Endorsements from Michele’s past clients include:
When my husband first broached the idea of using Michele for our son’s college application process, I was highly skeptical. Frankly, I thought the services were unnecessary and expensive. After all, our son was an excellent student at a highly competitive high school. Our family is fairly organized. Surely, we could do this on our own. However, my husband persisted and I glanced through Michele’s book and others which had many worrisome statistics and anecdotes. I relented reluctantly. A year later, I could not be happier with our decision. Our son got into Dartmouth early decision and when our younger son applies to college, we will again call on Michele. Why? Well, the whole system is complex, nerve-wracking and far more competitive than the days of yore when our generation was applying to college. Having an experienced professional to guide him allowed our son to focus on substance rather than process. Michele lays out the procedure and the schedule and keeps the student on track with a firm, persistent but always pleasant hand. The student is free to focus on the meat of the process — visiting colleges, examining curricula, writing and rewriting essays, thinking hard about what a good fit would be — with the peace of mind that comes from moving along in a timely manner. By getting an early start, there was time to change your mind as our son did several times as he learned more about various programs. College is such a huge investment of time and money, one which cannot be easily changed. Why not allow your child the time and help to really make an informed decision about where to apply and then, to present the most effective application? Also, colleges expect students to continue their high levels of achievement through the end of senior year. Our son was done with his applications in the very beginning of September which, again, allowed him to focus on substance — his classes and extracurricular activities. Most of his classmates were not so fortunate and really struggled to complete their applications while keeping up with their usual intense schedules. From the parents’ perspective, it was a relief to know that Michele was doing the inevitable nagging. We could function more as an emotional support and sounding board for our son. Finally, Michele is a genuine pleasure to work with. We have all gotten to know her well in the course of the year. She is highly accessible even with a three-hour time difference, she is knowledgeable, honest and really a lot of fun. I highly recommend her services.
– Mother of Dartmouth 2009 student
Our decision to hire Michele was made in the midst of a crisis during my daughter’s senior year. The unthinkable happened, she didn’t get into any school she actually wanted to go to. Even before hiring Michele she offered to look over my daughter’s application and give an evaluation. Michele was able to pinpoint where the application was weak and how it could be made stronger. Most importantly she helped us to decide whether it would increase my daughter’s chances to reapply as a transfer student or apply after taking a gap year. Even though my daughter’s school was pressuring her to enroll in a school she didn’t want to go to and try to transfer, Michele gave compelling reasons and real statistics in favor of taking a gap year. We went with Michele’s recommendation and then she and my daughter worked together on mapping out her gap year and only picking schools she would definitely want to go if accepted. This story does have a happy ending, my daughter is having the best year of her life and she has been accepted to some incredible schools and for this we have Michele to thank. Seeing how important it is to have Michele by your side I have also hired her to help with my son who is a sophomore they have been working together throughout the year on questions about papers and projects for the summer. At least this time around I am confident our family won’t be in a midst of a crisis senior year.
– Mom of Dartmouth and Oxford University Accept
My son read Michele’s book A is for Admission and knew he had what it took to go to an Ivy League college, except the “M” is for money thing. He begged us to talk to Michele on the phone and because it was free to talk, we did. I told Michele we were a true blue collar family: both my husband and I worked in factories in the Midwest and both had become disabled due to heart problems. We were on a fixed income. We had absolutely no “blue blood” connections, which I assumed was a prerequisite to even getting an appointment with Michele. Michele assured us that our son, who she had taken the time speak to several times, could get the best education because of his drive and his natural ability, no matter what the obstacles and it would not require being wealthy. So we met with Michele that spring in person. She was upfront and honest about what it would take for our son to achieve success. Then came the “M” is for money, which honestly her fee was more than I would have dreamed of giving to “just” a college consultant. We believed in Michele and in our son’s sincerity so we came up with the money. She told us that if our son listened to her and worked hard, this just might be the last time we had to pay for his education. Believe it or not, it happened! We received full scholarship to many of the nation’s best boarding schools (including travel to visit them and travel home and back once he attended) to finish his final 2 years of high school. He will be graduating from “X” prep school this June with many academic awards. This December he was admitted early decision to his first choice school, Princeton University and guess what – a full financial aid package came with it! Michele was right – her cost is all we’ve had to spend for his education, the best money we ever spent, or as we like to say, the best investment we ever could have made. Yes it was hard to spend so much money on “just” an advisor especially being from a small town in the Midwest. Michele, however, is not “just” an advisor. She has become one of the most honest and true friends we have ever known. If our son hadn’t read her books and taken it upon himself to contact her, he would never have known the academic joy that was his to behold at a great private school and his dream of attending an Ivy League college. We have never seen him so happy, surrounded by brilliant teachers and like-minded students. Please don’t assume that only the wealthy have these opportunities like I once did. If your son or daughter has what it takes, is willing to work and follow Michele’s direction, his or her dreams can come true. She will not let you down. Call her (or call me – I love bragging about my son and how much Michele helped us every step of the way for 4 years).
– Mom of Princeton 2009
Deciding to work with Michele is somewhat akin to hiring a Hollywood agent. She’s friendly, energetic, knowledgeable, just a phone call away, and best of all, she’s totally focused on one thing: maximizing your chances at the college of your choice. Like most academically ambitious high school students, I was both intrigued and perplexed by the mystique of the college admissions process at highly selective schools. I figured that my best shot was to retake the SAT a few times, get good grades in school and present myself on my application as the hard-working student I was. After working with Michele, I now realize that the framing and presentation of a college application has just as much weight in process as do the actual achievements of the student in academics, extracurricular activities, sports or personality traits. Despite my long-held obsession with admittance to a top-notch school, I seriously doubt that I could have guessed the practical tips that Michele offered me as I completed my applications. Michele offers guidance on every step of the admissions process– from what classes to take, to how to spend your summers, to how to prepare for the many required standardized tests, to how to write your essays, to filling in basic information on the application form. Based on Michele’s advice, I completed the vast majority of my applications before most of my friends had even begun to fill theirs out. Her candid, humorous style made this daunting process much more humane— and dare I say enjoyable?
– Dartmouth 2009
My husband and I hired Michele as our son approached his Junior Year. We had worked with another college consultant but grew dissatisfied with the lack of attention and guidance we were given. After our first conversation with Michele it was quickly apparent that her depth of knowledge and intellect placed her well above anyone we previously dealt with or interviewed. Throughout the past 18 months her attention to detail, whether it was to our son’s course selection or co-curriculars was outstanding only to be equaled by her availability to all to us. We were also pleased with her focus on finding the right fit for him, matching his academic ability, outside interests and passion, specifically with sports, with the right school. She was clear and consistent about leveraging his strengths as he would be compared to a national applicant pool. Although an obvious point, staying on message helped all of us remain grounded during the process. Completing the first round of applications re-affirmed our decision regarding Michele. She brought objectivity and once again clarity to the process and we were enormously proud when he was accepted early action to Boston College. We couldn’t be more pleased with our son’s accomplishments or our decision to find the right consultant to guide us through this important process.
– Parents of BC early acceptance class of 2009
Dr. Hernandez provided excellent, accurate guidance for our family throughout the complex college admissions process. She thoroughly assessed the strengths of our applicant and provided effective counsel in developing applications that reflected those positive attributes. Her communications with us were always friendly and timely. She always brought much energy and enthusiasm to the project. In addition to providing an understanding of the application process itself, she added valuable insights as to standardized test (SAT II, AP) choice, preparation, and timing as well as school selection. Michele Hernandez merits a 4.0 as a college advisor!!
– Parents of Duke 2009
“Michele’s knowledge of the college admissions process is excellent, absolutely top-notch. I had first hand experience working with another college counselor. Michele was always immediately available by phone or e-mail; she made the 3000 mile distance transparent. Her book Acing the College Application is a must read before starting the application journey. It was worth preparing the activity sheet.”
– Proud mother of Vassar Early Decision Acceptance, class of 2009
I’m so glad I found Dr. Hernandez during the college admissions process. She first did an initial review of my application and suggested many points for improvement. Without her help, I would not have been able to present my application in the most effective manner. She gave suggestions on creating an activity chart, instead of the brief descriptions I had earlier. Before I even started revising, she sent me numerous samples so that I had references to look at. The activity chart allowed me to give more detailed information on the activities I had done and brought life to the application. When I had completed a draft, Dr. Hernandez looked over multiple copies to strengthen it. She also helped me to organize my Honors and Awards list, again providing samples. I was able to condense my list while still keeping all of the important points. In the end, I had both an organized, concise, and effective Honors and Awards list, along with my Activity Chart. Also, Dr. Hernandez looked over multiple drafts of my essays and gave constructive feedback in making them better. She even suggested writing a shorter “Most Meaningful Activity” essay and using my original one as an additional essay. I think this approach definitely helped in allowing me to write more about different experiences and to present different sides of myself. Finally, Dr. Hernandez provided great help for interview practice. Before each interview, I called her and she graciously spent time giving me a mock interview and allowing me to go over some answers. Throughout my entire college application process, whenever I called or emailed Dr. Hernandez for help, she responded very quickly and was willing to devote as much time as needed to look over written parts or to answer my questions. It was great working with her personally, rather than with a representative. Her constant energy made the application process much less overwhelming. I was still able to project my own voice, but she helped to hone it in a way that would let my application stand out from among the thousands of applicants with similar backgrounds. I was so excited to receive my acceptance letter and knew that I couldn’t have done it without Dr. Hernandez’s patience, effort, and dedication.
– Amy, class of 2009, Harvard University Early action acceptance
Dr. Hernandez was a tremendous help to us throughout our daughter’s entire college application process. She kept us on schedule, gave us practical and sound counsel on everything from writing essays to fitting all our information into the limited spaces of the application forms. Even though we had read her books on the subject in advance, our daughter and we kept differing on how to apply the principles Dr. Hernandez had outlined in these books. There was nothing better than to be able to talk to Dr. Hernandez herself and hear her opinion on the best course of action to take given our circumstances and the particulars of each application.
Dr. Hernandez broke the task down to manageable pieces for us, sorted out confusing details, reviewed our options and discussed the possible implications of these choices with us patiently. This not only helped us make sense of the whole process, it also reduced the stress level in our home considerably. Her efficiency and thoroughness was remarkable. If she happened not to be there when we called, she would return our call within the day. She read and went over every aspect of each of our daughter’s many application forms and essays and gave us her feedback on each one of them in record time. She also went through each of the packets as if she were one of the admission officers before we mailed them. We were thus able to meet all of our deadlines well ahead of time despite our daughter’s heavy homework load. Dr. Hernandez’s knowledge and experience about the whole process and the many pieces of practical advice she gave us helped us make intelligent strategic choices. Finally, we are really appreciative of her friendly, encouraging and down to earth manner. She never made light of any of our questions and she always made sure that we were comfortable with whatever decisions we ended up making. In the end, she became a trusted mentor and friend to all of us. To put it lightly, Dr. Hernandez helped us make sense of a very difficult process and helped us keep our perspective throughout the whole course. We are most grateful for her expert guidance and constant support, which resulted in our daughter being admitted to the college she had applied to under Early Action.
– Parents of Stanford Early Action Acceptance, class of 2009