Graduate School Admissions Consulting

You’re going to pursue an advanced degree. One decision down, countless to go. How much weight should you give a school’s rank? What program will best suit your needs? Where are you most likely to be accepted? Whether you’re looking at masters or PhD, arts or sciences, professional or research programs, trust Kaplan’s expert admissions consultants to help you answer these questions and more. We’ll provide the guidance you need to successfully navigate the admissions process—or any part of it.

Be more than ready. Be Kaplan ready.

What does it mean to be “Kaplan ready”?

It’s about results. Kaplan admissions consultants are 100% focused on helping clients find their voices, discover their strengths, and land in graduate programs that are an excellent fit.

Can’t I figure it out on my own?

It’s a complex process with many moving parts. With Kaplan, you’ll stay ahead of deadlines and learn how to set yourself apart in a highly competitive pack of applicants. We’ll consider passions, geography, finances and more. Plus, we’ll assess your acceptance chances at target programs.

Where does Kaplan’s expertise stem from?

Our consultants tap their backgrounds on admissions committees, in career services departments, teaching and more. Their discreet, impartial guidance helps you put your best self forward and make the smartest decisions.

Expert guidance from admissions insiders

Your consulting package can include whatever amount of guidance you need based on where you are in the application process. A 15-minute introductory call (on us!) with a consultant will determine how best to structure sessions. If the consultant proves to be a good match, you'll work as a team to determine the services you need to distinguish yourself with a compelling application package.

Grad 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
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
Graduate School Admissions Component Approximate Time
Interview prep 15—60 minutes
Resume prep 15—60 minutes
Financial aid guidance 30—60 minutes
Letters of recommendation guidance 10—30 minutes

The best—and most caring—consultants

  • Highly experienced team with strong insight into the decision-making process
  • Most have served on admissions committees—many at top graduate programs
  • Ready to guide and fully support you in building the best application package

Barbara, 2005 Graduate Consultant of the Year

  • Kaplan consultant since 1999
  • PhD, University of Maryland
  • Former director of graduate and international admissions, American University

With more than 20 years of experience in college admissions, Barbara is extremely knowledgeable about how faculty members evaluate graduate school applicants. She specializes in helping clients select programs based on their academic profiles and professional backgrounds, identify challenges to consider or be aware of, prepare for required interviews and develop distinctive essays that showcase abilities and strengths. Barbara is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals.

Jesse, 2007 National Consultant of the Year

  • Kaplan consultant since 1997
  • PhD and MA, Princeton
  • Has advised 1,500+ graduate school applicants, one-on-one, worldwide

Jesse has advised more than 1,500 applicants of varying racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. His primary fields of expertise include public policy, international affairs, law, business, health, the social sciences, and the humanities. When he applied to graduate school, Jesse was accepted with full university fellowship offers from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, and Michigan. He has served as a faculty member at Haverford College and Barnard, and he has presented his research at Yale, Wesleyan, Penn, and Harvard.


  • Kaplan consultant since 2004
  • MS and BS, MIT

John has helped many clients gain admission to the nation’s top-ranked schools and garner some of the most coveted fellowships and scholarships of their respective graduate programs. His clients are primarily are interested in science, engineering, and financial engineering masters and doctorate programs. John is comfortable using Skype and works with both US and international students that way.


  • Kaplan consultant since 2005
  • PhD, University of Michigan; AB, Harvard
  • Senior consultant at Maguire Associates

Leslie takes a strategic approach to the admissions process, helping clients identify a well-chosen group of schools. She provides both practical and moral support through what can be an arduous process. Leslie specializes in helping people tell their stories through effectively and persuasively written admissions essays. Her best success is a client who, though unsuccessful working on her own just a year before, was admitted to six schools, including her top choice!


  • Kaplan consultant since 2004
  • MA, BA, University of Rhode Island
  • Director of career services at the Harvard Graduate School of Design

At Harvard, Meryl works with graduate students in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and urban design. Before that, she served as director of the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University. She has worked directly with thousands of students to help them secure admission to many of the nation’s top graduate programs. 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

  • Kaplan consultant since 1997
  • MA, University of Michigan; BSL and JD, Glendale University College of Law

Michelle’s calm, nurturing manner makes the grad school admissions process easier. She specializes in the application essay, resume, and diversity statement, and she is training to become a motivational coach. Michelle works especially well with students from unique backgrounds and circumstances, and many of those she works with receive multiple acceptances, including to their dream schools. Recent successes include acceptances to Columbia, Duke, University of Chicago, and Carnegie Mellon, with many clients receiving full tuition, merit scholarships and stipends.


  • Kaplan consultant since 1997
  • MA, PhD, University of Southern California(USC); BA, Yale
  • Former expository writing instructor, USC

Although Tony is experienced and skilled in all aspects of the admissions process, his primary expertise lies in writing and essay evaluation. He is especially adept at helping students make their writing 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 and maintaining the client’s own voice.


  • Kaplan consultant since 2006
  • MA, University of Iowa; BA, Bucknell
  • Academic counselor, University of Iowa

Vanessa supports applicants in applying to a wide range of graduate programs including psychology, sociology, international relations, Asian studies, English literature, theater, and physical therapy. Most of her clients are admitted to their top-choice schools and receive financial awards. Vanessa also supports scholarly grant applications and helped one of her students win a prestigious Fulbright fellowship. While Vanessa is well-versed in all steps of the process, she excels at helping students craft their personal statements and resumes.


  • Kaplan consultant since 2006
  • MA, Argosy University; BS, Kennesaw State
  • College counselor and educational consultant

Wendy's background in counseling and psychology is central to her consulting style. She demystifies the application process by implementing structure and guidance, all with a calm demeanor. Wendy spends approximately 25% of her time in the field visiting campuses and programs and attending conferences. She puts those hands-on experiences to work for her clients, focusing on their academic interests and other needs.

Customize packages to meet your needs

Basic is best for applicants who:

  • Have assembled most of 1 or 2 applications themselves
  • Need a final, professional review
  • Want preliminary guidance before going solo

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

  • Are applying to 3 or 4 programs
  • Have already narrowed down their target list of schools
  • Have drafted at least one personal statement or essay

Comprehensive and Premium are best for applicants who:

  • Are applying to 5+ schools
  • Need help from the beginning stage of mapping out target schools
  • Have not yet drafted an essay
  • Need to address a significant weakness or complicating factor
Admissions Consulting Package Options Regular Rates Student Rates*
$729 $599
$1,929 $1,599
$2,579 $2,149

Admissions Consulting Package Options
Regular Rates: $729
Student Rates*: $599
Regular Rates: $1,929
Student Rates*: $1,599
Regular Rates: $2,579
Student Rates*: $2,149

(*)Already a Kaplan student? Benefit from special rates. Call 1-800-KAP-TEST for details.

Frequently Asked Questions on Graduate School Admissions Consulting

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 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 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 guidelines about 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/hr.** 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.