Scholarship Program

What We Do

The Laurel Scholars Program offers one-on-one college application coaching and candidacy building planning to bright and motivated high school students in 10th -12th grade. In addition to investing in the academic potential of our scholars, we empower our scholars to engage deeply and critically in their pursuits.

We guide our scholars through the process of strengthening their college competitiveness, finding schools that will support them socially, academically, and financially, and crafting applications that highlight their unique achievements. Students’ engagements may include: writing and research projects, nonprofit collaborations, philanthropic outreach, internships, and self-initiated projects. Students may receive advising in: college & major selection strategy, recommendation letters, app portals, personal statements, and supplemental essays

Our program takes an interdisciplinary approach. By mixing traditional college application support with humanistic principles and Socratic reasoning, the Laurel Scholars program sets itself apart in its ability to re-envision what constitutes best practices in top-tier college admissions strategy to craft applications that stand out. The Laurel Scholars Program recognizes that factors such as first generation status, lack of financial resources and language can contribute to serious impediments in accessing higher education and a stable future. We are committed to opening doors to higher education for our scholars that they do not otherwise have access to, and we are also committed to navigating through the impact life circumstances may have on engaging with these resources; for example, we’ve helped refugees, DREAMers, homeless youth, cult escapees, and persecuted minorities. In addition, we use each scholar’s unique ideas and academic and extracurricular pursuits to create opportunities for them to apply their knowledge in service of the greater community. 

Laurel Scholars also receive resources and support specific to the impact that socioeconomic status has on the college application process and transition. These include post-acceptance planning and college transition support, specific scholarships and aid advice, and a network of supportive alumni.

Our Approach

The Laurel Scholars Program sets itself apart from other programs with its bespoke approach to mentorship and level of strategic depth. Ivy Scholars is a boutique firm, which allows our mentors to cultivate rapport with our students. Our expert team employs an emotionally intelligent approach and tailor each engagement to the student’s nuanced needs. By encouraging students to self-reflect and build new relationships to their interests and ideas, we leverage their insights into actionable opportunities to make an impact in their communities. Our coaching sessions are adapted to suit the unique needs and stories of each student, and we encourage them to lead with authenticity as they navigate the college applications process. 

We motivate our students to approach their application strategy creatively. We guide students in crafting essays that highlight their maturity, drive, and intellect and share their unique experiences in an innovative way. We’ve exhaustively developed strategies and techniques to assess how students need to develop their candidacy, provide students with a fresh approach, and coach them to write intentionally about their experiences. Our mentors are committed to shaping our scholar’s applications to reflect their unique skills and experiences.

Our Students

Our scholars exhibit a need for college admissions consulting alongside economic instability, marginalized social backgrounds, and/or adverse experiences in their family or community. We are invested in their long-term well-being and the impact that education can have on their lives. We measure our success by our scholars’ attainment of their educational goals, including college acceptances and full-ride scholarships, measurable personal growth through extracurricular pursuits and soft skill development, and fit with Ivy League and top-tier university academic culture.

Our program is competitive. We encourage students to apply who already have a demonstrated record of academic excellence with high grades and test scores, but need that extra insight into the application process, or that extra 50 points on your SAT.  We ask that you have foundational skills, like time management and organization, already in place. We also ask for a level of groundedness and maturity. Laurel Scholars demonstrate the intelligence and drive that is essential for successful top-tier college admissions.

Prospective Scholars

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!