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Make it through the college application process without missing a beat!


College search apps are great, but your child isn’t a widget. College Bound Advising knows that teenagers are real human beings with multiple dimensions! That’s why generic college timelines and college search engines don’t always work with everyone.

For over 20 years, our Founder and Executive Director, Eydie Balsam, has been helping students find their “right fit” colleges and complete their individual college search and application process without missing a beat.

Since then, her team has grown to include experts with skills needed to assist students and their families untangle the college search, including counselors with experience in higher education, college counseling, writing, tutoring, social work, and teaching.


  • Busy high schoolers that need guidance so they don’t miss a step
  • Over-scheduled students trying to fit college prep into their already packed schedule
  • Easily distracted students that often lose motivation
  • Passionate students who need help channeling their focus
  • Introverted high schoolers who don’t always feel comfortable putting themselves out there
  • Student-athletes, actors, photographers, and other arts who are hoping
    to be recruited or accepted into audition-based programs
  • First-generation students who need additional support understanding the American university system

We’ll Hold Your Hand

The college process can be overwhelming…for both you and your child! But you are not alone. We will be here to answer your questions, help you understand the process, and guide you every step of the way. That’s our job!

Our proven approach will provide support to both your child and you to reduce the stress of this sometimes arduous process. Our finely tuned framework provides families with innovative and individualized strategies and tools to help students take control of their high school experience and their college application process

Why Our Process is Different

Many college admissions advisors start by asking WHERE do you want to go to college? But that’s actually backward!

College Bound Advising starts by asking our students about who they are, their likes and dislikes, their fascinations and interests.

Our guiding philosophy is to guide students to a place of confidence in their “who” before we explore their “where.” Together we discover the colleges that will provide the best environment for them – and then plan all the details needed to apply there.

Together we’ll:
  • Create a complete list of tasks and deadlines
  • Develop a list of colleges that are the best fit for your child
  • Prepare for standardized tests
  • Plan out your college visits
  • Navigate the athletic recruitment or artistic audition process
  • Brainstorm and write college essays

Our Badge of Honor

Our goal is to not simply have a list of acceptances that students can hang on their wall, but a list of acceptances to schools that truly match who they are (and who they want to become) and with a set of skills that will set them up for success once they get there and beyond.

Meet Eydie Balsam,
Founder and Director

It’s no surprise that Eydie Balsam has a way with teenagers. Not only does she have a Masters of Education from Harvard University, she also has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania (which comes in handy). A perpetual student, Eydie has completed her Certification in College Counseling from UC Irvine and continues her love of learning by participating in training and graduate classes on adolescent development. She is the former Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs at Bentley University and Director of Student Affairs at Willow Hill High School.

Before starting College Bound Advising, she founded and ran Successful Strategies, a strategy-based tutoring and standardized test preparation company. Her experiences working with students and their families, traveling across the country to visit schools and meet with admissions officers have helped her hone her approach to empowering students to be their best selves.

However, it is her role as a mom to three teenagers that have honed her ability to relate to both students and their parents as they travel down the path of college admissions. Eydie has been in your shoes!


Hillary Kessler-Godin

Essay Specialist. Hillary Kessler has been writing and editing for more than 25 years, crafting copy that has resulted in stories in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. Her skillful editing and writing for numerous organizations have helped them develop leading voices in their fields, while her coaching of students has resulted in college admissions essays that stand apart from the crowd.

Hillary has a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University and an M.S. from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She is the mother of three, and she specializes in pushing her children to write to their potential and use a thesaurus.

Jen Hagopain

Jen Hagopian is a senior college admissions advisor at College Bound Advising. She is entering her 10th year as a school counselor/college admissions advisor at Acton Boxborough Regional High School. Jen has collaborated with college admissions representatives and high school counselors, presenting at the New England Association for College Admissions Counseling (NEACAC) Annual Conference. Jen has also served as a volunteer at the Boston National College Fair. Jen earned a B.S. in Psychology from Union College (NY) and her MEd in School Counseling from Salem State University.

Nicole Karp

Nicole is a Senior Content and Essay Specialist here at College Bound Advising. While working as a business consultant and analyst, Nicole has spent much of her career creating reporting and training content, writing in a clear and engaging way.
Nicole decided to leverage her business background and turn her attention to the college admissions industry as she becomes increasingly interested in the process that colleges and universities employ to build a diverse and talented incoming freshman class from a large applicant pool.

When working with students on their essays, Nicole pays attention to both the small details and the big picture; she is a stickler for grammatical accuracy but also reminds applicants that this is an opportunity to show admissions officers a perspective beyond grades, scores, and extracurriculars.

Nicole has a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.B.A. from Baruch University’s Zicklin School of Business. She is the mother of two teenagers and when she is not contending with their laundry or helping them with homework, Nicole can be found listening to podcasts, going on long walks, and trying out new restaurants.

At College Bound Advising, we’ve seen it all. We’ve helped hundreds of students explore their options, create an individual plan that feels right to them, and help them work through the timeline.
Sure, there are a lot of moving parts on this college application journey, but it doesn’t
feel so overwhelming when you’ve got a plan. We’ll be there every step of the way.