Wharton | Mr. Senior Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Access To Opportunities
GRE 318, GPA 2.9
Tuck | Mr. Product Marketer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
USC Marshall | Mr. Low GPA High GMAT
GMAT 740, GPA 2.44
London Business School | Mr. Midwest Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.69
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Champion Swimmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. NFL Team Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Tech Auditor
GRE 332, GPA 3.25
NYU Stern | Mr. Washed-Up Athlete
GRE 325, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Southern California
GMAT 710, GPA 3.58
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)
INSEAD | Mr. Fraud Associate
GMAT 750, GPA 8/10
Wharton | Ms. Project Mananger
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Chicago Booth | Mr. Average White Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. AIESEC Alumnus
GMAT 750, GPA 3.38
Kellogg | Mr. Brazilian Banker
GMAT 600, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Upward Trajectory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Fish
GRE 327, GPA 3.733
Harvard | Mr. Community Impact
GMAT 690, GPA 3.0
IMD | Mr. Gap Year To IMD
GMAT 660, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Italian In Tokyo
GMAT (710-740), GPA 4.0

Three Crucial Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Admissions Consultant

Crucial questions to ask before hiring an admissions consultant

Are you considering working with an admissions consultant? If so, you are probably discovering that there are significant differences between firms, and wondering how to choose the best match for you. Here are three crucial questions to ask before hiring an admissions consultant.

  • Do you have admissions experience?

As a former Associate Director of Admissions at Tuck and a former member of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Admissions Committee, I adjudicated thousands of applications and had significant input into the application process and class composition. Many consulting firms employ people who have gone to great schools, but who have never sat on an admissions committee. These consultants may not even know WHY they were admitted – it may be in spite of their essays, for instance, not because of them!

I suggest asking whether the consultant that you will be working with has actually reviewed applications, and made admissions and scholarship decisions. Were they involved in drafting the essay, interview and recommendation questions, and do they understand what the admissions landscape looks like across schools? If not, how are they going to be able to help you develop a nuanced and effective strategy?

  • What makes a client a good fit for your company?

I absolutely turn away clients who are not a good fit, but perhaps not for the reasons that you might think. Specifically, I am happy to work with candidates who aren’t “perfect” from a profile perspective. I do not reject potential clients because of low test scores or grades, or non-traditional experience. Despite this fact, 95% of my clients have gotten into at least one of their first choice schools, and they have been offered more than 13.9 million dollars in scholarships.

In part, this is because I do screen for fit – which means that I am looking for people who are motivated, who want to create applications that truly reflect their unique voice and leverage their strengths, who are resilient, self-aware and able to talk about the less than ideal aspects of their candidacy. Of course, we also need to be in sync about the ethical aspects of our partnership – for example, I won’t write anyone’s essays.

  • Will I work directly with you?

I really love what I do. I work directly with all of my clients, and want to make sure that your application process is as pleasant as possible. It’s truly critical that you feel comfortable with your consultant. Make sure that you know who you will be working with, and that you understand what to expect in terms of access, response time and communication.

I also suggest speaking with former clients and reading reviews and testimonials. Working with a consultant is a big investment. It’s important to make an informed decision, and to find someone you trust, with the expertise to help you achieve your goals.


Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 13.9 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.