Elissa Caterfino Mandel & Associates

Getting Noticed; Getting In.

 

                  

 

           Using the knowledge we've gleaned from past

          admissions seasons and ongoing discussions

          with admissions officers, we help students

          differentiate themselves using the tools of the

          college application.  We manage every phase

          of the process, from coming up with an initial

          college list to making sure materials are

          submitted on time.

  • Elissa's calm and welcoming personality was the perfect match for my son. She encouraged him to write in his own voice, which translated into meaningful and memorable college essays. They communicated weekly, setting realistic deadlines and goals. Thank you, Elissa, for your unwavering commitment to seeing my son succeed.
    Jill, Parent from New Jersey

  • Elissa's vast knowledge gave us the direction we needed, starting sophomore year to help maximize our son, Josh's, opportunities to get into an Ivy League school. This is the second time we have used her services, our older son was accepted into every school he applied to and this time our younger son was accepted into his number one choice Early Decision. She has called colleges for us to get answers to important questions and advised us on how to proceed on everything from the application, to tutors, to the essays. From just talking to Josh, Elissa helped brainstorm and edit essay ideas that highlighted the unique qualities of our son's interests to present his best self to the colleges. It worked!! He was accepted to University of Pennsylvania! Thank you Elissa!!
    Lauren, Parent from New Jersey

  • Our son really enjoyed working with Elissa and her team. They started in the spring of his junior year mapping out goals and a timeline so he never felt rushed or pressured. It made the whole college application process go smoothly. Elissa was happy to have us involved as much as we wanted, but encouraged our son to ''own'' the process. She and her team provided valuable input on college choices and strategies. They communicated regularly so we always knew where we stood and what milestones were upcoming. They showed flexibility in setting meeting times and locations to help work within busy schedules. In the end, our son achieved his goal of getting into his ''early-decision'' school. We were all very pleased and highly recommend using Elissa's services.
    Ralph, Parent from New Jersey

  • My son had no doubt that he would go to college, but he had absolutely no idea which schools would be a good fit. He's a very good student, but not at the top of his class. How could we narrow the choices and get him to stand out from other college applicants? We contacted Elissa and Amy, who were recommended by a very close friend, and it turned out to be a solid decision.

    During our meetings, they got to know my son by observing his personality and asking very specific questions about his interests, his goals and his comfort level in different environments. This information, combined with their own extensive knowledge from visiting and researching colleges around the country, enabled them to build a list of potential schools for us to visit and consider. The guidance they gave my son on writing his essays was invaluable -- they helped him identify and refine topics that he could not only write passionately about but that might also get noticed. My son was accepted to every college to which he applied -- including his first choice! My son has thanked me several times for taking him to work with Elissa and Amy, and has mentioned them to several of his friends. I highly recommend their services for parents with college-bound children.
    Dorothy G., Parent from New Jersey

Given how difficult it is to get into college, students are forced to think strategically about how to present themselves.  It’s important to be noticed quickly – for the right reasons.
 
Our expertise will help you answer many questions specifically geared to your child’s application process.
 
What are particular colleges looking for when they review applications? 
 
Do certain candidates have qualities that make them more likely than other students to be admitted to their top choices?  
How many applications should your child file to be assured of admission?
 
Is there a strategy to applying early decision, early action, or rolling that affects outcome?
 
Is it smart for a student who is unsure to choose an early decision school merely to be safe?
 
Are there certain essay topics that students should stay away from?