before coming in contact with [my counselor] but it soon became clear that [my counselor] was very knowledgeable, professional and can give me a lot of assistance and advice during the difficult process of applying for colleges. Additionally, the round-table feature with other counselors was also a highlight for me because I thought it was a practical way of simulating the reactions of admission officers to my application material so it was really helpful. Overall, I owe a lot of my successes in receiving offers from schools to the help of [my counselor] and the whole IvyWise team.

Dr. Kat and her team were incredibly helpful in all aspects of the college admissions process. They helped with my college list, standardized testing, essays (with dozens of revisions), and more. With IvyWise, I was admitted into many excellent institutions, including UC Berkeley…Thank you, IvyWise!

I loved my IvyWise experience. My counselor invested so much of her time and effort into my applications because she genuinely wanted me to succeed as much as I did. In the end, I was accepted into six of the seven colleges I applied to.

Thank you for everything! Working with [my IvyWise counselor] was really a pleasure. [My counselor] helped me open my eyes to what I really want from my college education and to find a university that will allow me to develop into the person I someday hope to be. Before we started working together I thought that to prove my worth as a student and to get the best college experience I would have to get into an Ivy League school…I understand now that ultimately the college search is about finding a place that suits my needs and even my personality. I have been referred to as a New Yorker more times than I can count throughout my life, and now I see how my independent and fast-paced style of working truly is the embodiment of just that. I am very excited for the next four years of my life thanks to [my counselor] and IvyWise.

My college application experience with [my IvyWise counselor] has been fantastic. [My counselor was] open, easy to talk to, and vastly experienced counselor, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to work with [my counselor]. As an international applicant, I did not know too much about applying to top-tier U.S schools, but [my counselor’s] expertise and experience ensured that the process was smooth as can be. Through countless edits, [my counselor] helped fine-tune my essays so that they were ready for the admissions officers. [My counselor] brought invaluable criticisms and insights on how to focus my essays on things that truly represented my passions. [My counselor] also made sure my Common Application activities were well rounded, represented my hard work, and were presented in the best light possible. I definitely realize that I had many weaknesses working against me throughout the application process, and that deferral or rejection from a hyper-selective school such as University of Pennsylvania was more than likely. However, I have no doubt that having [my IvyWise counselor] gave me a competitive edge in the admissions process. I would not have gotten into the school of my dreams without [my counselor], and I am extremely thankful for all [my counselor’s] help! I would recommend any student looking for admission to a highly selective college to strongly consider working with IvyWise. Their professional service, endless expertise, and dedicated staff made my application process seamless, and their unique IvyWise Roundtable ensured I got multiple opinions from various former Ivy League admissions officers.

Kat and the entire IvyWise team that I worked with far exceeded my expectations. They did an amazing job helping me define and present myself to colleges. IvyWise provided me with the tools I needed to face the intimidating college application process. I was able to complete all my college applications before the majority of students at my school had started to fill them out.

At first I thought IvyWise would be unnecessary due to the fact that my current high school has excellent college counselors. I was pleasantly surprised when I began my sessions with [my IvyWise counselor]. I truly believe I would not have achieved early acceptance to Emory University without the guidance of [my counselor] and the entire IvyWise team. Skyping with [my counselor] helped answer any questions about the college process, alleviate stress, and polish my college essays. Being a senior and attempting to achieve the highest grades of your high school career while simultaneously applying to college is a very daunting and stressful task. IvyWise helped me manage my time and map out a plan, which immensely brought down my anxiety about the process. I believe that IvyWise's strategy in editing each student's college application allows for the production of the highest quality essays. Working with one's individual counselor, along with receiving notes from the rest of the IvyWise counselors allowed for me to make sure my essays were the best demonstration of myself. I love IvyWise because it is completely full service. Not only did I receive help on my college essays, but I was also aided in presenting myself in the best way possible throughout my entire application. I would highly suggest using IvyWise to any student applying to college! I don't know what I would have done without the extremely talented and knowledgeable IvyWise team.

Success Stories

Student C

Background

Student C and her mother did not know how to approach the college admissions process when they first came to IvyWise. Her mother was not from the United States and was unaware of all of the steps in the application process. Furthermore, Student C did not know how to demonstrate her talents and interests in the sciences.

Details

  • Domestic student with international parents
  • Unaware of how to navigate the US college admissions process
  • Interested in science, but wasn't sure how to demonstrate STEM interest to colleges
  • Began working with IvyWise prior to entering high school

IvyWise Services

  • 8th Grade Initial Consultation
  • 40 Hour Freshman Program
  • Tutoring

Top-Choice Schools

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Princeton University

How IvyWise Helped

Student C's IvyWise counselor explained all aspects of the college admissions process to Student C and her mother. Through her program with IvyWise, Student C worked with her counselor and tutors to:
  • Choose rigorous high school courses that matched her interests in the sciences and humanities.
  • Create a testing schedule consisting of relevant standardized tests. Student C took four SAT Subject Tests: Biology, Math II, Chemistry, and Spanish with Listening.
  • Take IvyWise's SAT/ACT diagnostic. By doing this, Student C learned that the SAT was a better fit for her than the ACT.
  • Increase her SAT score by 260 points through her work with IvyWise tutors.
  • Understand how she could make an impact outside of the classroom, using her interest in science. For example, Student C's school did not provide research opportunities for students, so IvyWise helped Student C find summer programs that matched her interests and allowed her to showcase her talents.
  • Research, select, and apply to 12 schools, a range of great-fits that included reach, target, and safety schools.
  • Craft a personal statement about Student C's independent science research and how spending summers across the country immersed her in a new culture and allowed her to gain independence.

Accepted

Student C was accepted to Harvard University, Class of 2014.

Student J

Background

Student J came to IvyWise upon the recommendation of a family friend. He had participated in his high school’s “Boot Camp” program, but his parents were concerned because they did not think his essay reflected his unique character and personality. Student J’s SAT scores and high school course load also failed to match his artistic and academic capabilities. Additionally, Student J had done minimal research to find the schools that would fit him best academically and socially.

Details

  • Previously participated in his high school's college app "Boot Camp"
  • Interested in the arts and humanities, but had trouble developing his interests in high school
  • SAT scores did not match his academic capabilities
  • Needed help identifying schools that fit his specific interests in philosophy

IvyWise Services

  • 12th Grade Initial Consultation
  • 12 Hour Senior Program
  • Tutoring

Top-Choice Schools

  • Bard College
  • Brown University
  • Rhode Island School of Design

How IvyWise Helped

Student J came to IvyWise upon the recommendation of a family friend. He had participated in his high school's "Boot Camp" program, but his parents were concerned because they did not think his essay reflected his unique character and personality. Student J's SAT scores and high school course load also failed to match his artistic and academic capabilities. Additionally, Student J had done minimal research to find the schools that would fit him best academically and socially. Through his program with his IvyWise counselor, Student J was able to:
  • Define his interests in art and Buddhism, allowing him to express himself properly in his extracurriculars and college essays.
  • Create an independent philosophy curriculum that led to his decision to pursue a philosophy major in college.
  • Utilize test prep and test-taking strategies that helped Student J raise his SAT score by 170 points in just one month of tutoring.
  • Brainstorm essay topics that suited his personality. He settled on an essay on how Buddhism affected his perception of the world.
  • Work with his counselor to improve his interpersonal and interview skills for meetings with college deans, instructors, admissions officers, and alumni.
  • Develop a suitable list of reach, target, and likely schools through careful research and an appropriate application timeline in order to maximize his chances of admission. This allowed Student J to apply to his top-choice school in the early round.

Accepted

Student C was accepted Early Action to Bard College, Class of 2014.

Student M

Background

When Student M first came to IvyWise, her main concern was writing “The Essay.” In her Initial Consultation, Student M’s counselor explained the US process at length, and how the application essays were just one part of her applicant profile.

Details

  • International student studying in the US
  • Bilingual (spoke Spanish in the home)
  • Interested in science and chemistry
  • Wanted to improve her SAT and ACT scores
  • Needed guidance writing college essays
  • Needed help identifying extracurricular activities to showcase her interest in STEM

IvyWise Services

  • 11th Grade Initial Consultation
  • 18 Hour Junior Program
  • Research Services

Top-Choice Schools

  • Georgetown University
  • Tufts University
  • Barnard College

How IvyWise Helped

When Student M first came to IvyWise, her main concern was writing "The Essay." In her Initial Consultation, Student M's counselor explained the US process at length, and how the application essays were just one part of her applicant profile. Through her program with her IvyWise counselor, Student M was able to:
  • Identify ways to present her best self and write personal, compelling supplements without sacrificing the quality of her personal statement.
  • Plan a challenging course load with her counselor, focusing on classes that matched her interests, such as AP Physics C.
  • Set grade and test score goals that would help her stand out in the application process, particularly in her challenging STEM courses.
  • Develop a realistic testing schedule, and identify studying and test prep methods that would help improve her grades and test scores.
  • Make a habit of weekly teacher visits to identify which teachers would be the best to approach for recommendation letters.
  • Identify different extracurricular activities, such as the Chemistry Olympiad, she could participate in as a way to showcase her interest in science and chemistry.
  • Establish a plan of action for her applications in order to maximize her chances of admission, leading her to apply Early Decision to her top-choice school.

Accepted

Student M was accepted Early Decision to Barnard, Class of 2018.

Student V

Background

As an international student, Student V needed assistance understanding the US admissions process. Her extracurricular activities also lacked focus, and she needed help selecting the right courses that aligned with her interests in business and history

Details

  • International Student
  • English-learning Student
  • Interested in business and history, as well as international studies
  • Needed help developing her extra-curricular activities
  • Needed help with SAT and ACT prep, a well as TOEFL
  • Unsure about where she wanted to apply

IvyWise Services

  • 11th Grade Initial Consultation
  • 35 Hour Junior Program
  • Tutoring

Top-Choice Schools

  • Columbia University
  • New York University
  • UCLA

How IvyWise Helped

As an international student, Student V needed assistance understanding the US admissions process. Her extracurricular activities also lacked focus, and she needed help selecting the right courses that aligned with her interests in business and history. In her program with her IvyWise counselor, Student V was able to:
  • Plan a challenging course load and develop a standardized testing schedule.
  • Work with IvyWise's expert tutors to identify which standardized test best suited her needs and establish realistic score goals and a comprehensive tutoring plan.
  • Identify new extracurricular activities, like Model UN and National Honor Society, to help her develop her interests and stand out. Student V also became involved in non-profit work and international activities.
  • Identify a summer program at Georgetown University that helped her expand her interest in business.
  • Created grade goals for her courses and a plan to achieve those goals.
  • Write detailed, compelling essays for her college application that drew on her personal experiences as a multiracial international student.
  • Gain insightful feedback on her progress and her application essays during the Roundtable Review process.
  • Develop a strategic application plan in order to maximize her chances of admission.

Accepted

Student V was accepted to New York University, Class of 2018.