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We know California schools (they're kind of "our thing") 

Our students apply to schools all across the US, but almost all of them apply to at least one school within California. We have some of the deepest experience you can find with the California university system - both public and private.

There's gold in them hills

One could apply only to universities in California and be set. The state is stacked:

The UCs. Stanford. Harvey Mudd. USC. The Claremont Consortium. Caltech. CalPoly. Pepperdine. Santa Clara.  

We could go on. And we do, year after year, working with families who have their sights set on these and other amazing California schools. 

But all those great schools have made California admissions a bit like a gold rush: there's opportunity, but only for a select few. Acceptance rates at schools like Berkeley and Stanford fall precipitously every year, even for in-state students.

Our work is structured to help you find a foothold in the competitive landscape of California admissions. 

Over the last four years, 82% of our clients have applied to the UCs. We've developed a science of our approach to the UC application and to other private schools like Stanford, Caltech, and USC. 

Our team members have worked in selective admissions offices in California, several of us are proud products of the state's universities, and we have more than 20 years of combined experience helping students with CA admissions processes. 

All that experience is reflected in our hit rate. 

Nearly half of our students from the 2022-23 cohort got into UC Berkeley and UCLA. One in five got into Stanford. 

But it's not just California schools we work with - it's California students. Many of our clients come to us from highly competitive public and private schools in the state.

These clients know that California is a bubble. (I grew up in Marin County, a bubble within a bubble.) Our clients also know that, unfortunately, California applications tend to look all too homogenous. 

We help pop that bubble of homogeneity. Our California students craft successful college applications that stand out from their peers. This is an especially important bar to clear for the many gifted STEM students we work with each year.

Whether you're from the heart of the Bay Area and looking for someone who knows the schools here and their idiosyncracies, or a family in the Tri-State who needs a consulting partner to guide you through the Wild West, we'd love to hear from you.  

Want to know more about our approach to college admissions? Take a look at our philosophy about college admissions. Our team page is also a great resource to meet the faces of Sierra and learn a bit more about what makes us special. Or if you have specific questions about our work, methodology, or logistics, our FAQ page is a great place to start.

We've helped hundreds of students get into schools like these.

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"Couldn't be happier."

We’ve worked with Alex for four years and have had nothing but an amazing experience throughout. Our son did his applications with Alex and got into Brown, so we asked him to work with our daughter. In junior/senior year he helped my daughter build a school list and coached her through writing essays that were as amazing and personal as our son’s. She's now at Bowdoin. Couldn't be happier.

Jian B., Sierra Admissions Client (21-22')

"Truly gifted writing coaches."

We hired Sierra Admissions to help my son research what he wanted to study in school. Alex helped him land an amazing research position and brought my husband and me up to speed on the admissions process. Alex has become a mentor to Ken. They know the college process in and out and are truly gifted writing coaches. We recommend Sierra Admissions to everyone.

Kerry H., Sierra Admissions Client (20-21')

"Great result."

Our sophomore needed help thinking about career & major. Set up meetings twice a month and were ready to go by senior year. Brown BS/MD great result!

Hanish L., Sierra Admissions Client (21-22')

"Helped me brainstorm an essay I loved."

I like writing but the college essays are so weird. I had never really written a personal essay but Alex broke it down and helped me brainstorm an essay I loved.

Lily S., Georgetown University '26