Full of personality, always supportive, and possessing an incredible sense of humor, Garth provides unique and personal guidance through college applications. He helped me write essays bursting with my personality, select colleges that fit me best, and most importantly, he helped me discover who I am. He knew me so well that I often forgot he had other students! Garth is not just an incredible college counselor, but in his own words, a “coach for life”. Even after high school, he still remains one of my closest friends.
- AY, Cornell University
Garth completely changed the way I viewed both the college admissions process and college in general. I can’t imagine how different my mindset would’ve been had I not been under his guidance. At the beginning of the college application process, I was anxious and insecure about virtually everything: deadlines, requirements, my writing ability, etc. By the time I submitted my last application, I felt confident and genuinely happy with everything I’d written and the colleges I chose to apply to. Garth does more than expertly edit his students’ essays (which he does amazingly; you won’t believe how many times a sentence can be revised and rewritten). He mentors and supports his students, pushing them to engage in true and valuable introspection. Through his guidance, I’ve learned so much about myself, things that were absolutely integral to my college applications. Every week, I could count on Garth to completely change the way I viewed a certain prompt or pull ideas from my head that I didn’t even know I could think of. He does not write anything for his students. He meticulously guides them through their disorganized thoughts and works with them until they produce quality work. The college application process is so tricky these days and I honestly don’t think I’d be attending the college I’m headed to in the fall if it weren’t for him. Not because he magically made me a more qualified, accomplished student, but because he taught me how to present myself to admissions officers in ways that were targeted and effective. My essays would be completely different had I not sought his help. I am forever grateful to Garth not for guiding me to a prestigious college but for helping me produce writing I am truly proud of, for giving me confidence about pursuing my major and entering a new chapter in my life, and, lastly, just for constantly being there. His accessibility, warmth, and support are priceless resources to have when navigating the college application process and I am lucky to have had them.
- SY, Columbia University
I would not hesitate to say that working with Garth was the best part of my college application process. For me, college application generated great stress and anxiety, but Garth’s constructive feedback, clear instructions, and kind words have always cleared away my stress and confusion. It is also under his guidance that I realized that college application is not a haunt for prestigious universities, but instead a process of self-growth and a search for a four-years home where I will thrive both academically and personally. More importantly, what makes Garth different from other university counselors and consulting agencies is the exceptional amount of care he gives to each student. He is more like an inspiring mentor and an accessible friend rather than a distant teacher. Garth would constantly reach out even after the application season ended. I will never forget how, during the summer of my senior year, Garth gave me a full list of his fictions and non-fictions (plus his personal stories with some of his favorites) to my simple request for a book recommendation. Such examples are innumerable, and I am beyond grateful to have worked with him.
- CX, Vassar College
I was particularly anxious when my parents first hired Mr. Robertson as a counselor, given that most counselors I’d heard of sounded like they had cookie-cutter plans for each of their students. But after a few meetings with Mr. Robertson, I realized that he was willing to let me make most of the decisions, like which schools to apply to and what topics to write about in my essays, in the college application process. I’m not particularly good at writing essays, so Mr. Robertson was especially helpful during this phase. He was patient and understanding as I asked him for his opinion regarding the nuances between different words and phrasings I had difficulty choosing. Although I wrote, maybe, 8 drafts for each essay on average, Mr. Robertson consistently gave me constructive criticism which I could use to further improve my essays and writing skills. Most importantly, Mr. Robertson is a genuinely good person who is unafraid to give a you a talking to when he thinks what you’re doing is detrimental to your application or yourself as a person. By the time decisions came out, I had been admitted to the two schools I had placed at the top of my college ranking list. If you are looking for a counselor who will get you into the schools of your dreams, make you a better person, and a make you a better writer, look no further than Mr. Robertson.
- JW, Stanford University
Mr. Robertson was truly there for me every step of the way (from picking high school classes to the final minutes before application deadlines, and then some), and his emails filled with thoughtful advice and detailed planning still inspire and guide me to this day. Now that I’m in college, I can see that Mr. Robertson not only helped me apply for college but also prepared me for succeeding in college. Whenever I draft a follow-up email, brainstorm for an internship application, or write an essay for class, there’s Garth in my head, a shoulder angel with astute advice and watchful guidance.
(For those of you who play(ed) Pokémon, it’s something like this: “Garth’s words echoed… There’s a time and place for everything, and right now, you need to be consistent about comma use, condense this paragraph around your key points, and…”)
I would not be the writer, student, or individual I am today if not for Mr. Robertson. He’s so, so much more than a college consultant; he’s more of a personal life coach for students. He has helped me to become a more organized, deliberate, and self-reflective person and has taught me to see the details in the details.
He’s the kind of person that you’d want to sit down with and pick his brain over coffee, because he is just so knowledgeable, personable, and willing to help in any way he can. Mr. Robertson is remarkable at what he does and I am infinitely grateful to have been learned from the best.
- ML, University of California, Berkeley
The college application process can look completely impenetrable from an outside perspective. Mountains of essays and pages upon pages of background information and forms that you’re required to fill out can be extremely overwhelming. But that’s where Garth comes in. His knowledge and amiability put me at ease from the beginning, and his focused planning kept me confident in myself throughout the process. One of the best things about Garth’s advice on essays is his ability to aim you toward betterment without superseding you. Throughout the mass of essays I wrote, they always felt better and more focused after a back-and-forth with Garth, but they never felt like they lost my voice, something that was extremely important for me. All in all, I definitely don’t think that I would be where I am today without him, and more than that I’m just glad to know such a kind and friendly person.
- LM, University of Chicago
Above all else, working with Mr. Garth Robertson has paid dividends. I began working with him in the middle of my sophomore year. I had aspirations for a dream college, yet virtually no idea how to make my dreams reality. It was Mr. Robertson’s guidance that helped me realize and utilize my deeper talents in order to attain my goal of acceptance at Harvard. Mr. Robertson helped me through a variety of things, including planning my academic and extracurricular schedule, ironing out a study plan to help me stay focused, and above all else, helping revise my college essays. Though I consider myself a good essayist, college supplements are tricky, vague, and even rhetorical at times. It is absolutely essential to have a well-cultured mind read through your essays and provide suggestions. A Northwestern graduate and a natural book lover, Mr. Robertson has been exposed to the arts his entire life. Unlike the typical counselor, Mr. Robertson fully shares his talents with his clients by providing step-by-step ideas throughout the revision process, indicating both minor faults and issues with the main idea. Mr. Robertson, in a matter of 4 revisions, helped transform my essay from a lackluster work with good potential to a spirited expression of my psyche. I would confidently recommend Mr. Robertson’s services to all high schoolers who are serious about attending top notch schools.
- RD, Harvard University
There’s a level of specificity and care that Garth puts into each of his relationships which simply cannot be replicated. The most effective college essays for top-tier institutions move beyond descriptions of achievements and goals. They embody the applicant’s personality—quirks, passions, obsessions—all in 500 words or less. In these terms, and accepting that any competitive college essay be devoid of grammatical and typographical errors, a college counselor may seem useless—after all, a hired professional cannot possibly get to know a student well enough in such limited time to constructively assist in a full-fledged personality portrayal. But that’s just what Garth does, which is why I’ve never been able to just call him my college counselor, why I’ve never been comfortable interacting with him on merely a counselor/student level, and why the term “college counselor” represents such a rudimentary level of Garth’s services. Garth is a massive basketball junky so he will probably appreciate this analogy: up and coming NBA coach Mark Jackson of the Golden State Warriors once told ESPN that before he could coach his players, he had to get to know them, eat dinner with their families, understand their lives. Garth’s involvement in my application essays eclipsed the 20 time recycled word documents, inconceivably sassy comments, and corrections. It stretched to me, the nuances of my personality, and everything beyond academics and extra-curriculars that I initially found so difficult to put on paper. It’s incredibly difficult for me to imagine a college counselor genuinely craving to understand a client as well as Garth understood me, so consider this a testimony for a close friend.
- KW, Wake Forest University
If you haven’t met Garth yet, man, your life is missing the greatest person ever. Like his favorite word, Garth is awesome. He is, without a doubt, the best that IvyMax has; it’s no surprise they made him Chief Editor. I think I would’ve died midway through the application essay process without him. He gives incredibly creative ideas and will work so patiently and thoroughly with you, you feel like you’re his only student. (Unfortunately, you can’t be, because he’s so highly demanded.) After a while, you start to revere his comments like holy lines from the Bible—his suggestions are that amazing. To add to the goody package, this guy works during ungodly hours, holidays, and plane flights. He takes super good care of you, checking in with you and perfecting everything until the minute before submission. He’s a very talented cheerleader, too, so his moral support continues even after the application process. No matter how down you’re feeling, his optimism dissolves your raincloud better than the sun. Anyone who has the opportunity to receive his guidance is one of the luckiest students ever.
- JL, Yale University
When my mom first suggested that I seek a college counselor, I was a little hesitant. While the college application process definitely seemed daunting, I was unsure if seeking a counselor would be the most beneficial route for me. Questions like “What if we don’t click?” or “How will I manage to balance my heavy AP course-load and extracurriculars with counselor meetings?” ran through my mind more than once. When I met Mr. Garth Robertson, all of my worries and doubts faded away. His vast amounts of knowledge and expertise convinced me that I was in good hands, and his warm, attentive personality made him incredibly easy to work with. Mr. Robertson genuinely cares about each and every one of his students. During our sessions, Mr. Robertson constantly impressed me with his advice; he helped eradicate many college application myths and made me realize that the college application process is about self growth, not cut-throat competition. Under his guidance, I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible, and learned to utilize my internal drive to search out opportunities that not only made me a stand out applicant, but also helped me find and further explore important interests and hobbies. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to know Mr. Robertson — he is one of the people I look up to the most, and he has become an irreplaceable friend. I whole-heartedly recommend Mr. Robertson as a college counselor — it has been an honor and privilege working with him.
- YL, Duke University
Acceptance into the school of my dreams, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, would not have been possible without the care and guidance of Mr. Robertson. With the college process becoming increasingly competitive every year, a strong emphasis is placed on creating the perfect set of essays to complement my credentials. Prompts such as the page 217 essay of Penn’s application were hard to start, hard to write, and hard to perfect, and definitely would have been impossible to execute without Mr. Robertson helping me through the process. Mr. Robertson attentively corrected my Penn early decision essays more than 40 times, catching small errors such as both ‘gray’ and ‘grey’ written in different parts of the essay. I would receive emails in the early morning hours with further correction suggestions, proof that Mr. Robertson goes far above and beyond the average college application professional, that both edited my essay and also drove me to be a better writer. I am grateful that Mr. Robertson helped me create an application package that genuinely represented my personality and background in the best of light.
- JL, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton
I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of working with Mr. Robertson throughout my sophomore to senior years of high school. In addition to being a reliable counselor who advised me through the stresses of academic life, he thoroughly edited my applications for colleges and enrichment programs. His insightful suggestions and comments aided me in improving my writing tenfold, easing my acceptance into some very competitive places. What sets Mr. Robertson apart from the usual teacher is his genuine commitment to the success of his students. I could always count on Mr. Robertson to help me transform the mediocre to marvelous, even during last-minute rushes before deadlines. His upbeat personality and fantastic sense of humor also grounded me through difficult, SAT-filled times. I can confidently say that Mr. Robertson’s amazing guidance has played a huge role in bringing me to where I am now.
- KW, Dartmouth College
For anyone who knows Garth, he is amiable, personable, and extremely hardworking. Today’s college admissions is both highly competitive and convoluted; without an excellent mentor, one can easily become lost in the process. From day one, Garth has been there to guide me. From choosing next semester’s classes to asking how well I was balancing my extra-curriculars, Garth personalizes this process, building a plan based on the student instead of adjusting a vague one like many
companies do these days. He spends hours at times editing essays, reviewing applications, and giving sound advice. Above all, he is realistic and honest.
No words can express how thankful I am for Garth’s mentor-ship. He has truly changed my life. Now, I am sitting on an early acceptance to my top choice, the University of Chicago, with a generous merit scholarship. His tough-love advice really pays off in the end. I have also been accepted to every single school that I have heard back from, all due to Garth’s help. I highly recommend his services to anyone who many benefit from that extra boost to reach their dream college—I certainly did.
- JJ, University of Chicago
As a college consultant, Mr. Robertson has far exceeded my expectations. My first impression of him was that he genuinely cared about my (totally unnecessary) college paranoia. My second impression of him was that he really knew his stuff. Perhaps the reason that his students’ college acceptances are so successful is that he tries to fit the college to the student, rather than the other way around. It wasn’t until we started working on my essays, however, that he made me believe that I actually stood a chance to get into a college. Due to serious procrastination (despite Mr. Robertson’s constant admonitions), I ended up having way too much on my hands with too little time. Needless to say, I was pretty ready to just spew out some verbal diarrhea, slap it on Commonapp, hit the submit button, and call it a day. Mr. Robertson’s expectations, however, forced me to crank out fifth, sixth drafts of my essays. The day before the due date, he refused to sleep until I completed my work. Even after the essay season, he constantly reached out to me to follow up with deferral updates. Come March, April, May, and he was still there to help me decide my college. Mr. Robertson started out as my college counselor and eventually became an inspiration and a valuable friend. He certainly does way more than what’s on his “job description.”
- AC, Columbia University
Garth is definitely one of the most inspiring people I’ve met, who not only provided me advice in choosing colleges but also helped me discover my talents and explore my interests. Garth is a great counselor and life mentor; by working with him, I successfully found the field (computer science and game simulation art science) I am genuinely passionate about, and I truly appreciate his guidance.
- ES, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Mr. Robertson truly cares for the well-being of all his students. He is devoted to working towards the success and happiness of each and every one of his students. Whenever you need his assistance, he is there ready to give his advice or lend a helping hand. I truly enjoyed working with Mr. Robertson and cannot thank him enough for all the effort and hours of hard work he put into helping me achieve my goals!
- EC, Harvard University
Garth is a great advisor, editor, and sounding board. He helps put the abstract values and ideas you have into real words. He guides in the analysis of ideas but never takes the words out of your mouth. His grammar and syntax is superb, and he’s very logical in approach. That makes him easy to follow and a pleasure to work with.
- AL, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton
Garth is surely among the most influential people in my life. In fact, when parents or students ask me for advice regarding the college process, the main tip I have is to work with him. Not any other college counselor. Garth. What stood out immediately when I first began working with Mr. Robertson was his professionalism. He is hardworking and organized, always ready for our meetings and never confusing me with anyone else despite all of his other students. As we began building my application he showed how knowledgeable he was about anything even remotely related to colleges and the admission process. I sent him so many emails asking about various minutiae that I would have annoyed myself, but Garth always gives me a full, detailed reply. It was when I began writing my college essays that Garth truly became my role model for hard work and excellence. He would work for hours revising my essays with me until I had a finished product that I was genuinely excited about. Even after he guided me to Northwestern he still remains a life friend who will always be there. I am excited to attend his alma mater and all I can say on behalf of my entire family and me is, “Thank you, Garth!”
- SL, Northwestern University
Without Mr. Robertson, I would never survive the application season. He is just the best. At first, I was very hesitant to seek a college consultant, because I stereotyped that all consultants are about squeezing their students into the highest-ranking college possible, but Mr. Robertson proved me wrong. My Junior year summer became one of the best summers ever due to his encouragement to apply for summer program and internship in lab. I learnt so much skills and met great people that helped me till now. He is such a caring person, and care so much more about his students than just getting into a well-known college. When we were brainstorming the topics of essays, he helped me dug so deep into my experiences and found shining pieces which I would never think worth acknowledging. Then in the process of writing essays, he was always very patient when I was procrastinating and helped me turn my below-average writings to college essays that we were satisfied with. He was also very generous at giving out valuable life advices and helped me so much more than just college application but my study, life and relationships. I cannot thank him enough for the work and care he put into me.
- AD, University of California, Los Angeles
Garth is a great advisor, mentor and friend overall. He helps to break the complicated process of college admission down to smaller, more understandable chunks. In terms of my essay work, he guided me to fix every single grammatical mistake I’d made, and aided me in organising my ideas into paragraphs. His sense of logic and reason is superb. To me, Garth is not simply just a counselor, but also a person who introduced me to the American way of thinking and living. That makes him more of a mentor and a pleasure to work with.
- CL, New York University
Garth is not only a highly conscientious mentor during my college application process, but also a kind, patient, and understanding friend during one of the most important times in my life. As a college counselor, he has definitely been very professional since I began to work on my applications under his guidance. He is always very organized, and has a well-developed and helpful mechanism that assists students in taking their initial steps and researching about schools. As an international student, I was most impressed by his ability to put together abstract ideas and even the most subtle feelings that I can hardly convey into beautiful, concrete phrases. Our conversations and his amazing comments often inspire me with new ideas and perspectives. All in all, I can’t be more grateful for his emotional support when I was experiencing different kinds of stress while I was applying for college. It’s almost like he has a kind of super power that soothes me and reassures me of my abilities, helping me regain confidence whenever I needed to have faith in myself. Without him, I never would have been able to get through all these on my own.
- JW, Bowdoin College
When I decided to go to America for college in my junior year, I had no idea where to start. It was Mr. Garth Robertson who eliminated all my uncertainties and plotted a way for me to my dream college. He is the best college counselor. Garth’s expertise, efficiency, and patience ensured me that I was in good hands. Our meetings often lasted more than the expected hour; his feedback was fast and detailed, including both nuance grammar suggestions and guidance on the main idea; My essays were revised at least ten times, with hundreds of comments by Garth, until those 650 words were really maximized to reveal my personality, down to the very specifics.
But Garth was far beyond just a college counselor. As a Northwestern graduate, book lover, sports fan, and father of two lovely children, Garth has the most fascinating and caring personality. He is my friend who is always open to share experience and insights and has the super power to comfort and encourage me whenever I was anxious. Garth’s guidance was like a mirror–at times I feel he knows me better than myself. However, he would never try to tell me who I am or who I should be, but instead would lead me to explore. Thanks to Garth, I had a much better understanding of myself, of college, of America, and of the world by the end of my application.
- JL, Duke University
Garth is a phenomenal mentor. He is approachable, supportive, and incredibly insightful when it comes to the college selection, application, and decision process. Garth’s focus is on authenticity, and I believe that is the most important trait when it comes to college applications. He made sure my college applications genuinely reflected my values and experiences. I was able to grow as an individual and learn more about myself when working with him. Garth pushed me to be the best that I could be and helped me realize my full potential. With Garth’s guidance and support, I was able to gain acceptances to 12 highly ranked universities! Garth has helped me become a better writer beyond college essays, leaving me confident for writing endeavors in college and career. Garth made the college application process enjoyable, stress-free, and memorable. I can’t thank him enough for his guidance, advice, and help!
- AZ, University of Southern California
Garth was someone I knew I could trust from our very first meeting. It was early on in the process, and I was completely lost and doubtful on the idea of an outside counselor. Garth was incredibly helpful and genuine even in that introductory session, and gave me so much insight and personality that I knew he would be an absolutely blast to work with. Turns out I was totally right, and he not only gave very good advice throughout the entire process on all aspects, but also worked tirelessly to edit all my drafts and make sure I got them on time. Garth also got to know his students very well, and gave insight on colleges according to each individual’s personality and fit. He never compromised my authenticity in essay editing, and also meticulously checked over every small grammar mistake. Honestly, I have no idea how I would have gotten through this crazy process without him, and I can’t even express all my gratitude in words. I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten to know him and work with him, and I would recommend him to literally everyone who wants success in their college admissions (or just a friend to talk to).
- CW, Williams College
Mr. Robertson is not only an amazing college counselor, life coach, and advice-giver, but he is also an amazing friend and teacher. He has gone beyond the regular student-counselor relationship in guiding me through the difficult processes of applying for college. Throughout our sessions he had unwavering confidence in my abilities, even when I didn’t have confidence in myself. Together, we discovered my goals and passions; without him, I would not be where I am today. Mr. Robertson dedicated countless hours to reading and commenting on my essays. I would often see an essay I had worked so hard on torn apart with the right-hand margin overflowing with comment tabs. But aside from the mechanics of applying for college, Mr. Robertson was always there to give me good life advice or intimate insight on the colleges I applied to. I’m so lucky to have met and worked with someone who so whole-heartedly cares for his students. Mr. Robertson has played an enormous role in shaping who I am today, and where I will go. I cannot thank him enough.
- HL, Northwestern University
Garth has made the seemingly scary process of college application totally enjoyable to me! I just can’t say enough of how I appreciate the personal attention that I got from working with him. After we talked for several times and got to know each other, he gave me a list of recommended colleges. USC was on the list. I liked it, but I never thought that it would match every aspect of my imagination for college! When I visited, I knew that this is the place that I’m going to be so happy at. Garth just knows better what kind of college suits me than I do myself!
His diligence is shown in each and every elaborated email response and essay suggestions. I was especially known for my wordiness in writing, and I had some trouble with cutting my essays down the the word limit. We worked together to polish my writing. For one of my essays, we revised it for 9 times! Every draft was filled with Garth’s long margin notes of how he thought I could make the passage stronger. Those suggestions could always shine a new light on my perspectives.
I also ask a lot of questions. Garth always replies with helpful answers within very short amount of time. During my application process, when my parents told me: “I think you really need to do…” I would reply them: “Ok, ok, but I would really like to hear Garth’s opinion first.” That’s what I would use to describe how helpful his advises are. Even after the application process, he would answer every question I had to the best of his ability. At that moment, I learned that I have not only gained a counselor for college, but also a mentor and friend for life.
After all, I would say Garth is the person who knows what to do to send you to your dream college and how to make the process enjoyable!
- JS, University of Southern California
As a college counselor, Garth not only knows the workings of the application process to its core, but he is also kind, knowledgeable, easy to talk to, and extremely hardworking. For me, Garth’s trademark essay edits were “be more specific” and “add more voice”. Although I would groan in frustration whenever I saw those phrases, I know that without his high standards and push towards perfection, my college essays would have been shallow, repetitive, and generic — definitely not at the standard to get me into a school like Northwestern. Not only did Garth help me become a more attractive college applicant, but also a better writer and a more curious learner. A constant source of intellectual inspiration, Garth shared books and articles with me and never failed to ask questions that forced me to think deeper. He also introduced me to and helped me pursue summer programs and internships related to my interest in journalism. The amount of personal attention Garth pays to each of his students is of the highest caliber and I am so thankful that I had the privilege of working with him.
- KL, Northwestern University
I remember thinking that I knew exactly what admissions directors wanted to see. Garth definitely proved me wrong. I can easily say that I wouldn’t have gotten into one of the top public universities (arguably the best public university) in the nation if it hadn’t been for Mr. Robertson’s endless support and professional advice. Even with the time difference between us, Garth constantly made himself available to me. If I was ever behind on deadlines, Garth would check-in with me and make sure that I got back on track. There was never a moment that I could’ve doubted his expertise. His precise and well-organized process for writing college essays is a breath of fresh air for someone like me who was lost in the world of applications. Mr. Robertson has a vast understanding for essay prompts of the past, present, and future. His thorough edits were evidently a result of the tireless hours he spent looking into every detail of my applications. He had a extensive knowledge and unbiased opinion on every college I aspired to apply to. He could answer all the inquiries I had (and there were a multitude) whether it be about scholarships, university location, majors and minors, ACT/SAT, application due dates, financial aid, housing, and much more. He knew how to navigate the most daunting of college web pages to find the exact information I was searching endlessly for. He is always two steps ahead of the top universities and continuously reassured me to push forward when I was a few steps behind. He emphasizes the importance of being introspective throughout the application experience and ensures that his students end up at the colleges that fit them best. It is because of Garth that I was able to finish my applications with the confidence of knowing that I poured my heart and personality into every single essay I wrote. I am certain that there is no other counselor who knows better than Garth.
- PS, University of California, Berkeley