About Me

I have been a college coach for eighteen years, helping hundreds of students get into the finest colleges in the United States and Canada.  My students have gotten into every type of college and university: Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Haverford, U. of Chicago, Wellesley, Marlboro, CAL, UCLA, Amherst, Emery, UT Austin Biola, USC, Santa Clara University, Carleton, Tulane, etc. with full and partial merit scholarships. I work with all kinds of students, those who are in the top five per cent of their class, average students, special issues (sickness, gap year, grades etc.), and students with disabilities.

In 1993, when I was writing a book, a friend asked me to help her son with his college essay for UCLA.  I discovered I loved doing it, got along well with him, and got him into UCLA with a scholarship.  Before I realized it, I had a line of teenagers and their parents out my door asking for help.  I have never looked back.

However, even though I was an expert on the college application essay, I quickly figured out that I needed to become an expert in positioning students (leadership, volunteer service, academic initiative etc.) so that they could shine for colleges and scholarships.  In addition, and just as important, I needed to become an expert in financial aid so that I could help family’s position their unique financial story on the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and with financial aid officers so that they could get the most money possible.

Since that time, I have visited and toured colleges and universities across the country and read and studied the best books and articles on the process.  Above all, I have learned from the triumphs and tragedies of the hundreds of students and parents I have worked with over the last 18 years.  Today I am an expert on everything that has to do with getting into the best colleges for my clients with as much money as possible.

My task is to be a college ‘handler’ for your child.  That is, I will support your child to choose the finest college possible for his or her talent, temperament and ambition. My task is also to be a financial aid coach for you, supporting you to find and use the legal loopholes in the financial aid methodology so you never have to pay sticker price for college.

Above all, I see what I do as essential today for three reasons: one, in today’s college market your child needs to be as competitive; two, your child deserves have a college application process that not only is as easy and effortless as possible but improves the high school experience; and three, you family deserves to get the best financial deal for college as possible.  What your child and I are doing together is designing his or her future.  I will do whatever it takes in time, energy and patience to get the job done marvelously!

- Barbara Austin, PhD