"When the time came for our oldest to apply to college, we sensed a strong need for guidance. We interviewed a few highly recommended college advisors. While all were excellent options, Kate's resourcefulness, wisdom, and sincere care for the student clearly stood out.
In her customary resourceful way and as early as her introductory email, Kate led me to unique educational providers and opportunities for my child. I consider myself a rather selective customer who also enjoys researching, as such I know an outstanding researcher when I see one. Just as I thought I reasonably knew about the world of education, Kate consistently opened our eyes to tailored opportunities many of us have not even heard of.
From the beginning, we held high expectations. Yet, Kate managed to exceed them all. She earned our trust quickly. Kate took the time to get to know my child, navigate all the college options, and help her sort out what programs best suited her personality, strengths, and interests. Thanks to Kate, all the colleges my child applied to would have provided very fine, suitable, and engaging educational experiences. In preparing the applications, Kate strategically helped my child discern what was most relevant, yet she wisely ensured my child would continue to only use her own voice.
Throughout this entire process, Kate was always available and most proactive. My child was accepted into all the schools she applied to and many offered substantial merit scholarships.
I love how Kate cares for the student as a person. She has not just provided specific recommendations to manage the academic rigors, but has taken the time to discuss the personal challenges that typically arise and ways to deal with them. I feel Kate gave my child a very broad, exciting, and realistic picture of what college is. Even better, with her notes and excellent book suggestions, Kate has also prepared us parents in this process of applying and now parenting a child in college.
We were so pleased with Kate's services, we have asked her to advise our younger high school student. We are very excited to begin working with Kate early on our child’s studies."
- R.A., parent of a homeschooled student attending MIT
"One of the hardest parts of the application process for me was understanding how the admissions officers would react to my application…which parts stood out and which should be played down, how to talk about my accomplishments without sounding too confident or not confident enough, whether a particular activity was impressive or almost assumed. Ms. Reilly understands how admissions officers think – what excites them in students and what they’ve seen hundreds of times. Her assessments of my application were invaluable in helping me understand how to present myself in the best light and what aspects of myself to highlight. In the end, I was accepted to eight out of the ten top schools I applied to, including my first choice. I could not have done it without her."
- R.S., accepted to Stanford, Princeton, and MIT
"Our son worked with Kate for about two years to plan and execute all aspects of the college application process. She was a life saver! He’s our oldest child, and applying to college today is nothing like it was for me or my husband. We needed someone with recent expertise to guide us. Our son is extremely well-qualified academically, but he was overwhelmed and reluctant to engage at every step. We weren’t confident in the steps he should be taking, so his pushback and our apprehension were causing tension in our family relationships. That’s when we knew we needed help.
We started working with Kate at the beginning of our son’s junior year, but I would recommend starting sooner! She is able help develop a plan for coursework, extracurriculars, testing—all the pieces that go into a solid college application.
She quickly got us on the right track, and was able to break down all of the critical steps into small, manageable goals with clear deadlines. She got to know our son’s personality, and was able to advise him not only which schools might be a great fit for his interests and abilities, but also about the culture of the schools he researched. She helped him select a manageable number of schools to apply, and all of his bases were covered. I feel quite confident that he would have been happy and successful at any of the schools on his final list.
Kate allowed us to maintain our positive relationship with our son throughout the process. Before she came into the picture, our whole family was feeling the acute stress and pressure of the situation and we were all a bit immobilized. She was the impartial, knowledgeable third-party we needed to cut though all of the emotional issues and get us moving in the right direction.
Our son has just finished his senior year. He decided to attend a large university, and he’s staying on top of his emails, enrolling for classes, and keeping up with important deadlines. So, Kate’s work with us continues to benefit him. She helped him learn the process and skills needed to be organized and aware of deadlines. These critical skills will serve him well in many aspects of his life."
- D.O., parent of student attending a state flagship business school
"Kate is extremely knowledgeable in various academic classes and summer programs, both humanities and STEM (Sciences, Math, etc.). One recent example was that I struggled to select which math class would be the most appropriate for my rising Junior to take. Kate took her time to review the syllabus and articulate the pros and cons of various choices in college math classes, from Multivariable Calculus, to Linear Algebra, and guided me to select one that is best for my boy.
Not only Kate is knowledgeable, able to analyze a complex situation and articulate well, more importantly, Kate has a listening ear and understanding heart. I always feel very comfortable to bring up any concerns I have to her and find that she can always help me either clarify the situation or point me to the right directions. I have some contacts with a few professional college consultants during the last years and find Kate is definitely one of the best in terms of education consulting."
- J.Z., parent of a homeschooled student, attending Duke
"Ms. Reilly worked with me at every step of the applications process, from compiling a list of colleges to essay writing. She's not only knowledgeable, insightful, and thorough, but caring, supportive, and patient, always going above and beyond to provide me with the best possible guidance. She made recommendations that were perfectly tailored to casting my application in the best light which wasn't a simple task, given my unusual educational path–I started high school at the age of 9. I am thankful to have had her in my corner, helping me through this stressful time."
- J.H., hybrid high school, MIT student
"Kate is an outstanding coach, strategist, and editor. Her guidance and support, from the beginning of junior year through the college application process, maximized my daughter’s prospects and helped her get into her top choice school. Kate was always available to answer questions, offer expertise guidance and keep us on track. The deadlines and structure that Kate provided my daughter was perfect for her. Having Kate to field questions reduced our stress and time spent at home working through my daughter's essay’s, preparing for interviews, and how to approach presenting her activities on the common application in a way that highlighted her best. It was very reassuring to have Kate’s input and we are so thankful for all her support."
- W.R., parent of a homeschooled student, attending Colby
"Kate helped my daughter to think seriously about college and decide what kind she wanted to go to and why. She had several conversations with my daughter on Skype, and she helped us to develop a list of colleges to research. My daughter created a table with all kinds of information, and I was surprised to find out what was important to her. She narrowed down the list, and by the time we met with the school college advisor, my daughter knew what colleges she wanted to visit. She was the most knowledgeable student on the college application process at her school by her junior year, thanks to Kate!
The second area that Kate was of great help to us was standardized testing. My daughter had very good grades at a very challenging school, but the testing was hard for her - she had a lot of anxiety and even fainted a couple times, and we didn't know how to approach it. All other academic counselors stressed the test results, and Kate was the only one that developed special strategies with my daughter: 33 at ACT was just fine; and rather than pushing her to retake the exam, my daughter's application was all about her volunteering, running a school environmental club, her empathy and help for others, and her biology research.
Kate managed to help my daughter to become interested and responsible in the college application process. She helped her to create a list of colleges to visit, to set out the priorities, to make the final plan, and encouraged her to have the colleges on the list that she really wanted to attend. Kate helped us from the sophomore year to the senior year, and my daughter is now attending her first choice school, a liberal arts college strong in science, writing, and languages. It would have been a much more stressful and difficult process without Kate's gentle and expert guidance throughout those years."
- J.D., parent of a Carleton student
"Ms. Reilly and GT College Advising gave me really invaluable advice on how to write an effective college essay, and helped me every step of the way with my MIT and Common App essays. She taught me to communicate my messages as clearly as possible, and how to best present myself to each school, through its particular set of questions. And she helped me understand how to shorten an essay I thought
was as taut as possible to half the size. I believe that she was crucial to the quality of responses I was able to write for all my universities."
- N.M., homeschooled, current MIT student
If I could summarize it in just a couple of words, I would say: Kate is amazing.
I can’t imagine anyone with a more profound knowledge of how to prepare for college, of the admissions process, and of anything and everything your child needs to do to get into the college of his or her dreams. She was also very helpful in finding colleges that would be a great fit for my son. She knows of many amazing opportunities for talented and motivated kids to partake in, such as advanced summer programs, competitions and other types of exciting opportunities for kids to showcase their skills and interests.
We came to the US from France. The American system being very different from the European, we were totally lost in this process and really needed some serious guidance and advice. Kate helped my son through this very stressful and confusing process of preparation for college, advising us on how to create the best college application, writing essays, and finding schools and programs that would suit him best.
My son got into a top-ranked school that is a great fit for him, and he is very happy there.
I would absolutely recommend Kate to anyone who takes the college admissions process seriously and wants to get the best results! We are very, very grateful for Kate’s help.
- N.D., parent of a McGill student