Tara was amazing and made the entire college process much less stressful! She guided our daughter step-by-step in a process that was extremely organized and timely, as well as encouraging her to give her best effort in writing her personal statement and supplements. As first timers in the college application process, Tara allowed us to exhale and enjoy this process with our oldest daughter. Won't be long before she has our next in line! Thank you, Tara, for all your help and guidance!
AVA WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY
I can’t name all the reasons we loved working with Tara here, the list is way too long! But it really all comes down to the fact that she not only looked at our daughter’s grades, test scores and activities to help her create her college list, she also took the time to really get to know her as a person. This made all the difference. By the time they had the final list of schools to apply to, our daughter felt that she could see herself being happy at any of them. Lucky for us, she got into her top choice! After watching so many of our friends stress while waiting for decisions, and some being very upset by the choices they were left with, we appreciate Tara even more than ever!
LEEANNA, PARENT OF RILEY WELLESLEY COLLEGE
Tara is such an inspiring counselor to work with. With her help, I see a lot more potential in myself. She's encouraging and patient. Most importantly, she makes me confident. That is something I realize is very important when I look back at this whole application journey. I am very grateful for the time and effort Tara put in.
JOYCE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - LOS ANGELES
I had such a fantastic experience with Collegewise, and more specifically Tara. It was such an individualized college admissions experience, so I really felt like this was my journey and my thoughts and opinions mattered. At times Tara knew me better than I knew myself, pointing out strengths that I hadn't even considered before. The Collegewise experience was positivity based. I never felt unheard or not good enough for a college. Without Tara's encouragement I never would have applied to my perfect fit school. Tara and her resources helped me create a college portfolio and personal statement that truly felt authentic. I was always ahead on due dates and, unlike my friends, never had those stressful late nights trying to submit before a due date.
Tara was a true gift during this crazy college admissions process. She is kind, knowledgeable, helpful, patient, creative, insightful, motivational, and optimistic. I could go on and on. I have two children she's working with, and her approach for each is different, addressing their style. She is more than a college counselor, she is really a VERY helpful, kind friend. I enjoy coming home from work and hearing my child on their video conference. It's amazing what she achieves with gentle prodding to keep one on task. I couldn't be happier. I am SO very grateful for Tara!
MICHELE, PARENT OF JUSTIN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
Mary is our second daughter to work with Tara. It was an incredibly easy experience on our end. Tara laid out the timeline for our daughter, which helped her see the big picture. The "homework" for college research, brainstorming for the essay, etc. broke the whole college process down into small, manageable chunks. Never once did our daughter feel overwhelmed during the process. But the best part of working with Tara is she was our daughter's advocate. When we tried to insert our opinions or desires onto the college process, Tara diplomatically and kindly reassured us Mary was making the right choices for her. And now Mary is going to her first choice college and got there HER way.
ALYSOUN, PARENT OF MARY GRINNELL COLLEGE
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