College Explorations   Discovering the right college for you!










HECA       Penn Alumni


























































































College Explorations has many different kinds of success stories to tell. Our students enjoyed some amazing mentorship/internship opportunities; they successfully applied to summer enrichment programs; they appealed financial aid decisions (and won!); they were accepted from wait lists; and they earned admission to some really wonderful colleges and universities!

While we'd never take credit for any college admissions decision, students working with us have been accepted to:

American University
Amherst College
Appalachian State University
Arizona State University
Auburn University

Bard College
Barnard College
Bates College
Baylor University
Belmont University
Beloit College
Boston College
Boston University
Boston University Graduate School of Education
Boston University Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program (BS/MD)
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Brooklyn College-CUNY
Brown University
Brown University Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME)
Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University
Butler University

California State University-Los Angeles
Carleton College
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University Graduate School
Carthage College
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University
Centre College
Champlain College
Chapman University
Christopher Newport University
City College-CUNY
Clemson University
Coastal Carolina University
Colby College
Colgate University
College of Charleston
College of the Holy Cross
College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary EVMS Early Assurance Program
Colorado College
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Columbia College of Chicago
Columbia University
Columbia University Graduate School
Connecticut College
Cornell University
Creighton University

Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Denison University
DePaul University
DePauw University
Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Dickinson College
Drexel University
Duke University
Duke University School of Medicine
Duquesne University

East Carolina University
Eastern Mennonite University
Eckerd College
Elon University
Emory University
Emerson College

Ferrum College
Flagler College
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Southern College
Florida State University
Fordham University
Franklin and Marshall College
Frostburg University
Furman University

Georgia Institute of Technology
George Mason University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University School of Law
George Washington University
Gettysburg College
Goucher College
Grove City College

Hamilton College
Harding University
Hartwick College
Harvard College
Harvard Medical School
Harvey Mudd College
High Point University
Hofstra University
Hood College
Howard University
Hunter College-CUNY

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Indiana University
Iowa State University
Ithaca College

Jacksonville University
James Madison University
John Carroll University
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Kalamazoo College
Keene State College
Kent State University
Kenyon College

Lafayette College
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lehigh University
Longwood University
Louisiana State University
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University of Maryland
Lynchburg College

Macalester College
Marist College
Marquette University
Mary Baldwin College
Marymount University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School
McDaniel College
McGill University, Canada
Medical College of Wisconsin Medical Scientiest Training Program
Miami of Ohio University
Michigan State University
Millsaps College
Missouri University of Science & Technology
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College

New York University
New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Nova Southeastern University

Oberlin College
Ohio State University
Ohio University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Oklahoma State University
Old Dominion University
Olin College of Engineering
Oxford College @ Emory University

Parsons School of Design (The New School)
Pennsylvania State University
Penn State Accelerated Premedical Program
Penn State Schreyer Honors College
Pepperdine University
Plymouth State University
Princeton University Graduate School
Providence College
Purdue University

Quinnipiac University
Queens College-CUNY

Radford University
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
RPI Physician-Scientist Program (BS/MD)
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Rhodes College
Rice University
Rider University
Roanoke College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Roger Williams University
Rollins College
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Rutgers University

St. George's University School of Medicine
St. Joseph's University
St. Lawrence University
St. Louis University
St. Mary's College of Maryland
St. Olaf College
Salisbury University
Salve Regina University
Samford University
San Jose State University
Santa Clara University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sewanee: The University of the South
Shenandoah University
Shenandoah University Dual Degree DPT/MSAT Program
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Southern Methodist University
Stanford University
Stanford University Graduate School
SUNY-New Paltz
Stetson University
Stevenson University
Stony Brook University
Susquehanna University
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University

Temple University
Temple University Graduate School
Texas A&M University
Texas Christian University
The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)
Towson University
Tufts University
Tulane University

United States Naval Academy
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Arizona MD/PhD Program
University of California Berkeley
University of California Berkeley Graduate School
University of California Davis
University of California Irvine
University of California San Diego
University of California Santa Barbara
University of Cambridge UK
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Colorado Denver
University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut Special Program in Medicine
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Florida
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
University of Iowa
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland College Park
University of Maryland Baltimore County
University of Mary Washington
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Miami
University of Miami Medical Scholars Program (BS/MD)
University of Michigan
University of Michigan Medical School
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri
University of New Haven
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of Notre Dame
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh Medical School Guaranteed Admissions Program (BS/MD)
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
University of Redlands
University of Rhode Island
University of Richmond
University of Rochester
University of Rochester Early Medical Scholars Program (BS/MD)
University of San Diego
University of Scranton
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina-Aiken
University of Southern California
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee
University of Texas Austin
University of Texas Dallas
University of Texas Law School
University of Toronto, Canada
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Virginia Masters in Public Policy & Leadership
University of Virginia McIntire School of Business
University of Virginia School of Law
University of Virginia School of Medicine
University of Virginia-Wise
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Virginia Military Institute (VMI)
Virginia State University
Virginia Tech

Wake Forest University
Washington & Lee University
Washington and Jefferson College
Washington College
Washington University in St. Louis
Wesleyan University
West Virginia University
Williams College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Xavier University OH

Yale University
Yale University School of Medicine

…among others.

"You have been an instrumental part of this process. I cannot thank you enough for the information and moral support that you have provided...I am a big fan of yours and have been referring you to friends!"

"I cannot explain how thankful I am for your support in guiding me through this extremely hectic period in my life. Thank you so much for not only introducing the college process to me, but creativity, writing, and overall academic support. My memories in the future about my transition out of high school will always begin with my dad and me, sitting in your dining room, intently listening to your advice. And I am forever grateful for that!"

"[My son] and I were blown away with your abilities -you also gave him HOPE with clear strategies."

"....I got into Columbia and Harvard!!!!
Thank you again!!"

"Words and money are not enough to express how grateful we are. Thanks for all the guidance, patiently reviewing essays and providing confidence to all of us, especially the last few months."

[You] really made me think outside the box."

"Thanks so much for all of your help, I doubt I’d be able to handle the stress, nor write that fantastic essay without you!"

Thanks so much for pushing us to continue campus visits with [our son].
Thanks for encouraging us to help him find a place that genuinely spurred excitement.
Thanks for helping make sure he put together an application which reflected his strengths and unique qualities.

"Your advice once again was golden."

"I just got a full ride to the University of Southern California!! I would've never applied without your advice. Thank you SO much."

"I wanted to let you know that I have committed to Harvard Medical School!! Thank you so much for all your help--don't know where I would be without you. "

"My dear Nancy, you are a genius."

"You were invaluable in the process....You are exceptional at what you do and it has been a joy to know you. Thank you for genuinely caring and for launching all four of them!"

"I have called you our beacon in the night because I did feel like it was a dark corridor, and you lit the way. Thank you for your wisdom and your patience and your intuition and your guidance. And for keeping [our daughter's] feet to the fire, and being our proxy when we weren’t getting through."

"In addition to Stanford, I was accepted by Columbia University, Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, UVA, Virginia Tech's School of Engineering, GW, and offered admission with $25,000 by Case Western…I am happy beyond belief, and extremely excited to begin school in California next fall. I owe you all of my gratitude… "

"Know that your intellectual viewpoints and influence extend well beyond the parameters of your east coast readership. You are indeed a rock star in our profession."

"We are really thankful to you for all of your guidance. We can't even imagine how it would have been without your help."

"I am so glad you recommended the ED strategy to [our son]...Twelve kids from his HS applied to Duke–3 ED, and 9 regular. One got in–[our son]. You played a big part in this."

"What would we and the profession do without your diligence, smarts and prolific ways. You are a gift!"

"If not for your help there is no way that I would be going to Evanston in the fall to attend Northwestern."

"[My daughter] absolutely adores you. I can't thank you enough."

"I know my parents are proud of me but more importantly thank you for making me proud of what I have accomplished!"

"The kindness, wisdom, articles and pictures that you so graciously share with the community are greatly appreciated. You are a gem and I am so happy to have you as a friend and colleague. "

"Thanks for all your help, you are amazing!"

"Thank you, O Sybil of Higher Learning!!"

"We're on opposite sides of the country, but I still enjoy your insights and learn lots from reading your articles!"

"I have to say the information you provided during the Independent Counselor SIG was probably the most valuable I received during the NACAC conference last week."

"I just wanted to let you know the RPI/AMC interview went really well ....The practice we did beforehand was really helpful and many of the questions you asked were mentioned during the interview."

"Your column is always informative and relevant. It keeps us current with regard to changes in the industry and helps us better serve our families. You are our own Bob Woodward."

"As you know, you were instrumental in shaping my future by guiding me through the college application and transfer process. You were more than just a counselor; you were the push I needed at that crucial stage. Without your guidance and support, my career wouldn't be where it is today."

"I just had to pass on that a fat envelope arrived today from Vanderbilt. Richmond arrived on Saturday as well. We are beyond overwhelmed and so grateful."

"I can never truly express my gratitude to you for all that you have done
for, and with, both [our daugher] and [our son]. It has been an honor to know you and have
your guidance for two very different kids:) THANK YOU!"

"College Explorations rocks! Thank you Nancy for everything. ;))"

"Wow! Mrs. Griesemer, you are a genius."

"I can't tell you how much we have enjoyed working with you. The guidance you have provided to both [my son] and me has been so comforting and valuable."

"I am officially a Hokie, and I have never been so happy!!!
I just wanted to thank you for everything. You have helped me so much and I would not have been where I am today without you."

"I had no idea what I was doing with my life on the first day I walked through the doors of your home. I was confused and lost. Literally...I even accidentally showed up at your neighbor's doorsteps before finding your correct address....I cannot explain how thankful I am for your support in guiding me through this extremely hectic period in my life. Thank you so much for not only introducing the college process to me, but for showing me creativity, writing, and overall academic support. My memories in the future about my transition out of high school will always begin with my dad and me, sitting in your dining room, intently listening to your advice. And I am forever grateful for that!"

"Maximas gratias tibi (says the Latin teacher!)."

"Thank you so much Nancy for your passion for the kids..."

"I just got the email, I'M IN!!! And I couldn't be happier. Thank you for everything, I couldn't have done it without you!!"

"What [my child and I] learned in one session with you eclipsed 3 years of school appointments."

"The influence you have had on my family is indescribable. I can't say what the future holds, but you have made it all brighter. Thank you for everything."

"Thank you so much for all of your help navigating the admissions process for [our daughter]. It was so good for all of us to have your support. I know that your expertise helped take away the anxiety for [our daughter], as well as for [my husband] and me. And we ae all thrilled with the results."

"You greatly impressed ... us with your knowledge in so many college-related areas, including test preparation, high school courses, financial aid, extracurricular activities, and internships. We were especially interested in your description of the college perspective on the admissions process, and your views on the PSAT and the organizations involved in the National Merit process. We learned a lot, and have some follow up work ahead of us!"

"Just a quick note to thank you again for all of your guidance and advice and support during the college process. I wanted [our son] to be the first to tell you of his decision to attend Dartmouth in the fall but also wanted to touch base myself to give my sincere thanks as well. We could always count on you to give us honest advice that we trusted throughout this crazy process and we know we couldn’t have managed this process as effectively or had the outcome we did without your sharing your wisdom with us....For helping [our son] achieve his goal to attend Dartmouth, I am sincerely grateful. It is a pure joy to see him so excited about the next four years and I can’t wait to see them unfold!"

"I'm very proud of myself but I never could have done this well without you."

"Thank you so much for all the help you have provided me with, from building resumes and giving information about colleges to helping me edit my college essays. Working with you has been extremely helpful, and I am incredibly thankful for all of your time, advice, insighte and help. I couldn't have done it without you!"

"Hi Ms. G! I got into Dartmouth and Yale and wait-listed at Harvard -- thanks for all the essay review and guidance!!"

"Thank you so much. Without you motivating me to retake my ACT, helping me change my essay, and guiding me through this process, I would not be in the position I am today."

"Well we were surprised by the email from William & Mary - also relieved and elated with the good news! This was a long shot and I really cannot thank you enough for your help with [our daughter] - it was a tremendous benefit for her."

"This holiday season I am THANKFUL for you!"

"...we literally would not have known about this internship world without you!"

"Thank you so very much for your words of wisdom ... and for all that you do to guide young people and their families through the sometimes hazardous pathways of the college search process."

"I GOT INTO MIT!!! Thank you so so so much for all of your help and guidance through this grueling process. I could not have done it without you!"

"My kids are living proof of your genius skills. "

"I just wanted to thank you and let you know how much I enjoy the articles that you have provided to IECA members. They have been very helpful, and I have shared some with my clients."

"[Our son] would likely not have the choices he is blessed to have without your help."

"This is kind of a 'fan e-mail'-my first, at that! I am writing to thank you for all of your comments in the past month. I find your responses to be the most astute, articulate, and insightful of any other HECA, NACAC, or IECA member's. You have been an invaluable resouce during the craziness of the new CA4."

"As you know, we were all out of sorts when we flubbed with [our daughter's] application, but you really helped us to make the right moves after that mishap. Your guidance and calm approach have been instrumental all along in keeping us on track."

"We're so glad to have worked with you, and I know that [our daughter] truly appreciates all the insight, knowledge and assistance that you've provided - and the same goes for [her mother] and me! "

"[My daughter] has commented several times regarding how happy she is to be able to work with you - it has been a great help."

"Everyone with an interest in the world of college admission should listen to what Nancy has to say. No one is more informed, willing to share her vast knowledge or more dedicated, almost obsessive, to getting it right than she...So pay attention. Nancy does her homework; writes beautifully, precisely and without bias; and, she knows what she's talking about."

"I don't know how I can ever thank you for your guidance, your wisdom, your advocacy, your gentle comfort, your amazing intuitive and knowledgeable counsel. I truly feel like you are a blessing to our family. Thank you.".

"GOT ACCEPTED TO GA TECH !!! I am so happy for her. That was her first choice and has been stressing out ...
got accepted to UMD too with their Scholar program."

"I wanted to thank you for the many suggestions and sound advice you have given us over the years. Your insight has been invaluable!"

"I am excited, humbled, and incredibly surprised to say that I will be attending Stanford University next fall…I owe you all of my gratitude, because I wouldn't be in this situation without your support."

"THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. [My daughter] is so picky and you were absolutely perfect for her...This process has been easy and it is all her decision. I am so thrilled and I really think you are the one that made it so good."

"I absolutely love your writing
(veteran A.P. English teacher here). You are The IEC Rock Star!"

"Nancy, you change lives."

"I am one of your greatest fans, Nancy. I love to read your writing. I experience you as thoughtful, wise, kind, generous of spirit and I'm assuming you are a pleasure to work with.With experience in college admissions that is quite deep, I'm usually in the role as mentor, teaching others the ropes. However, I always look forward to reading your stuff because I know that I'll learn new things from you and sometimes even change my perspective on a certain subject."

" I wanted to thank you for all of your guidance with [my daughter's] application process. She is so incredibly excited about her acceptance to UVA.... I know she emailed you that night but I just wanted to thank you also. It has been wonderful to have you to guide both of my girls through this crazy process. We are very appreciative."

"I am in permanent awe of your terrific, helpful articles and the endless energy and creativity you seem to magically tap in order to come up with new and interesting themes week after week."

"Great great news! Just got a nice letter in the mail from uva and I got my Echols Scholar distinction! It was a long journey here but I think I've finally made college decisions. Thank you so much for the edits, advice, and compassion all along."

"I hope you continue to help high schoolers reach their college dreams"

"...I just want to tell you I'm excited to be part of the incoming Tufts University class...I'm still in shock to have received an admittance when I expected otherwise...but I know part of the reason owes to your support and help..."

"We are SO happy that we found YOU and that you did that wonderful interview session with her, it obviously made a difference, a HUGE one! What a great investment! So thanks, thanks, thanks!"

"Mike and I were talking last night about grateful we are that you are part of our family team. Your insight, intuition and analytical abilities are so valuable to us."

"WOW. I can't believe [my daughter] has made a decision and she is so happy. I will always be in debt to you."

"It occurs to me that you may not receive enough thanks for the quality reporting you provide all of us. I've a number of favorite columns but have seen over time that yours is, in my opinion, one of the most consistent--maybe the most consistent--in providing fresh and helpful content for counselors which is also understandable by the general public."

"We thank you, Nancy. Keep planting your little seeds knowing they can, and do, make a difference."

"Thank you for your hard work, appreciated expertise and unwavering support. "

"You brought such an overwhelming and scary topic out into the sunlight. I can'thank you enough."

"You are a very talented woman whose experience is only matched by your generosity. I find myself stopping whatever I'm doing when I see your name on an email note or a Facebook post. So thanks! Thanks for your commitment to our profession, your willingness to share, and your good sense."

"I wanted to thank you for your consistent support and the direction you've given me. You've made all the difference."

"I just want to take a minute and thank you for everything you have done thus far for my college application process. You are one amazing person and I love working with you...I love your honesty, dedication and the effort you have put in..."

"As a former high school guidance counselor myself and an IEC for 20 years, I have come to value and rely on your wisdom, your articles and your counsel on various higher education concerns. From the bottom of my heart, thanks for your hard work. I truly value it."

"I’ve enjoyed each visit with you, and I think that each meeting was incredibly eye opening and had a large impact on my final decision and the great outcome."

"Your advice for my daughter to take Arabic played a crucial role in her acceptance into two prestigious State Department-sponsored programs...She also got admitted to the XXX program for 2021. As a senior aspiring to pursue a career in International Relations, she was admitted ED to UPenn last night. We are so thrilled and wanted to share this news with you. You deserve to receive the credit!"

"Woo hoo!!!
About time 2020 brought some good news.
A profound THANK YOU for all of your wisdom & guidance.
As of early September, I was wondering if [our son] would even get applications out & now he is into a fantastic school.

"We can't thank you enough for all of your support through this process. It would have been so much more stressful without your wise advice and perspective, and [our daughter] was very lucky to have had so many wonderful choices."

"Both [my husband] & I don’t think that Thank You is quite enough. You’ve done a phenomenal job working with [our son] & bringing out the best in his writing. We really appreciate all your efforts."

"Great news! [Our daughter] got a call Thursday night and was accepted off the Wake Forest wait list! She was in tears. We are grateful. So wonderful to see her finally excited about college."

"I will never be able to thank you enough. You were unbelievable with [my daughter]. You are one special lady."

You are a national treasure and I mean that. What a gift! "

"Nancy, you freaking rock!"

And a 'shout out' from the IECA community to
"Nancy Griesemer (VA) for being 'the news lady' and the moral compass of our field. Nancy has written extensively and tirelesly with the mutual goals of demystifying the process for students and families and presenting the truth for counselors."
June/July 2018

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