Kevin McMullin founded Collegewise in Irvine, California in 1999 using his last paycheck from his previous job. He worked with nine students that fall at their kitchen tables to help them find the right colleges and complete their applications.
A different kind of college counseling
For too many families, the college admissions process was scary, stressful, and unsuccessful. Kevin wanted to give Collegewise families the opposite experience. It worked. One year later, over 100 families were enrolled in the Collegewise program, and Kevin was no longer the only counselor.
Growing our company one customer at a time
We spent the next 12 years refining our Collegewise system and slowly growing our company with additional offices, driven by word of mouth from families who were thankful that we’d taken the stress out of the process and showed them exactly how to achieve their goals. We hired counselors who kids liked and parents trusted. We turned our offices into a place where every family left feeling even better than they did when they arrived. We spoke at high schools, conferences, and community events, always preaching that our love for colleges wasn’t limited to the prestigious schools, and reminding families that great educations take place at lots of colleges, not just the famous ones.
Partnership with The Princeton Review
In December 2012, Kevin sold Collegewise to The Princeton Review. Together, they rolled out Collegewise offices nationwide, all without changing what we did or how we did it. It was an exciting time for us to be able to reach so many more families, and to attend conferences where most of the people we met had heard of Collegewise.
Bringing Collegewise home again
In January 2015, Kevin and his business partners bought Collegewise back. Bigger, stronger, and smarter (the stronger part was more the company than the partners), Collegewise has become the nation’s largest college counseling organization. With over 40 counselors banding together, we’re out to change the way that families approach the college admissions process. We think this should be an exciting time for students and parents, not a stressful, anxiety-ridden, cardiac arrest-inducing rite of passage. Whether you hire one of our counselors, read our book, or just browse our blog (where we give away free advice every day), we’re going to be there injecting sanity and perspective into the process.