College Coach Makes $1 Million a Year

October 14, 2007 at 12:35 am 1 comment

But few of the 4,000 independent college counselors now scattered around the country can match Hernandez’ influence or earning power. Early on, she began offering college-admissions counseling for students in eighth grade—yes, eighth grade—an approach that is becoming more common. Since 2005, she has run application boot camps in Manhattan and Santa Monica, Calif., which this summer cost $9,500 and are sure to attract imitators. Hernandez says she earned almost $1 million last year. She drives a BMW convertible. And she just moved near Middlebury, Vt., where she and her husband own 117 acres on Snake Mountain.

What makes her own story so compelling is that Hernandez is an insider-turned-outcast. A former admissions officer at Dartmouth College, she dared to reveal secrets of the opaque selection process in her book, A Is for Admission: The Insider’s Guide to Getting Into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges, and then to build a thriving business that helps people game the system. As she says to parents: “You don’t want to pay $180,000 for some piddling school when, by spending a little extra, your kid could get into Yale.” She insinuates herself so deeply into her students’ lives and is so unabashed about her money-making that she has come to be regarded either as operating at the leading edge of her profession or its cynical extreme

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kevin Schleyer  |  October 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Why would anyone want to work with this woman? Not only does she tells kids what to do, but she doesn’t even have the qualifications to be an educator. She insults her own Phd?

    Sadly, she’s taking advantage of parents and kids who think they need to package themselves to get into a particular college. She’s not a psychic, nor a mind reader. IF kids don’t get into an Ivy League school that she promises, does she return the money back?

    Buyer beware here! Sadly, so many guidance counselors are overworked and frankly many colleges aren’t telling the truth about what it takes to get in. So, parents and students are anxious about this–so they turn to outside help.

    If you do need outside help–as college is such an important decision– try to find one with stronger credentials and some integrity. Clearly, Michelle doesn’t have any.


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My Name is Bisi and this is my blog This blog features stories that I have read that I think are interesting . I usually bookmark the stories that I find interesting but they are getting too many . I have decided to catalog and share them on this site . I am not really promoting the site so you might have accidentally stumbled on it . Thanks for visiting .
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