"As parents of twins, we knew we would be overwhelmed getting even one kid through the application process, but there was no way we would be able to handle two at once. The minute we met Arlene, our anxiety level dropped dramatically. Her advice was always thoughtful and tactical. For example, she advised both kids to apply as early as possible to safety schools with rolling admissions. This meant that each kid had already heard from and been accepted to a great school before the start of Thanksgiving break. This really helped reassure them. Arlene was then extremely smart and strategic in her advice about which other schools the kids should apply to and whether or not it made sense to apply early action or early decision. When one kid froze and could not finish all of the required supplemental forms, Arlene was there. She spent hours with her until everything was done. Perhaps most importantly, because Arlene was the one who encouraged or, alternatively, nagged the kids, it significantly reduced parent-kid tensions during a very stressful time. Everyone in our family is very happy about the outcome of the process and very grateful to Arlene for her encouragement and wisdom."
- Parent of twins: a son at Princeton and a daughter at Oberlin
"Arlene is the ultimate resource for the college admission process. She does it all with knowledge, kindness, and warmth. She helped with every step along the way, including, but definitely not limited to, school selection, filling out the Common App, essays, advice on asking for letters of recommendation, resume building, high school course and extracurricular suggestions. But the best thing I can say about Arlene is that not only do the students trust and adore her, she is the best hand holder a parent could have. And I should know as she held my hand as both my children submitted their applications, calmed all my fears, took all my calls, and was the ultimate professional in every way. We couldn't have done it without Arlene -- both my children continue to ask for her advice and she is always willing to help in any way she can. Simply put, she is the best!"
- Parent of a son at Cornell and a daughter at Duke
"When our West Coast son wanted to attend an east Coast school, we knew we needed some expert advice. Arlene was our trusted source, working with us every step of the way from initial school visits to the happy day when our son was admitted to his dream school, NYU, Early Decision. Arlene helped our son to tell his story in essays and applications that featured his unique creative qualities and helped him stand out from the crowd. We appreciated her savvy strategic counsel, her attention to detail, and the fact that she was always accessible, despite our three-hour time difference. Best of all, Arlene's can-do attitude and humor made the daunting process far easier than it would have otherwise been for the entire family."
- Parent of a son attending NYU
"Arlene Matthews helped to make the whole daunting application process manageable and smooth. She was always available to answer questions and allay anxieties, she helped put together college lists that made sense for my kids (twins), she proved to be an excellent editor of those infamous essays, and in large part thanks to her, we have survived not only intact, but admitted to two excellent colleges!"
- Parent of twins attending Oberlin and Brandeis
"My daughter and I agree wholeheartedly that Arlene Matthews was wonderful to work with. Arlene responded to all our questions and concerns within a day. She was great at strategizing: she helped my daughter identify where to apply and how to present herself to each school. She advised us on how to work cooperatively with our daughter's guidance counselor and high school faculty. Arlene is a superb college essay advisor. She helps kids write great essays in their own voice. Ultimately my daughter was accepted to a wonderful school. She ...'got in without freaking out!'"
- Parent of student attending Rice
"As soon as we met her, we knew we wanted to work with Arlene. She immediately made the application process less intimidating, with her calm demeanor and her deep knowledge of many colleges and of the process. After we all worked together to broaden and then narrow his list of schools, she worked with our son one-on-one. Arlene brainstormed essay ideas with him, then offered advice to polish each essay for submission. Working with her seemed to boost his motivation. One thing that attracted us to her was "procrastination management" - Arlene kept him very much on track throughout the process, reducing the stress for all of us. When he was accepted into his Early Decision school, Lehigh University, she shared our excitement. Arlene was a terrific partner throughout the process."
- Parent of Student at Lehigh
"From the first meeting, Arlene worked with my daughter to brainstorm essay ideas and help her edit them so that they reflected her very best self. She helped my daughter find her true voice and portray herself in an extremely creative light. Arlene's suggestions and input helped to make my daughter's essays truly amazing. Arlene was always available to help my daughter through any "hectic" moments during the process. Because of working with Arlene, the college essay writing process was completely stress and anxiety free. Dare I even use the word, 'fun'?! My only regret is that we didn't know about Arlene for my first two children!!"
- Parent of student attending Tufts
"From the moment my daughter and I began to work with Arlene Matthews anxiety dropped by 90%. Targeting the schools to apply to and knowing that my daughter was presenting herself in the best possible way gave us the confidence in the part of the process we were in control of. It stopped a lot of second-guessing. Having Arlene to talk to whenever my own concerns arose was invaluable in protecting my relationship with my daughter from the stress of the college application process. I plan on working with Arlene again when my second daughter prepares for college."
- Parent of student attending Goucher
"From our first meeting with Arlene I knew she was going to be a "powerhouse" of information and assistance. Sometimes you just have that feeling. As the entire college process was a foreign language to me, I needed to find someone with first hand knowledge of schools my son would be interested in attending, the availabity to get back to us in a timely manner to allay both my son's and my anxiety, as well as creativity and a great writing style to help with those dreaded essays. Arlene did all that for us and more and we couldn't be more pleased with the results"
- Parent of a son attending Virginia Tech
"The Junior and Senior year is a very stressful time for both students and their parents. SAT's, transcripts, deciding on the right mix of colleges and universities, the college application process including all of the essays, can be overwhelming to say the least. You find yourself wondering where you can turn for advice and help with such a critical process. We had heard about Arlene Matthews and her services through the 'grapevine' and decided to see for ourselves. Arlene had well established credentials with both helping high schooler's with SAT prep work as well as the selection and application process for colleges. It couldn't have come at a better time. Arlene helped our son focus on what he really wanted for a college experience and from there, helped him establish a mix of schools that fit the criteria they had developed together, (which highlights another area of strength for herâ€”the ability to communicate and listen to kids that age, going through a demanding part of their life), brainstorm essay ideas and help polish them for his college applications. She also tutored him on the English portion of his SAT's. In just a few lessons our son was able to bring his English portion of the SAT's up significantly. We were very proud that our son was accepted into his first choice as well as 9 out of the 10 schools he applied to, (waitlisted for just one).
We could not be any happier now that he is looking forward to attending his first choice this fall and we cannot say enough positive things about Arlene and her services. She was available to us any time we had a question. She made sure our son remained focused and attentive when they were together and she was knowledgeable about any schools we inquired about and ultimately, spot on about the final list of schools that he applied to.
If you want to keep your sanity intact and come out of this process with your son or daughter getting into a school that they want, will be happy at and that is a good fit for them, we highly recommend working with Arlene Matthews."
- Parent of Student at Florida State University