Frequently Asked Questions

Can you guarantee admission to a particular school?

No.  Only the Dean of Admission can guarantee you admission to the school he or she represents.  Anyone who tells you differently is trying to take you for a ride.

We can, however, help you compile a list of desirable schools where you have a greater likelihood of getting accepted based on your GPA, test scores, extra-curricular activities and unique talents and will help you to craft and execute a personalized application strategy that will increase your chances of getting accepted.

When should I start working with you?

We begin working with students as early as middle school but are happy to take on new clients at any point during their high school careers.  Students who begin working with The Mauler Institute earlier in their academic careers are better able to leverage our advice in developing and executing their college application strategies.  We can help you plan your high school course selections, develop testing strategies, expose you to national contests and scholarships and introduce you to unique opportunities to further explore your passions.  Focusing on these activities early on will make you a more desirable candidate to the most selective schools. 

Beginning to work with us early does not mean working with us more.  In fact, a few short, forward-looking sessions during each year of high school will ensure you are on the right track and can eliminate the need for intensive individual coaching sessions later on.

I’m not sure how much college coaching support I will need.  If I attend the workshop, can I still get additional help?

Yes.  Each of our clients is different.  They come from different walks of life, have different interests, talents, challenges and problems.  Therefore, we allow our clients to customize the type and amount of coaching to best suit their needs.

For example, students who attend the College Application Boot Camp will leave the workshop with a personalized admissions strategy, a completed Common Application (including essays and activity sheet) and interview preparation.  Some students will work with a coach in advance of the workshop to narrow down the list of schools to which they will apply and other students may decide they need extra coaching to finish the supplemental essays some schools require.  No matter how much or how little college application support you require, The Mauler Institute looks forward to collaborating with you.

I go to a really good school with a strong guidance department.  Do I really need a private college coach?

Maybe.  Many guidance counselors in the United States have caseloads upwards of 500 students, making it impossible to give students the personalized attention they need during this cumbersome process. 

Successful students build a college application team which includes the student, parents or guardians, mentors, high school guidance counselor and, in some cases, a private admissions coach.  The private admissions coach does not take the place of the high school counselor; he or she augments it.  The average high school counselor spends no more than 30 minutes on a student’s college application.  A private coach will help you make the most of that 30 minutes by making sure you are educated, prepared and can direct your high school counselor in how to best support you.  Additionally, a private coach can fill in the gaps where students and families have little or no support.  Demystifying the often confusing college application process, developing an effective admissions strategy, differentiating the student from the competition, improving GPA and test scores, choosing extra-curricular activities, making the most out of summer holidays, selecting the right schools, planning campus visits, preparing for interviews, writing essays and keeping on top of deadlines are just some of the things a private coach will help you to do.  

I’ve made some dumb mistakes that I know will impact my chances of getting accepted to a highly selective school.  Should I just forget about college and get a job?

If you dream about going to college, you should make every attempt to go to college.  At The Mauler Institute, we do not judge you or the mistakes you may have made.  At one time, we all make mistakes and do stupid things.  Hopefully, you have learned from the mistakes you have made and have grown as a result.  It is our job to help you address those mistakes ethically and effectively in your application. 

It is important to know that colleges can and do revoke offers when they discover dishonesty in the admissions process. Therefore, it is better to be upfront about any issues early on and determine the best way to address them proactively.  We are best equipped to help you increase your chances of admissions when we have full information about your candidacy, including the good as well as the less than good. 

I’m a good student but not likely to get into a highly selective school.  Will you work with me?

Yes.  Our three-step admissions approach of (1) building a better candidate, (2) selecting the right schools and (3) marketing yourself effectively can help all students increase their chances of being accepted to their stretch schools. 

Our only requirement is that our students are motivated to partner with our coaches, are willing to accept guidance and are committed doing the necessary work.

Will you write my essays?

No.  We will help you write the best essays that you are able to write.  This will require heavy brainstorming, organized outlines and multiple drafts to ensure your authentic voice comes through in the most effective way possible.

While professional essay writers do exist, we strongly urge our clients to stay away from them.  Admissions officers can quickly detect an essay that is not written by the applicant and will toss your application in the “deny” pile for attempting to pass off someone else’s work as your own.   Teacher recommendations, SAT subject tests, AP scores and the essay portion of the SAT will provide admissions officers with samples of your writing skill. Essays that deviate widely from the rest of your portfolio will raise a red flag.

Should I visit schools before or after I apply?

Absolutely.  The only way to get a true “feel” for a school is to visit.  The more schools you visit, the better able you will be to determine the schools where you will be happiest, most fulfilled and, thus, most successful.  Having the ability to meet your admission officer in person, sit in on a class in your desired field of study and discuss your visit in your essays and interview will demonstrate your interest to a prospective school and will enhance your chances of gaining admission. 

The Mauler Institute can help you make the most out of your campus visits by arranging tours and information sessions, meetings with faculty, students and admissions staff, suggesting local restaurants and hotels.  The Mauler Institute College Planner will provide you with all logistical details, questions to ask, things to observe and a place to organize your thoughts and impressions.

To plan a campus visit, please contact us email

Private college coaches seem to be so expensive.  Can I really afford to hire one with so many other college expenses on the horizon?

The question is “can you afford not to hire one?”  The cost of attending a four-year private college is roughly $200,000.  Our clients believe that spending an additional 2-5% to help their children get accepted to the best possible school, where they will learn from world-renowned faculty, where they will interact with the best and brightest peers, where they will be exposed to the most sought after opportunities and where they will secure the most successful future is a sound investment.

The Mauler Institute offers college admissions coaching to suit varying needs and budgets.  The most economical option for students is to purchase The Complete Candidate™ college admissions system, a multimedia step-by-step system guides students in developing and executing a successful college admissions system.  Upon completion of the system, The Mauler Institute can conduct a review and critique of your application for a small additional fee.  To learn more about The Complete Candidate™ college admissions system, please go here.  To find a level of coaching that best suits your needs, pleasecontact us or email

Can Stef come to my school, church or organization to speak to our group?

Yes.  Stef routinely does workshops for students, parents, communities and school staff and will be happy to customize content to suit your audience and goals.  To schedule a workshop, please contact us or email ​