This is Adam from Houston, Texas. He attended Princeton University.

Biggest Strength
Exceptional extracurricular achievement in dance, strong standardized test scores, and a perfect GPA.

Biggest Weakness
Attended an online high school.


Competitiveness of Application

GPA (On a 4.0 Scale): 

SAT (Out of 1600):

The Ivy Scholars Difference

Creating essays and an applicant profile that showcased Adam’s dedication to exploring intellectual topics he was curious about.


Proving academic readiness for top-tier universities. 

Adam was a highly accomplished ballet student who attended a full-time, intensive dance program. Due to the incredible time requirement of this commitment, he was forced to attend an online high school in the evenings. 

Although Adam had impressive grades – his GPA was 4.0, and he got a 1500/1600 on the SAT – and strong test scores, admissions committees are often skeptical of grades from online high schools. Adam also lacked time to create a comprehensive set of extracurricular activities that would help him stand out as an intellectual and scholar. Although Adam’s transcript proved his capacity for hard work and discipline, his online high school wasn’t very challenging, so his 4.0 GPA didn’t demonstrate intellectual vitality. Intellectual vitality is the term used to describe learning for the love of learning. Intellectual vitality is sought after by many top tier institutions, especially Stanford.


Emphasize intellectual vitality and prove academic ability. 

The Ivy Scholars Difference

Ivy Scholars worked with Adam to craft an application that highlighted not only his dancing achievements but also his penchant for independent learning. In addition to showcasing the intellectual aspects of his dance and choreography work, we worked with Adam to focus on the psychology and philosophy reading he did in his spare time and the college lectures he watched online to sate his curiosity. 

We helped Adam present his best self in three ways: in his personal statement, in his supplemental essays, and in his activities list. 

In his personal statement, we showcased how Adam’s dance experience prepared him to become a student at America’s top universities. Specifically, Adam’s experience as an elite dancer required him to live in dorms and work with a diverse group of peers. This helped admissions officers understand that he would learn from and teach his peers in college – exactly the kind of intellectual vitality that university admissions officers want to promote in their university’s dormitories. 

In his supplementals, we focused on Adam’s diverse intellectual interests, such as philosophy and psychology. These interests led him to explore various subjects on his own for fun. Putting interest into action is a hallmark of a high intellectual vitality rating – one of several ranking criteria – at top universities. Finally, in his activities list, we solidified his discipline and dedication to dance in the context of his independent study. 

Working with Ivy Scholars, Adam was able to overcome the challenges associated with his online high school and prove his readiness for a top-tier university. As a result, Adam was admitted to his first choice school – Princeton – in addition to Stanford, Harvard, and USC.

Admissions Outcome

Admissions outcome: Adam was accepted to his top choice – Princeton. Additionally, he was accepted to Harvard, Stanford, and USC.

Wendy Y.
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
Arda E.
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
Samson S.
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!