Why Hire Us

What makes The Path to Ivy different?

The Path To Ivy Advantage

We understand that the future of your child is one of your top priorities and you want to ensure that they get nothing but the best guidance and advice. The Path to Ivy differentiates itself from other college counseling services in several ways. First, it is focused on helping bright and talented students achieve their goal of attending America’s best colleges. Secondly, its founder Yan Gao spent over twenty years while her son was growing up searching for opportunities for talented students, and as a result, she has accumulated a large array of resources that can help students develop to their maximum potential and achieve the college admissions success that they desire. The Path to Ivy is also privileged to retain several current students and alumnus of America’s top colleges as advisors. These advisors help to provide an in-depth view of the entire college admissions process that others who have never been in that position cannot. Finally, the Path to Ivy method and philosophy (see below for more on this) have worked for many students in the past, seeing students from the program be admitted to schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, UPenn, etc. We would love to work with your student and help them on their way to a bright future. See our free consultation page for more on how you can learn more about the services we offer.

The Path to Ivy Philosophy

I am a…

High school junior or senior ready to put together a winning college application.

Many counselors and authors today have expertise in particular aspects of the college application process: the standardized tests, the essay, the interview, and so on. You may be able to perfect these aspects individually, but these individual parts will not form a cohesive whole. As a simple example, an application whose components all highlight a student’s passion for scientific research will not travel great distances, no matter how beautifully these components are crafted.

The Path to Ivy philosophy is that applications should be prepared in the same manner as they are judged: holistically. Our counselors will sit down with a student for hours to first understand the student’s entire background, from academic achievements to athletics and extracurricular activities to family and personal experiences. We then work with the student to determine which stories are best told through which aspects of the application. Our years of experience allow us to craft for any student an accomplished and cohesive package that represents a well-rounded, gifted individual any college would want on campus.

Middle or high school student looking for the best way to plan my next few years.

Right now the college of your dreams seems like just that: in the distance of your dreams. Yet it is never too early to start thinking about the path you will travel to get there. There are two common misconceptions about this road, however: 1) that the choices you make today do not matter and any path will eventually lead to that ivy-covered gate, and conversely, 2) that there is only one path, one application, and one set of activities that will take you there. There are dozens of paths that lead to your dream college, and we are here to guide you through all the best options.

We have worked with countless students who have found their way to prestigious universities, and we have aggregated activities, awards, and programs of which many are not even aware. Based on each student’s unique personality, our counselors will advise young students on the best programs to pursue that highlight their strengths and bolster their weaknesses. Awards and accomplishments are a classic snowball effect. Once recognized for one achievement, you build a network of peers that opens new doors and strengthen a resume for admission to ever-more-prestigious programs, ultimately culminating in that prized fat-package acceptance letter. It’s our job to give that ball its first push down the hill.