Meet Joel!

JoelO@collegewise.com

Meet Joel!

JoelO@collegewise.com

counselor profile
counselor profile

Joel Ontiveros, College Counselor

Born and raised in the mountains of Southern California, Joel didn’t step foot on a college campus until he was a senior in high school. Joel attended UCLA and became a loud and proud Bruin, which ultimately shaped him into the college admissions professional he is today. He worked for UCLA first as an Admissions Officer and then as an Assistant Director who lived and recruited in the San Francisco Bay Area. After four years at his alma mater, Joel went on to work as a regional admissions representative for UC Santa Cruz in the Northeast. While convincing east coasters to join the Banana Slugs on the beautiful, beaches of California, Joel learned all about liberal arts colleges, that the Ivy League is actually a sports conference, and that you need to wash your car every two weeks in winter due to salty road conditions.

Joel traded his California flip-flops for snow shoes when he moved to the east coast to complete his Higher Education Administration, M.Ed. at the University of Vermont. For two years he served as an Assistant Residence Director in Residential Life and conducted research on college pathways for rural student populations. Although he vows to never live in college dorms again, Joel’s time in grad school showed him how much he missed the world of college admissions. Joel jokes that he has a ‘West Coast Best Coast’ bias, but he has wealth of expertise and appreciation for colleges all over the country. His counseling style focuses on making the application process as easy and stress-free as possible, all while encouraging students to explore and push themselves out of their comfort zones.

When he’s not obsessing over specialized degree programs at universities you’ve never heard of, you can find Joel paddleboarding on a lake somewhere in the Pacific Northwest or shredding gnar on his snowboard in the Rockies. 

Education & Experience

Former Assistant Director, UCLA Former Regional Admissions Representative, UC Santa Cruz M.Ed. Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration, The University of Vermont B.A. Communication Studies, UCLA B.A. World Arts & Cultures/Dance, UCLA

Professional Organization Memberships

NACAC: National Association for College Admission Counseling

PNACAC: Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling

WACAC: Western Association for College Admission Counseling

Ready to tackle the admissions process?

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