There is a lot of curiosity about why people hire admissions consultants for college and business school. Can’t they do it on their own? How can they find the right fit? Most importantly, do consultants really make a difference?

At the risk of sounding salesy, overly dramatic or immodest – hiring the right educational advisor can absolutely make the difference between success and failure.

The reality is that most students are highly qualified, and they look largely the same on paper.  When I worked for Dartmouth, for instance, the vast majority of applicants had academic and extracurricular achievements that qualified them for admission. This is true at all selective programs.

Nevertheless, fewer than 8% of college candidates are admitted to Ivy League schools.  Fewer than 5% of MBA or college applicants are admitted to Stanford. This percentage is even lower when you factor in students who are offered seats at multiple programs.

So, how do you stand out in a sea of competitors with the same qualifications?  The answer is that you need to identify and leverage your strengths, to submit incredibly polished applications and to be strategic about where you apply and what you discuss.

None of this is straightforward, and although it may sound simple and obvious it is actually incredibly difficult to execute.  This is the value that qualified admissions consultants add – they understand how to present applicants in the best possible light, to the strongest schools that are likely to admit them.

To find the right consultant, look for someone with actual experience making admissions decisions, and with excellent results.  I have more than 12 years of Ivy League experience. Over the last 2 years, my clients have been admitted to Stanford, Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, MIT, the University of Chicago, Wharton, Duke, Columbia, NYU, Cornell, UVA, Georgetown, Northwestern, UNC and more, with scholarships of over $5.o million. 96% of my clients have been admitted to at least one of their schools of choice.

I would also suggest that you hire a consultant who keeps their list small, who works directly with you rather than assigning you to a less experienced employee, and who is a member of a relevant professional organization. I belong to AIGAC.

Finally, I would definitely choose a consultant with the right personality for you.  I try to make the process less stressful, and I customize my approach so that it works well for the client. We all have different styles, so it is worthwhile to read testimonials and speak to references so that you understand what it’s really like to work with us.

After all of the tremendously hard work that you have invested, don’t you want to submit applications that reflect your accomplishments and potential?  Hiring a skilled admissions consultant is an investment that pays off.

For a free 20 minute consultation please email ka***@no*****************.com or call (603) 277-9531.  To learn more, please visit

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Karen Marks

Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than $70 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 98% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.
North Star Admissions Consulting