Say Hello To The Class of 2018!

By Cindy Chanin On May 10, 2014

This spring has been a tremendously inspiring journey for everyone in the Rainbow Family. After months of hard work, preparation, some tears, and a great deal of self discovery, our seniors are now ready to bid farewell to their high schools and begin anew as college freshmen. Another noteworthy, pivotal transition also presents itself for our soon-to-be college graduates about to embark upon the adventure of graduate school. In every arena, the work these stellar students have put into finding and successfully applying to their perfectly fitting schools deserves some serious recognition! Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate a few of our college-bound superstars.
The students interviewed below were excited to share a few of their epiphanies, lessons, perspectives, invaluable tools, and/or insights regarding what the process was like for them.

Isabel Caro
How Paving The Way to the College Of Your Dreams Led to an Early Decision Acceptance at Cornell
High School: The Brentwood School
Will Enroll In Fall At: Cornell University
“Rainbow was definitely important in my college prep process because the college immersion/mentoring program really helped me to understand the college process and how it works a lot better than I understood it previously. Of course, the writing workshops and time spent brainstorming topics for the application essays were key. I enjoyed being able to discuss ideas, share stories about myself, and talk about our opinions on the college process with other students. It helped give me different perspectives and it made the program fun and social as well. Paving allowed me to realize that it’s important to find a college that’s a good fit rather than choosing a college because it has a big name. Paving also gave me the tools to find the pros and cons of schools in order to make that choice. I found it important to have the program mentors get to know me so they could give input on what colleges they thought would be a good fit for me. Most essentially of all, Paving highlighted my best qualities and showed me how to emphasize them to colleges.“

Christina Cleveland
Discovering the Importance of “Fit” in Gaining Admission to Brown, UPenn, UCLA, Boston University and More.
High School: Campbell Hall
Undergrad: Barnard
Will Enroll In Fall At: University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D program in BioChemistry)
“I don’t have a perfect GPA and my standardized test scores are OK, yet I still got into a ton of great schools. It was surprising to find that the Grad Schools really did want the best fits for their programs. The grad school admissions process for quite a few schools is what the undergraduate admissions usually claim to be: holistic. However, that also means you can’t sneak in with a great GRE and grades. Being the right combination of passionate, curious, and highly competent seems the most important at most places. Also publications, if you got ‘em.
In my applications, I took a risk in admitting that I really didn’t know exactly the type of chemistry/biochemistry I wanted to do. I am open to switching disciplines and actually really want to. I did this instead of selling myself as the perfect student to work in so-and-so’s lab because I am well-versed in this discipline and those techniques. However, I still had to sell myself, which is so hard to do, but fortunately I had some help (from you guys at Rainbow!) :). Mostly, I wanted to be honest and I think it worked out wonderfully.
Grad school is always challenging (at least in the sciences we get kinda livable stipends; I can’t imagine the stress of the debt in other fields). Despite this, I wanted to choose a school that would continue to challenge me in addition to that baseline, and UPenn felt like that school. I am scared and excited and I think the fear is what sold me. I didn’t want to run away from the challenge. Also Philly is fun (and soooooo beautifully cheap for someone coming from New York). Ultimately, it is impossible to predict whether you will be happy somewhere and choosing a grad school you are just going to have to live with that uncertainty. I still doubt whether I made the right choice since there were other schools that seemed so perfect/great for me, but I think that the amount I struggled making this decision indicates that all of the choices were good.”

Aliza McHugh
A Tough Choice Between Two Dream Schools
High School: Santa Monica High School
Will Enroll In Fall At: UC Berkeley
“I had the privilege of attending the Paving the Way to College course during the fall of my senior year. The class, with its wonderful mentors and engaging curriculum, allowed individual students to learn about their specific ‘fit’ for college and finding a place that would fulfill them for their 4 year experience. It was unbelievably instrumental in helping me prepare applications and essays to smooth the process along. Using their methods, I was able to take the college process in stride, making it less daunting and even enjoyable!
I remember learning about the “fit”… Which colleges would wholeheartedly accept and want me as a student on their campuses. When it came down to decision time, I felt stuck. I had two great opportunities, vastly different but both incredible ones. UC Berkeley, a huge public university located in a great city, and Tulane, a medium-sized private school also in a great city. I felt apprehensive about choosing. It seemed as though whatever choice I made would entirely change the course of my future. When it came down to visiting each school I tried to make my experiences as similar as possible. Visiting classes, taking a tour, talking with friends and friends of friends. I saw myself fitting in at both schools; I could excel and thrive while learning concepts beyond my imagination at either school. When exploring Berkeley, it felt right. I connected to the people, the school and even the place. What I had learned at Rainbow about finding a place for me suddenly made sense. I am thrilled to continue my education at such a wonderful university, and I am confident that–despite the size–I will manage to shine.“

Areanna Sabine
Paving The Way to Empowerment and Excitement About the Future
High School: The Brentwood School
Will Enroll In Fall At: Emory University
“Working with Rainbow has been an experience that I will never forget. I cannot imagine going through the college process any other way. I not only received crucial information about how to create an attractive application, but I also learned a lot about who I am as I make my way into the adult world. Rainbow opened my eyes to the many opportunities that are available to me regarding my future. I began the college process determined to apply only to schools in California. Rainbow gave me the extra push to apply to schools that would be a good fit for me; now I am considering attending college in 6 different states across the country. I have also made connections and important relationships with the staff at Rainbow that continue to push me outside of my comfort zone.“

Annie Layden
The Tools that Helped Annie Get the Attention of UC Berkeley and Boston College
High School: Marymount High School
Will Enroll In Fall At:  Boston College
“For me, my college process began and ended with Rainbow. Without the help of Cindy and other Rainbow employees my essays and test scores would not have been what they were.
Tools like average pies, ratio boxes, and covering the answers helped me with every SAT I took and no doubt raised my scores significantly. I struggled the most with Critical Reading, which Cindy helped me with a lot. Her many lists of vocab (pertaining to shows like the Jersey Shore and Glee) became my favorite study tools and left me with a plethora of new words that became useful to me not only on the SAT but also in my English class and everyday life. My scores wouldn’t be where they are without the help of Rainbow. The tutoring, constant practice test opportunities, and insanely kind and caring community made the process of raising my scores a much easier and more enjoyable one.
Once I had finished with the SAT, it was time to start my college essays. At first I thought it’d be easy to construct a 600-word essay about myself, but I quickly learned it wasn’t. I didn’t even know where to start, so that’s where Cindy came in. She first helped me figure out what I wanted the topic to be with quick-writes/journals, quizzes, surveys, and memorable Sir Ken videos. It turns out, I had a lot to say. Cindy then helped me write a very unique essay that touched on everything from my family’s move, to my favorite Disney princess, to my family’s karaoke escapades, to my dad’s best advice. While that sounds impossible, with Cindy’s help, my common app essay became a cohesive, precise, well-written, and all-encompassing representation of who I am.
Overall, Rainbow provided me with the help I needed to succeed in the college process. It’s definitely an overwhelming time, so Cindy and her team’s help was crucial in keeping me on top of things and confident that it would all get done. Eventually my application became all I hoped it would be, with SAT scores and essays I could be proud of. While there may be other companies that can produce impressive scores and essays too, no other company will do it with as much care, compassion, and support as Rainbow. I’m so happy with my options for next year, which is in many ways thanks to them. I cannot thank Cindy and Rainbow enough.”

Patrick McQueen
How Patrick Chose Between His Two Top Early Action Choices
High School: Loyola High School
Will Enroll In Fall At: Santa Clara University
“In regards to my SAT prep, Rainbow was always available given my busy schedule, and Rainbow always had great tutors who could step in to help whenever I needed. Cindy, in particular, rose all three of my scores over 100 points and really taught me how to tackle the test in the most efficient and effective way. She gave the right amount of homework that balanced out with the vigorous junior year schedule and focused on aspects of the test that I needed the most help in. Most of all though, I really think that Rainbow is heavily invested in their students and really care about how they do. I never felt like my tutors were just doing it as a job but instead always felt like my tutors were personally invested in my progression and learning of the material. I hate the SAT, everything about it, but I am very thankful for the tutoring I was lucky enough to receive during my preparation.
As for my college apps and personal statement, once again, I always felt like Cindy was heavily invested, interested, and passionate about helping me draft the best personal statement that I could. She really knows how to bring out the life of an essay and finds ways to bring out the best in people through their writing. With her help, I feel like I was able to self reflect on what would make my statement best and with her drafted an essay we were both very proud of. I can honestly say that without the help of Rainbow, I would not have been able to do as well on my SAT and personal statement as I did, and I thank all the members working in your great tutoring program very much.
Thanks to all my hard work, I was offered admission from both Michigan and Santa Clara University early action applicant pools, and am very excited.
In the end, I committed to Santa Clara because I was admitted directly into the Business School, wanted to do my own thing away from Neil [my older brother who is already a student at Michigan], and thought that I could stand out more academically, which would help me make connections for the future. It was a very tough decision, but I think I made the one that will benefit me more in the long run. The weather at SCU is also very nice and I loved my visit up there.”

Sam Levy
After Generous Admissions Offers from Notre Dame, Washington University in St. Louis, and Rice, as well as Promising Waitlist Opportunities at Northwestern and Dartmouth, He Found his Mecca at Rice
High School: Beverly Hills High
Will Enroll In Fall At: Rice University
“I feel like my unique and daring approach to the essays set me apart from all the other wonder kids across the country. Instead of bragging about my accomplishments, I utilized a witty way to reference my many strengths in a way that only I could write. I’m very proud of the many great schools I got into. Working with Cindy made this process as easy and as calm as possible.Throughout the entire process, I never once felt stressed due to the wonderful care and attention Cindy gave me. She was there every step of the way to help me out with any minute detail. Even when we had scheduling issues, like when I was in Utah, she still made time for me over Skype and Google Drive to help me finish my apps before that dreaded January 1st deadline. Furthermore, Cindy helped me prep for the SAT and helped bring my scores up across the board. Without Rainbow, the college process would have been a dull, boring, and stressful stage in my life.
I visited Rice during their Admit Day and fell in love. I fell in love with a college like never before. After countless hours of research, helpful advice from my cousin, and too many pros and cons charts to count, I came to my decision…I decided that the place for me was Rice. Thus, Sam is going to Sammy’s (Rice’s mascot) in Sam Houston’s town.”

Justin MacMahan
How Justin Chose Among Prestigious Business Programs at Wake Forest, Villanova, and UNC Chapel Hill
High School: Oak Park High School
Will Enroll In Fall At: UNC Chapel Hill
“This process has actually taught me that the little things that I chose not to stress about for the last four years were as unimportant as I had originally pegged them for. I chose not to hyper stress over racking up volunteering and extracurriculars and instead just enjoy my high school experience. Subsequently, when it came time to craft my applications and personal statements, I had plenty of things to write about and didn’t wish I had forced myself to do anything more.
With Cindy’s help, I tried to present myself as a complete sports enthusiast, which was easy to do since that is truly me. The rumor about trying to have a well-rounded application is not the way to go in my opinion,  and Cindy and I crafted some essays that reflect such a strategy of presenting oneself as a pointed applicant.
My criteria for picking a school narrowed as I eliminated all of the schools without strong athletics. I knew I would enjoy a school with good sports teams so much more than one without so that was the key component to making my list, and then I would choose based on the best economics or business programs.
I have loved UNC since I was a toddler because my dad and I would watch games together. I am most excited to attend the football and basketball games at UNC. The basketball team has one of the top recruiting classes in the nation for next season and I am very much looking forward to seeing them play! While Villanova offered to subsidize a big portion of my cost of attendance at one of the top business programs in the country, UNC ultimately seemed to be the best academic fit while providing an even more enticing financial package, making the choice an easy one.”

Claudette Pattison
Finding the Perfect Fit During Paving Months Before Most Seniors Had Even Finalized Their College Lists
High School: Marymount High School
Will Enroll In Fall At: University of Arizona
“Rainbow helped me by guiding me through the app process and making me aware that there are many different things that I could do to make myself stand out in my applications.
UofA was the best fit for me because not only did I fall in love with the campus when I visited it, but it also has great opportunities for me to succeed in my future. I was accepted into a program called ATLAS, which gives 100 students (I think who were selected) opportunities to take classes that are tailored to career-building. This worked great for me because I am now taking a class on event coordinating and networking which are two things that I want to learn more about. UofA also is a big university with a lot of spirit and lots of classes to choose from, which is why I liked it as well!”

Jenny Drew Garabedian
How Jenny Drew Manifested her Dream College Experience, Getting the Best of ALL Worlds
High School: Marymount High School
Will Enroll In Fall At: American University in Paris for one year and then SMU as a sophomore
“I would say that Rainbow totally helped me find myself in the college process, and if I hadn’t have been able to find myself I wouldn’t believe in myself enough to handle Paris for a year. Rainbow was able to give me the tools to succeed in a unique way, and now I can confidently carry-on throughout my life thanks to the help of Rainbow’s young, hip, and fab mentors!
In regards to soccer, I declined several D3 offers in favor of what I envisioned for myself, and I am happy with my decision. I am very much looking forward to being “a walk-on” at SMU when I attend my sophomore year.”

Allie Burke
How Allie’s College Exploration and Admissions Process Proved an Invaluable Opportunity for Growth
School:  Louisville High School
Will Enroll In Fall At:  William and Mary
“Working with Rainbow has been one of the best and most worthwhile experiences of my life. Cindy and her team offer more than just tutoring; they are role models, leaders, and mentors. Not only did they go out of their way to help me raise my SAT score; perfect my college apps; and build a professional, impressive portfolio for myself; but they also helped me realize my potential, goals, and discover my true self. With Rainbow’s help, goals I never thought I could achieve are now likely attainable and conceivable. I believe without a doubt I would not be where I am today without their tremendous support and inspiration. There is definitely a pot of gold at the end of this Rainbow!”

Want to find out more about the college admissions process and glean invaluable insights on how this experience can be one of the most clarifying, gratifying, and transformative exploration processes of your life?

Attend our upcoming Evening of College Knowledge on Thursday, May 22nd to hear from our inspiring panel of college admissions officers, counselors, teen life coaches, and current college students and their parents.  Click here for details!