College Admissions Support

What if the college process were an opportunity for self-realization? We believe in a kinder, more holistic approach to college admissions.

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A friendly tour of the process

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Process

College bound?

Your college application is an opportunity for you to articulate who you are and who you dream of becoming. We’ll help you find the right words.

1

Commit to doing your best in school

Your transcript is, bar none, the most important component of your application. Focus your attention on doing as well as possible in your courses.

Request an academic tutor
2

Develop a strong resume

Don’t overthink your resume - you should be spending your time doing the things you love to do! The point is not to simply accrue experiences for the sake of your applications, but rather to develop your interests in an authentic way, pushing yourself to try new things and explore you love to do more deeply. Fill your time outside of class with the activities that bring you enrichment. 
From our blog: building a resume of activities in high school
3

Make a plan for standardized testing

In the fall of your sophomore year, start planning for PSAT preparation, as it’s the perfect opportunity to develop test-taking skills and build confidence in a lower-stakes environment. Also, your performance on the PSAT will inform your game plan for the ACT and the SAT.

Learn more about our SAT tutoring
4

Select schools that best fit your needs

Honing your list of schools might seem daunting, but this can be one of the most helpful parts of the application process, as it will help you refine not just where you want to go to school, but why. Whether you’re creating a list from scratch or starting from your high school's suggestions, you'll need to do your own extensive research to craft a list of reach, match, and safety schools. Coming up with a school list is a highly personal process that's all about finding the right fit for you based on a balance of all sorts of factors, including academic goals, extracurricular expectations, geographic location, scholarship offerings, the kind of community you’d like to join, and more. 

View our sample syllabus
5

Tackle your essays

For most high school students, the personal essay is a critical introduction to self-representation. As you write your personal and supplemental essays, you should expect to go through lots of drafts, revisions, and editing, but in the end, all this work will result in writing that best represent you and of which you can be truly proud.

From our blog: how to choose the right essay topic
6

Choose the right recommenders

Your recommenders should be able to speak to who you are as a student and as a person. Select recommenders who know you well and who are excited about who you may become. The depth of the relationship is really important to making these letters work most effectively.

From our blog: how to select and contact your recommenders
7

Develop and rehearse a compelling interview performance

Interviews, whether with current officers or with alumni, can greatly strengthen your application. Remember, each reader usually takes between eight and ten minutes with your application, so meeting people face-to-face helps the college get a better sense of who you are. 

From our blog: interview tips
8

Stay in touch

You can expect your Student Support Manager to reach out to you right after your first session and throughout your relationship to make sure you are on track. But we love hearing from students and parents at any time.

Meet our Student Support Team

Coach spotlight

We are a cooperative of experienced college coaches operating in a variety of fields who provide exceptional one-on-one coaching and mentorship to our students.

Meet everyone

We are a cooperative of experienced college coaches operating in a variety of fields who provide exceptional one-on-one coaching and mentorship to our students.

Anna F.

Anna graduated from Harvard University with a BA in English and a minor in Linguistics and Language Theory. While at Harvard, she was a curriculum editor for the Mamelodi Initiative in South Africa.

Tong

Thomas earned his BS in Chemistry at Duke. He is currently an MD/PhD at Harvard-MIT. In the Harvard Immunology Program, he is studying how the immune system responds to severe viral infections such as COVID-19

Sheela

Sheela earned her BFA in Vocal Performance and BS in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. She earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Vocal Performance from the Royal College of Music and an MSc in Cognitive & Decision Sciences from University College London. She also holds a JD from Yale Law School.

Cristina

Cristina holds a PhD in Linguistics from Harvard, an MS in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London, and BAs in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Linguistics from the University of Southern California. Currently, she works as a forensic linguist.

Charlie T.

Charlie earned a BA in Political and Social Thought and English from UVA. Next, he earned his master's degrees in English and in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is now a PhD candidate in English Literature at Harvard.

Matthew G.

Matthew holds an AB in Government from Harvard and a PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. He's a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Kellen H.

Kellen holds a BA from Princeton in History & African American Studies, and a PhD from Columbia in History. She was a Predoctoral Fellow at UPenn’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and is now working on her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Penn State University.

Bex

Bex majored in theatre and minored in creative writing at Northwestern University, graduating summa cum laude. After settling in Chicago, Bex won a prestigious Luminarts Cultural Foundation fellowship in creative writing. They are now an MFA candidate at Hamline University, where they study writing for children and young adults.

Udodiri

Udodiri is a PhD Candidate in History of Science at Harvard University; she previously earned a BA in the same field at Harvard College. Her honors thesis on the biomedicalization of Civil Rights Protest in the 1960s and 1970s received the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize.

Sarge

John has been a professional writer, editor, and teacher for almost 40 years, working with everyone from students to corporate executives to help them get their good ideas down on paper in a clear and comprehensible way. He has taught at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, CT., and at Moses Brown School, in Providence, RI.

Nathan B.

Nathan is a lecturer in The Writing Seminars, the creative writing program at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his MFA at Hopkins, and also attended Emory University in Atlanta, majoring in English literature and creative writing and graduating summa cum laude.

Fang

Fang is a MD candidate at Harvard Medical School, spending his time conducting research at the Harvard Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. He holds a DPhil in Cardiovascular Medicine from Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Isabel T.

Isa designed an independent major at Williams College titled “Critical Health Studies,” combining philosophy, sociology, and anthropology with the goal of complementing her science-oriented pre-medical education with a humanist and critical exploration of health and medicine. After graduating with Highest Honors, she is now an entering MD-PhD student at the University of Michigan where she will complete her doctoral work in sociocultural anthropology.

Nick O.

Nick attended Washington University in St. Louis as an Ervin Scholar, where he double majored in Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Development. Currently, Nick is a doctoral student in the Management Science and Engineering Department at Stanford University, where his research focuses on the consequences of disruption, abolitionist technologies, and business models that incentivize responsible urban innovation.

Rasheca

Rasheca was a Robertson scholar who attended Duke University and also had the opportunity to simultaneously major at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. At Duke, Rasheca majored in Public Policy and at UNC Rasheca majored in Nutrition. She graduated in 2020 summa cum laude, with distinction, and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is currently pursuing a medical degree at Harvard Medical School.

Danielle M.

Danielle majored in English Literature at Columbia University. After graduating, Danielle began working for the Armenian National Committee of America in their Government Affairs division. She is currently a student at Harvard Law School.

Sam C.

Sam graduated with a degree in Physics from Princeton University. After graduation, she taught physics at a high school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She's currently pursuing her MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Nadja

Nadja graduated from The Dalton School early, moving on to earn her BA in Psychology at Yale University, cum laude. Nadja was recently selected as a Fulbright Scholar and will serve in Kenya as an English teacher for high school and university students.

Jenny M.

Jenny currently teaches English literature at St. Johnsbury Academy. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Trinity College at the University of Oxford, and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Liz P.

Liz has been a professor at Harvard College (English) and Bates College (Theater and Dance). She holds a PhD and MA in English from Harvard University and a BA in English and Dramatic Art from UNC (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa).

Sasha

Sasha earned her BS in Physics and Mathematics from MIT and her PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from MIT. Her PhD research focused on engineering new energy-efficient magnetic nanomaterials. While at MIT, she completed two research internships in France, worked as a visiting scientist in a German physics institute, and pioneered a new physics education program in Chile.

Meet everyone

Testimonials

“Sarah played a big role in helping our son gain admission to Harvard. Sarah joined our son’s admissions process when we were all feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost, and she navigated the process with wisdom, compassion, and skill. Sarah helped shape our son's entire educational experience, and for that we are forever grateful.”

ParentMatriculated at Harvard University

“Jimmy has been the best instructor that my son has ever had: positive, supportive, astute, and effective. He's truly changed the course of my son's life. I am infinitely grateful to Cambridge Coaching for connecting us with Jimmy!”

RebeccaMatriculated at New York University

“As someone from a low-income household, investing time and money in my college applications was the best decision my family made. I was accepted into multiple Ivy League schools where I received full financial aid. My time with Cambridge Coaching was so, so, so worth it!”

JoeyAdmitted to multiple Ivy League schools

“I was very stressed out when I started the college transfer process, but Paul made me feel calm and confident the whole time. We worked together to ensure that I had several goals to achieve by the end of each week, and he always responded promptly and thoughtfully. It was a pleasure to work with Paul.”

MélanneCollege transfer

Testimonials

“Sarah played a big role in helping our son gain admission to Harvard. Sarah joined our son’s admissions process when we were all feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost, and she navigated the process with wisdom, compassion, and skill. Sarah helped shape our son's entire educational experience, and for that we are forever grateful.”

ParentMatriculated at Harvard University

“Jimmy has been the best instructor that my son has ever had: positive, supportive, astute, and effective. He's truly changed the course of my son's life. I am infinitely grateful to Cambridge Coaching for connecting us with Jimmy!”

RebeccaMatriculated at New York University

“As someone from a low-income household, investing time and money in my college applications was the best decision my family made. I was accepted into multiple Ivy League schools where I received full financial aid. My time with Cambridge Coaching was so, so, so worth it!”

JoeyAdmitted to multiple Ivy League schools

“I was very stressed out when I started the college transfer process, but Paul made me feel calm and confident the whole time. We worked together to ensure that I had several goals to achieve by the end of each week, and he always responded promptly and thoughtfully. It was a pleasure to work with Paul.”

MélanneCollege transfer

“From day one, Bryan made me more excited about my future instead of stressed about my application. Bryan’s enthusiasm motivated me to achieve the goals we set along the way, and his suggestions made me confident and happy to click the submit button.”

Jaret

“Jeb's commitment and superior service impressed our whole family. He grasped my daughter's strengths and weaknesses precisely and provide exceptionally high-quality support. We are very happy working with Cambridge Coaching––they deliver quality work at the highest professional level.”

Julia

“I contacted Sam two days before my ED deadline, and he was incredibly flexible under such short notice. Sam gave me insight on how to show who I was through my college essays. But most importantly, even though I was under a lot of pressure, Sam kept me motivated and focused.”

Bharath

“Jason is incredible! He's a brilliant editor, and he will help you write an essay that will pull the reader in. He makes sure that your story stays authentic and true to yourself. Jason sets high standards, but when he says you are done, you know it's perfect. Jason is amazing and worth every penny!”

Maria

“Hana had unwavering hope and faith in me. When many people in the process were doubtful and hampered my aspirations, Hana was cheering me on. Hana was exceedingly helpful in helping me craft my ideas into essays that would add to my applications. She has a breadth of knowledge and gave me guidance and tips that were insurmountable. There was never a dull moment with Hana. We were never stumped and always working productively. My experience was so amazing. Thank you guys.”

Robert DevoeMatriculated at Duke University

FAQs

  • What is the timeline for the college admissions process?

    Though preparation for the college process can start as early as 9th grade, the majority of the work will take place between the spring of junior year and the fall of senior year. Typically, students will sit for the SAT or ACT in the spring or summer of their junior year, with another sitting in the fall of senior year if needed. The summer between junior and senior year is also a great time to get started on application essays such as the personal statement and any school-specific supplements. Early Decision and Early Action deadlines are typically November 1st, while Regular Decision apps are usually due around January 1st.
  • Does my child need to take the SAT or ACT?

    Although more and more schools have gone "test optional" in the past few years, taking the SAT or ACT will still likely be a part of the college process, particularly if your child is hoping to gain admission to the most competitive schools. Should your child decide not to submit a standardized test score, it will be especially important to make sure the other components of the application (such as the essays, letters of recommendation, etc.) are as strong as they can be. Some schools like the UCs, however, have gone totally "test blind," so be sure to check the admissions sites of your child's programs of interest to confirm their rules.
  • So which test should my child take: the SAT or the ACT?

    Although the SAT and ACT are very similar, there are some significant differences. The SAT is more reading intensive (even in the math sections), whereas the ACT is a speed test with a math/science focus - it also has a science section, while the SAT does not. And, whereas the SAT focuses more on applying acquired knowledge to unknown situations and problems (aptitude), the ACT is more focused on testing the knowledge a student has acquired over the course of their schooling (ability). The best way to decide which test is right for your child is to have them sit for a diagnostic of both exams. If one test feels far more intuitive, or the end score is far higher, that is the one the student should study for and ultimately, take.
  • How do we decide which schools to apply to?

    Creating a school list will be one of your top priorities at the start of the college process. Junior year is a great time to visit college campuses and take virtual tours so that the student can get a sense of the different types of schools to which they can apply, keeping in mind academic program, location, and opportunities for extracurricular and social engagement. Then, to create a list that is right for your child, separate any programs of interest into Likely, Target, Reach, and Unlikely schools depending on where their grades and scores fall in accordance with past admissions statistics. The best school lists are both broad and diverse, with a variety of schools represented in all four categories.
  • What's the different between Early Action and Early Decision?

    To put it simply, Early Decision is typically binding (i.e. if you are admitted, you are committed to attending that college and withdrawing all other applications elsewhere), while Early Action is not (i.e. if you are admitted, you may still apply to other schools). Both ED and EA can show strong demonstrated interest on the part of the student, though neither is a guarantee for admission. Small colleges with binding ED decisions often admit close to 50% of an incoming class in this round, so it is helpful to apply early if your child has a strong first choice school. Do note, though, that ED and EA rules can differ from school to school, so it will be important to confirm each individual college's restrictions prior to applying.

Plans

We've created a structured yet flexible pricing plan that offers everything you need to succeed throughout the admissions process.

Choose a Tutor Tier

Hourly Rate

1 Hour

All of our coaching is available on an hourly basis. If you're unsure of how much coaching your child will need, you can enroll in our "pay as you go" option.

$ 120

$ 160

$ 240

$ 290

First Time Package

3 Hours

This initial package is a good way to get the ball rolling and evaluate the amount of coaching that your process will require. Allows for parents and student to get to know their coach, align on expectations, and determine a basic action plan.

$ 360

$ 480

$ 720

$ 870

Single Application Package

25 Hours 5% OFF

Guidance on the early application or another application of your choosing. This package generally allows for regular meetings throughout the process, as well as remote feedback and editing on application materials by your coach. Represents our best estimate; students may need more or less time with their coach.

$ 2850 You save $150

$ 3800 You save $200

$ 5700 You save $300

$ 6888 You save $362

Comprehensive Package

50 Hours 10% OFF

Management of the process start to finish, from school selection through all aspects of the common application, supplements, and interviews. This package allows for regular meetings throughout the process, as well as remote feedback and editing on application materials by your coach. Typically allows for 10 - 12 applications. Represents our best estimate; students may need more or less time with their coach.

$ 5400 You save $600

$ 7200 You save $800

$ 10800 You save $1200

$ 13050 You save $1450

Tutor Tiers

We have 4 tiers of coaches. The coach’s tier is based on the experience level of the coach with our team. All coaches begin working with Cambridge Coaching at the Standard tier.

  • Standard

    0-150 hours
    $120/hour

  • Senior

    150-200 hours
    $160/hour

  • Guru

    250-300 hours
    $240/hour

  • Master

    350+- hours
    $290/hour

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