Freshmen and Sophomores

At its simplest, the college application aims to capture a high school student's narrative. When juniors anticipate the beginning of the college process, they are often reacting to what is being asked of them: to share their story. We would like to work with freshmen and sophomores to help them take control of their high school narrative. When students enter the college process they can do so with confidence and without the anxiety they have grown to expect. 


Changing the face of college admission, twenty minutes at a time. With twenty minutes every day, juniors are given the chance to reclaim their stories, understand with confidence the message they are being asked to convey and find a place to craft the vision for their next personal and academic adventure. So often, juniors, through no fault of their own, are distracted from what this process is really about. Anyone can do what is asked of them, have the "right" answers or a great transcript. Still, at the beginning of this process, that all matters less than why they got here, and what they've gotten out of it. Sadly, juniors are rarely given the opportunity to reflect on the larger pieces of their puzzle. But, at HighGround, that's all we talk about.

Services for the Class of 2019

For the Class of 2019, I am offering two distinct services. The first is consistent with what I offered this past year to the Class of 2018--a comprehensive program that begins in the fall of a student's junior year and ends when they are happily matriculated at a college or university.

The second option is entirely new, and offers a much more targeted approach. I will be offering families an opportunity to meet for an entire afternoon (four hours either midweek or on a weekend), during which time we will tackle the following topics:

1. Provide an overview of the college admissions landscape
2. Discuss the institutional priorities that drive much of the college admissions
3. Identify and explore the different criteria that will drive your son or daughter's college search
4. Generate a comprehensive list of colleges based on those criteria
5. Discuss the entire timeline of the college process, including college visits, testing etc.
6. Discuss the two main components of my process: advocacy and narrative
7. Come up with a game plan for the student based on that conversation about creating advocacy and writing a compelling high school story

Summer College Essay Writing in Marin

Throughout the months of June and July, we will be offering five-day college essay writing workshops. While these classes are reserved primarily for students who are long term clients, each summer we have room for a few more students who are seeking essay writing help. For availability, please call me at 650-534-5560.

Planning College Visits

For several years, I organized and led college visit trips for up to 45 students. Based on feedback we have received from parents over the years, we understand that planning these trips can be an overwhelming task. We provide assistance with the often complex logistics associated with planning college visits, and can customize to meet your needs—whether it is optimizing the order of school visits or researching travel arrangements like hotels near campus and plane tickets.

Writing Resumes and Cover Letters

A growing number of colleges and universities encourage students to submit a resume as part of the application. Similarly, companies expect students to submit a cover letter for a job or internship. We help students craft effective resumes and compelling cover letters to best showcase their talents.

Starting a Business

For years now, we have seen a trend that seems only to be accelerating. Increasingly, students are gravitating towards pre-professional majors, business in particular. Often the default major, we are aware of how competitive it is to gain admission to business programs. One of the most compelling ways to emerge from the growing pool of students pursuing business is by starting one. Our team has immense skill in entrepreneurship and business planning to help your son or daughter navigate this rather daunting task of developing their ideas into business endeavors.

Transitioning to College

We are excited to announce an entirely new service, one built around the transition students make from high school to college.

Just briefly, let me share a few of the reasons why I felt compelled to introduce this service to families. With every passing year, I see a growing number of students struggle to make a successful transition to college--both academically and socially. As I listen to students talk about and reflect on their transition, it strikes me that there is this unspoken expectation that they are somehow able to navigate this new environment and set of expectations. It doesn't seem like a reasonable expectation. So I want students to have the opportunity to engage in that important conversation.

But there is another reason. As I do every year, I talk to my friends in admission about what they are seeing. This year, there was a consistent message. They made the following three observations.

1. Students struggle to navigate difficult situations

2. Students struggle with self advocacy

3. Students don't know how to talk to each other

Given the considerable investment of time, money and energy that goes into identifying the school where students ultimately enroll, I believe this service is a natural, even necessary extension of that investment.

Both in advance of a student leaving for college and during those initial few months of college, we will help your son or daughter make the academic and social transition to their new home.