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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jesse Borges, National Consultant of the Year & Graduate Admissions Consultant of the Year
Consulting with Kaplan since: 1997
Education: Princeton University: MA & PhD
Background: Has advised more than 2,000 graduate school applicants, one-on-one, worldwide
Jesse R. Borges is Senior Graduate Admissions Consultant and Trainer with Kaplan. He has spent more than 25 years in the field of educational/professional advancement, is now beginning his 19th with Kaplan, and has personally advised 2,000 applicants of widely varying racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, from every geographic region of the United States 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 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 a National Science Foundation Fellowship winner who has a master’s degree and PhD 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: 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 has also worked successfully with students in fields such as bioinformatics. Leslie earned her bachelor's degree in social relations (an amalgam of psychology, sociology, and anthropology) from Harvard/Radcliffe and a PhD 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 psychology at Lehigh University, where she also sat on the Graduate Admissions Committee, and 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. Before starting her own business, Horst Data Partners, she worked as 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 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 stories, 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 stories effectively and persuasively in admissions essays. Her best success story is a client who had gotten in 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: 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 Jones 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 Fulbright fellowship award.
Vanessa has been an academic advisor at the University of Iowa, taught high school and college English Literature, and worked as an admissions reader for The College of William and Mary. She specializes in helping applicants strengthen their personal statements and resumes. She frequently works with international students and helps all applicants to define their interests and objectives and translate their stories to paper. Vanessa has a Master's Degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa.
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.
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