Available Counseling and Editing Services
All payments are receivable via either PayPal, Zelle, or check. Payments for application packages are accepted half before first meeting and half upon submission of the UCs/December 1st.
To register for a service or for more information, use the Free Consultation form. You may also request a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss what you’re looking to accomplish this fall and to hear how I think I can help. I look forward to hearing from you.
College Application Services
BONUS FOR EARLY MEMBERS: The essay writing season kicks off around July 1st. For current juniors who sign up before then, I offer free hourly monthly check-in meeting leading up to the summer. In these meetings we can discuss potential last-minute application additions, build and finalize a college list, and get to know each other better so that once we start writing, we are ready to go at full speed.
If you would like a general overview of what we will be doing if you hire me, check out the “How I work” section on my main page.
Here are the perks I can guarantee I will offer:
– Weekly hour-long meetings between the student and me. This is where the majority of our outlining and editing work will happen. A full application cycle generally takes 20-25 weekly meetings to complete. Meetings occur online via Zoom. Doing so allows me to work with students from both the Bay Area and greater US. I have about half of both. I have a webcam so you don’t have to spend the entire session staring at my ceiling while I type.
– Brainstorming and outlining assistance for every single application essay. This includes but is not limited to the Common App Personal Statement, Coalition Personal Statement, and every individual school supplemental essay. If comparing my prices to other counselors, make sure to check exactly how many essays a “complete” service offers you. Often it will only include the Common App essay and one additional school. There are a lot more essays to do than that.
– Full content and copy-editing from a professional writer with ten+ years experience (me!). I do not write essays for students, but I do edit them to the best of my ability. My take on the situation is if I were an editor at a “getting into college” factory, and I received a piece of work, what would I do before I sent it to be published?
– It’s worth emphasizing again. What you are paying for is an hourly weekly meeting with me, every week until every application is submitted. This isn’t some “pass essays back and forth through Email” thing. You get a weekly hour slot on my Google Calendar and then we meet and work together for the full hour every week. I am extremely hands on with my work and do everything I can ahead of time to make that hour together each week as productive and enjoyable as possible. If you’re interested in me because of my blogs, understand that I feel that I am significantly better working 1-on-1 than I am trying to summarize everything in 3,000 words.
– I also handle every aspect of the work. If you chat with other consultants, ask them who will be doing the actual essay editing. If it is not the person you are chatting with, demand to speak to the person you will actually be trusting with your application. 80% of the college application work is essays. The easiest way to scale in this industry is to do the fun, easy parts like school lists and resumes for like 40 students. Then you quietly hand off the actual hard writing work that matters most to English majors making $27 an hour. I refuse to do that, which is why I can only take ~15 students per year. You are getting the real deal.
– If you are looking for exactly what will get done it our time together, here is a list: Common App Personal Statement essay, Coalition essay, Common App/Coalition Extracurricular list, school resume, interview prep, 8 school supplementals, and anything else we need to do to submit a full application for each school. If it is related to college and your question is, “Will Mattie handle that?” The answer is yes.
– New this year! Full interview prep including a demo interview and feedback with a very special guest.
– I also offer assistance on alternative essays types such as fly-in essays or scholarship essays as worth one school.
– I’ll analyze your handwriting the first time we meet.
– College resume creation based on the one I use to apply to jobs. I stole a template off the internet like three years ago, and it’s excellent. I promise.
– 6-Day Email support. I take Sundays off and watch football with my cat. The other six, I’m around to help you. I also stay up super late, so I’ll get back to you weirdly fast when something happens at like 3 AM.
– Additional at-home editing work as necessary. I don’t charge hourly because I learned quickly that this isn’t an hourly job. While our hourly meeting will be when most work gets done, I’m fully prepared for additional editing work when necessary. I’m not lazy.
– Also new this year! I plan to buy a second copy of Grammarly Premium for my students to share. This is honestly going to be huge.
– General feedback and advice related to the admissions process. This includes everything from teacher recs to making sure your test scores are being submitted on time. This is a major benefit of having me live every week. I have thoughts and suggestions about every aspect of getting into college. I also talk a lot. You will hear my thoughts and suggestions.
– Access to my full system regarding college admissions. I do have a system. If you read all my blog content, you should gain a decent idea of what I think colleges want to see. But I package everything together in such a way that will make you driven to say oh gee wiz.
– Become a stronger writer. If I wasn’t doing this job, I would be teaching creative writing classes. You can see from my blog that I’m good at explaining complex writing concepts in a way that’s easy to understand. I make an attempt to explain all the editing decisions I make, with the goal of you not making those same mistakes again. Even for those applying STEM, an ability to write clean, understandable prose is essential in both college and the corporate world.
– Guidance and moral support from someone who gets it. Applying to college is hard. I’ve seen the mental and emotional toll it takes on students and parents alike. I’m not a wizard or a therapist, but I’m easy to talk to, know what I’m doing, and will at least tell you what’s going on. I fancy myself some mad scientist, cracking the college admissions process lever by lever. But the #1 piece of positive feedback I get from former students is that I managed to reduce their stress levels during this intense process in a way they truly appreciate. They describe me as “chill” a lot.
– If there is ever a problem, Email me and I will do whatever I can to fix it. If some school or company is screwing up, tell me and I’ll call and yell at them. I’ve got a bit of a momma bear complex where I’m about as calm and affable a guy you’ll meet…until someone or something does my student wrong. Then the Karen fangs come out until it’s fixed. I work with many families where one or neither parent speaks fluent English. I’ve seen how overwhelming it can be to get important bureaucratic college things done when a language barrier makes those things even harder. I’ll be that barrier.
– Continued support during and past acceptance day. Most notably assistance with LOCI for wait-listed schools, as well as Email support regarding what to do or where to go. I feel like a lot of consultants get you to New Years and then flee. I’m incapable of not wanting to know what happens to my students after I’m done working with them; may as well offer my pestering as a planned service.
– My personal guarantee that everything will get done and that it will be good. In my entire life, I have never missed a deadline. I don’t plan to start this year.
I’m in the business of getting great kids into great schools. In particular, I’m in the business of getting great kids into as many great schools as humanly possible, and then they pick one.
I’m also extremely hands-on. What that means is I like to have my hand in every piece of content that goes out, from idea generation, to outline, to content editing, to final polish. It’s College With Mattie for a reason. I consider each student my teammate. And I want to win at college admissions as badly as you do.
I also want to be the best at this. I’ve accelerated quickly in my career so far by following two principles:
1) Design and follow a custom system that matches my natural skillset with the realities of the market to acquire my goals as quickly and efficiently as possible
2) Work my ass off
I apply those same principles to my work in college admissions. The problem is, a reality of the college application process is that the best way to get into a top school is to apply to as many of them as humanly possible. But also, those applications all have to be good.
I hope that you’re interested in working with me because you think I’m the guy. I have specifically designed this package to allow me to do everything I can to get you in. Let’s get to the hyphens!
– Everything included in the eight-school package. Namely, Common App/Coalition Personal statement, extracurricular list, resume, interview prep featuring my mom, and letters of continued interest.
– UNLIMITED SCHOOLS. This is a time-based set-up, not school-based. I expect that ~16 schools is a perfectly reasonable target. But I want that smoke. Students will find that they get out of this agreement what they put into it. I believe students who give their all could easily reach 20 or even 25 applications, all with my assistance.
– TWO WEEKLY HOUR SESSIONS. Usually, this will be one on Tue/Wed and then the other on Fri/Sat. These meetings will begin as early as July 1 and continue, well, until either you stop showing up or there are no more schools to apply to. I refuse to do that hokey garbage where I make you click some button certifying that you are “UP FOR THE CHALLENGE,” but I warn you that the limiting factor in this agreement will be your work ethic and dedication. I go. And I’ve found that many students struggle to balance handling the increased writing load that comes with double meetings. This package is designed by and for crazy people who want to take both barrels to the college admissions process.
– UNLIMITED WHATEVER. Do you want honors colleges? Scholarships? Really need to get an A on your history paper? Because this is a time-based package, I do not terribly care what we work on. If it involves writing, tell me, and we will get on it.
– You want to apply to the UCs? HELL YA, WERE GONNA APPLY TO THE UCS. For those already considering the 8-school deal + UC add-on, this is kind of like how movie theatres offer you to upgrade to a comically oversized tub of popcorn for an extra 25 cents.
– My promise that you will get my very best. I find I rise to my most passionate students’ efforts, and this agreement allows me to give you my everything. Let’s get it.
I also offer the full UC application as an optional add-on package. This will most likely be for California students, but I also recommend non-CA residents consider applying. UCLA and Berkeley are both fantastic schools. Also, the UCs are desperate for money, so the fact that you will be paying that sweet, sweet out-of-state tuition makes your chances of acceptance higher than you might think.
High-School Consulting Services
I like to be more flexible with my ongoing high school counseling work. Different families require different amounts of support navigating high school itself. As such, I offer my consulting services on a pay-as-you-go hourly rate. During our consult, I’ll see what kind of support you are looking for and we can build a meeting strategy that makes the most sense for all parties. Students who work with me while in high school will also be guaranteed a slot in my application calendar upon reaching senior year. What you will get with me as your high-school consultant is really two things:
1) Everything you expect. I am experienced in all traditional forms of application building. I know which classes to be taking, which clubs to join, and what awards to be gunning for. It’s my experience that students almost never have a lack of drive, ambition, or energy. It’s always a matter of focusing those traits to end with the most attractive portfolio possible. I know how to provide that focus. A lot of my advice is tailored around the student’s future major. So the more comfortable with picking one now you are, the more helpful I will be.
2) We’ll also get a bit weird. Along with doing as many things “the right way” as possible, we will focus on exploring passions and achieving goals in ways no other student has thought of. It is my theory that the trouble so many excellent applicants run into is that they end up excellent in the same way everyone else is excellent. When 1,000 applicants all have a lab internship and a non-profit, it fails to move the needle. By taking on creative side-projects or going about passions in a certain way, you will be able to build an application that is as unique as it is fantastic. It’s this combo that makes students interesting, and interesting is how we get in. I see the world unlike most people, and that gives me the ability to be quite creative. A lot of our time together will involve brainstorming and then working together to utilize existing talents and passions in a way that will make them stand out.
I don’t intend to pressure anyone, but the reality is I’ve become quite popular already. I am already low on spots for this essay season and have students booked for next year. If you are confident that I am the one you want to assist your child applying to schools, the only way I can guarantee I will have space to do so is by signing up with me for counseling as early as possible to guarantee your spot in the fall of senior year.