It felt like we sent Blake on a journey in a faraway land, and he got a tour guide who told him what paths to try and which to turn away from. Not having been in this strange land ourselves, as parents, our greatest fear was we would give wrong directions. Great experience, comfortable for Blake from start to finish!
BILL, PARENT OF BLAKE CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY
Collegewise helped make my daughter’s college application process smooth and painless. In the end, my daughter was accepted to and will be attending her first choice school, USD. I could not be more thrilled for Alana, and I owe so much to Collegewise for making my daughter’s dream school a reality!
TORREY, PARENT OF ALANA UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
Collegewise provided me with a better understanding of the college application and decision process than I thought possible. Collegewise’s guidance throughout the process allowed me to really figure out what I was looking for in a college, while also maximizing my options.
ISABELLE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
I would often be stressed about what I needed to get done or about how things were turning out, but every time I walked out of the office, I was so at ease. I think the most important part about being at Collegewise was how personalized the process was, and how much care and time and effort went into me specifically.
EMMA UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Going to my meetings at Collegewise never felt like a chore, but more as something to look forward to! Everyone in the office is so friendly, willing to help, and made for such great motivators and supporters when it came time to fill in apps and write essays. 10/10!
EMILY BOSTON UNIVERSITY
The college application process is confusing and tedious, and Collegewise really helped with that process. It was reassuring to go over my application with my counselor so that we could make sure that I had a better chance of getting in!
KYRA VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY
Sam Joustra has spent the last ten years working in admission, first at Hampshire College, then Vanderbilt with stints in both undergrad and graduate admissions, and most recently at the University of Michigan where she read 2800 applications just this year. During her senior year of college, she got her first taste of college counseling as an intern at Bryn Mawr School for Girls and never looked back.
Sam earned her bachelor's in French and English from Goucher College and then her master's in higher education with an emphasis in enrollment management from Vanderbilt University. She’s an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC). In fact, Sam was recently awarded the Rising Star Award during MACAC's virtual conference.
Sam’s counseling style is thoughtful and supportive, and that it comes from a genuine desire to want to get to know my students as people first: what they love learning about, what they enjoy doing in their free time, and what makes them tick. She hopes to help them learn about themselves throughout this process, but also make it fun so that self-discovery doesn’t feel like work.
When she's not thinking about great fit colleges, you might find her updating her color-coded spreadsheets (please ask her about the 590 restaurants she catalogued and visited while living in Nashville), absorbing quality content (Love Island and true crime podcasts), and eating Jeni's ice cream.
Education & Experience
B.A., French and English, Goucher College
M.S., Higher Education emphasis in Enrollment Management, Vanderbilt University
Admissions Intern, Bryn Mawr School for Girls, Baltimore, MD
Undergraduate Admissions, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Undergraduate Admissions, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Rising Star Award, MACAC
Professional Organization Memberships