Testimonials From the Families and Students We Have Assisted

Over more than ten years as an Independent College Counselor, Laurie Cortez has been privileged to work with hundreds of students and their families in realizing their college goals. Here’s what parents, students and colleagues have to say about College Coaching Services.

What Parents are Saying Happy College Students

“If you want to take the stress out of the college application process, hire Laurie Cortez at College Coaching Services! I began the college application process with my daughter a few years back and quickly realized I needed help. After the first meeting with Laurie, I knew we had made the right choice. Laurie breaks down the process into manageable steps and creates a to-do list to complete before the next meeting. Laurie’s in depth knowledge of how to navigate the complex college admissions process made life for us stress free! My daughter is currently enjoying her sophomore year at University of San Diego and my son is wrapping up his applications for 2017-18. He has already been accepted to eight schools! When most students are just beginning to fill out applications and write their essays, my kids were already finished! The earlier you can start working with Laurie, the better!” – Andy Cockell, parent of Santa Barbara High School students

“College Coaching Services has been extremely helpful in navigating the road to college with our kids. From the Naval Academy to City College and everything in between, Laurie is always there to give her expertise and advice. She sets deadlines and “to do" lists that help prioritize what otherwise becomes very overwhelming in the college application process. When things don’t go as planned, she is also ready with a set of alternative plans and a path to follow. Laurie is professional, very well organized, relates well with all kids and is very knowledgeable on all aspects of applying to college. Thank you Laurie and College Coaching Services for your guidance through what normally would be a stressful process!” – The Essig Family, parents of Dos Pueblos High School and Santa Barbara City College students

“As parents of a high school senior and a young adult attending community college, we felt overwhelmed with the college application process. Laurie was able to guide our children to take ownership of the academic journey they were about to embark on after years of hard work and extracurricular activities. Laurie’s expertise of the process kept our children on task with the many deadlines and nuances of applying to schools. Her warmth and guidance allowed our children to feel safe to explore and dream about opportunities that matched their potential. Laurie was an irreplaceable resource during this pivotal stage in life." – Jill Holmen, parent of San Marcos High School and Santa Barbara City College students

“Price of SAT review class = $1,000.00. Price of SAT test = $49.00. Price of AP Exam = $86.00. Price of a 4-year private college education = $200,000+. Price of College Coaching Services = PRICELESS. Our son Jeffrey began working with College Coaching Services in his sophomore year. Laurie gently encouraged him to stretch a little further in all aspects of his life; his classes, his leadership roles and his community service. Many of the early s were spent researching schools and majors that he may never have considered. When crunch time came in June before his senior year, Laurie was right there for all of us. She helped us sort through the many essays and supplements that needed to be prepared as well as the deadlines for each of the schools. She made what could have been a very stressful situation into a very exciting, enjoyable time for all of us. I would strongly encourage anyone with a high school freshman to sign up now with College Coaching Services…trust us, the experience will be priceless!!"- The Ransom Family, parents of Bishop Diego High School student

“Having been through the college application process the previous year with my older son, the difference in utilizing College Coaching Services was significant. I really appreciate the way Laurie worked with my son in creating goals, timelines and accountability. She was extremely adept in navigating the process while developing and fostering increased responsibility. Laurie is a gem and I could not recommend her more highly!” –Maddox Rees, parent of Santa Barbara High School student

“We have two daughters that have been fortunate enough to be coached by College Coaching Services. Laurie simplified a complex and stressful process by creating an effective multi-year timeline with monthly goals that held the girls accountable for their progress and made it impossible to procrastinate. She helped match colleges that fit their academic, social and geographical desires and designed a roadmap to reach their college dreams by giving direction on the appropriate academic rigor of classes, standardized testing, extracurricular activities, and leadership. Throughout the years of help, she provided positive encouragement and was always available at a moment’s notice with last-minute questions during the college application process. We highly recommend Laurie Cortez!” – Jody and Rich Buie, parents of Dos Pueblos High School students

“We don’t know how we would have made it through the college application process without Laurie Cortez and College Coaching Services. The application process is so tedious and complex that you truly need a professional to guide you. Laurie’s help, advice and guidance were invaluable. She helped our daughter and son choose the best colleges and navigate the applications. Starting their junior year she helped them select classes that would help with their college degree and started them on college research. Throughout their senior year she kept them on schedule with test taking and weekly to do lists. The kids would meet by Skype and discuss the essays and applications and the best way to go forward so they could get in to their college of choice. As a parent you want the best for your children and want their dreams to come true. I feel Laurie did everything possible to help them, and we could not have done it without her help and expertise. Thank you Laurie for your tremendous help, we are truly grateful.” – Bouseh Borda, parent of Saugus High School students

“College Coaching Services was an invaluable resource for our family during our son’s four years of high school. Laurie helped our son navigate the college application process with great success and helped minimize the stress of the experience. She was always available, knowledgeable and responsive to questions we had. With Laurie’s support our son was accepted at his first choice college early decision." – Winifred Lloyds Lender, parent of Santa Barbara High School students

“As a parent, I have truly appreciated Laurie’s openness and honesty, her wisdom, and her communication. Not only was she a support to my children, but she was an equal support to me as a parent. We worked together as a team to help launch my children off to incredible college experiences. Thank you, Laurie!"- Suzi Serbin, parent of Laguna Blanca High School students

“Laurie does an amazing job of walking each student through their own personalized journey of the college process, and takes the burden off the parents as well. She has kept both my daughters on pace, has a wealth of knowledge, helps with course selection and how something will look on the college app, and is always so pleasant in the process! Both my daughters went through College Coaching Services and we feel so lucky to have done so!" – Theresa Coronado, parent of Bishop Diego High School students

“ATTENTION PARENTS!!! College Coaching Services will be the best three words that will ever fall out of your mouth. This process will empower your child and teach him or her how to self-direct. Parents, you have just saved yourself a ton of time and washed away a mountain of stress associated with all those college applications and scholarship deadlines. Thanks, Laurie, you’re a 10!” – Erica Salda, parent of Bishop Diego High School students

“Laurie came highly recommended from a family friend, and we are so grateful to have worked with her. Laurie kept our son on a very organized schedule to assure all deadlines were met, and applications were sent in in a timely manner. She demystified the application process, and greatly reduced our stress. Many thanks, Laurie!” – Susan Merrill, parent of San Marcos High School student

“Laurie Cortez was such a blessing to our family. With three children close in age, the college process seemed overwhelming to us. Laurie helped navigate each of our children with their individual goals and achieve their dreams. Laurie is caring, extremely organized and detail-oriented. Our kids loved meeting with her starting early in their high school experience. By the time they were seniors they felt confident and prepared to face the next phase of their education. We are so grateful for Laurie and couldn’t imagine going through the college process without her.” – Christine Hale, parent of Santa Barbara High School and Clovis High School students

“We found Laurie to be invaluable to our son Braden in evaluating and applying to colleges. Her knowledge of what various colleges have to offer is immense and she was always able to provide insight that one was not able to get by visiting college websites. She gently pushed our son to complete his applications early which really reduced the pressure and his anxiety. She was always positive and very encouraging, making the process as pain-free as possible. With Laurie’s help our son was able to get into several colleges, including those that were among his top choices. It is without hesitation that we give College Coaching Services our highest possible recommendation.” –Bob and Kris Curtis, parent of San Marcos High School student

“Getting your child into college is no easy task these days. With acceptance rates at all-time lows, you need a ‘team’ to navigate the complex system of standardized tests, class choices, resume building, and applications. We never could have done it without the aid of Laurie Cortez. Having used her for both of our children, who were very diverse in their academic focus and college requirements, I would recommend her services to all parents of high school students. In fact, if we had a third child, I would start with Laurie as early as the end of 8th grade, before going into high school. She’s a coach, a guide, a parent’s best-friend, and your child’s advocate. Laurie was an integral part of our team and I would recommend her to any family with a college-bound student." –Georgette Topakas-Hicks, parent of Santa Barbara High School and Laguna Blanca High School students

What Students are Saying

“Laurie helped me earn acceptance into my top choice, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She helped individualize my application process and went out of her way to help me see all the options, and knew exactly how to boost my application to present my best self. Laurie is very knowledgeable and could answer all my questions, a huge help!" –Alex, Phillips Academy Andover

“With Laurie’s help I was able to complete every aspect of my college applications from the convenience of my own home. Through Skype and email she was always available to me and my family with any and all questions. I loved our weekly meetings and I am so grateful for all of her help. –Megan, Loyola Marymount University

“Laurie really knows her stuff and she’s focused on finding the best fit for you. She made a stressful process fun and enjoyable!" –Evie, Chapman University

“College Coaching Services has greatly assisted me with both undergraduate and graduate admissions processes. Before coming in, I had an idea of what the required steps would be but Laurie really went through the details with me and helped me with brainstorming topics for my essays, getting my letters of recommendation in order, and organizing the whole process so that I was really on top of what I needed to do to get accepted. I felt ahead of the game because I had an admissions specialist on my team! By the end of the process I knew that my essay truly represented my unique perspective, and I am confident this really helped me get into my undergraduate program! (I am still applying to the grad program.) I also love having the flexibility of meeting via Skype so that I can fit our sessions into my already packed schedule. Laurie is simply the best; she is highly knowledgeable and very pleasant to work with! I highly recommend her to my friends and family who are going through the application process.” –Celine, Transfer and Graduate student, currently at Westmont College

“Laurie helped me tremendously throughout my college applications and there is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have gotten into USF without her help. She was with me every step of the way, from scheduling meetings to talk about my essays, to one-on-one consultations to go through each part of the UC application, the Common App, the Cal State application, etc. She made sure each part of my essay and application showcased me as a student, and as a vital part of the community so colleges would understand me as a whole. She never ended our meetings when they were scheduled to end if I had more questions or concerns, which made me feel valuable and cared for. Laurie made sure I got every application done early, so when all of my friends were freaking out near the deadline, I had been stress-free for months. I loved working with her and I give a great amount of credit to her for my success in my college acceptances. I am taking everything I learned from her to work on graduate school applications as well. I would highly recommend working with Laurie as I did, because she made college applications something I looked forward to doing.” – Soleil, University of San Francisco

What Colleagues are Saying

“I have helped many students realize their dreams of going to college by augmenting their standardized tests scores. It is in this capacity that I crossed paths with Laurie Cortez, and I have seen first-hand her impeccable skills in helping students navigate the road to college. Applying to colleges can be a daunting task, but Laurie has made it as effortless as it possibly can be. Laurie’s extensive knowledge, meticulous demeanor, and calming disposition have made her very adept at guiding students to their colleges of choice. I would strongly recommend Laurie for any student who is serious about going to college.” – Kimani Williams, Tutoring Machines

“At Santa Barbara Tutoring, LLC we are always encouraged to hear our students are working with Laurie Cortez of College Coaching Services! Laurie’s experience, professionalism, and work-ethic are just what it takes it help students find and eventually be accepted to top schools around the country. – Steven Efada, Managing Director, Santa Barbara Tutoring, LLC

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