“During my college selection process, I was conflicted between pursuing an art major at design school or a different major at a traditional college. Having Carol as my college counselor gave me the opportunity to fully explore both options. She accompanied me to National Portfolio Day and took notes on the critiques I received. She compiled all of the feedback on a comprehensive document for me to use as a guide in completing my portfolio. She also helped me develop my essays and supplements, while still keeping them personal and stylized. I applied to a lot of colleges, but she kept me organized. I never felt like I was behind or rushing through my applications. Our sessions accommodated my busy schedule and helped me stay on track. She has been incredibly supportive. I will be attending the Rhode Island School of Design this fall.”
Amy Zhu, Acton, MA (2018-2019)
“As a senior, I already had an idea of what I wanted to do in the future. Compared to all my friends who weren’t sure what they wanted to major, I thought the college application process woudn’t take too much effort for someone who was prepared. So when my mom told me that she hired a college counselor, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. However, after just the first meeting, I realized that I could learn a lot from Carol, and after the first revision of my essay, I felt a lot more comfortable with the college application process. Carol helped me bring out essay ideas that I had never thought were important enough for an essay topic. She helped guide my writing to be the best it could be. Even though I still haven’t changed my career path and future ideas, Carol really helped me find schools that were perfect for me.”
Erin Song, Acton, MA (2018-2019)
“I expected the college process to be extremely stressful, but with Carol’s assistance, I managed my time well and maximized productivity. Initially, I was unsure of what I wanted to study. Carol helped me pinpoint areas of interest. I wanted my essay to stand out, and Carol guided me and my ideas to the next level. During our writing sessions, I worked at my own pace and set my own deadlines so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. She helped me organize and formulate ideas and offered various recommendations on things I could change. Working with Carol has been a pleasure. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to start their college process.”
Student, Acton, MA (2017-2018)
“My daughter’s schedule was extremely packed, including AP classes, multiple extra-curricular activities – music, crew, and even a part-time job. When we hired Carol to help with our daughter’s college process, we wanted assistance with managing all the deadlines. Carol was extremely accommodating of our daughter’s busy schedule, and her guidance was instrumental in getting things completed on time. Carol’s involvement in the process also saved our relationship with our daughter. We were able to step back, let Carol guide our daughter, and we all benefited! The stress of trying to talk to our daughter about any and all details of the college application process was creating more tension. Having Carol support us through the process made our experience much less stressful.”
Anne Curtis, PhD, Belmont, MA (2017-2018)
“As first generation Asian parents and having little or no experience with the U.S. college application process, we were initially anxious and nervous about our son’s college applications. Working with Carol certainly helped ease our anxiety and made the whole process easier. Carol is great with Asian kids. Her background in psychology allows her to skillfully engage teenagers and to communicate with them effectively. As parents, we all know talking to a teenager and making him/her pay attention to your advice is no easy task. Well, Carol is a natural in doing this! She not only helped my son formulate his thoughts and organize his ideas, she also let him take initiative in the whole application and essay writing process as well. We thought that was very important as we wanted someone to help guide our son NOT do the work for him. Under Carol’s guidance, our son got accepted by his dream school. He also received scholarships from two other universities. This was a huge boost to my son’s confidence and will have a positive impact on his future studies. We are truly grateful to have Carol’s help in this process.”
Parents, Acton, MA (2017-2018)
“Carol was instrumental in my understanding and mastering of the Common Application. She streamlined the process for me. My prior fears and worries about applying to college were met with confident responses and keen analysis of what I had to offer to colleges. Carol allowed me to be confident in what I had to say and helped me write a strong personal essay. The structure of the lessons was focused yet lenient. Carol allowed me to work at my own pace and design a pathway to the due date. Her writing ability complimented mine, and she offered many helpful insights into the language of college essay writing. Overall, she is a very approachable and relatable person. Working with her has made the whole burdensome experience of applying to college rather simple. With her outstanding help, I was able to decide and get into the college of my choice. Thank you so much for your help Carol!”
Student, Acton, MA (2017-2018)
“Carol was a huge help to our family throughout the whole daunting college application process. She skillfully assisted our high school senior in making the best range of choices, from likely to “reach” schools. Then the really hard work began! Carol worked closely and carefully with our somewhat reluctant student, helping her to bring out the best in herself through her essays. After thorough and thoughtful editing, the end results were impressive. Later in the year, Carol returned to capably assist us through financial aid comparisons, as college acceptances and aid offers came in. We feel quite confident and very excited about the university our teenager has chosen. We’re certain that the whole process was made much easier and far less worrisome with the benefit of Carol’s expertise and experience. We cannot thank her enough for her support and guidance.”
Parent, Lexington, MA (2016-2017)
“I’m so thankful I got the chance to meet and work with Carol. She is very knowledgeable and guided me throughout the college process, clarifying things that I didn’t understand. Writing my essays with her support definitely helped me to write better essays. Working with Carol showed me ways that I could improve my own writing for homework assignments. Overall, she is a great counselor and friend who supported me in my goals.”
Student, Lexington, MA (2016-2017)
“I met Carol at a Chinese school presentation. When my older son was ready to apply for college, I emailed her and arranged for a meeting with my son. At that time, I had already talked to several consultants. Each one has their own strengths and specialty. Carol coached my son during his junior year. She checked in with him on a regular basis and made sure that he did not miss deadlines. She also helped him with his essay. I think the most important thing about the coach is they need to be able to communicate with kids and that the kids would want to listen to them. Teenagers usually have their own minds, and mine is no exception. I have hired coaches who are great in their own right, but my son would not heed their advice. Carol’s strength is being able to communicate well with teenagers. She is flexible, and her fees are reasonable. She also taught me how to communicate with the school counselor so to help her write a better recommendation letter for my son. My son was accepted to all but one school he applied and has decided to go to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study chemical engineering.”
Parent, Westford, MA (2016-2017, 2018-2019)
“Carol helped me the most with my application essays, from brainstorming ideas to editing, and she was very flexible and worked around my schedule. She gave me invaluable feedback on how to make my writing more concise. My family was also new to the college application process, so she was a great resource for all things college application related. She gave me great advice on how to narrow down my college choices and set up a good balance of target, reach, and safety schools. Carol was also very honest to me and never pushed me in any directions, always sharing her knowledge, but allowing me to make my own decisions at the same time.”
Student, Acton, MA (2015-2016)
“The essay is what will make you stand out. The more you have done in the summer, the better off you will be in the fall. This is especially important if you are applying early action or early decision. Carol was great in making sure I was on time with my applications and helping me stay in the word limit. She really helped me bring out what I wanted to say in a clear and direct way.”
Transfer Student, Belmont, MA (2015-2016)
“I had some concerns about how much work was involved with applying to college and worried about procrastination. I wanted extra support for my son – especially on the essays. With Carol’s help, my son completed his essays and applied early action to many schools. Carol is good at helping students to focus, brainstorm, and write essays.”
Parent, Needham, MA (2014-2015)
“Carol showed us tools and resources that we could access from our own home. It helped us to figure out good match schools. She saved us time and energy. Carol also provided ideas for supplemental essays and was very helpful with editing the essays.”
Parent and Student, Lexington, MA (2014-2015)
“We were new to the college process and had many questions. Carol was very knowledgeable about how financial aid works. She provided information that helped us make our final decision.”
Parent, Newton, MA (2014-2015)
“It was on a typical winter Sunday, when the cold bites into your skin the moment you leave your nest only to take a refreshing breath outside, that I met Carol – albeit reluctantly, maybe it was the weather, or just that I hated the idea that I’m not independent enough to take care of my own crap (you know, the college stuff). So in all honesty, it was mainly my mom, who, being a typical Asian parent, insisted that I meet Carol, and so I did.
Needless to say, I was rather surprised during our first encounter. First of all, I was expecting a pushy woman who cares nothing about anything, totally soulless, and only wants to get my sorry ass into college, and not just some ordinary college, it must be one of those hardcore engineering schools that I actually have no interest whatsoever in going. Instead, afar stood a woman dressed in business casual attire, she skittered into our house like an energetic dragonfly. First thing she did was strike up a very friendly conversation with me, generally asking about my personality and my life in general. At this point, I knew that I would have a relatively good time through the college process with this genuine lady.
Since I’m rather indecisive, I needed a person who is well informed of all kinds of nitty-gritty details. Carol fitted that need perfectly. With her help, in a couple weeks, I was able to narrow down my free flowing interests into two specific majors – design and engineering. Then, she took time to assemble a list of schools that have strong suits in these majors. Together, we decided that early decision is beneficial, which I was hesitant about before due to the earlier deadline. Carol also encouraged me to follow what I really want to do. With that in the back of my mind, I applied early decision to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
As English is my second language, it didn’t hurt that Carol also has an expertise in English writing mechanics as a former ESL instructor. During the times that I hit a writing block during the application process, she would guide me through using her experiences as a teacher, which in most cases helped me tremendously as sometimes I have difficulty putting down my thoughts into words. That being said, Carol also maintains her professionalism by making sure that that the essays are written in my own words. It is without a doubt that one of the reasons that I have gone through this burdening process rather smoothly is because of Carol’s help.”
Rhode Island School of Design
Class of 2019
“I met Carol Wan when I was a high school junior at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. I was a volunteer mentor while Carol was the senior counselor who taught teenagers English, helped students with special needs, and offered valuable college applications advice. I got to know Carol very well through the volunteering program. Carol is really amiable and approachable. Even though I was really shy and wasn’t willing to share my personal stories with others, I always felt comfortable talking with Carol when I got frustrated studying for the SAT and filling out college applications. I still clearly remember that I got stressed out when I was selecting colleges during the summer between my junior and senior years. I was so indecisive and wasn’t sure if I wanted to attend a small college or big university. When she heard of my situation, Carol created an activity for me. This activity directed me to focus on searching for colleges that offer small class sizes. As a result, I purposely applied to lots of small liberal arts colleges and finally ended up attending Providence College, which has smaller class sizes. On top of helping me to select colleges, Carol assisted me in applying for scholarships. Since she has great connections with people in different organizations, she always sent me information in regard to scholarship opportunities. Carol also helped me after I entered college. The first year of college was the most brutal year. I had trouble with managing my time and didn’t know what to do when I had trouble with homework, quizzes, and exams. I thought of Carol when I encountered all troubles and eventually met with her over the winter break to discuss my worries. I tried Carol’s suggestions, and they worked very well for me. My grades improved a lot in the second semester. I strongly recommend Carol as a college advisor.”
Xiaodan “Candy” Situ
Class of 2013
“After completing my college applications, I continued to participate in Carol’s campus tours. When high school was almost over and done, I was accepted to Boston University’s School of Engineering and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy’s PharmD program. At that time I was still not completely sure whether I wanted to pursue a career in the engineering or pharmaceutical field. My parents encouraged pharmacy but I felt that engineering was also right for me. I discussed my situation with Carol and she immediately helped set up a personal career workshop just for me. In this mini-workshop she suggested taking two career inventories. Both results confirmed that I was more interested in engineering than pharmacy. After sharing the results and having a lengthy discussion with Carol and my parents, I chose engineering. The choice was tough, but the inventories really helped with my decision. After completing my four years at Boston University, I feel that I have made the better choice. I am very satisfied and glad that I talked with Carol before making such an important decision.
Carol also assisted me with questions regarding financial aid, specifically FAFSA and CSS Profile. Even though information regarding financial aid is very personal, I trusted Carol. Without her help, it would have been very difficult for me to fill them out. Rather than just filling out the financial aid applications, Carol taught me how to answer the questions so that I would be able to do them myself in the future. With that said, I filled out those applications without much trouble anymore during the past four years in Boston University. I was also able to assist my younger brother with his financial aid applications as well.
Carol has been a great help to me during my senior year in high school. Thanks to Carol, I was able to visit, explore, and learn about many campuses. I was able to confirm my decision to pursue a career in the engineering field and go to Boston University. Lastly, I was able to understand and complete those confusing and tedious financial aid applications. I know that when it comes to college counseling, I can always count on Carol.”
Class of 2012