Why Choose The Academic Match?
Founder Paula Friedman, College Advisor Jodi Sears, and The Academic Match Team are experienced college counselors with backgrounds in psychology, business, and marketing. We are skilled at identifying ideal ways for students to promote their strengths in applications, essays, resumes, and interviews. We have been guest speakers at college-related information gatherings and workshop panels.
Paula earned her BA from Duke and MBA from the University of Michigan. Jodi earned her BA from UC-Berkeley and MBA from USC. Paula and Jodi earned a College Counseling Certificate (with Distinction) from UCLA and each has volunteered and worked in the College & Career Center of a local high school.
Our Personalized Approach
The Academic Match is not a franchise. We work with all levels and types of students (high school kids applying to college, transfer applicants and graduate school applicants). We enjoy engaging with students across a range of talents, interests, scores, and grades. We develop a strong connection with each of our students and will communicate with them in person or via phone, text, email, Zoom, FaceTime--whatever is the best way to reach them.
Our goal is to make the process of applying to college less stressful. We do not believe there is only one right path to a student’s future—but many excellent options to consider. We do not use outside resources for essay help given the importance of the student’s voice. We limit the number of students we work with to give each student the time, attention and support needed. We help parents and students to assess the best fit options and guide students through the process with perspective, encouragement and a healthy dose of humor!
Our Unique Tools
Paula and Jodi are the co-creators of BIG (Bold. Insightful. Genuine.) Essay Ideas Cards—a unique and proven approach to essay writing. We also use College Choice 101 Cards and the YouScience Assessment to create an optimal college list and recommend the major or majors that reflect a student’s interests and strengths.
Our Outstanding Partnerships
Paula and Jodi are collaborative business partners, which allows us to offer additional insight for our respective clients. We have excellent resources for tutoring, test prep, financial aid, and specialized college counseling needs (athletes, musicians, performing arts, learning differences, etc.).
Our Financial Value
We are fortunate to have excellent word-of-mouth referrals and low overhead. Each of us has a home-based office—although many of our students prefer to meet with us in their own home. Yes, we make house calls—on weekdays and weekends! Our package pricing is fair and offers flexibility. We have a high return on investment given the merit aid scholarships or financial aid that many of our students are awarded.
Our Parenting Experience
We have experienced the college search and application process as parents, so we have the personal knowledge and insight on how to guide students. We are passionate about working with young adults and know how to engage them!
Our Student and Parent Satisfaction
Our strong repeat business and referrals are the best testimony of our client relationships. Paula and Jodi have worked with several students in a family and have helped many of their former high school students with grad school applications, job search, or other academic and career counseling needs.
Our Commitment to Training and Learning:
Paula and Jodi regularly attend college counseling conferences, seminars and webinars to stay updated. We are aware of the nuances and inconsistencies that exist in college admissions and help our student to plan accordingly. We actively consult with other college counselors across the globe and are active members of HECA, NACAC & WACAC.