How To Get Started

Step 1

Contact us to set up a free 20-minute conversation with our college coordinator.

call/text 949. 873.6807

email info@strivetolearn.com

Step 2

Our college coordinator will call you to discuss your family's goals and needs before hand-selecting which of our college admissions counselors have the expertise your family needs. 

Step 3

Meet with that college admissions counselor in person or virtually for 45 minutes to ask them any questions you have. If you feel like it's a fit, your family can decide to move forward. 
 

Hear From Actual Students

by clicking any of the photos below 
 

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define Your 

path 

We'll help you find the college(s) that are right for you, no matter what stage of the application processes you're in. 

Take charge of Your journey

Get inspired to take action through the empathetic mentorship from our college admissions experts. 

leave for college

-ready

Confident in yourself, you leave empowered and ready to make a difference. 

What's your fit?

GOOD FORRising Juniors who are seeking wrap-around support throughout their college application journey.  

Comprehensive packages

For our students that want wrap-around support and hands-on assistance throughout their college admissions process, we offer three tiers of packages.
 SENIORS
Good for seniors desiring
wrap-around support to finish their college applications process.
Includes

UP TO 10 APPLICATIONS

COLLEGE APPLICATION DEADLINE/

TIMELINE MANAGEMENT

BUILDING A GOOD-FIT COLLEGE LIST

(2 SESSIONS)

RESUME FEEDBACK  (2 DRAFTS)

PERSONAL STATEMENT ESSAY COACHING

(5 DRAFTS)

SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAY COACHING

(3 DRAFTS PER ESSAY)

FINANCIAL AID APPLICATIONS

INTERVIEW COACHING (1 SESSION) 

SCHOLARSHIP ASSISTANCE 

 UNLIMITED IN-PERSON SESSIONS,

PHONE & EMAIL SUPPORT

Typically Starts Senior Year 
FRESHMAN &
SOphoMORE
Good for students desiring to explore their interests strategically.
Includes

ACADEMIC PLANNING 

PERSONALITY &

LEARNING STYLE ASSESSMENTS

STRATEGIC RESUME DEVELOPMENT

EXPLORING CAREERS AND MAJORS

SUMMER EXPERIANCE PLANNING

EXPLORING INTERESTS & ACTIVITIES

5 IN-PERSON SESSIONS 

 PHONE & EMAIL SUPPORT

Typically Starts End of Freshman or  Sophmore Year
MOST POPULAR
JUNIOR-SENIOR
Good for rising juniors seeking to optimize their experience  of getting into the best fitting college with wrap-around services
Includes

UP TO 10 APPLICATIONS

PERSONALITY, LEARNING STYLE, & CAREER ASSESSMENTS

COLLEGE DEADLINE/ TIMELINE MANAGEMENT

SUMMER EXPERIENCE PLANNING

BUILDING A GOOD-FIT COLLEGE LIST 

 EXTRACURRICULARS & INTERNSHIP GUIDANCE 

PERSONAL STATEMENT ESSAY COACHING (5 DRAFTS)

SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAY COACHING (3 DRAFTS PER ESSAY)

FINANCIAL AID APPLICATIONS

RESUME CREATION 

INTERVIEW COACHING (1 SESSION) 

SCHOLARSHIP ASSISTANCE 

 UNLIMITED IN-PERSON SESSIONS, PHONE & EMAIL SUPPORT

COLLEGE VISIT PLANNING

Typically Starts Winter/Spring of Junior Year
FOR

For students desiring a little more flexibility 

A La Carte Model 

For our students who want to navigate this process more independently with some expert advice when they need it.
  • Gap year research

  • Career assessment

  • College application support

  • Artist supplement

  • Creative statements

  • Creative resumes

  • Honors program applications

  • College visit planning  

  • Financial aid application support

  • Scholarship support

  • Essay support

  • Nursing supplements

  • Other special programs (i.e. BS to MD)

  • Creative Portfolios (i.e. SlideRoom submissions) 

  • Grad school counseling

  • Transfer counseling

Hourly Rates

 At our hourly rate, this service is designed to provide you with a singular focus with one topic area. 

4-hour block 

Designed to support students with one  or two areas. Perfect for students seeking support throughout their personal statements or essay drafts. 

15-hour block

Designed to support students with up to 6 different areas, this chunk of timing is great for students that have some work on their college application done, but not all of it. 

 

Create a customized plan

with strategic planning

For college applications based upon your family's unique needs, goals, and interests. 

We guide students through creating institutionally aligned resumes and activities lists. 

for Streamlined applicatons

We help students stay on track to submit their applications on time- so you don't have to.

 

Lost in the College Application Process? 

We help you find your best fit

When there are over 5,300 colleges in the United States alone, it can be hard for students to choose which colleges they feel is the right fit. From the surmounting pressure of getting into the "right" college to oftentimes conflicting advice from peers, students report feeling lost, confused, and end up procrastinating as a coping mechanism. This, coupled with increasingly longer college admissions "recommendations" and application questions that require students to offer cohesive and insightful wisdom into who they are and what they want to become, often make college applications one of the most anxiety-provoking experiences of their high school careers. As experts in college admissions trends, we :

  • create a personalized college admission application plan based on strategic planning

  • help students fight the fog of undefined purpose and find their major

  • find colleges that best fit the student's needs, interests, and goals 

  • help them get through through the application process on time and smoothly. 

By outsourcing the college application process to us, our families report feeling less stressed, and having a sense of calm as they focus on the most important thing: the time they have left to spend with their soon-to-be college student

 

Stuck on Your College Essay? 

Let's be real. Writing about yourself in a way that cohesively parses your personality into an engaging and insightful sound bite is hard. It has to be insightful, but not too personal, and talk about you in a way that highlights your achievements (while not sounding too braggy). 

 

Naturally, most students reach for those "big-reveal" moments, that life-altering trip abroad or moving sports achievement, as their go-to topic. Unfortunately, those are the essays that are most likely to get tossed. Admissions advisors are so weary of reading over 100 essays a day that writers have about 3-5 seconds to engage them before being axed - and advisors have heard those stale stories a million times. If the difference between an acceptance and rejection is your personal statement, you'll need to stand out. 

That's why having an essay coach is so important. Our essay coaches are professional storytellers, editors, and teachers who have a passion for writing and many years of experience. While we won't write the essay for you, we will teach you how to write an insightful and effective college application essay in a way that lets your own authentic voice shine through—no matter where you are in the essay process. 

from brainstorming to Editing, we'll help you stand out.
 

Graduate School & Transfer Applications

From GRE to Phd, We'll guide you through your  applications. 

From helping you pick the right program, to Statements of Intent, to exploring the various post-degree pathways, our advisors will help guide you through the application process to get you where you want to go. Our graduate school counselors are experts in their field with experience and can help you navigate the high-stakes world of Graduate School Admissions. 

Not sure how to put your experiences, dreams, and goals into words? Let us help you! Our counselors are experts in creating a concise, interesting Statement of Intent for your application.

 

Melinda Blackman

Melinda Blackman holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has worked in the field of education for the past 25 years. She specializes in both undergraduate and graduate school college counseling. Melinda especially enjoys helping her students build a list of good fit colleges based upon their academic interests, personality and financial considerations.

Josefine Borrmann

William holds a BA in Film & Electronic Arts from CSULB, has an English teaching credential, and is one of our top college counselors. Personal experience with the complexities of college admissions, and especially with “good-fit” challenges, inspires William to help bring students strategy, focus, and professional guidance.

Amanda Merrifield holds a BA in literature from U.C. Santa Cruz and now resides in London, UK as a remote college counselor. She believes the college application process is not "one size fits all" and that every student can benefit from exploring all the possibilities. She loves working through the exciting challenges and big triumphs of the college application process.

Meet the team

 College Admissions Counselors  

William Giacchi 

Amanda Merrifield

Inspired through her own journey through a dual Bachelor’s from Chapman University as well as an MA in Visual and Media Anthropology, Josefine is passionate about helping students navigate the college admissions and test prep process. She focuses on helping students find their own voices and make this journey their own - with an expert’s guidance and mentorship. With more than 8 years of experience, Josefine helps her students build the confidence to forge their own paths through the morass of the college admissions landscape.

 
We seek to expose students to a world of opportunity in which they imagine a future that encourages them to push boundaries and purposefully create a meaningful journey towards a college centered around their core values. We do this through highly personalized mentorship with highly trained and empathetic consultants, who are focused not only on prestige but, more importantly,  on helping students find which college is their "best fit." 

Where Our Students Got In

Just like proud parents, we like to brag about our students as well. 
Pomona College
California North State University
University of Southern California
University of California- Los Angeles
University of California- Berkeley
University of California- Irvine
University of California- San Diego
University of Calfornia - Santa Barbara
California Polytechic- San Luis Obispo
Reed College
San Diego State University
Occidental College
Princeton University 
University of Pennsylvania 
Vanderbilt University
Georgetown University 
Carnegie Mellon
Northeastern University
New York University
Boston University 
Emery University
University of Northern Carolina
Boston College
Villanova University
University of Chicago
Tulane University
University of Notre Dame
University of Michigan -Ann Arbor
Case Western Reserve
Kenyon College
The Chicago School
Oberlin College
Baylor University
Texas Christian University
Southern Methodist University
University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
 
 

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474 E 17th St, Suite 103

Costa Mesa, Ca 92627

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Tel: +1 (949) 873-6807​

© 2019 by Strive to Learn.