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Kate and Jen have been helping kids navigate the college search and admissions process for over sixteen years.  Kate is a certified high school counselor.  Jen has worked as a Private College Admissions Counselor since 2001.  Both know first hand just how stressful the college search and admissions process can be.  Their goal is to alleviate some of that stress and to provide guiding answers in real time for high school students and their parents. Their programs are designed to be practical, productive, and affordable.  They specifically cater to the needs of busy teens and their even busier parents.  They take great pleasure and pride in helping their students craft winning essays and applications to enable them to move on to the next phase: college life!

Kate Barker + Jennifer Schlegel

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Photo courtesy of Michelle Lindemuth Photography

Our Philosophy

Our Mission

The college admissions process has become far more complicated than it was years ago.  Learning to navigate this process can be confusing, scary, and anxiety-provoking.  Busy parents and students with packed schedules rarely have time to figure out how to craft an application that highlights their strengths and how to find schools that meet their unique list of wants and needs.  We believe that every student should have access to expert guidance as they choose where to pursue their higher education.   We understand that a “good” school is not necessarily ultra competitive.  Instead, a “good” school is one that will enable a student to grow and evolve cognitively, emotionally, culturally, and personally during their undergraduate experience.

At My Admissions Sherpa, we work directly with our clients.  We get to know each student individually so that we can help them market their best attributes to schools.  We do not farm out essays or applications to be edited by outsiders.  We speak with each college to which a student applies about their unique circumstances to assess fit and probability of acceptance.  We work with students who live all over the world love helping them find schools that meet unique list of wants and needs. We also strive to provide guidance for students regardless of budget.  We have created various levels of service to meet the needs of students coming from different socioeconomic backgrounds.  After all, shouldn’t every kid have the right to expert guidance?

How it Works

Why Hire an Admissions Consultant

Applying to college is, unfortunately, much more complicated and competitive than it used to be.  High school students and their parents often feel overwhelmed by the task of learning how to navigate the process.  There are so many resources available online and in print that it is tough to know what to do and when to do it. Working with a private college admissions counselor offers much-needed support by taking the guesswork out of the equation. Experienced counselors have interviewed hundreds of admissions officers at colleges and universities all over the country. They know what each school is looking for, how to determine if a school will meet your unique list of wants and needs, and how to help you make yourself an attractive candidate for admission. They can help you select essay topics that will highlight your strengths, strategically choose due dates that will maximize your odds of acceptance, and complete each phase of your applications in a timely fashion to avoid last-minute overload as deadlines approach. Strong counselors possess extensive experience in the field of admissions and also have a background in English to help students craft amazing essays.  This enables them to guide students through the school selection, essay writing, and application completion phases.

Initial Phone Consultation

We understand that choosing someone to guide you on your college admissions journey is a big decision.  We offer a 30 minute free phone consultation to give you a chance to learn more about your services and ask any questions you might have. Please reach out via email or phone to set up an appointment.

Meeting Protocol

Most of our meetings with students take place on Zoom. We know that kids have busy schedules that often change so we do our best to be flexible.  We meet with students on week days during the late afternoon and evenings and on weekends. If a student has study halls or free periods during their school day, we are happy to oblige.  As always, we strive to make the college admissions process more manageable.


When we meet with a student, we use that time to work collaboratively. We give students work to complete on their own between meetings.  We tell every student that their number one job is to get good grades in school so if a test or project arises and they have to move an appointment or delay completion of an assignment for us, we understand. However, if this becomes a regular occurrence we are sure to let mom and dad know. 

What Makes Us Different:

  • Our counselors are highly accessible: students and parents can text, or email with questions anytime and get quick responses

  • We check in with students on a weekly basis to keep them moving and getting work done

  • We remind students and parents of deadlines multiple times to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks

  • We email parents to keep them updates on their child's progress

  • We continue to offer support, upon request, after students enroll in college as they learn to navigate higher education; this service is often utilized by students living abroad

  • We view the opportunity to guide each students as an honor and a privilege

Professional Memberships:

  • Pennsylvania Association of College Admissions Counseling

  • Specialists of Schools

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