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Tara Swoboda

College Counselor


Meet Tara Swoboda

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Tara is a huge lit nerd and embraced this in college, completing her B.A. at UC Berkeley with a major in comparative literature and a minor in Russian literature in only three years while also peer advising to help students select their majors, plan out their courses, and graduate on time. She went on to earn her M.A. in English literature at Loyola Marymount (because, in her words, “I like books”) and is always curious to know what her students are reading, too. She is now (slowly) pursuing her doctorate in educational psychology at USC.

Tara began her college admissions journey as a researcher for an educational nonprofit, where she assisted US colleges in understanding and evaluating their international applicants. After sharing her research at national conferences and publishing two works on international education systems, she joined the admissions team at USC, where she also advised international students. She shifted her focus to domestic students when she began managing a degree program at the USC Marshall School of Business, at which time she also began teaching college courses as an adjunct instructor. Before joining Collegewise, Tara led a team of admission counselors at Mount St. Mary’s University, where she still holds a faculty position.

When she’s not counseling students or correcting grammar, Tara enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She loves yoga, hiking, and running, but would much rather enjoy coffee and cookies while reading Crime and Punishment on the couch.

Education & Experience

  • Former Assistant Director/Program Specialist, USC Marshall School of Business
  • Former Scholarship Auditor and International Field Study Staff, University of Southern California
  • B.A. and Peer Counselor, University of California at Berkeley

Professional Organization Memberships

Contact Tara Swoboda

What are people saying about Collegewise?

Tara connected with our students and provided invaluable information about the college application process, as well as tips on how to pay for it!

Camille Schenkkan

Center Theatre Group

Tara came to Glendora High School as part of our Tartan University program for the presentation of “Harvard, Berkeley or Bust.” Tara’s presentation was not only professional, informative and timely, but also full of personal anecdotes from students who have navigated this track. We loved it!

Jamie Norell

Glendora High School – Tartan University

I loved working not only with Tara, but also with Collegewise! She really helped me strengthen my college list, as well as my applications and essays. Tara was not only an amazingly helpful college counselor, but she was also someone who I really bonded with and someone who helped make this process enjoyable.

Hailey Burkhardt

San Francisco State University

Going through the process, I felt like I was well-informed of the schools I was deciding between, and now that I am getting acceptance letters, I’m very pleased with the results and have some amazing options for next year.

Makenzie Lundburg

Chapman University

I loved my experience with Collegewise! After working with Collegewise for about a year, I narrowed my college list down to six colleges of varying sizes and ended up getting accepted to all of them!

Robyn Lawrence

Texas A&M University, College Station

I don’t know where I would be without the help of Collegewise! I can’t thank them enough for helping me find the perfect school for me!

Kate Carpenter

The University of Portland