Best College Admissions Consultants – 2024

May 7, 2024

best college admissions consultants

As you look through the various lists of the “Best College Admissions Consultants” on the internet, you’ll be treated to an array of lists compiled by what appears to be some impartial ranking entity (“Aha, I’ve finally found the Consumer Reports/Wirecutter of college counseling!”). In reality, each of these lists is created by a particular college consulting agency, and published via a proxy server with no identifiable author. It’s about as “2024” a marketing technique as you can employ, but it’s also disingenuous and misleading, qualities that likely aren’t exactly aligned with what you’re looking for as you seek counseling and support for your child who is about to make what could be a $400,000 investment in tuition, housing, and other costs.

This list of the Best College Admissions Consultants only has one entry and it is, of course (spoiler alert), for our own company. While we do think we are “the best,” we also believe that there are dozens (or more) of other fantastic private counselors and essay coaches spread across the United States. Many others also provide research and experience-based advice that leads to positive outcomes for clients. As such, we aren’t knocking any other excellent company out there; in this space, we simply want to present the case as to why, for certain types of students and families, College Transitions may be the best fit.

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What makes College Transitions unlike any other college counseling agency?

  • The CT Founders have authored two published books: The Enlightened College Applicant (2016, 2023) and the annual college guide Colleges Worth Your Money (now in its 5th edition).
  • We’ve published research in top higher education journals such as Education Evaluation & Policy AnalysisResearch in Higher Education, and The Journal of Higher Education.
  • We’re regularly quoted by top national/global publications (example here).
  • CT maintains a free Dataverse, Common Data Set Repository, blog, and newsletter for parents, students, and counselors.
  • We developed a College List-Building Tool.
  • We are certified in and able to offer valuable Career Assessments.
  • Our essay coaches are highly trained professionals who all have teaching or tutoring experience, typically at the college level. Many of our coaches are also published writers or researchers who hold master’s or doctoral degrees in English, writing, or education.

In addition to these specific features and achievements, our philosophy also differs from many competitors. In short, we take the long view with our students and work backward. Through developing a sense of what future happiness and career success look like to a given individual, we can help develop an undergraduate plan of attack designed to get them on a successful and realistic path toward that vision.

Finally, we work with all our students 100% virtually in a model that we have honed relentlessly over the past decade. We deeply understand that building trust in a remote environment requires responsiveness, a value that is at the core of our counseling and essay coaching services. Accordingly, our efficient and effective counseling and essay coaching model makes it possible for students to receive expert, personalized support on a flexible schedule. This model also enables students to dedicate the bulk of their time to what matters most: schoolwork, activities, test prep, essays, and actual applications.

Best College Admissions Consultants (Continued)

College Transitions Clients’ Recent Acceptances

Class of 2023

Representing 36 states, 11 countries, and 126 different high schools, the College Transitions Class of 2023 was our largest, most diverse, and most accomplished yet. With support from our team of counselors, CT students earned admission offers from more than 200 colleges and universities. We have included a sampling of our most popular schools below. Institutions listed in bold accepted five or more of our students.

Amherst College George Washington University Rice University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
American University Georgia Institute of Technology Rochester Institute of Technology University of Maryland
Babson College Georgetown University Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology University of Massachusetts Amherst
Barnard College Hamilton College Rutgers University University of Miami
Bates College Harvard University Scripps College University of Michigan
Bentley University Harvey Mudd College Skidmore College University of Minnesota
Binghamton University Haverford College Smith College University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Boston College Imperial College London Southern Methodist University University of Notre Dame
Boston University Indiana University Stanford University University of Oxford
Bowdoin College Johns Hopkins University Stevens Institute of Technology University of Pennsylvania
Brandeis University Kenyon College Syracuse University University of Pittsburgh
Brown University King’s College London Swarthmore College University of Richmond
Bucknell University Lafayette College Texas A&M University University of Rochester
Carnegie Mellon University Lehigh University Trinity College University of St Andrews
Case Western Reserve University London School of Economics Trinity College Dublin University of Southern California
Carleton College Loyola Marymount University Trinity University University of Texas at Austin
Claremont McKenna College Macalester College Tufts University University of Toronto
Colby College Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tulane University University of Vermont
Colgate University McGill University Union College University of Virginia
Colorado College Middlebury College University College London University of Washington
College of William & Mary Mount Holyoke College University of British Columbia University of Waterloo
Columbia University New Jersey Institute of Technology University of California, Berkeley University of Wisconsin-Madison
Connecticut College New York University University of California, Davis Vanderbilt University
Cornell University North Carolina State University University of California, Irvine Vassar College
Dartmouth College Northeastern University University of California, Los Angeles Villanova University
Davidson College Northwestern University University of California, San Diego Virginia Tech
Denison University Occidental College University of California., Santa Barbara Wake Forest University
Duke University Ohio State University University of Cambridge Washington and Lee University
Emory University Penn State University University of Chicago Washington University in St. Louis
Elon University Pomona College University of Colorado Boulder Wellesley College
Florida State University Princeton University University of Connecticut Wesleyan University
Fordham University Purdue University University of Edinburgh Williams College
Franklin & Marshall College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute University of Florida Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Furman University Rhodes College University of Georgia Yale University

Best College Admissions Consultants (Continued)


We have plans for high school students of all grade levels:

Mentorship & Planning

Grades 9 and 10

Provide guidance for all essential college planning tasks during the first half of high school, including:

  • Academic advising and course selection for all grades
  • Extracurricular planning
  • Summer activity planning (including support for summer program essays)
  • Resumé building
  • Diagnostic standardized testing and score assessment
  • Preliminary college visits and demonstrating interest


Grades 11 & 12, and Transfers

Offer support throughout the entire college search and application process, including for the following tasks:

  • College list development
  • Preliminary review, assessment of chances, and strategic positioning
  • Course selection
  • Extracurricular planning
  • Essay coaching (for personal statements and supplemental essays)
  • Activities list and resume development
  • College interview prep
  • Standardized testing strategy
  • Letter of recommendation strategy
  • Financial aid and scholarship guidance
  • College decision guidance and college transition support

We sincerely believe that you will find the Best College Admissions Consultants for your needs right here at College Transitions. Again, we invite you to get to know us more through our website and/or by filling out a Consultation Request.