I want to thank you for your help in my application process – our conversations, and the advice you gave truly brought my application to life and allowed me to dig deep within me. I applied early action to Princeton and was admitted! I attribute this moment to the journey of the application process, in which I interacted with amazing people like you. Again, thank you so much!
Princeton EA Admit, 2018
I’ve been working with Jennifer for three years now, and she has done so much more for me than merely giving me feedback on a few essays (which she does VERY well).
Ever since our first meeting in ninth grade, Jennifer has revealed so many opportunities for developing my passion and inspired me to reflect critically about my strengths. It’s insane how many ideas and connections she has! Jennifer has introduced me to many professors, research opportunities, and summer programs that I never feel lost on what to do. Her endless supply of advice and knowledge has been such a huge help in making the whole high school process less intimidating. I feel safe when I am working with her.
I highly recommend starting in Jennifer’s program EARLY. She will not only offer amazing assistance with your applications, but she will also illuminate the way as you discover your own path through high school.
This student was admitted to the Summer Science Program (2016).
MIT Admit, 2017
Jennifer was essential to my daughter’s successful Early Decision application to Brown. As a parent of a child who’d set her sights on the Ivy League and worked hard to achieve her goal even though she knew the statistical odds were not in her favor, I struggled with balancing dreams with reality. I didn’t want to quash her ambition, but at the same time, we needed razor-sharp, strategic boots-on-the-ground expertise.
I spoke with several nationally recognized experts, all of whom had vast experience in the field, but I hired Jennifer because she immediately demonstrated her holistic approach to matching the college experience with the child. When she used the phrase, “path to happiness,” I knew my daughter was in good hands.
Jennifer’s leadership in helping my daughter develop her essays while incorporating best practices, parent collaboration (how about that), and a great deal of gentle prodding was amazing. The result was not only sound, well-crafted work, but most importantly an authentic glimpse into the mind and heart of our girl. As it turns out, that mattered to the admissions committee.
Jennifer is process-oriented, personally disciplined, and always mindful of the highest potential of her students. Do whatever it takes to hire her!
Parent of Brown ED Admit, 2016
Dr. Bernstein is amazing! Unlike a typical college admissions coach, she doesn’t try to override a student’s voice with clichés or weigh down their essays and resumes with unnecessary information. Having worked at a college for many years, she knows how the system works and how to best present oneself to admissions officers. Sometimes, it’s not about what a person has, but how they present it.
Plus, without Dr. Bernstein, my curriculum vitae wouldn’t be nearly as strong as it is now. She helped me arrange it so it would stand out and also highlight my strongest points. Her subtle approach to “branding” and shaping an application was incredibly helpful. In addition, she’s extremely down-to-earth and knows how to relate to students. I highly recommend her to any student, even the more aggressive or independent ones. Dr. Bernstein’s advice is invaluable!
Princeton Admit, 2012
I’ve known Dr. Bernstein for three years and I can’t emphasize enough the important role that she has played in my personal growth and application process. It is said that a successful application profile is the consummation of one’s individual achievement and character growth during high school years, and only through her counseling have I come safely and confidently to be who I am, to achieve what I have achieved.
Over the past three years that I’ve worked with Dr. Bernstein, we exchanged 227 documents in the long arduous process of essay and creative writing revisions and hundreds more messages through which I sought her guidance during my troublesome times. Dr. Bernstein is professional college counselor, but her effects on me go so much beyond my 27 college applications and admission ticket to Middlebury College.
She has helped me tremendously with various summer school applications, leadership applications in school, student body president body election speeches, and even with my own creative writing. Dr. Bernstein is able to find the shining qualities of an individual and give recommendations on how to amplify those passions further by her recommendations of summer school or internship opportunities.
So long as you are willing to go further exploring yourself, she is willing to go further with you!
Middlebury – International Admit, 2018
Working with Dr. Bernstein was invaluable towards finding my focus, not only as a writer but as a person.
With interests all over the map, I initially had no idea what I was going center my application around. Working with her allowed me to integrate my strengths in a way that translates impressively on paper. Starting from the summer before senior year, she helped me map out my CV, identifying how I was going to package all of these things that didn’t seem to fit together upon first glance. Through our conversations, I spent a large part of my summer mulling over what I wanted to be, what things I truly loved doing. By the end, I was able to pinpoint exactly how I would approach the application process, and this has been invaluable towards me in respects that extend beyond the college admissions process.
College application essays are extremely different from what I’d been accustomed to, and Dr. Bernstein’s dedication and flexibility has helped me adapt to this. However, she doesn’t tramp all over your voice as a writer, but rather works with it to show you how to make it stronger and more convincing. I cannot stress enough that at the end of the day and after all the editing and revising, the essay will still be yours and sound like you.
Dr. Bernstein’s help extends all the way from the small details in the activities and additional information section of the Common App to mastering alumni interviews. Her expertise is the most comprehensive kind that you’ll find out there, so that you can be confident in every single part of the application.
Columbia University Admit, 2015
With Dr. Bernstein’s help, I was able to get into my dream school and get merit scholarship offers from other top schools!
In addition to Stanford, I received acceptances to Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T), Duke, the University of Southern California (with a full Trustee Scholarship), and Berkeley.
Dr. Bernstein is a wonderful, dedicated mentor.
At first, I was really stressed about the entire college application process. I spent hours writing essays, and each time, I was frustrated with the result. I had many things I wanted to include in my application, but I had no idea how to organize all of it.
Dr. Bernstein gave me detailed feedback that helped me craft a compelling Common Application essay that reflected my personality and passions. Through our discussions, I learned how to share descriptive, concise details about myself that differentiated me from my peers with similar stats. She also helped me revise my college supplements so that my unique voice shone through.
Something that stood out to me while working with Dr. Bernstein is that she genuinely cares about her students. Even during winter break, Dr. Bernstein responded to me within a few hours, and her powerful feedback pushed me to reflect more on my experiences and myself. Knowing that I could always count on her to give me valuable advice eased the stress of my college application process.
Stanford Admit, 2015
If I have to sum it up.. SHE IS GOLD…
We spoke with several counselors when searching for someone to help our son with the college applications process. We had a lot of questions about the process because we were raised outside the US and this was our first child applying to college. Most counselors offer a free 20 minute meeting to discuss their process, but Jennifer was the only one who spent as much time as we needed to make us comfortable with her process. As soon as we finished this first meeting, we knew she was the best counselor for our son.
We expected proofreading help and some guidance and advice on the process itself. What Jennifer delivered was much much more; true counseling. She understood the family dynamic and the stress involved and expertly navigated our distinct personalities and coached us. She is the reason we stayed sane through this process since she was able to resolve differences of opinion within the family and easily build consensus.
She provided the full service from vetting the college list, telling our son where to start and how, working patiently through literally tens of drafts, and accommodating the final deadline rush.
Having worked with her for the last several months, here are some other things we loved about her:
- She values the voice of the student and insists on it coming through. This authenticity was important for us.
- She was not rigid about how many reviews it took. The Common App Essay went through at least 15 reviews with her, while we did a similar number of reviews within our family.
- Her knowledge of the whole application process is spectacular.
- Towards the end of the process, my son was debating whether to apply to the University of Pennsylvania given that he’d already gotten accepted to UIUC and Georgia Tech and Penn was not as highly rated for engineering. Given that this is just extra work for her (because she does not charge per application), she could have as easily said it made sense not to apply. However, she convinced us to apply to Penn. This is highly illustrative of her character. She cares so much about the students and their future even if it means more work for her.
I have another son who will be applying to colleges in 8 years and I already know who his counselor will be – Jennifer.
Parents of UC Berkeley Admit, 2018
I had absolutely no idea about the time and deliberation needed to put together a well-executed application. Dr. Bernstein helped me turn my voice, my stories, and my passions into something the admissions committee must read. It took numerous tries as well as a few sleepless nights, but it was this (gentle) push that allowed me to write essays I never even thought I was capable of putting together. The tips Dr. Bernstein shares are things I would’ve never thought to do on my own. I’m the type of person to just answer the question, but with Dr. Bernstein’s guidance I was able to share my stories, dreams, and most intellectual thoughts.
It’s imperative to get that head start. You don’t want your senior year full of college applications, essays, work, etc. Dr. Bernstein allows her students to get the application started before it’s even on your peers’ minds.
I’m so thankful for the time I spent working and rewriting my application with Dr. Bernstein. Without the support and effort I would’ve never gained admission to the universities I did.
University of Michigan Admit, 2018
Dr. Bernstein is worth every penny! I can’t recommend her enough!! She has great insight into the entire application process and made very good recommendations that I think made a difference in my son being accepted into his dream school, in addition to nine other schools, three of them with merit scholarships! It was very comforting knowing that she was guiding my son with her expertise through this very stressful process.
Parent of Brown Admit, 2018
Jennifer won’t just help you write your essay. She also knows what colleges love to see in your applications. After I told her I’m interested in screenwriting, she helped me find summer programs at Boston University and Loyola Marymount University. She also encouraged me to join the drama club in my school. She also helped me build relationships with my teachers, so when it came to recommendation letters they had more things to write about me. She even taught me how to arrange a meeting with the admission office of colleges. The earlier you start working with her, the easier it is to prepare for your application for college.
The best part about working with Jennifer is that you are the one writing the essay. If you want to sit there and just write a few sentences and then let her finish the rest, she is the wrong counselor. She would give me specific opinions about my essays like “you should mention which part of this college attracts you, which professor, which program” etc. She helped me learn more about professors I like and the programs that interest me, but I was the one doing the work. The whole process is not easy, but it helped me to learn more about the colleges and made it easier for me to make my decision after I got my offers. You will also find that she cares about your essays as much as you do. There were a few times when I sent my essay to her at 10:30 PM, and she replied to me by 11:00 PM!
If you are hard-working and possess determination, Jennifer is the right counselor for you.
Chapman University – International Student Admit, 2018
Because of you, I had a direction of where I wanted to take my applications. You showed me how to utilize every vital part of the application, like essays, extracurriculars and their descriptions, and even the additional information section, which I hadn’t even thought about and that came in very handy! Even enhancing the simplest of things in my application really made what I put in stand out. While teaching me how to structure my applications to show every side of me to admissions offices, you also taught me how to intertwine my different interests into one package rather than have my interests scattered all over. I’ve also taken away the fact that not only can I pursue my passions just for personal satisfaction, but I can also dig deeper and discover how to apply my passions to the outside world. Thanks to you and the lessons you have taught me throughout this journey, I can finally call Charlottesville home for the next four years!
University of Virginia Admit, 2018
Dr. Bernstein is truly one-of-a-kind when it comes to guidance and mentorship throughout high school. Over the three years I have worked with her, Jennifer has become to me not only a teacher and helper, but a trusted friend. I felt very comfortable talking to Jennifer and describing any doubts or insecurities I was having, because I knew she’d pay attention and give me valuable advice on what steps to take next, or present me opportunities that will push me in the right direction. I never felt forced to do anything, but rather was shown doors of opportunity that I would have never found myself. She encouraged me to apply for programs of my interest that I didn’t believe I would get into, but I actually did. She helped me enrich my intellectual background by giving me reading lists and other convenient ways of exploring interests that weren’t taught at school.
I can also count on Jennifer to respond quickly, and never failed to get something polished up even when we only had a week to do so. Whenever I had any sort of academic question, she would always be there in a timely manner to answer. She has a fantastic balance of being professional, yet making you feel comfortable and at home.
The best part about working with Jennifer was she never made me feel like I had to make certain choices, or apply to certain schools. She always had a world of suggestions and resources to offer me, but never pressured me to use any of the ones she showed me. She didn’t pile up activities for me to sign up for, or bogus, expensive honors programs to apply for. Instead, she would often check up on me and make sure that I felt satisfied at where I was at. I don’t think I could have written such beautiful essays without her help – I tend to be a wordy writer, with a penchant for using too much figurative language. She never wrote my essays for me, or changed the tone that I had originally set. Instead, she showed me how to take my words – the important ones – and weave them together to create a flowing piece of art. She was instrumental in my placing into the programs that I strived for and opened my mind to new worlds, and in my ED acceptance to my dream school. I can’t thank her enough for what she’s granted me over these three years.
Cornell ED Admit, 2017
I’ve known Dr. Bernstein since 9th grade, and I can’t say enough about how wonderful of a person and mentor she is. Dr. Bernstein knows exactly how to position your strengths and has the resources to help you develop and fine-tune them. I’m always blown away by how knowledgeable she is about meaningful ways to bolster your application. There have been so many opportunities I would not have known about if not for her, many of which have been absolutely crucial to the development of my interests and gave me so much to write about for my applications.
When I worked with Dr. Bernstein on my essays, she without fail gave me the perfect advice to patch up every section that I was doubtful about. I can’t stress this enough! She has such a sharp eye when it comes to personal writing, and is absolutely invaluable as an editor.
Above all, however, Dr. Bernstein the most brilliant, sweet, and funny lady. From the start, she’s felt like a very wise close friend, to whom you could confide in anything and expect wonderful advice from. I sincerely recommend any student to meet with Dr. Bernstein if they are curious how to best present themselves to colleges.
Columbia University Admit, 2017
As I sit on a 14-hour flight to China, I’m excited to reflect and share my experience in the college admissions process with the support of Dr. Bernstein.
Going into high school, graduation may have felt like an eternity away, but I knew the next four years would fly by and it was no longer too early to think about college. Other than this mindset and the strong will to study hard, I began my four years of participating in the college admissions “game” without any other knowledge. I didn’t know how to apply for colleges nor what colleges look for. I hadn’t even heard of the Common App until tenth grade (when I heard seniors complain about it). In other words, I couldn’t even enter the playing field because I didn’t know where the playing field was.
This is where Dr. Bernstein came in. Through talking to upperclassmen, I learned about Dr. Bernstein and her successes in helping students get themselves into college. Dr. Bernstein helped me navigate my way through the colossal labyrinth known as “the life of a high schooler looking to attend college.”
I learned how to pursue my passions and “show them off” on paper. Everything climaxed to the summer before senior year, when I began writing my Common App essay. My activities and interests lined up into one story, telling colleges in concise yet expansive ways who I am, why I will fit at x University, and how am I different from everyone else.
Dr. Bernstein offered me advice through countless supplemental essays and was prompt at giving me feedback every time I sent her a new one. I truly mean it when I say I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now if it weren’t for Dr. Bernstein. I am happy and excited to have achieved personal feelings of success and satisfaction—finally seeing results and rewards after a long (but now looking back, feeling short), tough journey.
Brown Admit, 2018
Dr. Bernstein’s exceptional knowledge of the entire college application process compares to no other. She showed me how to turn my ordinary high school resume into an exceptional curriculum vitae that focused on my talents and highlighted my strengths and passions in order to set myself apart from my peers. I was accepted to UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Georgia Tech, and ten other major universities. Dr. Bernstein truly “knows the ins and outs” of the college application process and worked with me – a true procrastinator – in order to develop a personal connection. I am truly grateful to her for our many conversations, mentorship and professional insight as I navigated the waters of the college application process.
Georgia Tech Admit, 2017
As a parent, I am a big fan of Dr. Bernstein and recommend her to anyone seeking guidance in this very challenging process. My son is now deciding between Berkeley, Georgia Tech, Northeastern and University of Virginia.
We contacted her VERY late in the process, panicked after the early action rejection from my teen’s top school and a deferral from his number two.
Jennifer helped my son draft a good deferral update, and he got accepted by his second choice during the regular admission round. She also helped him polish his Common App essay for the regular admissions round for other colleges and suggested a safety school that wasn’t even on our radar: Northeastern, where our son was awarded a $100,000 merit scholarship over four years.
We found Jennifer to be very caring, helpful and knowledgeable. Her method of critiquing the essays via a recorded private video is brilliant. It really helps the student look more objectively at his personal statement and see how a 3rd party may read it.
My only wish is that we had discovered Jennifer much, much earlier so that we had more time to utilize her knowledge of different colleges and apply to more schools during the early action round.
UC Berkeley Admit, 2018
The most valuable part of working with Dr. Bernstein is that she always catches your original angle and works on that. She deepened my understanding of myself. For instance, when I had a lot of points I wanted to work on my essays, a chat with Dr. Bernstein helped me cut off the unnecessary parts and concentrate on the valuable ones. She is an intelligent listener. She gets to know not only your ideas and extra-curricular activities, but your person as a whole. By achieving this, she gets to understand your “shining point” (which I had a hard time finding, LOL) and helps you put that artistically into your application.
Because I am always careful and strict about how my personality is shown in my essays, I want to make sure I have a very personalized applying process so that my essays deliver the right message. Compared to normal “big agents” in my country, her one-on-one access via email or online meetings work efficiently. She works quickly and with high quality. She manages to help you out and tighten every sentence to make them clear and right. We finished about ten essays (each with about five versions) within 20 days.
I highly recommend you start early, chose the schools you like, and work with Dr. Bernstein even as early as your junior year in high school. Given the college admissions offers I get now, I know it is the right path.
P.S. I’m from an International Department of a normal high school in China with TOEFL score of 101 and SAT score of 1990.
Boston University Admit, 2015
Dr. Bernstein’s knowledge and experience with college applications were an unbelievable resource. Not only was it reassuring to know that someone who truly understands college admissions was looking at my application before it was seen by my college, but also that Dr. Bernstein would always reply quickly to my emails and work with all of my college deadlines. Unlike a parent or teacher, she didn’t try to overshadow or over edit my personal voice, which truly allowed my story to come through in the application.
Throughout my ED application process, there were many panicked moments and tight deadlines that Dr. Bernstein helped me navigate. She stayed up with me until midnight the day that my ED application was due, helping me polish and perfect every detail. With her help, I even connected with an admissions officer when I was confused about what to do with after-deadline SAT scores.
Dr. Bernstein is a guiding light through the stressful and hectic college admissions process.
Brown ED Admit, 2016
I’m still somewhat delirious with our son’s results and phenomenal package. I really can’t believe it’s a reality! I can’t thank you enough.
You assisted our son in presenting his most favorable qualities and characteristics in a way that helped admissions officers see the real him while also satisfying all their criteria. He learned so much about himself throughout this process, and the confidence he gained will remain for years to come! When we began the process, we were nervous about whether he’d get accepted to any of the schools, much less be offered an $84,000 scholarship. I really just can’t thank you enough for all the assistance, guidance, and support you have provided to make this process as smooth as it was!!
Parent of Clarkson Admit, 2017
As someone who avoids writing about myself as much as possible, the introspective and open-ended college essay prompts seemed daunting and impossible. When I first started writing, my drafts were too vague and all over the place, but Dr. Bernstein helped me make them strong, focused, and compelling. With her help, I learned to enjoy reflecting on my personality, interests, and future goals, and I used what I discovered to add character to my essays. She pushed me to keep making lots of minor revisions even when I thought the essays were done. Dr. Bernstein didn’t settle for “good enough” and always prompted me to really think deeply and get to the core of what I wanted to express. I’m glad I followed her advice because it helped me earn acceptance to my top choice college!
University of Pennsylvania ED Admit, 2017
Working with Dr. Bernstein was absolutely amazing. She sees the best of you and is very supportive throughout the entire process. She helped me strengthen all my essays so they flowed well. Her deep understanding of the whole college application process really helped me to overcome my fear of it. Working with her also helped me to explore my own abilities and potential. She is really awesome.
Colgate ED Admit, 2016
As an international student, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s a whole different application and a bit overwhelming. Not only did Dr. Bernstein guide me through it and help me avoid the common pitfalls, she also gave me many valuable insights and suggestions for my applications. I felt that my essays did not simply represent me; they symbolized the ‘best me.’
Amazingly, the time difference between us was not really a factor as I always got prompt and helpful feedback. I noticed that when I asked some people for feedback on my essays, they tended to make vague comments like “You need to review and work on that paragraph” (which is infuriatingly unhelpful). Dr. Bernstein went into great detail and always managed to wrangle out the best bits that I could then later expand on.
Dr. Bernstein helped me discover the best angles in my applications and allowed me to see the bigger picture of them. Using these angles made it a great deal easier to write my essays. I could write in greater depth, be more specific, and it definitely made the ‘Why X’ essays a lot easier.
It’s no lie that the US university process is strenuous and taxing, but it was made a whole lot more enjoyable by learning and working with Dr. Bernstein. I also got accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Duke, and Cornell.
I highly recommend her to any type of individual, from those struggling to write essays to those who have an idea of what they want to write. She will help you shape them to suit the best possible ‘you’.
Caltech Admit, 2016
I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the college admissions process without Jennifer. Without any idea of where I wanted to apply, what to write about, and when to start, Jennifer patiently helped me figure out what in the world I was doing.
Not only did she help me through the struggle that is the Common App, but she also didn’t impose any directions for my writing and really pushed me to think deeper about who I am and who I want to be. Her feedback was essential to the core of my writing. Once I was able to get the hang of writing essays, I stopped feeling stressed.
Throughout the years I’ve worked with Jennifer, she’s always recommended books and articles to me that I absolutely loved and probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. To me, Jennifer is more than the person who helped me get into a college that I never would have dreamed I’d be able to get into, she’s a friend who has helped expand my interests and outlook for my future.
Dartmouth Admit, 2016
Dr. Bernstein was the saving grace for us.
As a homeschool parent, I was overwhelmed by the prospect of creating transcripts for my daughter and navigating the Common App as a recommender. I wanted to make sure I had professional-level answers and documents for her applications.
As a homeschool student, my daughter was nervous about competing with public and private school peers for college spots.
Dr. Bernstein’s staff created professional transcripts and course descriptions, and she walked me through my part of the Common App. She supported my daughter through her essay writing and applications. She also helped us determine which schools could be a good fit for my daughter.
In the end, my daughter was accepted and offered scholarship money at several schools and decided to attend Clemson’s Honor College, which I think it will be a perfect fit for her.
Homeschool Mom of Clemson Admit, 2018
Jennifer can make any situation better and any person more productive. She transformed me from a nervous, underachieving malcontent into someone who sees a world of possibilities. Meeting and being involved with her was one of the best things to ever happen to me as an undergraduate.I will never forget the first time I met her. I was on my way to tell her that I could not participate in the internship program because it was simply too time consuming. When I got to her office, she convinced me the program would be a great experience. She was right. All the positive things that happened to me during my senior year happened because of Dr. Bernstein’s positive influence. Because of her internship program, I am a McNair Scholar and intern at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture.
The Citadel, 2011
Dr. Bernstein was a tremendous help in the college application process.
Her amazing advice helped me get into my dream school as well as every other school to which I applied. Throughout the summer and fall, I struggled with my Common Application essay and felt like I was lagging behind in completing my application for the early action deadline.
When I met with Dr. Bernstein in October, she quickly pinpointed the problem. Through our conversations, I discovered how to restructure the scheme of my essay and add excitement without sacrificing my originality.
She also helped me revise all of my college supplements and even the application attachments. In particular, Dr. Bernstein helped me edit my resume in a way that highlighted my skills so that my best achievements jumped out at admissions officers.
Dr. Bernstein is flexible, versatile, and always ready to help students.
Unlike other college admissions counselors who tend to standardize students’ essays and emphasize generic and cliché characteristics, Dr. Bernstein takes an approach that is fully student-oriented. Throughout the process, I felt that Dr. Bernstein took time to understand me as a person and then used this information to help me see how to get my own voice and personality to come through.
Dr. Bernstein has an amazing level of experience in helping students get to the schools they want. Despite this, she is incredibly practical and is always ready to learn from the students she works with.
Stanford Admit, 2012
Dr. Bernstein helped me truly distinguish myself in my college applications.
When I first started writing my Common App essay, I was stuck in the typical high school essay mindset that comes off as rather un-engaging and superficial. Dr. Bernstein managed to pinpoint the key aspects of my essay and guided me through the process of sharing the emotions, justifications, thought process, and details that really reveal who I am and differentiate me from the thousands of other applicants. Working with her not only made my essays more focused and personal, it also caused me to learn more about myself.
As we moved on to supplements, I was amazed by her dedication and persistence. If a certain essay was still missing key components, we would continue working and revising until everything was there.Even though this took longer, she ensured that all of my essays would be top notch. During winter break, I would send her essays in the evening and she would reply with a dozens of comments and corrections the next morning, that’s how dedicated she was to my success.
Dr. Bernstein’s help and advice proved invaluable and I highly recommend her to everyone.
University of Pennsylvania Admit, 2014
Dr. Bernstein was extremely helpful in guiding me through the college application process!
She helped me develop an organized and effective approach to the complicated application process. Although I came in with no idea what direction or topics I wanted to go with in my application essays, Dr. Bernstein was very understanding and took the time to talk to me more so that we could find a way to synthesize my activities and experiences into cohesive essays.
Even though I live on the West Coast, Dr. Bernstein made sure the time zone and location differences were not an issue by sending detailed messages, making private videos for me, and talking with me on the phone or in online meetings. Her responses were always very timely and really helped me find ways to distinguish myself and accentuate my strengths!
Dr. Bernstein helped me develop a unique narrative—she is very experienced and offered many valuable insights that helped me improve my essays. When editing, she offered guidance and suggestions instead of directly altering my essays; this helped clarify and enhance my ideas while still allowing my authentic voice to show throughout the essay.
Cornell Admit (Early Decision), 2018
Professor Bernstein has this great quality that enables her to effortlessly discern and respond to the very individual qualities of each person, allowing the relationship that forms to be both productive and fondly memorable, as it has been for me. As the freshman year advisor at the Macaulay Honors College, she had an amazing ability to instantly engender a feeling of trust and camaraderie between herself and the students she served.
As one of those students, I looked forward to stopping by her office each day, knowing that she would always make herself available to listen with genuine interest and enthusiasm to all of my maladjustments and aspirations. I soon came to regard her as both a friend and confidant.
She eased the awkwardness of the first months of college with a balanced dose of listening and guidance. Her warmth allowed for candid and comfortable conversations, where she openly shared stories of her own college and life experiences, pacifying any worries I may have had.
Macaulay Honors College Admit, 2003
Dr. Bernstein was a lifesaver. I really can’t imagine where I would have been without her help!
There are few things worse than staring into a blank screen, cursor blinking, clock ticking, the light of the day outside slowly dying. Imagine that the next words you type on that screen will define the course of your life. Where do you even start? The first thing I realized was that I’d never dealt with these kinds of prompts before. Quite literally, everything I’d written in high school had been formal responses to historical and literary analyses: introductions, theses, body paragraphs. But despite realizing my complete freedom in how I approached the college essay, I was having trouble making the jump as a writer. This is where Dr. Bernstein comes in: with every draft she edited, I was learning how to adapt.
Like any teacher, Dr. Bernstein can’t tell you what to do; in the end, the decisions have to be your own, and that’s the simple truth of it. Dr. Bernstein doesn’t edit your essay with ways to make it work nor does she rip it apart with criticism—and yet what she does can’t really be described as a “middle ground” either. Instead, she points out all the fundamental differences between your draft and what could be a successful essay.
I don’t think there’s any way to overstate how powerful that kind of feedback is. What that essentially did for me was let me be continuously thinking and brainstorming. I almost never had to decide which parts of the draft needed change and which parts I shouldn’t tamper with.
Cornell Admit, 2014
When I first began my application for COSMOS (California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science), I was lost.
Dr. Bernstein guided me and showed me how to look through the eyes of the admission officers. She would probe me with questions, that initially I thought would not be useful for my essay, but became the basis for them. As students, we have the information about ourselves that programs love to hear.Dr. Bernstein knows how to find that information and assist students in putting the ideas down on a piece of paper.
She really helped me make my essays go from mediocre to phenomenal! With her advice, I not only immensely improved my application essays, but my writing in general is now better because she taught me a few tricks and tips that indefinitely improved my writing. Working with Dr. Bernstein feels like working with a friend on something enjoyable. It transformed the drudgery of writing essays into something I began to look forward to. I was very lucky to work with her!
COSMOS Summer Program Admit, 2014
Dr. Bernstein helped me craft a compelling Common App essay that I am still extremely proud of, and she did so in a way that allowed my own voice to shine through. She made suggestions and patiently worked through draft after draft with me until we were both satisfied with the result.
But Dr. Bernstein doesn’t solely focus on the essay and the supplements–she recognizes the importance of the activities portion of the application as well. The first thing we worked on in our time together was the activities portion of the Common App. She helped me focus in on the key details of all of my activities and helped me vocalize how I’ve grown because of them, and then she helped me put together a curriculum vitae that impressed the college alumni interviewers.
I cannot express my gratitude for Dr. Bernstein enough, but know, if you’re working with her, you’re in good hands!
Duke Admit, 2015
I wish I discovered Jennifer’s website a few years earlier. She gave me informative, insightful and practical advice in what I considered to be an overwhelming college application process for a homeschooling parent.
I was feeling unsure as how to best highlight my senior’s achievements and how to write an impactful letter as his guidance counselor. Jennifer took the time to review my initial letter and evaluation and gave me suggestions as to how to make it more powerful and stand out from other applicants.
Although I didn’t think my son had a “hook,” Jennifer listened to everything I was trying to convey and explained to me what she said his “hook” was. I would have overlooked it, but instead with her help I was able to expound on it and make it a key element of who he was. I was able to show his passion, initiative, and talent so the admission counselors knew what he could offer their college as a future student. She also explained the importance of telling his story of how and why he chose the homeschool path.
Homeschool Parent of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Admit, 2018
I was completely hopeless when I first started writing my college essays, and without Dr. Bernstein’s superb guidance, I would have continued floundering, completely clueless about the application process and never knowing how to present myself to the essay readers.
Dr. Bernstein genuinely cares about students, and her approach is a perfect mixture of easy-going and rigorous. She gave me a sense of direction as well as space to work on things on my own, which was perfect, since I sometimes needed the right incentive in order to get things done.
The online meetings were nice and informal, and we could discuss my application seriously while feeling comfortable in our own homes. She would read over what I worked on a day or so before, and thus during the meetings gave me specific feedback.
I was very lucky to have her expertise and guidance as I completed my application, and she is, without a doubt, one of the best mentors I’ve ever had.
Northwestern Admit, 2013
Summer was here, but I still had no idea how to apply for college.
Thinking about all my interests made me dizzy, and I had absolutely no idea how to fill out college applications. Dr. Bernstein acted as a sort of stabilizer for me. She helped me solidify just what I wanted to share with admissions officers. With her help, I felt like I really wrote something that gave them a taste of who I am.
Another great skill she taught me was how to create a curriculum vitae. Skip the boring list of activities or resume–a CV (course of life) is something that illustrates where you’ve been and where you might be headed. Learning how to make one is an invaluable skill that I will be using for the rest of my life.
Dr. Bernstein is also an editing machine, showing you what you need to improve and helping you refine your long list of supplemental essays quickly and efficiently.
It is always beneficial to have an extra set of eyes on an essay, especially if they’re Dr. Bernstein’s.
The online sessions felt personable and extremely productive, and without them it’s unlikely someone as unorganized as me could have put together such a comprehensive application!
Yale Admit, 2013
Working with Dr. Bernstein allowed me to unleash my potential and submit an application that I did not even know I was capable of creating. She pushed me out of my comfort zone with my writing and guided me every step of the way to make sure I had the best essay possible.
I wrote my personal statement about a past experience that I did not even think was significant before she brought up the idea after reviewing my (thanks to her) organized and comprehensible resume. Dr. Bernstein allowed me to view this experience in a new light and let it become the cornerstone for my essay. I not only was able to write a great essay, but I was able to see how my experiences have affected my own growth and my interests that I want to pursue in college.
Cornell Admit, 2015
Working with Dr. Bernstein is just great.
As a high school student in China, I knew very little about liberal arts colleges in the United States. However, after talking with her, I realized that these were the best colleges for me. She provided me with a list of schools that seemed like a good fit for me, and after a serious talk with my parents, I chose my top schools, reach schools, and safety schools.
The experience of writing essays for different schools with Dr. Bernstein was also amazing. Before working with her, I was really nervous about the essays. There were so many things I wanted to tell admissions officers, but I didn’t know where to start or which ones were the best. However, Dr. Bernstein made this whole process easier, more relaxing, and more enjoyable.
Every time when we started a new essay, we would have a talk. This was not a serious and formal talk like you’d have in school. Instead, it was more like a free talk between friends. She encouraged me to share my thoughts, and I have to say that Dr. Bernstein is a terrific listener because she was always able to find out the shinning points during our long conversations. She would also ask me for more details about the points she thought valuable. After talking, she would send me feedback that helped me write the essays. My essays were always the real me.
I received acceptances to 8 colleges and am excited to study at my dream school!
Mount Holyoke Admit, 2016
Dr. Bernstein is amazing. She helped me show colleges the real me. I didn’t have spectacular grades or scores (or even a great activity sheet), but Dr. Bernstein taught me how to see and write about my strengths in my application essay and other materials. She worked with me to express what is meaningful about what I have accomplished. Through her years working in universities and talking with college admissions officers, she has a wealth of tips that most people don’t know. Also, the online lessons were very helpful in terms of showing me how to develop my application and resume (what she calls a curriculum vitae). I definitely would not have gotten where I am now without the help of Dr. Bernstein. I was recently offered an $80,000 scholarship to my top school!
Allegheny College Admit, 2014
Before I found Dr. Bernstein through her YouTube video on preparing for alumni interviews, I was feeling completely overwhelmed by my college applications and was receiving little help from my guidance counselor and teachers. I wasn’t sure if my essays showed my true interests and character and was stressed out by the whole college admissions process.
Dr. Bernstein was so helpful in relieving my stress and raising my confidence in my work. I had been struggling with my Common Application essay for months, but through our conversations, she gave me a clear direction for my essay and helped my authentic voice come through. She gives detailed, meaningful advice on how to improve every aspect of your main essay and supplemental essays. Her student-led approach is ideal for those who want to improve their writing for college applications and become more effective, engaging writers in general.
Our online sessions were productive and valuable. She helped me create a comprehensive application that allowed college admissions officers to get a true sense of myself. I feel very lucky to have come across Dr. Bernstein because my application is now as strong as it could possibly be.
UC Berkeley Admit, 2014
Fellow parents: Trust me – you are going to be SO GLAD if you have Jennifer Bernstein help your senior through the college application process. She is positive, smart, extremely professional, easy to work with and gets results! She helped our son develop an excellent application package that presented him in the best possible light. I contacted Jennifer after viewing her very helpful online college videos and count my blessings that she was able to add him to her group of early decisions applicants. With Jennifer’s help, our son met his Nov. 1 Early Decision deadline and was thrilled to be accepted by his first choice school in December!
Here is what I like most about Jennifer:
* Top notch editing – She provides lots of very constructive feedback on the essay drafts, not just minor edits. Besides brainstorming, she asked tough questions of our son to get him to think deeper on his essay responses. If he got stuck, she would help and provide some options to consider. Her guidance helped him to develop much richer essays, providing more insights into his thought process and personality.
* Big picture thinking – Jennifer really considered our son’s entire application as one big picture, not a lot of separate parts. She considered how the essays and activities would fit together to present a consistent, rich picture and help the admissions team easily imagine him as a successful addition to their school. She seemed to know what college admissions staff are looking for in essays and encouraged our son to illustrate his critical thinking skills, “showing not telling” how his experiences had been transformative.
* Personalized attention – I know that Jennifer was helping probably 8 to 10 other students simultaneously, but I truly felt like we were her only client!
* Detail oriented – Jennifer insisted she check over his extracurricular activities section and found many corrections, standardized the format, suggested different wording, helped my son rearrange the groupings of activities and the end product was much cleaner, easier to read and much more impressive.
* Fast turnaround – Wow! As fast as our son could submit his essay revisions, within 24 hours (except on the weekends) and often the same day, he would get Jennifer’s edits and suggestions back.
* Communications – Jennifer is a great communicator, very positive, easy to work with, and not intimidating. She uses a document sharing system which made it easy to track all the different essay revisions in the application flying back and forth and not lose anything in his email inbox.
Parent of Santa Clara University ED Admit, 2016
My college applications would have been a nightmare without Dr. Bernstein. While perusing the Common Application prompts over the summer, I realized that I had no idea where to start. I felt like I didn’t have many experiences that I could use to make a good personal statement. After choosing a topic, she helped me find a direction that made me and my traits shine, without dictating what I should do next. My voice and personality were preserved in the essay, which she was able to help turn from a train wreck into good essay. When I was tasked with writing a supplemental essay (the classic “why here”), I was, again, without a clue with how to approach it. She helped me research the school and find things that I was able to link to myself to write a personalized “why here” essay. She truly taught me how to write a college application essay, and without her I have no doubt that I would not have gotten in to my schools.
Cornell Admit ED, 2016
Students often struggle with the process of analyzing data, synthesizing ideas, and articulating their thoughts in lucid, concise language. Professor Bernstein focuses on this process, and she develops her students’ ability to translate their ideas into evocative, compelling, and organized essays. Her goal is to enable you to be a clear, adaptive, and self-sufficient thinker. Potent expression emerges from coherent thought, penetrating vision, and creativity. Her purpose is to cultivate your mental vitalization and evolution. She patiently evaluates your thoughts and your writing in order to perceive what you’re really trying to communicate. Then, she uses her extensive knowledge and experience to provide the exact guidance you need to effectively convey your ideas.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Admit, 2014
Working with Dr. Bernstein made the entire college application process incredibly easy to manage and relieved me of so much stress. I was one of those people who kind of put off the applications to the last minute (I had nothing in solid essay form until the middle of November), and yet Dr. Bernstein helped me get just about everything polished and submitted before we went off on Christmas vacation.
Her deep understanding of the application process and knowledge of what the admissions officers are looking for helped me direct my writing in a much more focused fashion and easily allowed me to put pen to paper, so to speak.
Her very approachable personality and supportive attitude were immensely helpful in getting me to share some of the more personal details of my life or poorly written essays. If you have an idea, she’s open to it, no matter how outlandish or far-fetched it sounds.
I would definitely recommend her program to any one going through the college application process.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Admit, 2013
Working with Dr. Bernstein was really an amazing experience for me. She was very supportive throughout the entire college application process and takes both your ideas and writing very seriously. She helped me strengthen my writing without sacrificing my unique voice and made me feel comfortable and confident about my essays. She even took the time to get me prepared for interviews and taught me how to turn some of my weaknesses into strengths.
I also think Dr. Bernstein’s method really helps you develop as a person. She’s a wonderful mentor, who’ll encourage you to articulate your unique strengths.
I highly recommend her!
Syracuse University Admit, 2013
One of the more difficult things about writing college application essays was figuring out what I was going to write about. Once I have a great idea, it’s not that hard to put it down on paper, but that initial pre-writing phase was a big obstacle for me. I had several ideas for my main Common Application essay, but Dr. Bernstein helped me narrow it down to just one by showing me how that one essay would fit into my entire “application package” better than the others.
After I decided on the topic, she worked with me to revise my essay to the point where I was sure that it was concise, comprehensive, and nearly perfect. Throughout the entire process, Dr. Bernstein was never overbearing or strict. Her comments were always calculated suggestions that were made with years of experience. Her constructive admonishments and reassuring commendations gave me a lot of confidence in my application because I knew that an expert had seen every word I had written.
Not only is Dr. Bernstein great at doing what she does, but she also is passionate about her work. It was late one night when I was revising a college supplement that I was going to submit the next day when I realized that there was still an essay question that I had not answered. With about 24 hours left to write and edit a complete essay, I was panicking. Even on such short notice, Dr. Bernstein was able to put aside her family and personal life for little while to help me. Together, we edited my essay until it was on par with the rest of my supplement. I was able to submit my application on time and with confidence.
Working with Dr. Bernstein is like learning from a teacher, collaborating with a friend, and talking to a parent all at the same time. She teaches you how to write effectively, she listens to your opinion while offering her own, and she shows you how to present yourself in the best possible way.
Duke University Admit, 2014
When I met Dr. Bernstein the first time, I was not confident. I’m an international student studying in the United States and my grades were not as high as they could be. I also didn’t have as many activities as some of my friends. She helped me get my “spirit” into my essays so that they really described me. Dr. Bernstein not only taught me how to write a college application essay. She also taught me how to write more formal essays for college. Now writing is more relaxing for me, and I’m able to catch the most important points. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I didn’t choose to work with her. She is a great mentor.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Admit, 2015
Jennifer represents the next wave of dynamic mentors and professors. From the minute I met her, she encouraged me to take risks and be creative. She also taught me how to use social media and helped me develop my blog. Plus, she introduced me to the world of publishing and editing. Because of her, I’m now a published writer.
All the people I know who’ve worked with her talk about how she always makes it easier for them to succeed in their endeavors. I’m no exception. Her guidance has changed my life.
The Citadel, 2011
My experience working with Dr. Bernstein was a pleasant surprise. As much as I was excited to have help in the college application process, I was nervous about working with someone I did not already know. Now I feel a connection to Dr. Bernstein and will not hesitate to reach out to her in the future. One of the highlights was the process of completing my CV. I am proud of my accomplishments, and Dr. Bernstein taught me how to share these professionally. Another benefit was that Dr. Bernstein helped me discover creative ideas and ways to describe my experiences in the essays.
Working with Dr. Bernstein provided me with just enough accountability by setting reasonable deadlines and assisting me with staying organized. I would recommend meeting with Dr. Bernstein to anyone that feels overwhelmed about the college application process.
Stevenson University Admit, 2014
We are so very appreciative for all your attention. You are amazing and can’t thank you enough. Your patience and acceptance along with your expertise with the writing and knowledge of the process was all so valuable. We would have torn each other apart having to do it ourselves, and we, of course, would not have known as much. This process opened her eyes to things she wouldn’t have otherwise.
Parent of University of Michigan – LSA Honors Program Admit, 2016
Working with Jennifer was the shot in the arm I needed to help me focus on my goal of getting into the food and beverage industry. She challenged me to think creatively about how to present myself to potential employers while working alongside me. Her process was not a formula that I was plugged into; it was a process that evolved to fit my goals and to better prepare me to enter my field of choice. I highly recommend her and her services.
The Citadel, 2010
Dr. Bernstein is really helpful. She guided me thoroughly throughout the college application process.I faced two big issues while writing my application essays.
First, I had trouble finding good topics to write about. To help me with this, Dr. Bernstein guided me through a process of discovering stories and anecdotes from my experiences that best reflected certain parts of my personality. She also pushed me to dig into details. For example, in my one of my essays, which described a teaching experience, she suggested that I add in vivid descriptions of what was going on in my mind. These details really showed who I am as a person.
Another one of my difficulties is the English language. As an international student, I still sometimes struggle with grammar rules and idiomatic expressions, but Dr. Bernstein helped me understand them and helped me improve my writing in general.
With Dr. Bernstein’s support, I believe I sent my best writing pieces to my colleges. I cannot imagine how I would have handled them without her.
UCLA Admit, 2014
The insight Professor Bernstein gave me is irreplaceable. Originally, I was planning on just writing an essay that provided a blow-by-blow account of why I want a place at the school, but she made me realize the importance of creating an essay that describes my work as part of a larger personal journey. Her genuine interest, passion, and expertise left me feeling rejuvenated, confident, and optimistic about my application. I am thankful for her honesty.
Ipswich University (England) Admit, 2012
I jumped into my application with a can-do attitude that quickly fizzled under the nature of the college prompts. Gone were the rubrics and assignment sheets to which I was accustomed (analyze this, make a connection to that, ten points off if you don’t cite correctly). I had almost too freedom. Because of some confusion, I started working with Dr. Bernstein a bit late in the application cycle, and I really appreciate the way she accommodated me into her already busy schedule (though I’d still recommend starting with her earlier).
The feedback that Dr. Bernstein provided throughout was extensive and truly helped a great deal in making my personal statement and supplementary essays much more effective. Rather than ripping apart entire drafts, she pointed out where my essays were weak and helped me come up with ways of making these points stronger.
Ultimately, the final product was my responsibility, but she provided me with invaluable advice and pointed me in the right direction. Additionally, she was really friendly and supportive; I never felt as if I were being judged or as if I couldn’t seek help or feedback. Dr. Bernstein was also extremely approachable, I was able to talk about my interests, goals and character freely, and in doing so we were able to pinpoint key elements to write about.
I have a tendency to want to push through everything by myself, but my essays would have been nowhere near as authentic or original without her guidance, and I would have definitely been much less informed about the subtle nuances of the college application process as a whole. It is clear how dedicated she is to each of her students, and how much she believes in their ability to succeed. I’m immeasurably grateful to have had the opportunity and honor of working with her!
Cornell Admit, 2014
At first, I was reluctant to have someone help me with my applications—not because I didn’t want help, but because I was worried that an advisor would change my voice and make me sound mechanical and boring. Dr. Bernstein dissolved my fears.
She has extremely fresh ideas, thinks outside of the box, and puts so much effort into making sure you get into the college where you’re meant to be.
I’m very grateful that I had Dr. Bernstein help me with my applications—because not only is she intelligent (as any college advisor should be), but she’s also relatable. She encourages you to be an advocate for yourself, which comes in handy when you’re trying to stand out in a sea of applicants.
University of Tulsa, 2015
With the daunting college application season approaching, I had a rough idea of how I wanted my personal statements and supplements to sound. However, Dr. Bernstein truly helped me highlight my accomplishments— she worked with me to teach me how to shine light on my best attributes to piece together my application. Her supportive nature and clear, concise, rapid feedback helped get me through the application process. By working to answer the questions she asked in the margins, I was able to write “my story.” Constantly knowing that Dr. Bernstein would be there to offer advice and support throughout the entire process helped ease my fears.