“I want to send along this note of praise and gratitude that Sara popped up on my Facebook during my son's junior year. Navigating this process this year has been really challenging. Sara has been spot on with all of her advice and was way out in front with information that seemed to be coming in waves for parents to process. My son used Sara’s resources such as her activities ranking and essay topic assistance to really help highlight his accomplishments and come up with meaningful (and sometimes vulnerable) essays. I sat in on Sara’s Instagram chats whenever I could and she gave me great advice about how to write up the tutoring that my son gave to his autistic brother. We are so grateful!!! Sara should know the impact that she has. Thanks for being our support from far away!!”
"One day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw a free video from Sara Harberson, whose credentials were impressive. I had seen lots of college videos, as this was my 3rd child going to college. As I watched, I was impressed with Sara’s approach. I looked into joining Application Nation. I really thought I’d be in this group for a month and leave. But from the very start I was pleasantly surprised. Sara, herself, responded to every post—I wasn’t expecting that. The group was supportive and kind, not cutthroat and competitive.
I was amazed to learn how little I knew about the college application process. I loved how this group of parents worked together to support our children and with Sara at the helm, presented each application in the best light possible. My daughter was, as they say in poker, aces and spaces. Sara found a way to guide us and bridge those spaces.
I HIGHLY recommend Application Nation. The information and guidance I received from Sara Harberson was invaluable and much appreciated. My daughter ended up at the perfect school for her, which as a parent, is all I need."
"Nothing I’m going to say right now will express the depth of my gratitude for everything Sara has done for us. From reviewing college lists, activities, and essay drafts to cheering us on when my daughter was deferred from a top choice school to celebrating with us when she got accepted into many amazing schools.
We will always be indebted to this incredible Application Nation family for their support and guidance through the ups and downs. Thank you so much, Sara, for creating a community of aunts and uncles for our children. Thank you for guiding them through this insanely competitive and crazy process. I’m positive that my daughter would not have the choices she currently has without the support of this family."
"As a new member, I just want to say how incredibly thankful I am that Sara Harberson and Sarah Massari are both "in this business!" I have been following Sara since last spring and soaking up all that I could from her website and blog posts. But I had never done Facebook and I hesitated to join Application Nation for that reason. Sarah Massari had the willingness to personally call me and walk me through Facebook because I was illiterate! Her generosity and our fun, candid conversation about this whole application process was a HUGE turn around for me.
My daughter and I had been working with a local private counselor and it was not going well at all. It actually ended up adding an extreme amount of stress, when the purpose was to relieve it. And my daughter was super cynical about the whole college process. But fast forward a few weeks and we are SO happy to have this amazing group!!! And my daughter is actually now enjoying working on her applications and is always eager to “hear what Application Nation says.” The information in Application Nation has been so helpful. I see how close everyone in the group has gotten and how kind everyone is to one another (which is the opposite of how the local parents have behaved) and I just want to say a huge THANK YOU!"
“We were on vacation and had dinner with friends who have a rising junior. They asked me advice about the college admissions process and I replied “Two words...Sara Harberson.” “Two more words,” I added, “Application Nation.”
“Everything Sara has taught us was echoed by the admissions officers. Everything! This group and her advice are beyond valuable and beyond accurate! Plus, Sara’s edit of our son’s essay was simply superb—worth every penny!”
“On Sundays I get an update from Apple of how much time I have spent on my iPhone for the week. My screen time has drastically increased since I joined Application Nation. I will add that this community has positively impacted my relationship with my daughter during junior and now senior year as every time I have a question or get overwhelmed, I log on to Application Nation instead of engaging my high schooler with my questions or my own anxieties about the college admissions process.
Now on Sundays when I look at the time spent on my phone I think, “This is the amount of time I have saved my daughter from me unloading on her about the college admissions process.” It makes me grateful that I can have more intentional, thoughtful, and focused conversations with her. That leaves us much more time to talk about more meaningful things in this last year she is in my nest.
So thank you to Sara Harberson and Sarah Massari for providing a sounding board during a time when parents need a place to obsess, learn, and vent about the complicated process of applying to college. The relational results might be as important as the acceptance results we will likely enjoy because it.”
“We are so thankful for this group. The whole extended family knows about Sara and I talk about her as though she is family; Sara is a very important guardian angel to us this year!!”
“Thank you again for supporting the Class of 2020, and if I could give Sara a soundbite it would be, America's Ethical College Counselor!!”
"Last year watching the inaugural Application Nation group have all the support from the community, I no longer dreaded this year. I know your original model, Sara Harberson, was to provide a place for answers in a private group setting, but what you and Sarah Massari have created goes so far beyond that in terms of a corner of the world we (parents) can be real with our kids triumphs and struggles and work through finding the best fit. All without doing so on the battlefield that is our "real world" of the school and social communities we are in where it is all about parents putting their kids on top and stomping on yours in the process.
Thank you for giving us a place to learn, recharge, vent, fret, brag, comfort, and get comforted so we can fill our oxygen tanks and give our kids all they need."
"We found Sara's website, email address, and Facebook Live feeds about 10 months ago. At the time, our son was moving into his junior year, and, because of my profession, moving into his third high school. The area we were moving into did not have the same rigor as the area we were leaving and we had a ton of questions and concerns over his high school career, and ultimately, his opportunities to compete for a top tier university.
Through Sara's Facebook Live feeds and email correspondence, not only is our son competing for a top tier university acceptance this fall, but we felt that we had a strategy, ally, and confidant throughout the process.
We thoroughly appreciate everything Sara is doing to help young adults and parents overcome obstacles and stress in the college application process."
"Sara Harberson and Admissions Revolution gave my daughter first-class service. Sara is timely, responsive, knowledgeable, and insightful. On the Common App, we needed help especially with framing the narrative of my daughter’s extracurricular activities. Sara’s suggestions were perfect, such that my daughter herself was surprised to see how impactful she has been. If you have any concern about the strength of your child’s college application, I recommend Sara and Admissions Revolution enthusiastically. She should be your go-to source for help."
“Sara Harberson knows the dynamics of each college, far beyond just the published stats. She is able to draw out the “type” of student – and person – that your high school senior is and hopes to be, and from this identifies a range of schools that will offer an environment in which they will thrive.
In today’s competitive landscape, we each come to the college selection process with pre-conceived ideas. Sara helps keep the process in perspective, while remaining focused on the end-goal. Sara gently prods both the student and parents to move outside of their comfort zones. For example, she is a strong advocate for schools that don’t necessarily carry the same name recognition as the Ivies, but are certainly worth consideration given that they offer many more opportunities for undergraduate students to secure research positions (vs. having to compete with graduate students for these select spots), the classes are taught by professors (vs. TAs), and the inherent benefits of low student:faculty ratios."
On a personal level, Sara balances setting realistic goals with creative optimism. The initial lengthy list of schools will be whittled down to a select few, each of which will meet the defined objectives. At the end of the day, we all want our children to succeed in life – not just college. And that is the importance of retaining – and listening to – Sara’s expertise and guidance.”
“We have three, very different kids (High School Graduations in ’16, ’19 and ‘22) — each working on their own unique paths. We feel incredibly fortunate that Sara Harberson has been — and will continue to be — a truly helpful and invaluable resource for each of them.
We got to “know” Sara through a subscription to AdmissionsRevolution.com where Sara’s advice on understanding and leveraging the power of athletics was incredibly helpful to our oldest daughter who followed Sara’s counsel and used basketball as part of her strategy to help gain admission to CalTech. Blown away by Sara’s actionable insights that truly moved the needle, we engaged her directly to help our rising 10th grader make some choices about how best to construct his summer plans. Sara connected with him via Skype and helped him parse through and prioritize the different options he had identified as well as bringing new options to the table. Sara helped him find that elusive balance — helping him structure a summer that allowed him to pursue his academic passions – while also enabling him to do some part-time work and as importantly, enjoy some much needed downtime after a full year of school. Sara was well prepared, really bonded with him, and as a result, they accomplished more in an hour than we could ever have. As a result, our son is excited about continuing to work with Sara in the years to come. Finally, our youngest son has his sights set on attending a specific Northeastern prep school for high school, where he wants to play lacrosse. Sara has already been super helpful in sharing with him the types of things he needs to be doing now – in middle school – to best position himself for the competitive admissions process ahead.
Sara’s advice and approach was far different and far more comprehensive than what we – or our kids – expected. Our two oldest said that while they genuinely value their public high school college counselors – that working with Sara was a night-and-day experience. Sara is the kind of college counselor — really coach — that every kid needs and will benefit from. She’s accessible, positive (but firm) and really invests the time and effort to truly connect with her students. Sara’s style and skills, backed by her unparalleled experience will put every parent truly at ease – knowing that their student is in the hands of the best and brightest.”
“My daughter Eliza was fortunate to have Sara as a college guidance counselor at The Baldwin School, a prestigious all-girls private school in 2014/2015. Eliza was an early recruited lacrosse player, which accelerated her college application process. Since athletic recruitment does not guarantee admission, Sara was an extremely knowledgeable adviser throughout our entire process. Sara guided us expertly through the murky, often opaque admissions process. At times, when Eliza or myself were on edge with the academic side of the recruiting, along with the lack of communication from the coach and university, Sara was a calming, collected force that asked us to trust her with the process. She was always available, either on her cell, after hours from home, email or in person and worked tirelessly on our behalf. Sara made sure Eliza’s essay was the best to her ability and constantly pushed her to improve. Although her guidance was included in the Baldwin tuition, with the level of expertise Sara delivered and the peace of mind that Eliza was in the best care possible, I would have gladly paid extra for it.”
“My family has had the great good fortune of meeting, and then working with, Sara Harberson while both our daughters were in high school. We registered for Admissions Revolution and have not looked back!
Sara embodies the “6P’s” ~ Passionate…Professional…Personable…Positive…Pro-Active…Pragmatic…all at a stratospheric level! Everything she has done, or of which she has been a part, shines through her every presentation: her managerial experience in admissions at Ivy League and other prestigious, highly selective, top-tiered schools; her experience guiding pre-college clientele through the labyrinth that has become the college admissions process; her ability to access information at record speed using a wide-netted network of colleagues and friends in the industry.
In what can easily become an anxiety-producing process, it is fascinating (and nerve-soothing) to watch Sara Harberson take the helm with very individualized care and advice. One INSTANTLY knows one is in excellent hands! Her assessment of a student’s progress to that point is very much spot on. She has the keenest and most discerning eye for how any one particular application will be received by any one particular institution, making it easier for the students in identifying where there is room for improvement and where they are right where they need to be. She offers helpful tips in abundance: how to get organized; the role of each element (grades, extracurriculars, awards and recognitions, community service, recommendations, etc.) and their weight in the real scheme of things...where to invest the precious time left before Early Decision.
She is genuine in her assessment, expertly luring out of each student what it is they REALLY want from their college experience. Most helpful to the student is what one should do to present oneself in one’s most authentic light, so that one’s true voice – in the college application essay as well as the application as a whole – shines through. While doing so, she encourages students to be ever mindful of what THEY have to offer to a selective school. Sara Harberson has the magic touch: she inspires without sugar-coating. She encourages and empowers students to reach for their dreams, while gently guiding them to keep themselves tethered to planet Earth.
I am not surprised – AT ALL – that she is being heralded by the most well-respected news outlets in the country as the pre-eminent expert in the field!”