Dear Students,

It has been my lifelong dream to help students like you get the best possible educations and achieve your lives’ goals. A key part of this is getting a college education, since a college education allows you the opportunity to pursue the job you want and achieve financial stability to support yourself and your family. There are many aspects to getting into a good college: you have to take the right courses, get good grades and test scores, build a compelling resume, find a college that is right for you, and submit a strong application. You should begin this process early so that you can make strong case for your admission. Remember, the college application process is getting more and more competitive as the population grows and people from all over the world submit applications to American universities.

As someone who attended Phillips Exeter Academy on a full scholarship and who graduated Yale University with a PhD, I know something about what it takes to get into a top school. I have worked in the field of education for more than 25 years and have personally worked with thousands of students. I have helped prepare many of them for college including advising them on courses and extracurricular activities, tutoring them in academic subjects and standardized tests such as PSAT, ACT, SAT, SAT II, and GRE, helping them get internships both in universities and in the private and public sectors, writing letters of recommendation, and brainstorming/reviewing essays and college applications. Students I have worked with have been offered admission in prestigious colleges such as those in the Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, and top-level state schools such as UC Berkeley and the University of Virginia.

As part of your subscription to Education Online’s online service, I would like to help you prepare for college by offering you my own tips and answering your questions. Normally, I’ve seen educational consultants charge thousands of dollars to help students get into top college programs. I’ve also seen companies charge thousands of dollars for SAT and ACT prep programs. My whole philosophy in starting EOL was to help kids without breaking their parents’ bank accounts. So I am offering to help you as part of your regular subscription with no extra cost to you or your family. I’ve organized this forum into three sections: a section that has my general advice to all students, a section where I answer questions that you submit to me (and that other students can see and respond to), and a section where you can exchange your own ideas on college success.

I will continue to add my own tips to this forum, so it is worth it to check back from time to time. I will do my best to answer your questions, although I may combine similar questions and submit a single answer to the forum. I won’t be able to review individual college essays and give feedback. However, if you have written a great essay that helped you get into college and you would like to share this with other students, you may submit the essay using the form for submitting questions, and I will post your essay anonymously on our forum. I also will not make specific recommendations as to what college you personally should attend. It is up to you to get to know the colleges you are applying to and there is no way I can know what college is right for you since each person and each school is different. However, if you are a college student who wishes to provide feedback on the college you are attending now, feel free to use the submission form to do so. Remember, all questions, comments, and essays will be reviewed for appropriate language and may be denied or edited to make them suitable for posting.

College is exciting, challenging, and important to your future. I wish you the best in your college preparation and application process and I hope to be able to help you in some way. If EOL is able to help, please do share your success story with us.

Best wishes,

John Leddo