Available Counseling and Editing Services
Packages are intended for current high school juniors who are applying to schools this upcoming summer and fall, and will be graduating high school in 2024. Prices and package deals are non-negotiable. I also do not offer any form of piecemeal or individualized work. All payments are receivable via either PayPal, Zelle, or check. Payments for application packages are accepted one-third before our first meeting and two-thirds on November 10th.
To register for a service or for more information, use the Free Consultation form. You will receive a Calendly invite to set up a free Zoom consultation with me 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.
Note: I am now…open!!! for filling slots for the upcoming 2024 college essay season. If you are interested, I highly implore you to book a consultation ASAP. Doing so before February 20th will guarantee the maximum number of in-person meetings I offer for each package. I also fill up on slots each year extremely quickly. This year, I’m only taking 10 students, and I will be again closing sign-ups for the year as soon as I sign my 10th student.
2024 College Application Services
Yo let’s go let’s get into college!!!
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 ~ 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 wear fun college shirts you’ll like it.
– 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 15+ years experience (me!). I do not write essays for students, but I do plan and 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.
– While I believe that my assistance on application essays is the key value I provide, I want to make it clear that as part of this package I can and will also assist on every other aspect of the overall application. Schools look at applications “holistically,” meaning that every aspect of the application needs to be as polished and harmonious as it can possibly be.
– For more details on my overall creative process, see this section on How I Work.
– 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, interview prep, nine full school supplements of your choosing, 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.
– The nine schools we work on are flexible and can be adjusted as we tackle them one by one through the process. Mostly what I will focus on are schools that are hardest to get into, you care most about, and specifically require us to do the most amount of original essay content. The idea being that by the last month or two of this process, you will have a deep archive of essay content we have worked on together to then re-use and repurpose for any other schools you wish to apply to on your own. This is how I will recommend you handle the vast majority of your safety-school options.
– 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.
– 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.
– Full support to reach Early Action/Early Decision/Restrictive Early Action deadlines. Early Decision, in particular, I am a big fan of as a noted way to increase your chances at top universities. I also will go to my grave insisting that it’s easier to get into large state schools during the Early Action round because they’re less concerned with balancing their budget and student-major load at that point. But no matter which applications you wish to have finished and submitted by the 11/1 early deadline, I plan to get us there. If nothing else, I find having that added time pressure earlier in the process is an important way to keep us motivated in getting through the essay gauntlet in time.
– I also offer one bonus 90-minute session right before New Years in which you may return with absolutely any work you wish, and I will give all of it a final round of editing and polish, just in time to go out.
– 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.
– 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 there are many, many ideas, tips, and strategies for this process that I either haven’t written about or don’t plan to write about until I can do so as a sold program. I am constantly modifying my strategy to give you the best chance for success I possibly can.
I call the system “FLL.” Feel free to ask me what FLL stands for during our consultation.
– 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, physical 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 making mistakes, tell me and I’ll call and speak on your behalf. 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 bridge that barrier.
– Continued support during and past acceptance day. Most notably 2 optional meetings in April for assistance with Letters of Continued Interest for wait-listed schools, as well as continued Email support Jan-Aug of next year regarding what to do or where to go. I feel like a lot of consultants get you to New Years and then flee. I don’t consider my work done with a student until the day they place their deposit for their school and I buy us matching shirts.
– 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.
For the same rate as the 9-school package, I also offer six schools + the full University of California (UC) Application.
– The 6-school portion functions identically to the 9-school as listed above. Specifically, we still meet every week for roughly the same time span. The only difference is there are three fewer school supplements. Still included is the Common App Personal Statement, Extracurricular list, etc…
– What is different is that this package also includes the full UC application as well. The UC application specifically asks for four 350-word “Personal Insight Questions.” These PIQs have their own set of standards and rules that make it ill-advised to merely copy over Common App essay work and reuse it. The UCs want something else entirely. That single application is then used to apply to as many or few of the nine UC schools as you wish. It is the exact same amount of work to apply to every UC school as it is to only apply to UC Davis. The fact that every year tens of thousands of students apply to UCLA or Berkeley but not both is just…just click the box and pay the $44 dollars!!!
– I want to clarify for emphasis: The UC application is completely separate from the six-schools. Those six involve the Common Application. This package has us doing both applications in full. It always gets confusing when I try to explain how two separate applications will get done, but they will and I encourage you to reach out if you need more clarification.
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.
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 Nine-school package. Namely: Common App/Coalition Personal statement, extracurricular list, interview prep, and letters of continued interest.
– An additional hourly session every other week. So 1.5 hours a week. 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. The hard deadline is December 31, because most apps are due in early Jan. The vast majority of unlimited students are with me the entire six-month period. There’s always something more to do.
– UNLIMITED SCHOOLS. This is a time-based setup, not school-based. I expect that ~17 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.
– Alongside having more time to do more schools, the extra sessions give you more of my undivided time and focus. That’s valuable because it gives me more time to learn about you, think about your application and the writing within it, and take larger risks in what we attempt to do. The end result is a higher-quality overall application, particularly regarding your Common App personal statement and top school supplements.
– It’s also a simple fact that the most prestigious schools have the longest, most intensive supplement content required to apply. I am unlikely to take on a student for the nine-school package whose nine-schools are Harvard/Stanford/Yale/MIT…That is because those schools all take a lot more time and effort to complete at the level they need to be completed. The extra time in this package specifically allows us to do Harvard/Stanford/Yale/MIT…and then many more schools further down the list.
– 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 WE’RE GONNA APPLY TO THE UCS. I actually prefer this as we can start with them and it makes the entire process more fluid.
– 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.
– Michelle Martinez has actually assisted me in essay season since 2022, but this is the first year I’ve fully devised a plan for her to join on as an additional consultant and essay editor for students choosing any of the three packages listed above. Michelle is the mother of a former student, and I grew interested in her potential assistance after viewing the Extracurricular page of that student. Namely, the work was much better than I can do! That was around the point I was realizing that despite my best efforts, I’m not actually the best guy to handle every single aspect of college applications…just most of them. That’s why I’ve spent the past two years slowly incorporating Michelle more and more, to the point that I’m formally adding her to the team (and this products page) this year.
– The key her help “in addition.” Everything offered above is still guaranteed, by me, as is written. Namely, you’ll still be getting the full 1/1.5 hours of meetings with me each week. What’s new is that every other week, you will also meet with Michelle for one hour to handle parallel work. You’re essentially getting an extra ~15 hours of support absolutely free. Kinda sick, right?
– If you want a rough run-down of what you and Michelle will be doing, it likely starts with her helping you build/edit a professional student resume. She will then take you through University of California Prompt #6, in which you detail the reasons you wish to pursue your chosen major. That info will then translate to her assisting you with the University of Michigan 650 Word “Why School” essay that I have all students complete, for a multitude of reasons. Michelle will then help you translate that content to any other straight-forward University “Why School” essays. Along the way she will also cover the Common App and UC Extracurricular lists and Additional Info. That plus a million other tiny things that I either can’t or don’t want to focus on.
– My guess is you have no idea what anything I wrote in the above section even means. And that’s fine! The key is I very much know what Michelle’s purpose is in this process, and that’s to make your overall application as strong as possible while allowing me to focus my attention on the work I do best, too.
– Please feel free to ask more about Michelle’s involvement during the consultation if you are in any way confused or concerned. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet and work with her one-on-one if you so choose before signing up. But also, please take my word that Michelle is the absolute best, and I guarantee you’ll like having her join. I’m…extremely protective of the work my students submit to schools. For me to make this step and let another hand take on critical work should be a large, large testament to how much I trust and value that person at all.
Ongoing Highschool Counseling
– While I still solely offer my senior application work as packages, I am now offering all other forms of high school consulting at a pay-as-you-go rate! Yay!
Note: This service is available to students at any point in their schooling before Dec 1st of their junior year. Students past that point should look into my overall application packages. I do not offer hourly essay work for older students because doing so is a poor financial and energy-spending decision on my end. That is unless you really want it, to the point you’re reading this, in which case HMU and I’ll do what I can.
Also Note: To set a meeting, either use the contact form and specifically ask for high school counseling while explaining your background. Also note if you want an hour, half-hour or aren’t sure. For first-time students, I recommend the hour.
Note 3: I do not offer a free consultation for this service and will have my assistant bill you the listed price after we meet. However, I happily offer a money-back guarantee for anyone unsure of my value. Simply say the word before you pay that my assistance wasn’t what you were hoping for, and I’ll cover the cost. I’ll also almost certainly write back asking for clarification on what I screwed up so that I may obsessively work on never letting it happen again with future families, but you won’t owe me anything.
You may also directly EMail me a request to chat at Mattie@CollegeWithMattie.com. And while I usually prefer students themselves to contact me for application work, I am perfectly fine with parents reaching out to me initially. The more info the better!
Fourth note! Parents are fully invited to attend but are not required for these sessions. I highly prefer the student to be involved in the meeting unless there is a notable reason why they can not.
I am purposely flexible with this service. You get an hour of my undivided time. And I will explain to, plan with, and support you as much as I possibly can for the duration of it. Students who best take advantage of our meeting will come knowing what they want me to help them with. I recommend you bring a list of topics and questions you want me to address. I also recommend you take notes of what I say because I know I won’t.
Every year of the high school journey holds different challenges and requires different support. I will custom-tailor my advice and guidance to best prepare you for the remainder of your time in middle/high school. This service is available year-round and as often as you choose. Most families join with a ton of questions and then check back in 1-2 times a year after, mostly at or near the start of new school semesters with a lot of new options to explore.
There is no right or wrong time to reach out. And there sure as hell isn’t a “too soon.” College admissions are complicated, difficult, and weird; they also encompass the entirety of your four years in high school in a way that makes squandering the potential of a strong freshman or sophomore year has very real negative impacts on your overall chances at top schools. Kids following credible consultants’ advice beat out kids who don’t. Full stop.
I’ve worked with students as young as ten years old. 8th and 9th grade is the most common. After that are late sophomores who are honestly checking me out ahead of time to see if I’m the right guy to hire for essay stuff a year after. All totally fine! If I didn’t leave the meetings with different age groups always knowing I’d put them on a better path to end up successful in their application journey, I promise I wouldn’t be offering this service, nor promoting it with such gusto.
While I encourage students and their families to get the very most out of my time however they so choose, here is a list of topics that I’m notably familiar with and will be happy to cover:
– Overall application strength review: I’ll chance you so hard your head will spin by reviewing all your ECs, stats, and interests, and then give my best judgment call on where you stand, application strength-wise. I’ll similarly give you my best percentage chance of admission to any school in the country and offer additional schools to consider based on your strength and interests.
– Extracurricular support and advice: By far the most common student who comes to me looking for help is concerned about their Extracurricular involvement. Generally, the Grades/Test Scores are tracking as they need to be, and they’re certainly doing…stuff. But the student/their parents have a general sense of unease that whatever they’re doing somehow isn’t enough or isn’t what colleges want to see. The harsh truth is that those students/parents are usually right. Top colleges have specific, often peculiar ideas on what they wish to see on a student’s Activity List. I will break down those proclivities and help you develop a plan to do what you need to satisfy them.
– Application brand support: What makes me different from most consultants is that I’m a storyteller. More practically, I have thousands of hours of experience working with students on their actual college essays and overall application. What that means is I work from your dramatic conclusion backward. I “teach to the test” in that my theory on overall application building is in service to the essays and overall brand image you will present to schools via your actual application. I can explain not just what you should be doing but the storyline logic behind why.
– I’ll tell you that your SAT between 1480-1540 is fine and that you should focus your time on other stuff.
– OK if it’s a 1480, I’ll ask what the splits are and kinda make a whistling sound while I grit my teeth because a 1520 would be betterrrrrrrr. But mostly, it’s fine.
– I’ll also tell you that there isn’t actually that much strategy regarding class selection. You need to take Calc-BC, as well as every AP in any way related to your future major choice. Oh, and get all or nearly all As. The reason is no one in the history of high school has taken Calc-BC, gotten all or near-all As, and not also taken the other hard classes that all the other high-achieving students they are in Calc-BC with are doing. You want like 9APs. Schools don’t have the time/energy to pick through your work and see if you completed Spanish 3 unless you’re applying Spanish. But they do want Calc-BC. That’s pretty much all I got on class prep. OK so if you self-study for like 25 APs then you might qualify for a Harvard 1 academic score. You’d also have like 9 more APs than anyone else at your school. But then you’d have to take 25 APs. I legit think it might work except I can not in good faith doom a teenager to such a life…but I think it would work…
Okay, that’s all I got.
– Did something weird happen? Something bad? Certain mistakes or oversights made during high school can and do have lasting negative impacts on future admission chances. The earlier I can fully understand the situation, the earlier I can work to mitigate the damage. And don’t worry about getting any more shame-stick from me. I’m no Saint, and my job is getting you into college. I’ll also note here that I make extreme effort to make younger students feel as welcome and empowered in this process as humanly possible. There will be zero blame or judgment from me at any point. Just support. The more open and honest you can be with me about your situation, the better I’ll be able to help you out of it.
– Figure out if you want me to help you apply as a senior: I welcome this opportunity to meet students earlier in the process and help guide their high school progress so that everything is just how we like it come application season. Again, I structure applications with the full intent of your eventual application in mind. It’s really helpful as a storyteller to have a hand in guiding the real-life version ahead of time.
– If you just feel lost, or confused, or like you aren’t doing it right, hit me up: I guarantee that after an hour with me, you’ll feel better and have a plan going forward. I try to be nice to every student. This stuff is hard and stressful. But I’m extra sensitive to the fact that while four years does not feel like a long time to an old person like me, to a high schooler, it’s literally a quarter of their life. I want to respect and celebrate that period, while simultaneously guiding you to one-day access schools you want to go to. I’m looking forward to meeting some new Zoomer Jr.s.