Who We Are
We are four college students seeking to transform and simplify college application consulting.
Adyant ShankarBioengineering @ Stanford
Ady is a researcher, entrepreneur, and licensed pilot who has attained international acclaim as an Intel ISEF Best of Category Winner, and a Pete Conrad Scholar.
Jeffrey LamEconomics @ Dartmouth
Jeffrey is an entrepreneur and video creator. A 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar and Pete Conrad Scholar, he has also founded a YouTube channel.
Srinath RanganComputer Science @ Berkeley
Timothy YangComputer Science @ Wisconsin
Timothy is an entrepreneur, creative, and researcher. He has worked with New England school districts to improve snow day decision-making.
We want to be the older sibling we never had.
Coming from a large public high school in New Hampshire—and having no older siblings to guide us through the college process—we did not have much effective college counseling throughout high school.
We were not idealized college applicants who got everything right and knew everything from the start. We were indeed far from perfect. But that's actually a good thing: it means we recognize your struggles with the college process. We understand how confusing it may be, how vast it may seem, and how endless it may stretch for you.
That's why we started this college consulting service: to make you feel like you have a grasp of the process and to give you peace of mind as you work your way through high school.
We're a team, and we mean it.
We work together, both in front of students and behind the scenes. Unlike other college consulting services, we do not assign one single counselor to each student. Rather, our team as a whole works with each student. This means that during our sessions with students, you can typically expect more than one of us to be present in the meeting. This allows for maximum feedback and input for students, while allowing us to build off each other.
Our experience in college planning means you receive the best guidance.
We will provide you with our best tips and advice regarding clubs, competitions, and volunteer opportunities. Between all of us, we have rich experience in scientific research, STEM competitions, entrepreneurship, marketing, political volunteering, issue advocacy, and even social media starring. So regardless of what you are interested in, you can count on us to help you navigate high school.
In your college application, we can help you incorporate your unique experiences and achievements. Believe it or not, Jeffrey listed his gaming YouTube channel as his top extracurricular activity on his applications—and his entire Common App essay was about his YouTube channel! So no matter how unique or strange you think your activities are, we will try our best to help you present them on your resume and work them into your application essays.
Lastly, we have our college admission results to prove our expertise. Now, we would like to pass on all we have learned to you.
How we view the college process, and how we stand out from the crowd.
Why do you need a college counselor?
Many students believe they can handle college applications by themselves, right up until mid-December in their senior year. During this time each year when Early Action and Early Decision outcomes are released, we see many high-achieving students devastated at their results. Many of them regretted not seeking a college counselor sooner. But by then, it was obviously too late. These seniors had lost a one-time opportunity to get into their dream school, and they were then forced to spend the next half-month cramming college applications for the Regular Decision round. So it was a lose-lose for these students.
The scenario described above is not a scare tactic. It is, unfortunately, reality. You might be thinking: "That won't be me. I am smart, hardworking, and have accomplished a lot in high school." But ask any of the 95% of Stanford University applicants who are rejected each year, and they will attest to the arduousness and uncertainty of the college process.
AchievED comes into play by helping you in two ways. First, we can help you develop your intellect and activities throughout high school so that you have a very strong resume heading into college application season. Second, we can help you arrange your achievements into your application and your essays so that you best present yourself to the college admissions officers.
Essays will make or break your application. They're the most important part, by far.
Some students wrongly believe that essays are not that important. This could not be farther from the truth. Your essays in fact are the most important part of your college application. Strong essays bring a warm smile to the cold statistics in your application. Moreover, strong essays tell the admissions officers the kind of narrative that you want to convey in your application. On the other hand, weak essays fail to help you build your narrative, and they give a bad impression to the admissions officers.
With this in mind, AchievED will ensure that your application essays shine. Beyond spelling and grammar, we examine essay flow, structure, word choice, overall topic, and much more.
The Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, etc. are not that far-fetched.
The numbers may seem intimidating at first glance. For the Class of 2024, Harvard's acceptance rate was 4.9%, Columbia's acceptance rate was 6.1%, and Yale's acceptance rate was 6.5%. (Source - WSJ)
But keep in mind that these figures do not represent your chances of admission, as these percentages are merely derived from the total number of applicants accepted over the total number of applicants. If you stand out from other applicants in the pool, your chances of admission are much higher. Likewise, if you are a poor applicant, your chances are much lower.
At AchievED, our goal is to help you maximize your chances of admission to your dream school. During the college preparation process, we provide you with strategies and tactics as you develop your academics and extracurricular activities. When you begin applying to colleges, we optimize and review your resume, essays, and overall application, so that you are presented in your best possible light.
Every student is unique. There's no cut-off between qualified and unqualified.
We often get questions from students such as "Am I qualified to apply to [Blank] College/University?" We respond with a simple answer: it depends.
It is indeed possible for someone with relatively low grades and test scores, yet extraordinary extracurricular achievements, to be admitted by an elite institution. We see it happen quite often. Essentially, no two students are alike, and one method of counseling does not fit all. We promise to cater our service to fit your specific circumstances and needs.
We encourage parental involvement.
We believe that it is important for a parent/guardian to be involved in the college application process. They are generally much more experienced in life, and they can provide crucial support to students. Moreover, in most cases, we think it is important to be transparent between a student, parent, and college counselor. For our sessions, we encourage a parent/guardian to join the session as well, in order to stay in the loop. However, this is not required, and students will receive our same quality service either way.
We believe in and respect your privacy.
If you choose to sign up for any of our college counseling services, we promise to never share your information with anyone, unless you give us consent. You can trust that your relationship with AchievED will be kept confidential at all times, including after the service has ended. If you believe your right to privacy has been breached, please contact us immediately.
We don't cheat and won't help you cheat.
While we are happy to give advice, provide feedback, and answer questions, we will never cheat or help you cheat. Cheating is absolutely unfair to other college applicants, and it only hurts you. For example, we will not write your essays for you; however, we will give detailed feedback to help make your essays better. Counseling is very different from cheating, and you can trust that we will only stick to what is right.