We absolutely loved Nicole! She was extremely helpful all the way through the entire process. She broke down the steps into manageable increments, which my daughter was able to complete without the feeling of being overwhelmed. She established a warm, trusting relationship by asking thought-provoking questions and listening to the answers, which she used to provide sound, useful guidance. The end result was my daughter found the perfect university fit, which I firmly believe would not have happened without Nicole. I would highly recommend Nicole to anyone looking for a college counselor.
MARIANNE, PARENT OF KAITLYN
I have really enjoyed my Collegewise experience. I am very quiet at first and it takes time for me to warm up to people. Nicole was very easy for me to work with and she MADE SURE I was on top of my assignments and deadlines. I needed a lot of structure and patience during this process, and Nicole was excellent. I am also not the strongest essay writer and I have trouble coming up with ideas to write about. Nicole helped brainstorm different ideas with me over many meetings and I felt very comfortable sharing personal stories with her. Overall, I loved my experience at Collegewise and I do not think I could have come this far without Nicole!
Working with Collegewise has been incredibly influential in my college admission process. Not only was my counselor, Nicole, an absolute gem, but Collegewise helped me to stay on track with my applications and to-do's. In addition, I found the essay writing advice to be insightful and authentic. Thank you so much for your help, Collegewise!
Nicole is the best. She guided us through three years of high school and the results speak for themselves. Alisha was admitted to five of the UCs, including her dream college, UC Berkeley. Nicole was always available whenever we needed to reach her, even outside the regularly scheduled meetings. She enthusiastically answered the most basic of questions patiently and with great detail. She was knowledgeable about various kinds of college choices. Many a time she was more than just a college counselor; she was a career counselor. My wife and I both felt comfortable taking a backseat to Nicole, and allowing her to drive the conversation with our daughter. Did I mention already Nicole is the best?
AMOL, PARENT OF ALISHA
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - BERKELEY
Our counselor, Nicole Pilar, was very engaging and connected well with our daughter. Her knowledge across the entire college application spectrum was instrumental in helping us develop the final list of schools and understand the differences between the various types of applications and due dates. We are absolutely convinced that Nicole, along with her team, provided a tremendous value add to our daughter’s personal statement and all the various essays. They drove the process, provided timely feedback and constructive edits for each essay until they were satisfied with the final product, all the while being both supportive and committed to staying on schedule. We would never have been able to submit applications to 12 schools by their due dates without Nicole and her team.
JOHN & LORNA, PARENT OF MADISON
Nicole Pilar was a perfect fit for both of our kids! Nicole is a Renaissance gal who is well-versed in, and passionate about, a variety of fields of study. She was so good at brainstorming what colleges would be a good fit for each of our kids based on their passions. As parents, it was a huge relief to have her help with the process, because it is daunting. She was always there to answer questions or give advice, and she somehow made it exciting and fun instead of dreadful (which it would have been without her)! We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Nicole--she is such a gem!
KAREN, PARENT OF BRANDON
RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
Nicole graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA where she also worked as an outreach coordinator for the Claremont Colleges Debate Union, overseeing hundreds of tournaments across the LA metro area and tabulating middle and high school national championships. She took her love of debate with her to Bulgaria on a Fulbright Scholarship. For two years, she taught English, explored Europe, and counselled many of her 400 students through the college application process to universities in Bulgaria, the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and the US. Her students have gone on to attend, among others, Purdue, UCLA, University of Washington, SMU, Wake Forest, Princeton University, and the University of Southern California.
Originally from NorCal, Nicole loves her SoCal residency and frequently takes advantage of all it has to offer, including such important highlights as In-N-Out’s shakes, discounted Disneyland annual passes, the beach, and—of course—Costco. In her free time, Nicole will be found reading The Economist, smelling bath bombs at LUSH, judging contestants on “The Bachelor/ette” and geeking out about all things college.
Education & Experience
Two time Fulbright Scholar (2014-15, 2015-16)
B.A. in Political Studies, Pitzer College
Invited Speaker, Johns Hopkins Pathway to College
Professional Organization Memberships