Testimonials

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"After becoming a member of Application Nation, I discovered a community I never knew I needed."

Zoe (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"Before I became an official member of Application Nation, Sara saved the day during her free Facebook Live calls with her recommendation to take all core subjects for all 4 years (my son was going to drop science and foreign language and load up on history classes his senior year) as well as her advice on keeping pay-to-play programs in double secret hiding. After becoming a member, I discovered a community I never knew I needed. The members of Application Nation have all been so positive, kind and generous with their knowledge, advice and support, and it’s great to know that such awesome parents are sending their wonderful kids out into this world. Thank you Sara and Sarah for putting together such an incredible resource."

"The Application Nation community is for ALL college-bound families needing support, advice, encouragement, and a safe space to vent from time to time."

Lisa (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"So many things I am thankful for regarding Application Nation, Sara Harberson, and Sarah Massari. Like others have mentioned, I was skeptical joining at first because I didn't have a kid applying to Ivies and other highly selective schools. I quickly learned that this Application Nation community is for ALL college-bound families needing support, advice, encouragement, and a safe space to vent from time to time. We can't get that from anywhere else!"

"I see how close everyone in Application Nation has gotten and how kind everyone is to one another...and I just want to say a huge THANK YOU!"

Kerry (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"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!"

"Sara and the members of Application Nation helped our family every step of the way."

Lori (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"I started following Sara Harberson last year. Prior to that, we had several presentations and invitations to procure help with the Common App and supplemental essays. But Sara was the first college counselor who made sense, and who offered tools to help my child create a soundbite, draft a realistic college list, pen a creative activities list (by far my favorite part of application process), and perfect college essays.

I am thankful and impressed with the knowledgeable and positive tone of the Application Nation group. As we prepare to hit "send" on the first few applications, I’m not sure if my daughter will be accepted. But I do know we did everything we could. Sara and the members of Application Nation helped our family every step of the way.

Thank you for taking the anxiety out of this process. We are truly confident that there is a school where our daughter will be happy and enjoy the next four years."

"I just joined Application Nation at the end of September—so disappointed I didn't do so earlier."

Kelly (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"I just joined Application Nation at the end of September—so disappointed I didn't do so earlier. Won't make the same mistake with my younger son. I have spent the week watching video calls and reading as much content from the site as possible. I have really enjoyed reading members' comments and have been impressed and heartened by how much everyone is trying to help each other."

"People think they need face time with a college counselor, but a true counselor like Sara Harberson makes you feel like you are the only client in the world!"

Melissa (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"People think they need face time with a college counselor, but a true counselor like Sara Harberson makes you feel like you are the only client in the world! We would be lost on this bumpy road without Sara! That, coupled with the support of many, many supportive members, makes Application Nation a special, essential place."

"I don't know where we would be without Sara!"

Marcia (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"We are so thankful for Sara's advice and encouragement throughout this process. I don't know where we would be without her!"

"Sara Harberson creates a really warm, supportive vibe."

Kat (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"Sara Harberson creates a really warm, supportive vibe."

"Application Nation has been an invaluable tool as we've navigated the college application process."

Jennifer (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"Application Nation has been an invaluable tool as we've navigated the college application process, and I will most definitely recommend this group to others."

"Application Nation is so incredibly diverse and, having been a member for many months, I’ve seen all types of students and parents posting about their struggles and uncertainty."

Lisa (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"Application Nation is so incredibly diverse and, having been a member for many months, I’ve seen all types of students and parents posting about their struggles and uncertainty. I joined this group to help my daughter (whose reach and target schools are other students’ likely schools). I am so grateful to be a member of Application Nation!"

"I can’t express enough what a great resource Application Nation has been for my family—it’s like our security blanket."

Angela (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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"I can’t express enough what a great resource Application Nation has been for my family—it’s like our security blanket. Applying to college is daunting and most definitely requires a village to pull it all together."

“Two words...Sara Harberson. Two more words...Application Nation.”

Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020

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“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!"

Laura (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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“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!”

"Thank you to Sara Harberson 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."

Stephanie (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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“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.”

"Sara is a very important guardian angel to us this year!”

Terri (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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“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!!”

"If I could give Sara a soundbite it would be, America's Ethical College Counselor!!”

Andira (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020)

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“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!!”

"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."

Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020

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"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."

"I don't know where we would be without Sara and Application Nation!” 

Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020

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"A huge thanks to Sara for her incredible dedication and professionalism. I don't know where we would be without Sara and Application Nation!” 

"Sara's guidance is so, so helpful, and we truly appreciate it."

Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020

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"Thank you so much for your help, Sara Harberson. Essay looks awesome...amazingly edited!!! We have no experience in college admissions as our daughter is the first one going to college in our family, so she just takes care of everything on her own. Your guidance is so, so helpful, and we truly appreciate it. We are glad to have your help going through this college admissions process."

"It would almost be reckless to not take advantage of Sara’s help! She is truly our beacon of light for college applications."

Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020

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"For anyone with serious interest in the college application process and are stuck in its changing and confusing landscape, it would almost be reckless to not take advantage of Sara’s help! She is truly our beacon of light for college applications."

"We truly appreciate that Sara maintained the integrity of our son's essay while thoughtfully bringing it all together."

Application Nation Parent, Class of 2020

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"We truly appreciate that Sara maintained the integrity of our son's essay while thoughtfully bringing it all together in a way that made sense and was true to his "soundbite." I’m so glad we opted for her essay review service."

"I really thought I knew how to navigate the process of college admissions. I learn something new every time I read Sara's blog posts."

Kelly (Parent, Class of 2020)

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"I wanted to thank Sara so very much for her timely and sage advice. As a Learning Specialist and as a mom with a rising senior, I really thought I knew how to navigate the process of college admissions. I learn something new every time I read Sara's blog posts. I have told all of my families to start following her. Thank you, Sara, for your candor and for your caring."

"Sara is the WOMAN and she nailed every single thing we've faced."

Traci (Parent, Class of 2019)

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"I want to thank Sara for all of her AWESOME emails that I subscribed to last fall. We are finally, finally out of the college admissions process and EVERY single email I got from Sara helped get me through it all. It has been an unbelievable journey - humbling, disappointing, ultimately joyful. With my whole heart I believe we needed to go through this journey for my son to really, really appreciate his final acceptance. He is a top performer so I think there was room (for all of us) to gain some humility in this process. I say we have and I've never seen anyone so appreciative for where he is now. Sara is the WOMAN and she nailed every single thing we've faced."

"Joining Application Nation helped us get through every step of the application process, making the overwhelming actually doable!"

Lisa (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2019)

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"Joining Application Nation helped us get through every step of the application process, making the overwhelming actually doable! What we would like to know is how Sara manages to have private clients, answer every Facebook post, host Zoom calls 2 times a month, have 3 children and still find time to look so beautiful on each call?? We do have one regret, that we didn’t learn of Sara until May…. SUPER SARA!!"

"Sara is so positive, supportive and genuine in all her advice. She is the very best resource for everything involved in the college application process.”

Kerri (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2019)

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"Sara Harberson is like no other. She has made every part of the college application process so much smoother, but her essay review was so unbelievably thoughtful and thorough that we knew we made an excellent choice. Sara put so much time, care and knowledge into crafting my daughter's essay into the very best piece of writing it could be while still maintaining the integrity of my daughter's own words. We both felt so incredibly grateful to have someone with her expertise giving us guidance on the very best way to highlight my daughter's strengths in this very important piece of the application. Sara is so positive, supportive and genuine in all her advice. She is the very best resource for everything involved in the college application process.

"Sara's attention to detail and knowledge of issues large and small has provided critical guidance and reassurance for our family. As my daughter says whenever we have a question, 'Do what Sara says.'"

Karen (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2019)

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"Our experience with Application Nation plus individual essay review has been fabulous and tremendously valuable. Sara's attention to detail and knowledge of issues large and small has provided critical guidance and reassurance for our family. As my daughter says whenever we have a question, 'Do what Sara says.'  As the parent and primary editor of all the application materials, I look forward to the Facebook discussion board as I learn something each day."

"Sara is magic! Her knowledge is invaluable. Her patience is infinite. Her kindness is immeasurable."

Patricia (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2019)

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"Sara is magic! Her knowledge is invaluable. Her patience is infinite. Her kindness is immeasurable. As a parent, it is comforting to know (and hope) that the admissions officer reviewing my kid’s application will be as thoughtful, caring and genuine as Sara Harberson and Sarah Massari. I am sure in the end it will all work out for my son and know that because of Sara’s guidance and solid questions posted on Application Nation, he is presenting himself in the best light. The greatest part is watching him take charge of his future and have confidence that he has a good story to tell. Thank you!"

"Sara's thoughtfulness and genuine care for the students going through this process shines through with every interaction."

Tracy (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2019)

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"Sara has been a superb asset in this challenging endeavor—the college admission process! Her candid and prompt feedback has been critical in this time of great stress and competing priorities. She always approaches a response to a question with a smile and positive spin even with difficult scenarios. Her thoughtfulness and genuine care for the students going through this process shines through with every interaction. Sara’s support with the main essay has been immensely helpful. Her attention to detail and insight to help craft a great story has been invaluable! With heartfelt thanks…thank you Sara!"

"Working with Sara, America’s College Counselor, has been a better experience than we could have ever expected."

Adele (Application Nation Parent, Class of 2019)

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"Working with Sara, America’s College Counselor, has been a better experience than we could have ever expected. As a mother of twins I was feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed. I found Sara Harberson on Facebook and with some hesitation joined the Application Nation group. We have been educated on the college application process and gained valuable information and support from Sara and other members. I cannot believe I hesitated for a moment, a small investment for a very large return. We now feel informed and confident. "

"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."

CPT and Susan (Military Family)

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"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."

Joseph (Parent, Class of 2018)

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"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."

"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."

Dawn (Parent, Class of 2015)

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“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.”

"Sara is the kind of college counselor — really coach — that every kid needs and will benefit from."

Mike (Parent, Class of 2016, 2019, and 2022)

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“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.”

"Sara was an extremely knowledgeable adviser throughout our entire process. She was always available and worked tirelessly on our behalf."

David (Parent, Class of 2015)

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“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.”

"I am not surprised - AT ALL - that Sara is being heralded by the most well-respected news outlets in the country as the pre-eminent expert in the field!"

Terry (Parent, Class of 2017 and 2018)

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“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!”