Our Vision

A college admissions experience that not only yields desired results, but also inspires the best in students.

Our Vision

A college admissions experience that not only yields desired results, but also inspires the best in students.

How It All Began
  • Kevin McMullin founded Collegewise in Irvine, California, in 1999. For too many families, the college admissions process was overwhelming, stressful, and ultimately unsuccessful.

  • Collegewise was built on the belief that students can get admitted to their dream college and still have some fun in their college admissions journey. More than 20 years after Kevin met with his first student, Collegewise is the nation’s largest college admissions organization.

What We Care About
  • Our most important work is sharing quality information with each of our families, combating fear with facts, empowering students to take ownership of this important step in their education, and making sure that wherever they land, they can articulate why they’re there, what they will contribute, and what they want to get out of the experience. 

  • Whether you hire one of our counselors or tutors, read our book, use our proprietary platform, or browse our free resources, we’re here to inject sanity and perspective into the process that allows you to achieve strong admissions outcomes.

In Our Communities
  • As leading experts in college admissions, we are woven into the very fabric of the communities we serve.

  • We speak at hundreds of high schools and local events each year. Hundreds of thousands of people read our newsletters, blog, book, and watch our videos.

  • We are proud to partner with organizations like Reach Higher, Michelle Obama's education initiative, and do our best to give back through our scholarship program.

25,000+

  • students

  • admitted

$134K

  • average merit aid

  • per family

4x

  • higher than average

  • admission rates

9 of 10

  • families recommend

  • us to their friends

Our People

profile picture

Joel Block

CEO

Joel studied finance and accounting at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He then enjoyed an almost decade-long career with global giant Credit Suisse and quickly rose through the ranks to become a Vice President of Fixed Income on their trading floor. Joel spends his free time rooting for his beloved Wolverines with his wife Chelsea and daughters Perry, Gillian, and Elliott.

profile picture

Chelsea Block

Chief Operating Officer

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Chelsea got her master’s degree in education from USC and a certificate in college admissions counseling from UCLA. Chelsea spent many years at Collegewise as a counselor, and now oversees the day-to-day operations of the company. She also utilizes her operational expertise managing her household including her three young daughters. When she’s not spending time with her girls, she tries to fit in a workout or spin class.

profile picture

Kevin McMullin

Chief People Officer

Kevin founded Collegewise in 1999 and did all the counseling himself for the first 18 months. He is the author of If the U Fits: Expert Advice on Finding the Right College and Getting Accepted, and pens at least one entry every day on the Collegewise blog. A graduate of UC Irvine with majors in English and history where he answered, “What will you do with THOSE majors?” approximately 783 times, Kevin also has a college counseling certificate from UCLA.

profile picture

Arun Ponnusamy

Chief Academic Officer

Arun is regarded as one of America’s foremost admissions experts. He evaluated the files of over 7,500 seniors through nine application cycles for three highly selective colleges: the University of Chicago (his alma mater), Caltech, and UCLA. Since joining Collegewise, Arun has guided hundreds of students into their dream colleges. He also conducts professional development sessions and speaks at seminars attended by thousands of families annually.

profile picture

Paul Kanarek

Board Member

Given Paul’s academic record in high school, his mother would be the first to tell you that there wasn’t the remotest chance of his launching a career in education. Paul proved her wrong when he co-founded the California branch of The Princeton Review in 1983. He has since become a globally recognized expert in the fields of both standardized testing and college admissions. He joined Collegewise in 2015, and he is practically giddy at the opportunity to help families genuinely enjoy finding a great college fit.

profile picture

Allison Lopour

Head of Talent

profile picture

Casey Near

Executive Director of Counselor

profile picture

Mamie Cosentino

Managing Editor

profile picture

Niki LeBlanc

Program Advisor

profile picture

Patti Winkel

Program Advisor

profile picture

Cortney Flint

Program Advisor

profile picture

Jaclyn Muralla

Program Advisor

profile picture

Andrea Johnson

Program Advisor

profile picture

Jennifer Douglas

Program Advisor

profile picture

Morgan Dance

Program Advisor

profile picture

Vanessa Daves-Poarch

Marketing Associate

profile picture

Maddy Boezinger

Social Media Intern

profile picture

Olivia Vail

Bookkeeper

profile picture

Leticia Rossin

Accountant

profile picture

Carol Chimento

Director of Operations

profile picture

Stefanie Toye

Director of Tutoring

profile picture

Michal Goldstein

Director of Tutoring

profile picture

Jen Villas

Operations Coordinator

profile picture

Andrea Tannenbaum

Bookkeeper

Ready to tackle the admissions process?

AS SEEN IN

AS SEEN IN