What does it take for a student to get into their dream college (especially emerging from a pandemic)?

Want a peek behind the curtain?

In this highly interactive virtual workshop, parents and students will simulate the review of a completed Common Application. Participants will get to play the role of an admissions officer as we go step-by-step through a holistic review of a hypothetical student's application.  At the end, we'll discuss whether the sample student should be accepted or denied.
Back when I was part of the UC Berkeley admissions team reviewing applications and making decisions on who got accepted and who received scholarships, it was such a humbling experience. Every student application I read was uniquely impressive, making me wonder how I was ever accepted to a school like Berkeley (or Yale or Johns Hopkins).
The students who stood out most weren't always the ones with the perfect grades or the highest test scores. It was always something else that made them shine and enticed me to check off "yes" on the acceptance checkbox.

After this workshop participants will have:

A better understanding of all parts of the college application.

Examples of what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

Clear action steps on how to immediately apply lessons learned.

Meet your instructor

Hi, I'm Mary Grace Gardner. As a college admissions and career coach, I help students stay organized with the college preparation process, stand out from the crowd and increase their chances of getting into their dream school without all the stress.

After getting accepted into the nation’s most competitive universities like UCLA, Yale and Johns Hopkins, spending ten years working with hundreds of students, and serving on the admissions team for University of California, Berkeley, I know exactly what it takes for students to stand out and get accepted into their school of choice.

"I loved the simulation! It was very insightful."


"I really enjoyed the simulation as a whole. It provided an interesting perspective which is sometimes hard to imagine being a student."


"I liked the experience of being on the other side of reading the application profile and analyzing my thoughts and feelings towards the sample applicant."


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