Testimonials word with black and white typewriter conceptAnyone who has visited this page more than once has seen that I have struggled with it. I take pride in the results that my students achieve and satisfaction in having helped them. But a testimonials page from a private college counselor can imply so much more, especially in the wake of the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal. With that in mind, I have decided to go beyond the typical “sound bytes” that you see on a page of this kind and use it as a vehicle for helpful discussion.

Kids get into highly selective schools when they bring as much to the table as they will be receiving in return. I spend time getting to know my clients and helping them identify schools that will fit this bill. In some instances, our work together opens up opportunities that they may not have considered on their own. It also might help them navigate challenging situations, such as choosing appropriate teacher recommenders, figuring out a standardized testing strategy, or getting over writer’s block with the college essays. Overall, though, kids who land at Top 50 schools would have wound up at a comparable institution with or without me. I help them get there with less angst, more of a feeling of control, and more peace of mind than they otherwise would have. As I said in a previous post, “I get high schools, I get college admissions, and I get kids. I love the intersection of the three and have situated myself at that intersection for decades.” The results you see below reflect that passion.

Private Clients

I work with students one on one as they go through the college process. Here are some comments from them and from their parents:

Student admitted Early Decision to University of Chicago, Class of 2025: “There are no words to express how grateful I am to you for all the ways you have helped me in the college process. You are a fantastic college advisor and were instrumental in my UChicago acceptance. Thank you so much for everything you did. I know that you will continue helping many more high school seniors achieve their dreams.”

Student admitted Early Decision to Bowdoin, Class of 2025: “Bowdoin 2025!! Eva! It’s official! Thank you so much for everything you have done to help me through this process. I could not have done it without you. You’re the best!!!!!”

Father of student admitted Early Decision to Tulane University, Class of 2025: “Yes!!! TULANE! My son is over the moon excited! Me too. Wow – he’s all done!”

Mother of student admitted Early Decision to University of Chicago, Class of 2025: “Simple words cannot express how grateful we are to you. You mentored our daughter, you listened to her, you heard her thoughts and you helped her achieve her goal. We could tell by the enthusiasm and genuine care you poured into our child each week how much her candidacy at Chicago mattered to you. We are still floating on the clouds with this acceptance. Eva, you are beyond fantastic and we appreciate, admire and respect what you do.”

Parents of student admitted Early Decision to Cornell Engineering, Class of 2025: “Our daughter was accepted into Cornell tonight! We are overjoyed! So many emotions now. Thank you so much for all of your guidance helping her to get into her dream school. We are so incredibly proud of her. Go Big Red!”

Mother of student admitted Early Decision to Occidental College, Class of 2025: “Thank you again for all the support and guidance you gave our daughter during the college admissions process.  She is so incredibly thrilled to have gotten into Oxy. We have never seen her so happy. We are happy for her and grateful for your assistance and help. It was such a stress-free process from our parental perspective and I am sure for our daughter as well, not having to seek guidance from us.”

Student admitted Early Decision to Rice, Class of 2025: “I got accepted into Rice and I just wanted to thank you for everything that you’ve helped me with, from choosing the school to writing the essays. It was a pleasure working with you. Thanks for everything and good luck dealing with my brother when the time comes!”

Mother of student admitted to The University of Texas at Austin’s Turing Scholars Program, Class of 2024: “[He] was accepted at the U of Texas Honors Program!!! He is so thrilled!!!! Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!!!!!”

Parents of student admitted Early Decision to Rice University, Class of 2024: “As parents, we appreciated your honesty and thoughtfulness in all aspects of this journey. Your comprehensive expertise helped us focus on our son and his strengths, weaknesses, and best fits for the next chapter in his education. Most significantly, we appreciated the way you worked with him and motivated him every step of the way. He gained confidence with his writing, an unexpected plus, and felt great about the plan you crafted together. We are thrilled that he got into his early decision school. More importantly, even had he not, you prepared him to finish the process without stress.  For that, we are forever grateful. Three more kids to go!”

Student admitted to University of Michigan, Class of 2024: “Thank you so much for all your help. This process was so much less painful with your help and I could not have done it without you. I am so grateful!”

Father of student admitted to University of Michigan, Class of 2024: “Eva, thanks for everything. You were superb. I will definitely be recommending you.”

Mother of student admitted Early Action to Yale College, Class of 2024: “We so appreciated working with you. I just knew I was giving my child the best tools and coaching to present his best self. Thank you so very much.”

Student admitted Early Decision to Cornell University, Class of 2024: “Along with being the one who introduced me to the PAM major at Cornell, you helped me take my application and essays to a whole new level. Thank you for working with me and helping me improve my application and essays. You made applying to college both a manageable and enjoyable process for me.”

Mother of student admitted Early Decision to NYU, Class of 2024: “I want to thank you for referring us to Eva Ostrum for college counseling. She is professional, patient, warm, and very knowledgeable. My daughter took an immediate liking to her and formed a bond with her. Eva guided us through this tedious process with empathy and genuine kindness and we loved her.”

Father of student admitted Early Action to Yale College, Class of 2023: “Throughout high school, our daughter was a self-motivated and independent learner, rarely asking for our input or help with her schoolwork. When confronting her college applications, she was suddenly less sure of herself and sought our input. Of course, we knew no better than she did, but that didn’t stop us from showering her with strong opinions inflected with our own doubts and worries for her future. In retrospect, it’s clear we were making matters worse.

All that changed once she met Eva. Finally she had someone to guide her with the firm and methodically applied belief that simple candor and clarity would see her through. And it did. We don’t know the mechanics of what Eva did, but even before the application went out, we saw the spring come back to our daughter’s step, her confidence return, and so much of her anxiety melt away. We’ll remain ever grateful and, frankly, a little bit in awe.”

Mother of student admitted Early Action to Yale College, Class of 2023: “Working with you, our daughter’s essays became richer, deeper, and somehow managed to retain her unique voice. They were magnificent! Our daughter getting into Yale is a Very Big Deal for her school. She’s the first. I admire the quality of your work, your passion. Add to that your extensive experience and spot-on judgment and, well, there’s no doubt in my mind that she would not have had the same result without you on her team.”

Parents of twins admitted Early Action to Yale College and Early Decision to Barnard College, Class of 2023: “Happy Holidays and thank you for making college dreams come true!”

Student admitted Early Action to Yale College, Class of 2023: “I GOT INTO YALE!!!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!! I AM SO EXCITED!!”

Student admitted to Tufts University, Class of 2023: “Now that the entire college process is over, I can’t even believe how lucky I was to have you by my side through it all. Your advice was invaluable. I am beyond grateful for your counsel. Thank you so much for working with me and helping me be accepted to one of my favorite schools.”

Student admitted to Pomona College, Class of 2023: “Thank you so much for helping me with college applications. It’s so nice and lucky to meet you! Couldn’t have gotten into Pomona without you!”

Student admitted to USC, Class of 2023: “Thank you very much for your help during my application process! You are an amazing counselor! Wish me luck at USC!”

Student admitted to Emory University, Class of 2023: “I really enjoyed working with you throughout my college process. Working with you put my mind at ease and took a lot of the weight off my shoulders. I will forever be grateful for the time you spent working with me.”