PROGRAM

Great Minds Advising

College admissions has never been more competitive. High GPAs, strong test scores, and a well-rounded resume—once sufficient for an acceptance—are now common features of most applications to selective colleges.

Our college advising program, Great Minds Advising, specializes in helping high-achieving students from Westchester to NYC to Silicon Valley—across all grades—earn admission by becoming the types of applicants top colleges nowadays seek: students with compelling admissions stories centered around a focused passion, or "hook."

Combining deep strategic insight into the review process of admissions committees with our unique, hands-on mentorship approach, we draw out our students' most captivating passions and strengths and turn them into acceptances at America's premier colleges.

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WHAT WE ACHIEVE

Industry-Leading Results


For the 2023-24 application cycle, 100% of our students gained admission to a top-choice school.

We have recently helped applicants earn admission to top colleges such as Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Stanford, Penn, Duke, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, WashU, and UC-Berkeley, among many others.

Our students are admitted to the Ivy League at a rate of 12x the national average (86% when applying early), with each and every one of our Ivy League applicants gaining admission to at least one Ivy. Many have earned further distinctions, such as a full scholarship to Duke, Columbia Science Research Fellow, and "likely letters" (top 5-10% of admits) at numerous elite colleges.

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WHAT WE DO

Unrivaled Support

We are highly selective with the students and families we support, allowing us to deliver the highest level of service and quality. We pride ourselves on walking applicants through every aspect of the college admissions process with one simple goal: obtain the best possible outcome.

Each and every component is executed with utmost thought, creativity, and meticulousness by not only a student's primary advisor but also the rest of our expert advising team, helping us reproduce our exceptional track record of success year-after-year.

student in classroom

Story-Building

Whether it's environmental justice, social entrepreneurship, cognitive science, philosophy and space policy, or connecting the performing arts to mental well-being, we help our students create fascinating admissions themes true to their passions and that make their candidacies stand out from the crowd. Through the addition of clubs, leadership, summer programs, research, internships, independent projects, self-created organizations, publications, college/online coursework, awards and competitions, or other relevant pursuits, we support each student on executing their admissions angle with foremost tactical calibration and guidance.

Academic & Testing Strategy

From dodging that Calc BC teacher who's going to ruin your early decision application to Duke to coordinating academic tutoring for that one B+ that might be an application killer at top colleges, we help students maximize their individual academic profiles and ensure they align with their admissions narratives. When it comes time for SAT/ACT prep, we review diagnostic scores to suggest the ideal exam and interface with our in-house tutoring team to track and guide progress.

School Selection

The way in which students apply to college, even beyond the schools themselves, often makes or breaks student success nowadays. Instead of wasting time applying to 22 colleges (with that "safety" school of Tulane that takes 3% of students in its regular decision round), our students' processes almost always come to an abrupt and joyous end in December when they are admitted to one of their top-choice schools in the early round, enjoying the massive advantage applying early affords them. Using a high-precision analysis based on GPA, course rigor, test scores, resume, student demographics, recent outcomes from a student's high school, and our own internal acceptance history, we help students stay laser-focused on visiting and applying early to the best and (best-fit) schools to which they can earn admission.

Recommendations

While many students think they can simply get good grades and then ask a couple of teachers to write their letters of recommendation come late junior year, our students take a far more proactive approach, leaving nothing to chance. We begin by helping them build substantive relationships and classroom personas, based on the traits admissions officers value most, such as intellectual curiosity, extra initiative, and making fellow classmates better. With our careful support, they (and their parents) then produce exceptionally detailed and compelling rec materials (e.g. questionnaires, cover letters, and brag sheets) filled with anecdotes that help their teachers and school counselors write stand-out letters.

Application Work

Students often commit a litany of mistakes that make admissions officers root against, or pass over, their applications—from signaling their relative privilege and reinforcing applicant stereotypes (e.g. Asian/Indian-American students positioning for STEM fields) to humble-bragging about their accomplishments or writing a cliche "adversity" essay that colleges receive in droves. In contrast, we help our students write moving and rare essays that center their unique admissions stories and speak to the very specific ways in which they will benefit from, and contribute to, any given college—both inside and outside the classroom.

Strategic Positioning

Based on final candidacy themes/strengths, interests, demographics (e.g. under/over-represented in a certain field), and major-specific competitiveness at each college, we optimize selection of students' listed academic majors on a school-by-school basis to give them the greatest chance of admission.

Interview Prep

Through identifying the various interview types for a student's schools—evaluative, informational, or recorded video—and scheduling mock interview sessions with a team specialist, we prepare students to create dynamic, engaging expressions of their admissions narratives and specific interests in a college.

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WHO WE ARE

World-Class Experts


The Great Minds Advising team is comprised only of full-time staff with an exceptional ability to drive students' personal growth and an unerring passion for helping students build their passions and unique admissions stories. Each year, we turn down thousands of prospective applicants wishing to join our elite team, from Ivy grads to Rhodes Scholars and even Deans of Admissions from top colleges.

Despite our diverse academic backgrounds—ranging from neuroscience to theater—we are united by an obsessive focus on our students' college success. Put simply: we eat, breathe, and sleep college admissions.

We are members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), partners with the Northwestern Center for Talent Development, and are often sought after for our expert admissions takes by outlets such as NYT Magazine, NY Magazine, Bloomberg, NBC, and the BBC. We frequently discuss our unique approach to admissions on numerous podcasts and host our own podcast, "The Game: A Guide To Elite College Admissions."

Podcasts

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