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Sydney Matthes

College Counselor


Meet Sydney Matthes

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Sydney has done the math. In her nine-year career working with students and families to prepare them for the college journey, she has reviewed approximately 10,000 essays, 3,500 college applications, and presented to many (many is a number, right?) audiences on the topics of FAFSA, résumés, and the selective college admissions process. No need to calculate it: her passion for helping students is infinitely strong, and she’s made it her mission to support them in achieving their goals.

As a College and Career Center Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, VA, she assisted students in the college search and the application process; facilitated community outreach programs for scholarships and financial aid; and led the first-ever Junior Focus Day, geared towards preparing 11th grade students and their parents to be successful in the college planning process. While serving as Assistant Director of Admission at George Washington University, she was heavily involved in the application review process, overseeing the student F-1 visa process, and working with students interested in accelerated medical school programs.

As a military spouse, she has a deeper understanding of military-connected students and has written extensively about finding the best campus fit and the transition to college for military families. Prior to joining the Collegewise team, she advised students online who were applying to 7-year BS/MD programs while living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (more specifically, Hawaii).

When she is not being a power-island of admissions knowledge, Sydney enjoys surfing, spending time with her family outdoors, and decorating spaces.

Education & Experience

  • M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, George Washington University
  • B.A., Philosophy, West Virginia University
  • Assistant Director of Admission, George Washington University
  • College & Career Center Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Independent Counselor

Professional Organization Memberships

Contact Sydney Matthes

What are people saying about Collegewise?

I loved working with my counselor—she was nice, helpful, and gave great suggestions for my essays. She encouraged me to go after my dream school and I got in! I highly recommend Collegewise.


University of Michigan

Our daughter’s counselor helped navigate the college application process…she was a sincere, thoughtful presence throughout the various phases of selecting and applying to colleges. Our daughter started off without any direction or idea of where she might want to apply, and my husband and I were truly clueless. Collegewise provided the support and resources for our daughter to come up with a list of schools, apply to those schools, and ultimately gain admission to a number of her top choices, including two honors programs.

A. Epshtein, Parent of A. Epshtein

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Collegewise made the application process way less confusing and painful. I honestly loved my time working with my counselor…she was super supportive of my decisions and extremely insightful in helping me throughout the process.

C. Ong

UC Davis

Our Collegewise counselor kept us sane, managed our family dynamic, and helped navigate the complexities of the athletic recruitment process. She was unfailingly positive and encouraging and, at the same time, realistic with our daughter. When it became clear my daughter had made a college choice for Early Decision, she was flexible and worked with us to quickly prepare the supplemental essays.

C. Mason, Parent of S. Mason

Brown University

At every step in the process, my college counselor provided me with invaluable advice based on her time as an admissions officer. She also helped me feel enthusiastic about what I was writing, which shined through in my essays. In short, she made the application process an exciting—rather than stressful—experience for me. I am so grateful for her kindness, encouragement, and help!


Stanford University

My daughter was the first child we were sending to college, and I felt that we were given great advice about how to handle all the different parts of the application process. Our daughter’s counselor was organized, focused, and responsive to any questions or concerns. She took the stress out of the entire process. I will be using Collegewise again!

Stephanie, Parent of Caitlin

Fordham University