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take control of your

College Plan



Thinking about college can be very exciting.  You may also feel a little unsure because you don't know where to start as well as having a busy schedule and many decisions ahead of you. This is normal. My goal is to give you direction, reduce your stress and help make your high school career more efficient and enjoyable. You will then have more time for your own activities, school work and other interests while effectively planning the next stage of your life.



what can college counseling do



your greatest self.

My core belief is to stay true to yourself and keep your voice.  Drawing upon my years of experience in the counseling field,  I will help you put your best self forward as we work together through the application, essays, and interviews. Every person has unique gifts and abilities; admissions staff love to read about what makes you who you are.

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At a time when my future path was uncertain I could always rely on the support and direction of Ms. Sears. Not only did she have a vast understanding of the college process, she was exceptional at helping to match my needs to a college that provided a “goodness of fit.” She had a calming influence during a stressful time in my life. Now a college graduate, I often think about how grateful I am to have worked with Ms. Sears. I still share my future plans with her, and greatly value her feedback and support. I will always be appreciative of her help.



AJ - Northwestern University

As my counselor, Ms. Sears offered genuine and personalized support, and had a keen intuition about my individual strengths and goals.  She made an otherwise stressful and daunting experience an enjoyable and insightful one...I am forever grateful for her invaluable contributions to my success.


Margo - Skidmore College


I would highly recommend Ms. Sears to anyone looking for a college counselor who will get

to know them personally and

work passionately to help them

gain admission to a college that's right for them.


I am looking forward to

working with you!


Every person is unique and has different needs during the college season. Discover the many college opportunities available to you no matter your background.  I can help you make the most of your college options and assist you during each step of the process.


Increased competition for admission into highly selective schools has highlighted the need for more attention to detail during the application process.  I will help each student highlight their unique strengths.


Sometimes students can miscalculate their probability of getting into a four-year institution.  I will help find interesting colleges which are a good fit for you.


Many young people are undecided about life after high school.  Organization, problem-solving, goal setting, mapping out a personalized plan, and stress strategies are are a few of the skills with which I can provide assistance.


Athletes, artists, and musicians will benefit from extra consideration and guidance in portfolio creation.


To find out more about what an individual college plan can do for you, go to


I meet with students from the following high schools: Cohasset, Hingham, Scituate, Duxbury, Hanover, Norwell, Marshfield, Notre Dame, BC High, Thayer, and neighboring areas.

If you don't live on the South Shore,

no problem! We can still work

together remotely.

Sasha - Union College

news and updates...

College Essay Essentials workshop August 2017

June 29, 2017

If you are a rising high school senior on the South Shore, check out my College Essay Essentials workshop in August. Have your Common App essay written before the first day of school!

Best college essays from 2016

July 22, 2016

Four students share their essays with the New York Times.

Seven reasons why emotional intelligence is a top job skill

July 21, 2016

Here's why hiring managers say they often value emotional intelligence more highly than IQ.

April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

Extra in the College Connection series featured in the Cohasset Mariner and Hingham Journal by Stephanie Sears.


Forget about the college that didn't love you and pay attention to those that do. If you find that you still need to find that right fit, there are many excellent colleges with late or rolling deadlines. You can find happiness in many different places, but will only enroll at one.

I'm a text

December 15, 2013

The seventh in a series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


Attention Juniors! Your time has come...Certainly the more time that is allotted to planning, the more relaxed and comprehensive the schedule. This translates into a more calm experience for both students and parents.


I'm a text

December 7, 2013

My College Plan sponsored two buoys for the Cohasset LobsterTrap Christmas tree, located next to Atlantica.

I'm a text

November 29, 2013

The sixth in a series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


If you are a high school senior there is also much for which you can be thankful. You’ve made it through nearly 12 years of school. You have been endowed with a brain, which allows you to think creatively and logically. You have attended excellent schools in a very supportive community. The physical environment you live in is gorgeous and full of resources.


November 15, 2013

The fifth in a series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


It does not surprise me that every year I’m asked the same questions over and over. They reflect students’ and parents’ deepest anxieties during the college process. I’ve included some of the biggest issues that have been brought to me over the years, and most recently in the past four weeks. My responses are based on data and anecdotal evidence.


I'm a text

November 6, 2013

Help My College Plan reach 100 likes on Facebook.  Like and share with your friends!

I'm a text

November 1, 2013

The fourth in a series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


Whether it is a job interview or a new social situation, people generally want to make a good first impression.  Applying to college is no exception.   While students may attempt to awe the admission staff, knowing how best to do that is often overlooked and understated.  Here is what I have found working on both sides of the table, as a college admissions counselor and a college consultant/guidance counselor.


College essay

October 18, 2013

The third in a series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


Terrifying, immobilizing, and stressful are adjectives students have described about writing the main 650-word Common App essay.  It’s easy to understand the pressure.  I have seen a page and half make or break a student’s acceptance.  For a young person whose application was on the edge or wound up in the second pile, an insightful, well-written essay tipped the balance.  Conversely, I have also seen a student present high grades and test scores, but grammatical errors and lack of depth in the essay resulted in a denial.

Finding balance

October 11, 2013

The second in series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


There is no doubt that the senior year of high school is an incredibly busy one, full of challenging courses and extensive activities.  Navigating the college process can take as much time, if not more, than a class or sport. Here is a short list of what I commonly talk to them about on how not only to survive this first semester, but thrive. 

Oct deadline

October 7, 2013

The regular deadline for the November SAT test has passed but you can still register with a late fee.  The test results will be in time for Early Action or Decision application consideration. Do you know if you need a subject test?

From the Cohasset Mariner

September 20, 2013

The first in a series in the Cohasset Mariner by Stephanie Sears.


Thousands of students and parents clamored for the US News and World Report’s annual college ranking which was released last week.  No surprise, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale succeeded in keeping their spots on the list.  Many people rely on these rankings as they choose the colleges to which they will apply, without giving much thought to the things that are really important.

The Common App has arrived!

August 1, 2013

The Common Application, or CA4, is available.  Sign up for your account today. The separate Universal College Application is also live. 

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