Available Counseling and Editing Services
I like to be transparent with my rates. Too much of this industry is guarded in secrecy and mystique. Here’s what I charge and what that money will get you. All payments are receivable via either PayPal, Zelle, or check. Payments for application packages are either accepted in full upon first meeting or half upon 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
To register for a service or for more information, use the Contact 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.
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:
– New! We are now a bit into the college application season, and time is getting tighter. As such, I have modified my package to ensure everything gets done on time. Students signing up at this point will receive two separate hourly meetings each week with me! These two hours are guaranteed up until the EA/ED/REA deadline of Nov 1. Past that point we will slowly downgrade to 1.5 and then one hourly meeting so as to properly meet demand. I will need and expect the student’s best efforts to ensure that we are able to get everything done on time to the level we are both happy with.
– 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, 7 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.
**NOTE: Due to their extreme length and difficulty, I consider the following schools as worth two supplementals: MIT, Stanford, Rice, University of Texas, USC w/ Viterbi Supplementals, Wake Forest.
– 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.
– At-home “final review” copy editing of every essay before it goes out.
– 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.
– I have one idea regarding how to write essays that is so large and overarching that I believe it to be the key to college admissions. You might already know me as the “half ideas” guy. I expected that post to blow up because that was one of my two very best ideas. I think this other one is better. I’m saving the written explanation to be the core thesis of my eventual book. But for now, the only way to learn about it and use it is to work with me 1-on-1.
– 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 also promise to be there, every week. Through all the good, bad, sad, confusing, stressful, and exciting moments of the application process, I will be there to help however I can and to make sure everything is ok.
– 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.
For those interested in additional schools, I offer them at a piece-meal rate. These extra schools can be purchased at any point in the application process.
My background is with elite Bay-area students, so I am quite familiar with the UC application. It’s fun! I now work with students around the globe, so not everyone wants to do them. As such, I offer the UC work either completely separate or included with other applications at a reduced rate.
Our process will be similar to that of the 7-school package; I will assist the student in crafting and editing all UC essays, as well as filling out all necessary aspects of the application itself.
The primary work for the UC application is the essays. We will complete four 350 essays on different topics. These essays can be on anything we want. My greatest strength is in short-form creative writing. The UC application is my favorite to do with students, and I often find our finished work is extremely strong
The UCs rock and I have had success getting out-of-state students in at a pleasing rate. I offer this application at a reduced rate if combing with another package because the work we do for the UCs will also assist us in applying to school supplementals. There is no overlap between the UC and Common App, so we can and will reuse work for both halves. Reusing essay work rules so hard.
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 will 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, your child 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.