Avalon College Connector

College Admission

About Avalon Admission

Experts in Top College Admission

Avalon Admission excels in helping high-aspiring students get into the country’s highest ranked colleges. Avalon has developed a proprietary, highly strategic, data-driven process to enhance admission opportunities at elite colleges and universities across America. The Avalon Strategic Admission Plan (ASAP) empowers students to shore up weaknesses and build strength and momentum in the weeks, months, and years ahead of top college admission deadlines. The result is better than a 90% success rate in students receiving offers of admission all eight Ivy League colleges plus Duke, Stanford, U Chicago, UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, U Michigan, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Pomona, Williams, and so many more.

A Strategic Step-by-Step Process

  1. Identify student and family goals and priorities
  2. Create college list based on goals, priorities, and objective factors
  3. Formulate the student’s individualized Avalon Strategic Admission Plan “ASAP” which includes more than 100 decisions and points of assistance provided in grades 9-12 including
    • Classes and GPA
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Leadership opportunities
    • Social justice
    • Tests and prep
    • Summer activities
    • Special projects
    • Research opportunities
    • Internship opportunities
    • Strategic narrative development
    • Honors and awards
    • College interviews and visits
    • Demonstrated interest profile
    • College research
    • Make necessary adjustments to college list
    • Interviews and prep
    • Recommendations ad bragsheets
    • Resumes and portfolios
    • Essays for Common App and college supplements
  4. Engage the ASAP Plan 
  5. Complete and submit the Common Application + college specific applications under ED, EA, RA, and REA admission plans, as deemed strategically appropriate. 

With competition for top college seats on the increase, the need for students to distance themselves from other top candidates has never been greater. To accomplish this, Avalon has assembled the most unique database in the industry, which allows students to assemble a profile that matches each college’s strategic objectives. Avalon’s strategic process helps students acquire excellent recommendations, engage in meaningful activities, identify opportunities for honors and awards, build credibility with top colleges, and write winning essays that light up the room during admission committee meetings.

The Avalon Admission Process

Avalon Admission was created for one reason: to get students into top colleges. Building on the 40 years of experience of its founder, Neil Chyten, Avalon created a customized admission process that boosts admission chances by 5x – 10x times, making the possibility of attending a top college real for thousands of students who otherwise would be forced to settle for a college lower down on their list.

The Avalon Strategic Admission Plan (ASAP)

The Avalon Strategic Admission Plan transforms students into highly coveted candidates to admission committees whose mission is to build the strongest possible incoming class. In support of the plan, Avalon provides concierge-level service, ensuring that families make all the right decisions at all the right times—decisions that translate directly into better college admission opportunities. 

Avalon’s team of elite counselors is led by admission expert Neil Chyten, who provides insights, advice, and opportunities for services provided under the Avalon umbrella, including admission, test prep, and academic counseling.

Avalon Cutting Edge Technology

The Avalon College Admission Portal (ACAP) helps students create intelligent and aspirational college lists, serves as a central repository for all application components including essays, resumes, portfolios, recommendations, etc., delineates strategies that build compelling narratives, and supports that narrative by tracking and boosting objective and subjective admission factors that match the unique recruitment goals of elite college admission committees. 

The Human Factor

Beyond the grades, test scores, activities, and essays are families caught up in the anticipation, and the pressure, of college admissions. However, families can rest easier knowing that once they hire Avalon, their job ends and Avalon’s begins. Avalon manages every aspect of the admission process, including

Avalon manages all these activities while also providing caring sensitivity in what is often a very emotional, highly charged time for families. Avalon mitigates the stress so that families can enjoy this very special time in their lives.  


Grades 11-12

College admission can be a stressful time for families. With as many as hundred decisions to make on everything from classes and activities to easy topics and tests, families often find themselves at odds with each other, or simply stressed out by the whole experience.

Fortunately, Avalon Admissions’ concierge-level service helps families navigate through this difficult time with much less stress and with a much greater likelihood of success. Under Avalon’s guidance, students choose the right classes, the right tests, and the right activities. They learn to nurture recommendations and to tailor their decisions to meet their goals.

For many clients, Avalon also assists in planning and completing specially chosen projects that showcase talent, leadership, and organizational skills, and that also serve as proof of ability or passion. We can also help students locate internships and research opportunities.

List of Services in 11th Grade

Biweekly meetings
Identify contests, awards, and honors
Preliminary college list
College essays (phase one)
Testing and test prep strategy
Academic support and course selection
Recommender strategy and brag sheets
Demonstrated interest
College visits and interviews
Formulate Ideas for college and common app essays
Explore activities, including summer programs, internships, and research papers
Special projects
Resumes and portfolios

List of Services in 12th Grade

Weekly Meetings
Final college list
Identify contests, awards, and honors
College essays (final versions)
Testing evaluation and strategy
Academic support
Recommender follow up
Demonstrated interest
College visits and interviews
Describe activities, including internships and research papers, for maximum impact
Complete special projects
Resumes and portfolios
Complete review of applications
Submit Common Application and college-specific applications

Frequently Asked Questions About Grades 11-12

Everything about college admission is strategic, and each individual strategy combines into a comprehensive plan of action that begins as early as ninth grade. However, it is never too late to begin. Whether you are in 9th grade, 10th grade, or 11th grade, there are several things that will increase your chances of getting into one or more of your top choice colleges. Click below for five suggestions.  

Five ways to get into top colleges.

If it were easy to get into Ivy League colleges, then there would be nothing special about them. It is the very difficulty of getting in that makes everyone want to get in. Considering the numbers, unless you have a perfect GPA and tests score, and extraordinary talent or a world-class accomplishment, it is unlikely that you are going to get into Harvard. However, you can become the type of student that Harvard, along with other top colleges, is looking for. You can provide top colleges with a reason to choose you over the thousands of other applicants who are all fighting for the same prized seats.

Read more about Ivy League acceptance.

The importance of an internship as a standalone activity has been severely diminished. Internships that serve no purpose other than to take a position on a college application will not positively impact a student’s candidacy. In fact, they could have the opposite effect of red flagging an application that is being padded or stuffed by overzealous parents or by concerned students to cover up a weakness. In contrast, internships that fuel a narrative or support an area of interest can play an important role in proving a passion, proving a tendency towards self-improvement, proving a capacity to make intelligent choices, and proving the validity and accuracy of the autobiography that is a student’s college application.

Read more about the value of internships in college admission.

Summertime is a great time to visit college campuses, sit in on summer classes, speak to students, check out dorms and dining halls, and meet with an admissions officer. However, like everything else in life, the careful planning of the college visits is imperative and crucial. Think of the college visit as an extension of the application process and while most colleges do not require a visit or an interview with an admissions officer, it does help to show your sincere interest in attending (called demonstrated interest) and help to determine if the school is a good fit for you and for the school. Click below for 11 tips that will make your college visits meaningful and memorable.

Learn 11 tips for maximizing college visits.

One of the most important and underrated parts of a student’s college application is the recommendation section. To colleges, the information provided by unbiased individuals such as teachers, counselors, and coaches is pure gold. Written correctly, recommendations provide personal insights into a student’s characteristics, which has the potential to add significant depth to each student’s application.

Learn more about obtaining strong recommendations.

The personal narrative is the essay that is common to all colleges that subscribe to the common application. As the name implies, it should reveal some personal characteristic or characteristics of the applicant. This is not a place to summarize or embellish on activities. In general, colleges want to know that you are a person of high character and high potential who will fit into the ideal college culture they are trying to create and support. The topic you choose to write about is at least as important as the quality of the writing and the level of insight that the essay provides. 

Read more about the college essays, including the Common App personal narrative.

While it is certainly glamorous and satisfying to say that you got into a top 10 college, an Ivy League college, Stanford, Duke, U Chicago, USC, Northwestern, or one of the Little Ivies, it is far more important to consider how you want to be spending the next four years of your life—years that will likely impact how you will spend the rest of your life. Are you sure you want to attend a college simply because it has a prestigious name? Wouldn’t you rather spend the next four years nurturing an intrinsic desire you have to study in a particular field? Wouldn’t you rather feed your natural passion for learning a particular subject? And while it is definitely possible to have the best of all worlds, it is far more advisable to explore your passions than to trust a list based on various characteristics, many of which have nothing to do with you or the quality of education you will receive.

Click Here to Read More about How to Create Your College List.

When you start filling out college applications, you will be asked what you intend to study. The question can take many forms, some more daunting than others. How you should answer is neither simple nor universal. It is a bit like peeling back the layers of an onion. The more you do, the more you discover what lies under the surface. In general, it helps to be honest with yourself and with each of the colleges you are applying to. For more information click below

Do colleges ask you to declare a major at the time you apply.

Grades 9-10

Successful college admission starts well before 12th grade, so that students stay ahead of the curve, rather than playing catch-up all the time. At Avalon, students and families get the support they need throughout the high school years in order to maximize opportunities for admission into highly competitive colleges. Because no two students are the same, the Avalon Strategic Admission Plan (ASAP) is customized to bring out the best in each student, and to make them the strongest possible candidate at their top choice colleges. Avalon Admission counselors ensure that students strengthen all the factors that colleges look for, including strong academics, advantageous activities, significant accomplishments, and highly coveted personal characteristics.

List of Services in 9th Grade

By the time many students reach 12th grade, they look back and wish that they had done things differently. For them it may be too late to build the kind of strong application that top colleges expect from their applicants. But for students just beginning high school, the opportunities are there for the taking. Colleges evaluate each student’s entire high school career, from classes and grades, to activities, honors, awards, and talent. But that is not all—admission decisions at top college consider 20 and 25 factors, each of which contributes to the overall picture that qualifies or disqualifies a student from admission. 

Working with students throughout their high school years, Avalon Admission strengthens all these factors, and with eyes focused exclusively on top colleges, dramatically increases each student’s chance of getting into the nation’s most competitive colleges.  

Services include:

Implement advance strategic college plan including discussion of passion
Provide academic recommendations and oversight
Provide activities recommendations and oversight
Identify contests, awards, and honors
Identify and recommend extracurricular opportunities
Identify and recommend summer activities
Organize college visits
Develop college interest profile
Provide general mentorship
Advise on course selection

List of Services in 10th Grade

Some students need a year or so before finding their direction in high school. Avalon helps 10th graders look back at their ninth-grade experiences in order to build upon strengths and remediate weaknesses. From there, Avalon builds a plan that spans the next 2 ½ years to strengthen hey student’s case for admission at the nation’s most competitive colleges.

(The following services will either be continued or initiated)
Implement advance strategic college plan including discussion of passion
Provide academic recommendations and oversight
Provide activities recommendations and oversight
Identify contests, awards, and honors
Identify and recommend extracurricular opportunities
Identify and recommend summer activities
Organize college visits
Develop college interest profile
Provide general mentorship
Advise on course selection
Implement special long-range projects

Frequently Asked Questions About Grades 9-10

A collection of 100 decisions you make will determine where you get into college. But unless these decisions collectively produce a magnificent picture of you as a compelling college admission candidate, they may fall short of the potential impact they could otherwise have. Advice when making choices early in high school: Keep your eyes fixed firmly upon the future.

Read more about preparing for college admission while in 9th and 10th grade.

Activities undertaken in 9th and 10th grade must make sense in the context of each individual student’s overarching admission profile. It is simply a waste of time to engage in activities that have high profile names but that do nothing to strengthen the narrative. Therefore, activities should be chosen carefully and strategically. By the time a student is ready to submit an application, he should have a set of activities that is as impressive as it is appropriate.

Read more about choosing the right activities in 9th and 10th grade .

Application Assistance

Avalon Admission helps students expertly fill out the Common Application, including the all-important personal narrative, as well as college supplements, using proprietary strategies and experience as our guides. We also help students with applications such as UC, MIT, Georgetown, UT, and others that are not part of the Common Application. Avalon’s concierge-level service ensures that students continue to be supported until all applications, recommendations, resumes, portfolios, and videos have been uploaded, and again when admissions decisions and financial offers have been received.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Application Assistance

There are certainly commonalities among the eight Ivy League colleges, but there are also elements that make each of them unique. The commonalities include strong endowments, loyal alumni, diverse student body, world class professors, incredible connections in a variety of fields, an unsurpassed and life-changing educational experience, and campus-wide energy and enthusiasm among their student bodies.

Learn more about All Eight Ivy League Colleges.

Most colleges with ED/EA plans require applications to be submitted by November 1. November 15 is also a common deadline. Some special programs that require supplemental applications have earlier deadlines. For example, Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music requires a supplemental application with a five-page essay and a one-page essay to be submitted on or before October 15. Furthermore, aspiring music majors often must submit videos of performances and/or engage in auditions to prove their musical talent and ability. Also USC’s deadline is Dec 1 if you want to be considered for a merit scholarship.

Up to five of a student’s academic honors can be listed under “Honors” in the education section of the Common Application. These can include school level honors such as: honor roll, valedictorian or Dean’s list. They can include regional level honors such as: city spelling bee champion, or county science fair finalist. They can also include state-level, national level, and international level honors. An example of a state-level honor is “The Georgia Governor’s Award.” An example of a national honor is AP Scholar. An example of an international honor is IMO (International Math Olympiad) semifinalist.

Colleges expect that other recommenders will reveal some characteristic that does not come across in the teacher or counselor recommendations, or will provide proof of passion, level of expertise, or objective analysis of your ability in a particular area or field. “Other Recommenders” could include coaches, coworkers, co-captains, mentors, business professionals, internship leaders, doctors, work supervisors, skills teachers (an art teacher or music teacher, for example) or anyone else who can provide insightful information about you that might be useful to colleges. Some colleges have limitations on the types of “other recommenders” you can provide. Generally, the categories are: Arts Teacher, Clergy, Coach, College Access Counselor, Employer, Family Member, Peer, or Other. An “other other” recommender is anyone who can provide significant insights into one or more aspects of your personality, skill, intelligence, ability, or history. You should choose your recommender wisely, and provide them with information that is relevant to the college. For example, a recommendation from an art teacher could focus on a specific artistic talent and then discuss how that talent might be nurtured in college. Or, a recommendation could discuss your work ethic, your progress over time, your leadership qualities, or virtually anything else that provides useful and insightful information the colleges will find valuable.

When considering your high school accomplishments, big or small, accomplished over time or in a moment, you must also consider how they will play to your audience: college admissions officials. Furthermore, you must consider how they collectively contribute to an overall narrative that is appealing to that audience. To further complicate matters, what is appealing to one school may not be appealing to another. It goes without saying that MIT is in the market for a whole different type of student than is Brown. Click the link below for 15 tips which you will find useful. Each one comes with a brief explanation. To learn even more, click on the link for a free consultation found throughout the website.

15 Tips to Make Your College Application Shine.

Essay Assistance

College essays, including the Common App personal narrative, provide colleges with critically important insights into a student’s character, personality and interest in attending. Avalon’s essay writing and editing expertise, and patient guidance, ensure that students present themselves in the best possible light based on each college’s expectations and strategic goals. Our concierge-level service extends through every aspect of the writing process, from initial research, to formulation of thoughts and first drafts, all the way through upload of final versions to each college application. Using our proprietary tracking software, we make sure that each essay is planned and formulated in order to hit all deadlines, including early action (EA), early decision (ED), and restrictive early action (REA).

Interview Prep

Avalon Admissions mentors students through the entire interview process. As a result, they are poised, polished, and ready to engage in meaningful dialogue with their interviewers. This is the key to a successful interview. It is not just how well you answer questions, but also how well you represent yourself, that get reported to admission committees. Many colleges, including all the Ivy Leagues, either require or recommend personal interviews. For most students, these mysterious meetings are exercises in canned, memorized responses to a set of pre-identified questions. Similarly, they tend to be viewed as rights of passage that simply must be endured. Very few students see these interviews for what they really are: opportunities to promulgate their narrative and put meat on the bone of their applications.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Interview Prep

What the best interviews tend to be conversational in nature. Therefore, you want to precisely answer the interviewer’s question, and not allow your answer to spill over into their potential next question. Click on the link below for more examples.

Click for information on college interviews.

Full Service

Avalon Admission College Consulting Service includes many or all of the following services

ServiceGrade 9Grade 10Grade 11Grade 12Service Notes
Facilitate Family Discussion on Goals and ExpectationsXXXXProvide guidance for discussion, then design strategy based on family/student goals and expectations
Formulate Elite Admission StrategyXXXXBased on starting points and objectives, create a strategy designed to enhance the likelihood of admission
Personal Opportunity Profile (POP)XXXXCreate an elite college personal opportunity profile
College List/VisitsXXXXCreate and adjust list of colleges and requirements
College Applications   XXComplete Common App and individual college apps
College Essays  XXProvide expert writing and editing assistance
EA/ED Strategy  XXProvide basis for ED and EA decisions
Interview Strategy   XProvide interview strategies and preparation, including mock interviews
Recommendations XXXAssist in obtaining and improving recommendations  
Summer Activities and InternshipsXXXXIdentify and apply for highly impactful programs and internships
Other XC ActivitiesXXXXCreate robust and multi-categorical activities list
Demonstrated InterestXXXXProvide strategies for boosting demonstrated interest profile
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)XXXXIdentify/Create and manage unique selling proposition
Special ProjectsXXXXIdentify/Create and manage unique projects and activities
Testing StrategiesXXXXProvide strategic guidance on which standardized tests to take, test dates, and test preparation schedule
Test PreparationXXXXCoordinate/Supervise tutors
Resume Creation XXXCreate a resume for business schools and other schools accepting/requiring them
Waitlist/Deferment Assistance   XProvide strategy for improving odds of acceptance from deferral list or waitlist., if required
Transcript (GPA) Management XXXXManage GPA, course selection, etc. Identify/Provide tutors if/as needed
Admission Decision Assistance   XAssist with acceptance decisions and options
Major/Career Choices XXXXDetermine best pathways to college and career
Honors OpportunitiesXXXXIdentify contests to earn awards, as appropriate
School-Based Academic OpportunitiesXXXXProvide assistance to maintain high GPA and advice on course and course-level selection
External Academic OpportunitiesXXXXProvide assistance in finding and applying for outside programs to enhance academic opportunities and record
Emergent Opportunities and SituationsXXXXManage new opportunities or potentially negative situations as they arise
Art, Sports, and Performance Specialties XXXXProvide guidance on assets that include portfolios, videos, and recommendations related to special talents, as required 
Scholarships and Financial Aid  XXProvide guidance on applying for/receiving scholarships and/or financial aid, including writing essays

Avalon Scholars Program