Graduate School Admissions Consulting Services

$72900 or 3 installments of $24300
$1,92900 or 3 installments of $64300
$2,57900 or 3 installments of $85967

No installment billing fee for online orders

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  • Overview
  • Admissions Consulting Services

How Do You Benefit?

  • Get expert one-on-one advice from Kaplan's esteemed team of graduate school admission insiders
  • Stay ahead of deadlines with a detailed action plan
  • Benefit from discreet, impartial guidance on personal statements, resumes, and interviews
  • Assess your acceptance chances at your target graduate programs

How Does The Service Work?

  • Your consulting package can include whatever guidance you need depending where you are in the graduate school application process.
  • You'll start with a 15-minute introductory call, during which you and your consultant will determine how to structure your sessions together. The first 15 minutes are on us, allowing you and your consultant to get to know each other and ensure the best match possible.
  • From there, you'll act as a team, strategizing on how to build the most compelling application package for you.

Graduate School Admissions Component Approximate Time
Personal statement topic brainstorm 30-60 minutes
1st draft of personal statement 60-90 minutes
2nd/3rd review of personal statement 45-75 minutes
4th review and on 15-30 minutes
Interview prep 15-60 minutes
Resume prep 15-60 minutes
Financial aid guidance 30-60 minutes
Letters of recommendation guidance 10-30 minutes

Already a student? Ask about special Kaplan student rates saving you as much as 17% off the regular rates.

Admissions Consulting Package Options Regular Rates Student Rates
Basic 3 Hour Package $729 $599
Advantage 6 Hour Package $1,259 $1,049
Comprehensive 10 Hour Package $1,929 $1,599
Premium 15 Hour Package $2,579 $2,149

*Certain restrictions and pricing applies to rushed enrollments. Call 1-800-KAP-TEST for details.

Customize the Service to Meet Your Needs

Graduate School Admissions Consulting is available in four standard packages:

  • Basic (3 Hours)
  • Advantage (6 Hours)
  • Comprehensive (10 hours)
  • Premium (15 hours)

Basic is best for applicants:

  • Who have assembled most of 1-2 applications themselves and are looking for a final, professional review
  • Who are looking to get preliminary guidance on the admissions process

Advantage—our most popular package—is best for applicants:

  • Applying to 3-4 schools
  • Who have already narrowed down their list of target schools
  • Who have a working draft of at least one or more of their personal statements

Comprehensive and Premium are best for applicants:

  • Who are applying to a longer list of graduate schools
  • Who need help from the very beginning stages
  • Who don't yet have a draft of one essay
  • Who have a significant weakness or several complicating factors that need to be addressed

Choose the right package for you and customize your time to meet your specific needs. You can always add additional hours at any time for $249/hour.*

*Certain restrictions and pricing applies to rushed enrollments.

Frequently Asked Questions on Graduate School Admissions Consulting

Q: Is Graduate School Admissions Consulting right for me?
Q: How does the service work?
Q: What are the consultants' credentials?
Q: Does my consultant do the work for me?
Q: How should I best use the consulting time?

Q: Is Graduate School Admissions Consulting right for me?

Most applicants are going to be qualified for some range of schools. However most people are "on the bubble" somewhere, meaning the next level of schools is just beyond their reach. Applicants applying to competitive programs, international applicants, weaker writers, or those who have complicating factors like weaker GRE scores or GPAs can all benefit from the guidance of a seasoned admissions professional.

Q: How does the service work?

One business day after you enroll in Graduate School Admissions Consulting, you will receive a welcome email with a link to a brief survey. The survey inquires about your goals, target schools, and more to help us better understand your needs. We then use this information to match you with the right consultant.

The service is delivered remotely with your consultant advising you via phone and email. The remote delivery allows Kaplan to provide the most convenient scheduling and to match you with exactly the right consultant regardless of geography.

Q: What are the consultants' credentials?

Kaplan's graduate school admissions consultants are so effective because of their deep experience in the field. Most have served on admissions committees—many at the top graduate programs—and they bring really cogent insight into the admissions decision-making process. Most importantly, they understand that this process is about you presenting the best you possible. Our consultants know how essential it is to preserve and amplify your voice. They bring their expertise to bear to help you succeed.

Q: Does my consultant do the work for me?

Absolutely not! Kaplan consultants work with you to enhance your original work. They'll help you brainstorm, polish your work, and help you position yourself for the greatest effect. But don't forget, graduate school is a very personal choice—it's important that the schools understand who you are as a person. And Kaplan graduate school admission consultants can help you do that.

Q: How should I best use the consulting time?

Our consultants have "billable" hours for the services they provide. They have guidelines as to how much time to spend on any individual aspect of the service and will continuously update you on the amount of time you have remaining.

If you don't use all of your purchased time, you can receive a refund for all whole unused hours at the rate of $100/hr. In addition, if you wish to add time, you can purchase additional hours at the rate of $249/hr. There are several different package options that drop the price-per-hour down to as little as $145/hour*. You may not purchase individual hours before purchasing one of our standard packages.

*Certain restrictions and pricing applies to rushed enrollments. Call 1-800-KAP-TEST for details.

Get Expert Advice from Graduate School Admissions Professionals

Kaplan offers the most experienced team of graduate school admission consultants available. Most have served on admissions committees—many at the top graduate programs in their fields—and they bring really cogent insight into the admissions decision-making process. They'll work with you to build the best application package possible—one that positions you well for acceptance. They'll guide and advise you—and most importantly be a big part of your cheering section.

Barbara, 2005 Kaplan Graduate Consultant of the Year

Consulting with Kaplan since: 1999
Education: Ph.D. from the University of Maryland
Background: Former Director of Graduate and International Admissions, American University

Barbara has served as a director of both undergraduate and graduate school admission. With over 20 years experience in college admissions she has an outstanding base to support the efforts of her clients.

As director of graduate and international admissions at American University she had the opportunity to view first hand how decisions are made at the graduate school level in academic programs that included the liberal arts, communication, and the social sciences. She also coordinated the university fellowship and assistantship award program and thus has been able to aid her clients in securing merit awards for graduate school. That experience and her work with Kaplan clients for the past ten years has allowed her to become extremely knowledgeable about how faculty evaluate graduate school applicants. Through her insights she helps clients from the States and abroad develop a strategy for success, whether that involves selecting a college based on their academic profile and professional background, identifying a program the client might not have considered or been aware of, preparing for a required interview or brain storming on ways to develop an essay that presents a distinctive, yet qualified presentation of the client's abilities and strengths.

After successful tenures at American University and Rochester Institute of Technology, Barbara managed her own private admissions consulting firm. "Helping clients is intensely important to me, and I value the role I am privileged to play in each client's efforts to gain admission to a program that will allow them to reach their goals."

Jesse, 2007 Kaplan Graduate Consultant of the Year

Consulting with Kaplan since: 1997
Education: Princeton University: MA & PhD
Background: Has advised more than 1,500 graduate school applicants, one-on-one, worldwide

Jesse is Senior Graduate Admissions Consultant and Trainer with Kaplan. He begins his twenty-second year in the field of educational / professional advancement and 16th with Kaplan having personally advised more than 1,500 applicants of widely varying racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, from every geographic region of the U.S. and the world. His primary fields of expertise cover admission to a vast range of Masters and PhD programs, and include specialties in public policy, international affairs, law, business, health, the social sciences, and the humanities. Given his breadth and depth of experience, Jesse has often been called upon to handle Kaplan's most challenging and high profile admissions consulting cases; he was named Graduate Admissions Consultant of the Year, and was the first Kaplan employee (and one of only two) ever to win the company's National Consultant of the Year Award.

On the administrative side, as Senior Admissions Consultant and Trainer for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions since shortly after the program was created in 1997, Jesse has screened and trained nearly every consultant in Kaplan's Graduate Admissions Consulting Program, facilitated most of the team's professional development sessions, and conducted more than 100 seminars on Graduate School Admissions.

Jesse is also a National Science Foundation Fellowship winner who has a Masters degree and Ph.D. from Princeton University. As a graduate school applicant, he was himself accepted with full university fellowship offers to every leading graduate program to which he applied, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, and the University of Michigan. He also has a decade of teaching experience, having served as a faculty member at institutions such as Haverford College and Barnard College of Columbia University, and he has presented his research at a variety of universities, including Yale, Wesleyan, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard.


Consulting with Kaplan since: 2004
Education: Masters from MIT
Background: Consultant for Kaplan Admissions Consulting

John is a graduate admissions consultant working exclusively for Kaplan. John has been with Kaplan since 2004 and helped many people gained admissions to the US News top-ranked schools in the nations. At the same time, John helped many students garner some of the most coveted fellowships/scholarships of their respective graduate programs. John's students comprise mainly of students who are interested in applying to science and engineering graduate Master's or PhD programs.

However, in the past, John also helped students gained admissions to financial engineering graduate programs. John has experience working with many different students at various stages of their lives and careers. His students come from all over the US as well as a few different countries.

John is comfortable using Skype and can work with international students through Skype. John holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degree both from MIT.


Consulting with Kaplan since: 2005
Education: Ph.D., Psychology, The University of Michigan, A.B., Social Relations, Harvard
Background: Senior Consultant at Maguire Associates

Leslie specializes in psychology but also works in related fields (e.g. counseling) and in the social sciences more generally. She earned her bachelor's degree in Social Relations (an amalgam of psychology, sociology and anthropology) from Harvard/Radcliffe and a Ph.D. in Psychology (specializing in Personality) from The University of Michigan. Though not a clinical psychologist, she took many clinical courses in graduate school and is well grounded in clinical psychology graduate programs. Leslie taught in psychology at Lehigh University, where she also sat on the Graduate Admissions Committee, and in Women's Studies at San Diego State University. In her teaching years she also helped many students who were applying to graduate school.

Leslie has also worked in research for an urban school system and in public policy research at a for-profit consulting firm. Currently she is a Senior Consultant in a firm that does market research and consulting for colleges and universities. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the Qualitative Research Consultants Association.

Leslie takes a strategic approach to the admissions process, helping clients identify a well chosen group of schools. She genuinely enjoys the process of hearing people's story, helping them figure out the next steps, and providing both practical and moral support through what can be an arduous process. Leslie also enjoys helping people find ways to tell their story effectively and persuasively in admissions essays. Her best success story is a client who had gotten nowhere the year before who worked hard and well with Leslie's help and was admitted to six schools, including her top choice!


Consulting with Kaplan since: 2004
Education: Masters from the University of Rhode Island
Background: Director of Career Services at the Harvard Graduate School of Design since 2005

At Harvard, Meryl works with graduate students in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and urban design. Prior to joining Harvard, she served for several years as Director of the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University. Meryl worked with students applying to a broad range of social science and professional degree programs.

During the past twenty years, she has worked directly with thousands of students and alumni and has helped applicants secure admission to many of the nation's top graduate programs.

Golden holds a M.Ed. in Counseling and BA in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. She completed a post- master's certificate in the HERS Management Institute, National Institute for Leadership Development at Wellesley College.

Michelle, 2006 and 2008 Consultant of the Year

Consulting with Kaplan since: 1997
Education: Masters from University of Michigan
Background: BSL and JD from Glendale University College of Law

Michelle is a law school graduate having earned BSL and JD degrees from Glendale University College of Law. She worked in personal injury plaintiff/defense firms in LA and Beverly Hills before moving to Hawaii where she is a published writer and former successful real estate agent. She is especially helpful with the essay, Resume, diversity statement portions of the application. Her calm and nurturing manner make the application process easier. She is currently enhancing her admissions consulting skills through training to become a motivational coach. She specializes in working with clients who come from unique backgrounds and circumstances, and more than 80% of those she works with receive multiple acceptances, including to their dream schools.

Recent successes include: Acceptances in psychology, communications, veterinary, public policy, health administration, architecture, public planning, library science, journalism to schools including: Columbia, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC (scholarship and/or stipend awarded), U Michigan, U Minnesota, U North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carnegie-Mellon (scholarship and/or stipend awarded), U Chicago (scholarship and/or stipend awarded), Duke (scholarship and/or stipend awarded), Harvard (received student loans), U Texas (scholarship and/or stipend awarded).


Consulting with Kaplan since: 1997
Education: Yale University (B.A. in linguistics); University of Southern California (M.A., Ph.D. in linguistics)
Background: Consultant for Kaplan Admissions Consulting

Tony has been a Kaplan admissions consultant for over fifteen years (since 1997), helping numerous clients gain admission to various programs (Ivy League, many others in the U.S., and some international). Over the years, he has also conducted business, law, and general graduate school admissions seminars for Kaplan.

Although Tony is experienced and skilled in all aspects of the admissions process, his primary expertise lies in writing and essay evaluation. (In fact, he often receives compliments from clients and students on "how good he makes them sound.") His main goal is to ensure that each client's essays are unique, distinctive, interesting, and compelling, so that the essays actually get read—and get the client accepted. Tony is especially adept at helping students make their prose more concise and free of overly general or redundant "fat"; he has a definite knack for finding ways to bring a 1200+-word draft to below a 500-word limit—while losing little to none of the content.

Additionally, Tony has assisted clients with brainstorming to discover interesting anecdotes and examples that highlight their strong qualities; developing these anecdotes into vivid prose; creating eye-catching, memorable introductory "hooks"; improving each essay's phrasing, especially to make it more grammatical, idiomatic, and academic; smoothing out the transitions and restructuring paragraphs; and providing the essay set with variety—all while maintaining the client's own voice. He also works well under tight deadlines (although such circumstances are neither ideal nor recommended) and with students who have qualms or reservations about their English usage or writing skills.

Tony graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in linguistics (summa cum laude, distinction in the major); he also earned a varsity letter in football. In 2000, Tony received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Southern California (specializing in the history of English, colloquial American English and American dialects, English syntax/grammar, sociolinguistics, and historical language change). He was an expository writing instructor at USC for twelve years, and he has taught English and ESL classes for local universities and community colleges, the LAUSD, and other private schools. Also, Tony is a member of American MENSA, Ltd. (160+ IQ).


Consulting with Kaplan since: 2006
Education: Masters from University of Iowa
Background: Academic Counselor, University of Iowa, English Literature teacher

Vanessa has been a Kaplan Graduate Admissions Consultant since 2006. She has supported applicants in applying to a wide range of graduate programs including Psychology, Sociology, International Relations, Asian Studies, English Literature, Theatre, and Physical Therapy. Her students have been admitted to an equally wide range of schools, from Georgia State to UCLA, Yale, and Oxford. Most of Vanessa's students have been admitted to their top-choice schools, and most receive financial awards. In addition to graduate school applications, Vanessa also supports scholarly grant applications and helped one of her students win a prestigious Fulbright fellowship award.

Vanessa has a background in teaching English literature and in academic advising at both the college and high school levels, and she excels at helping applicants craft their personal statements and resumes. She gives students guidance on interpreting personal statement prompts and then works with them to hone in on the most important ideas and experiences to include. By working through a series of drafts, Vanessa's students are able to see marked improvement from the beginning to the end product, and they often tell her how proud they are of their personal statements.

Vanessa frequently works with international students and she helps all applicants to define their interests, objectives, and translate their stories to paper. Vanessa can also assist with choosing schools and navigating the application process in general. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Theatre from Bucknell University (magna cum laude), and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Iowa.


Consulting with Kaplan since: 2006
Education: Masters from Argosy University
Background: College Counselor and Educational Consultant

Navigating a student's educational destiny can be very stressful for the entire family. Wendy Williams has a counseling background, which helps demystify the application process by implementing structure, guidance and a calm environment.

Wendy has been an influential part in assisting students throughout the United States. She has been consulting for Kaplan on both the precollege and graduate sectors since 2006, but has been in the educational field since 1997. Her experience has been in both the private and public sector. Wendy spends approximately 25% of her time in the field visiting campuses, programs and attending conferences. She works with families across the country in advising them on the right educational path as well as career counseling.

Wendy graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.S. in Psychology and received a master's degree in Professional Psychology, specializing in Counseling from Argosy University. She is an alumni member of the Chi-Omega Fraternity. Wendy's educational background and hands-on experience allows her to focus on the student's academic interests and the student's social needs. Her chosen career has allowed her to work with wonderful families and students who want more for their future.

Hear from our Clients

Barbara was knowledgeable and insightful throughout the whole process. I feel like she helped bring out my own personal story in a way that would impress the admissions committee. She provided thoughtful feedback throughout the whole process and helped bring out my best qualities and accomplishments in my essays. Ultimately, I got into my target school, American University—an achievement I don't think I would have earned without Barbara's expert guidance.
Nandi Campbell

Jesse understood my perspective and goals completely and framed my written pieces accordingly. He ensured my strengths were highlighted and shortcomings effectively explained. I was impressed with his experience in dealing with issues like mine—he understood that I was deployed overseas and adjusted his counseling methods accordingly. He understands what the top-tier schools want, and he helped me deliver.
Eric R. Attending Yale in Fall 2009