TOP COLLEGE SPECIALISTS
(877) 489 - 8671
(818) 776 - 0213
Michael Goran, J.D. – Founder, Director & Lead Educational Consultant
Michael Goran is one of the best college counselors in the United States. He is a nationally recognized college-counseling expert, who has been quoted in a variety of Ivy League, college and national newspapers and publications. Mr. Goran has served as a featured expert speaker and keynote speaker at prestigious college admissions seminars directed to students and parents. He founded IvySelect to assist high-achieving students, gifted students and student-athletes gearing for admission to highly selective and selective colleges and universities. Michael’s background as a University of Pennsylvania Admissions Interviewer and member of its Secondary School Committee provides the real-world experience that is of integral importance to his students as they navigate the college match and admissions process at elite universities as well as other top 100 colleges.
Mr. Goran is a top college counselor with the first-rate education to match. He is an Ivy League graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and attended UCLA’s Graduate-Level Certificate Program in College Counseling. Michael is also a top-tier law school graduate. His legal background serves as an incomparable resource for the law school applicant.
Having worked as both a practicing lawyer and an investment real estate consultant, he developed skills – counseling, writing, research and advocacy – that when integrated with his specialized knowledge and experience developed as a college counselor, separate him from the competition. He brings his high-level background and training to help his students stand out in the highly selective college admissions process.
Mr. Goran is also distinguished from the vast majority of college consultants in that he is both a superior writer and teacher of writing. He is an award-winning writer who utilizes his expertise to help students in creating dynamic personal statements and essays. Michael uses his unique background and talent to assist students in brainstorming concepts for their college personal statements that they undoubtedly would not have thought of on their own. Of equal importance, Mr. Goran offers unmatched guidance in creating essays, helping to elevate his students’ writing, thereby maximizing their competitive stature in the admissions process.
Michael is not only a consummate college counseling professional, but the parent of both a college graduate and a high school student as well. As a result, he offers a parent’s compassion and sensitivity to the pressures that are an undeniable part of the process. Mr. Goran understands how important his guidance is to families and the trust that they are placing in him to do the best for their children. He honors this trust implicitly.
Mr. Goran has been vetted by major college counseling associations due to his education, background and adherence to standards of ethics and good practice: IECA, HECA, NACAC and WACAC. He is one of only approximately 375 college counselors in the world to be a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) who has been designated a College Specialist. Michael is also one of just 17 or so College Specialists in the IECA who have been granted the International Specialty Designation, due to his expertise in this niche. He is particularly proud of his membership in the IECA, as it has the most rigorous standards for membership of any college counseling association. These organizations provide conferences and a variety of other tools that help keep Michael current and contribute to his professional development.
Michael actively tours college campuses across the US, focusing his visits on top tier and top 100 universities. He also believes in giving back, and has devoted significant time to pro bono service both to individual students in his practice setting and as a college counselor at Calabasas High School, a National Blue Ribbon School.
World-Class Experience, Talent & Knowledge
Top-Flight Academic Background
Top-Flight Writing Skills
- Graduate of Ivy League University: University of Pennsylvania, Dean's List With Distinction
- Graduate of Top-Tier Law School: Emory University
- Graduate-Level Certificate Program in College Counseling: UCLA
- Summer Training Institute: Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
Top-Flight Credentials, Knowledge & Experience
- Editor at Publishing House: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich
- Postgraduate Professional Program in Screenwriting: UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television;
- First-Place Winner, Screenwriting Award: UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television
- First-Place Winner in Legal Writing Competition: American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Top-Flight Counseling/ Top-Flight Philosophy
- Former University of Pennsylvania Admissions Interviewer
- Former University of Pennsylvania Secondary School Committee Member
- Professional Member, Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
- Designated College Specialist, IECA
- Designated International Specialist, IECA
- Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), Member
- National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Member
- Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC), Member
- Member of the New York Bar
- Admitted to Practice, United States District Court, Southern District of NY
- Admitted to Practice, United States District Court, Eastern District of NY
- Pro bono College Counselor at a National Blue Ribbon High School
- Recent College Visits Include:
Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Columbia University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Brown, Duke, Chicago, Northwestern, Williams, Amherst, Tufts, Wesleyan, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, George Washington, American University, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Delaware, Rutgers, Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Hampshire, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hamilton, Colgate, Emory, Skidmore, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union, Syracuse, University of Mary Washington, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Elon, Guilford, High Point, North Carolina State, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Texas–Austin, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, University of San Diego, Cal Tech, Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Scripps, Pitzer, Occidental, University of Washington, University of British Columbia, American University of Paris, The Sorbonne
- Exploring College Options Seminar: Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Duke & Georgetown
- Conferences: NACAC, WACAC, IECA, HECA, Regional Admission Counselors of California, Colleges That Change Lives, USC Conference for College Counselors, U of California College Counselor Conference
- Featured Expert Speaker: Johns Hopkins University Pathways to College Program; Princeton Review, The Highly Selective College Admissions Process; Junior State of America Conferences & more
- Keynote Speaker at UCLA: Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth College Program
- Interviewed & Quoted College Admissions Expert: Brown Daily Herald, Daily Pennsylvanian, Harvard Crimson, Boston Globe & a variety of other national publications
- Counseling students across the U.S. & internationally
- Full range of consulting skills that translate into successful college counseling guidance: superior researcher, organization to help students meet deadlines and time management development, good listener, great writer, great teacher of writing, individualized coaching consistent with student personality, understand high-school students (as both a counselor and a parent of a college graduate and current high-school student)
- Engaged & dedicated throughout the entire college admissions process
- Impassioned about his students’ academic success in finding a best fit at a top college
- A concerned, caring professional & passionate advocate who assists students in meeting their college goals
- Unmatched professional insight regarding the elements needed to attain success in the highly selective college admissions process
- Helps students find a match that is consistent with the student's academic, personal & emotional requirements
- Adheres to the highest ethical standards
- Creates a bond of trust through loyalty & maintaining confidence
- Open communications
- Assists students & parents in alleviating the stress and anxiety in the college admissions process
- Parents are relieved of the duty of being the "admissions police" — act as a buffer in order to maintain family harmony
Dee B., M.A., M.B.A. – Associate Director
Dee has had a long and varied career over the 30 years she has been in the field of college admissions. She herself was an Ivy League student, achieving a B.S. from Brown University and a M.A. in psychology from Yale. After spending some time as a psychotherapist, she returned to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to earn an M.B.A. in marketing. She regularly claims that, in her work as an independent consultant, her psychology training helps her in understanding the needs of her student and family clients, aiding her in helping them make the best choices in applying to college, and her marketing training helps her to present that student in a manner most likely to lead to acceptance.
Dee has worked in every facet of the college admissions process. She has spent years in various admissions operations, starting as an admissions counselor and working her way up to turns as a director, dean, and a vice-president of enrollment management. She has a firm grasp of college financial aid, athletic recruitment and legacy admissions, having supervised the departments responsible for admissions decisions in all of these areas.
When Dee served as Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid at Columbia, she estimates that she read in excess of 15 thousand applications every year. As Dean, she ultimately was responsible for who was admitted and she understands just what an individual student application must contain for serious consideration by selective colleges. There are clear tips and strategies that a public or private high school guidance counselor or college admissions officer will usually be unfamiliar with that, through her insider knowledge, can be brought to bear on the student's behalf.
In her tenure as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid for Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, she read each application for all forty-five departments. This experience reinforced her understanding of how a trajectory established as a high school senior can have a long-range, life-altering impact.
Dee has also had tenures as a Dean of Admissions at a state university and a VP of Enrollment at a specialty college. She has consulted with several institutions in improving the quality of their entering classes but, most pertinently, she has spent time as a freelance college admissions counselor aiding families in navigating the college admissions process to highly successful outcomes.
The breadth of her long experience makes her a highly desirable resource for high school students and their families who have the determination to have a good college fit at the best possible college. With her insider's understanding, she is able to make what may seem mysterious more predictable and bring what may seem impossible to within reach.
Meenakshi A., Ph.D. – Senior College Admissions Consultant
Meenakshi is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. She has been at Yale since 1986 and has over 35 years of experience in higher education and medical research. Dr. A. has been a member of the Yale Medical School Admissions Committee for the past 10 years and has also served on education and training committees of national organizations. In addition, she has been on multiple national and international peer review committees. In the course of these activities, she has read thousands of admission essays and interviewed hundreds of candidates for admission. In addition, as the head of her neuroscience research lab, Dr. A. has mentored high school, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students in scientific methods and helped them hone their analytical thinking skills, and improve their time-management, organizational, written and oral communication skills. Working with students and helping them realize their academic goals is something that Dr. A. finds to be very rewarding, and she has written numerous letters for students applying to colleges and jobs all over the country. Dr. A. possesses strong communication skills and deep professional insight into what it takes to be a student at a top-notch university. She brings this insight, combined with her extensive experience and passion for working with and helping young scholars, to her role as a consultant for IvySelect.