4 Days that Can Change your Life: How to Defy the Odds and Get into the Ivies and Top Colleges

Twenty years ago, I unsettled the notoriously secretive college admissions process with the publication of my first book, A is for Admission, which caused something of a scandal upon its release. For years, the Ivies and top colleges had been denying that they used any kind of formula and were anything but forthcoming about their admissions process. My intent was, and still is, to make the admission process more transparent and accessible to students of all backgrounds. Much to the chagrin of the admissions old guard, I disclosed the secret formula they had been using for years, the Academic Index, and walked readers step-by-step through how every applicant's file is read. This calculator is now available on my website as a free resource for anyone who wishes to see how the Ivies have been evaluating students.

Since publishing A is for Admission, I cofounded TopTierAdmissions.com with Mimi Doe, an education and parenting expert, to expand my platform and work directly with students and their families to demystify the admissions process and help students get into the school of their dreams. The next step was to distill our insider knowledge and help rising seniors create college applications that respond to the rubrics of admissions officers. Twelve years ago, we again disrupted admissions and launched the first ever College Application Boot Camp®, a 4-day program designed to fast-track students into their top choice college and help them complete all their applications in an accelerated time frame. We have run our Boot Camps every summer since 2004 to wide acclaim from students and their families from around the world. Over 50% of our students are siblings or friends of past participants and we fill up every year. Our results speak for themselves. Top Tier's Class of 2020 boasts 43 acceptances to the Ivies/Stanford.

Our secret is applying our firsthand admissions knowledge, helping students discern which colleges are/might be in range, and advising them with concrete ways they can improve their odds. Our Boot Camp has been featured/mentioned in Business Week, Bloomberg, the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal.

At our College Application Boot Camp® we help students focus on their love of learning, intellectual vigor and scholarly qualities. We know from our experience in admissions that top colleges don't just take triple 800 scorers, but rather students who show a clear academic interest and who are considered "high impact." On April 20, The New York Times published an article linking the competitive admissions cycle to rising anxiety in high school students. As fear of rejection mounts, students are applying to more colleges than anyone thought possible, an impulse that is not always to their benefit. Our ultimate goal, whether through our Boot Camps or our personalized service, is to empower our students--arming them with knowledge, facts, and concrete steps--in order to combat what can feel like an overwhelming task. In the process, we hope to increase transparency on a larger scale and help students everywhere navigate this complex process.