What We Do

At IDEA, we know that getting a great education comes down to finding the right fit between you and a college or university. Whether you are an aspiring undergraduate or graduate student, the amount of information and the many unknowns can be confusing and frustrating. What is the right school? How can you best prepare for admission? What happens after the decision? We’ve helped thousands of students like you think about questions like these and about the many options and difficult decisions that go into planning for the future. We know what works, what doesn’t, and why.

By using our knowledge of different colleges and universities, what they have to offer, and what they are looking for in applicants, we demystify the application and admissions process. We work closely with you on each facet of the application and particularly on your writing so that, in the end, you submit the strongest possible applications to schools that are right for you – places where you will thrive academically, stretch yourself in all the right ways, and make the friends and connections that will stay with your throughout your life. Contact us to find out more!

Applying to college or graduate school can be such a demanding process that we often forget that the real point of it is not just to get in, but to get into the school or schools where you can get the most out of your education and thrive not only academically but socially and personally as well. At IDEA we are committed to working individually with you to help you discover what you want out of your education, where you can best find it, how to negotiate the application process, and how to succeed once the real work begins.

Because an education involves a profound investment of time and money, we feel that the first step is to come to an understanding about what you really want from the experience. We begin with a probing discussion of your wants, desires, hopes, and needs. We’ll ask what and where you want to study — and why — knowing how challenging and complicated these questions can be. You may have already thought a lot about them, or you may only just have begun. Based on these conversations we will work with you to define a holistic set of goals, begin designing the best strategy to reach these, and construct a blueprint of how you can best make use of your talents and triumphs in applying. Creating this foundation will help us come up with a list of colleges and universities within a broad range of probabilities of success. We will guide you through the many steps in applying, discussing with you how best to think about yourself and convey your talents through your application. Our experience has shown that students often have little sense of what makes them compelling applicants and what makes them stand apart in their applications. We will therefore work with you as you prepare your applications, talking extensively with you about how to compose your overall application, particularly your essays, which are often the most intimidating part. When decisions are in, we will continue working with you to help you decide which options are best and how to think about the fit between your goals and your various opportunities.

The central IDEA is that this is not about a few late nights filling out applications, about a joyous or sad receipt of emails, or about making a commitment to a school. It is about defining and striving for the best possible education for you. To that end, we work with students at all stages of preparation for college, university, or graduate school. We begin working with students as early as eighth grade or as late as senior year for undergraduate admissions. Since the application processes for graduate and professional schools can vary widely, we welcome inquiries from students as early as possible in their undergraduate careers.