Hi, I’m Kate Sonnenberg (she/her/hers), the founder of KS College Success and a college admissions expert who has seen the application process from numerous vantage points. As the mother of two young adults whom I assisted on their college admissions journeys (Amherst College ’19 and Wesleyan University ’21), I know where you are now. I started my career as an educational consultant working in the admissions office at Princeton University, my alma mater. At Princeton, I read thousands of applications each year, so I know what it takes to have an application that stands out. I bring this experience, as well as my background teaching English and my lawyerly eye for detail, to help guide families and empower students. With each student, I focus on academic, extracurricular, and social fit. I hope I can be a part of your student’s journey to college admissions success.
After graduating from Princeton, I had a two-year fellowship teaching English composition at the National University of Singapore. When I returned to the U.S., I attended law school at Columbia University. As much as I loved clerking for a federal judge and practicing law, my favorite part of being a lawyer was in the classroom, teaching legal writing. In addition to teaching at the college and graduate school level, I have been an active volunteer for years. Before launching KS College Success, I provided essay coaching for students who could not afford private counseling and tutored students in Newark, NJ. As chair of the Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee in Essex (NJ) and Hudson (NJ) counties, I coordinated the alumni interviewing program in northern New Jersey for over a decade. My commitment to service continues today in my volunteer role as Executive Director of EdPrep Scholars, a non-profit organization that provides free college counseling to high-achieving, low-income students. I supervise and mentor our volunteer college consultants, work one-on-one with EdPrep scholars, and support guidance counselors at high schools where they can have as many as 400 students in their caseload.
In addition to working with students, I share my experience and expertise with my colleagues. I am an instructor in the UC-Irvine Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program, where I teach a course on summer, gap year, and transfer students. I am also a Partner-Mentor in the Wow Writing Workshop College Essay Experience program, teaching consultants how to coach students on essay writing.
As a student of colleges, I regularly visit colleges (over 150 and counting!), where I meet with admissions representatives to get the inside story about college admissions trends. I attend and present at conferences and participate in over 24 seminars and webinars yearly. I completed the IECA Summer Training Institute and have a Certificate in College Counseling from UC-Irvine. I am a Certified Educational Planner (AICEP), certified Wow Writing Workshop essay coach and partner mentor, and a professional member of IECA, NACAC, NJACAC, HECA, and NCAG.
Hi, I’m Kate Sonnenberg (she/her/hers), the founder of KS College Success and a college admissions expert who has seen the application process from numerous vantage points. As the mother of two young adults whom I assisted on their own college admissions journeys (Amherst College ’19 and Wesleyan University ’21), I know where you are now. And as a former application reader in the Princeton University Admissions Office, where I read thousands of applications each year, I know what is takes to have an application that stands out. I bring this experience, as well as my background teaching English and my lawyerly eye for detail, to help guide families and empower students on their journey to college admissions success.
I am a graduate of Princeton University and the Columbia University School of Law. In addition to practicing law and teaching English composition and legal writing, I have been an active volunteer for years. Prior to launching KS College Success, I provided essay coaching for students who could not afford private counseling, tutored students in Newark, NJ, and, as chair of the Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee in Essex (NJ) and Hudson (NJ) counties, I coordinated the alumni interviewing program in northern New Jersey for over a decade. My commitment to volunteer work continues today. I devoted portion of my time to pro bono work, either directly advising students or supporting guidance counselors at high schools where they can have as many as 400 students in their caseload.
As a student of colleges, over the years I have visited hundreds of colleges where I often meet directly with admissions representatives to get the inside story about college admissions trends. To further my professional development, I regularly attends conferences, seminars, and webinars, including the IECA Summer Training Institute, and I have completed a Certificate in College Counseling from UC-Irvine. I am a member of IECA, NACAC, NJACAC, HECA and NCAG.
When I am not helping students apply to college, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our children. I also train my two German Shepherd dogs, Millie and Jaspers, read, and watch movies.
I’m an independent college consultant, but my clients call me a college concierge.
I believe deeply in the transformative power of college. That’s why I love helping students and their families cut through all the chatter so students can navigate the college admissions process with a clear head and focused purpose. Students like working with me because they find colleges that are great fits for them, and they avoid common mistakes in their applications.
Students are empowered to apply wisely, build their confidence, and get it right.
"I was able to rely on Kate to guide my student and lead him through the process, which i didn't have time or knowledge to do. Even if I do, my child may choose not to follow. But he happily followed Kate's guidance."
"Both my husband and I didn’t attend college in the U.S. so we’re we’re lost when it came to the process of college applications. We didn’t know how to pick good colleges, or to write persuasive essays, or what to look for during college visits."
"Kate helped me present my extra-curricular activities in a comprehensive way, so that the people reading my applications would understand how I would contribute to campus life."
"At the hardest point of the college application process, Kate lifted my daughter’s spirits up like no one else and helped her believe that opportunities are infinite. She helped my daughter turn her essays into engaging stories by asking thought-provoking questions, and magically motivated her not to give up on editing and improving the application until my daughter was truly happy about it."
"Thanks to Kate, my student was able to stay organized, to be guided properly researching schools and programs, and most importantly to complete all applications on timely manner without much stress."
"Thank you so much for all the help you have given me throughout this whole process. I couldn't even imagine this whole thing without you!"
"I wish we had found Kate earlier!"
"I can’t imagine what my daughter’s 2021 college application process would have been without Kate. With her honesty and genuine care, Kate became my daughter’s solid anchor during the turmoil."
"Kate provided an easy step-by-step roadmap that allowed me as a parent to relax and take a breath."
"Kate was instrumental in helping my daughter win a full-ride scholarship by helping her prepare for the scholarship interview."
I have worked as an application reader in the Princeton Admissions Office and coordinated and conducted alumni interviews for students applying to Princeton for over ten years. I invite you to join my private Facebook Group where students, parents, and local independent college consultants in Montclair and surrounding communities can discuss and share information about preparing for the college admissions process. Go here to join today! Montclair High Schools College Admissions Facebook Group