Designer College Advice on Discount

YM Magazine

By Rebecca Onion
June 2002

Rich and powerful parents pay royally for New York City college counselor Katherine Cohen, PH.D., to help get their kids into competitive schools. How royally? A platinum package – 24 one-on-one sessions with Katherine, including advice on where to apply and an hour of phone time per week – costs $28,995. For kids and parents who can afford the fee from Katherine’s business, IvyWise (, it’s worth it: 79% of her clients have gotten into their first- or second-choice school. Don’t have an extra 30-grand hanging around? Chin up, Katherine’s new book, The Truth About Getting In (Hyperion), costs just $21.95 ($28,973.05 is a pretty good savings, if you ask me). The book’s main message is hopeful: Push yourself to get good grades, spend a lot of time applying to colleges, and you should be able to go where you want. “This book is not going to all of a sudden write your application for you,” Katherine says.

“But if you put in the work, you will alleviate a lot of stress because you’ll be doing everything that you can.”

Be warned – there’s a lot to do. One of The Truth’s best features is pages of resources for researching schools and scholarship funds. Katherine also includes techniques for personal essays (such as, seek help from a family member, friend, or teacher – it isn’t against the rules).

So start getting organized. There’s no reason these ideas shouldn’t work for you just as well as they could for a Rockefeller.