Find out why CollegeVine is best known for our incredibly talented team of consultants and mentors.
In 2013, after gaining acceptance to our own dream schools, we (the founders) took on requests from families and friends to help their children navigate the admissions process too. We accepted, mostly out of a duty to “pay it forward,” but we didn’t really intend to continue doing anything with admissions after the application season was over. Besides, we had our own aspirations — Zack wanted to collect all 7 Dragonballs, Johan had a childhood dream of being the first man to walk on the moon, and Vinay wanted to become an accomplished aviation journalist. Just kidding, who would ever want to become an aviation journalist?
But as we coached our “clients” from our dorm rooms using a jerry-rigged combo of Skype, phone, and Google Docs, we noticed... (Read More)
But as we coached our “clients” from our dorm rooms using a jerry-rigged combo of Skype, phone, and Google Docs, we noticed how natural it was to offer real, tangible help that they found genuinely useful. Since we had just gone through the process ourselves, we knew exactly what it was like to be in our clients’ shoes, giving our advice a relatable tone of, “Hey, I’ve been there.” Due to our unhealthy obsession with admissions (one that we had developed when trying to get into our own schools), we also had a deep understanding of what admissions officers were looking for. Simply put, we "got" admissions ourselves, and teaching others to do the same was second nature.
Most interestingly, due to our closeness in age, we were able to build relationships with our clients in a way that no adult could, allowing us to help them come up with deeply introspective essay topics and accurately present their personalities on their applications. It turns out, teenagers don’t really like sharing certain things with old people (who knew?).
So, by using the knowledge and information we had accumulated through our own admissions experience, we were able to easily... (Read More)
So, by using the knowledge and information we had accumulated through our own admissions experience, we were able to easily help younger students who came after us accomplish the same thing we did. And when our clients gained acceptance to every single one of their dream schools, we felt an indescribable feeling of pride.
At that point, something clicked.
What if we could leverage the knowledge and firsthand experience of talented college-age consultants to provide high school students with an unmatched mentorship and college admissions advisory service? And the rest is history.
In retrospect, it’s so obvious that the consultants best qualified to help students through the admissions process would be students that had just done it themselves. And our 3 years of incredible results have been been nothing but resounding validation of our unique model.
We start with the idea that the best admissions consultants and mentors are those who just went through the process themselves. These are people who actually live on the campuses and get to see all the people who were accepted on a daily basis. This allows for an intuitive understanding of understand the university’s culture and DNA. Combined with their recent firsthand experience, you have the building blocks for the ultimate consultant and mentor.
But not every college student is automatically qualified to be a uniquely good mentor. Indeed, you might ask, “Just because you got into Harvard, doesn’t mean you know how to get me into college.” So we hire only the best of the best. Our hiring standards are extremely selective. We screen consultants based on resume, looking for indications of strong passion and excellent interpersonal skills. They complete several interviews and mock sessions. Then, we require them to complete an intensive writing examination that over 80% of job applicants don’t pass. Some don’t even finish it. In total, only ~20% of consultants make it through the hiring funnel.
Next, we have a rigorous training process to take our consultants’ qualifications from intuitive experience to factual mastery. Before consultants interact with even a single client, they must complete several certifications in admissions knowledge, essay editing, emotional management, and more. The result is a network of consultants whose knowledge of admissions advising is unmatched.
Since our consultants are students too, they can serve as uniquely qualified mentors to their high school clients. So not only can they be emotionally helpful through what can be a very stressful process in a teenager’s life, but also they can dive deeper into introspective topics. These conversations that get to the deepest core of the student are what make for the absolute best applications in the eyes of admissions officers.
Our unique model allows us to maintain very close 1-1 relationships that are backed by thousands of data points. Since our network affords us the chance to work with so many students each year, we are able to achieve the scale required to make data-driven recommendations. So while ineffective counselors are saying things like, “I feel the best course of action...” and “Well, last year one of my students...”, with us you can be confident that you are only receiving advice that is backed by real admissions data.
For us, the mentor-mentee relationship is everything. And so making sure each student gets paired with the perfect consultant is of the utmost important to us. We spend a lot of time getting to know the student via conversations and questionnaires to ensure the optimal pairing is made.
Truth is, our model just plain works. Even though we believe strongly that the process itself is essential to students’ growth, at the end of the day outcomes are important too (and we know some of you really care about the outcome!). So feel free to check out our results.