Academic Enrichment

It's never too early

Ivy Scholars works with gifted and talented middle school and early high school students to ensure their future is as bright as possible. An early start in the university admissions process can make all the difference. Students graduate from our Academic Transitions ready to launch their best possible high school experience.

Ivy Scholars students often experience unconventional issues with high school transitions. These include learning differences and disabilities, entry into 10th-12th grade, entry from a foreign education system, and entry with incomplete mastery of academic content requirements.

We start by assessing our student’s skills and crafting a personalized enrichment plan. This plan provides students practice material and timelines for developing their existent interests while preparing to ace their upcoming entrance exams (ISEE, HSPT, SSAT). Our work isn’t just rote practice – we hedge against burnout by helping students build upon their existing study and organization strategies.

We’re experts at navigating high school curricula from across the state of Texas. We ensure that your child is ahead of the curve when it comes to mathematics and world language coursework placement. We take the time to make sure our middle schoolers are ready to build a confident relationship with math over their next four years.

  • Academic Evaluation and Skills Benchmark
  • Customized Enrichment Development Plan
  • Credit-by-Exam (CBE) Preparation
  • Early Start Extracurricular Achievement Materials
  • Interest Development Mentorship
  • Supplemental Materials for Current Coursework
  • High School Strategy for Houston, TX
  • Options for In-Person, Phone, Email, and Skype Sessions

“Sasha tutored me in physics, chemistry, English composition, and SAT preparation. He also provided substantial guidance for my college essays and application process.

Sasha’s tutoring helped alleviate the stress of a heavy course load in my junior year. His own academic achievements, such as graduating a year early with a double major, was proof of his strong grasp of academic subjects. He always strove to understand my comfort level so that he could tailor his tutoring to me individually. Not only was he well versed in math and science, but also he provided extraordinary insight on my English essays and SAT reading composition questions. Sasha’s advice opened new perspectives on writing that went beyond simple grammar corrections, and ultimately he pushed me to write beyond what high school English teachers expected of me to prepare for my teachers at Columbia.

I entered the college application process the same way all of my classmates did: uncertain, confused, and stressed. For everything I had done in my four years–all, seemingly, for this one moment–it appeared as if the crucial decision rested on a matter of semantics. 640 words and a Why question. I approached Sasha looking for guidance on my common app essay and my Columbia application. At the time I didn’t know what I wanted, or even Why Columbia. But I had to answer Why Columbia, and in the case of being unconvincing, answer Why for other schools.

Sasha never crafted a golden, perfect essay for me. He didn’t simply focus on the essay I brought to him, he sought to understand me first before even looking at the essay. He understood the pressure of an intensely competitive academic environment, at times more stifling than stimulating. I confided in him, and he, unlike other college advisors who demand thousands of dollars to mold students to an outdated formula, focused on expressing my individuality through my application while showcasing my accomplishments and talents. He asked me about what I wanted in my college, my environment, and my education. He asked me about what I wanted, period, and because of him I considered not only whether a college would accept me, but also whether it would fit me. Sasha didn’t look at me as just another student who may or may not get into her dream school. Sasha invested himself in understanding my visions, my problems, and my experiences so that he could best mentor me. I firmly believe that the introspection I gained through him, coupled with his formal guidance on my essays, was crucial for my application.

Beyond the goal of crafting college essays which contained enough depth and distinction and interest, Sasha’s advice on writing still aids me tremendously. I reached out to Sasha because I knew of his brilliance in writing, but it is quickly evident to anyone from his advice. He challenged me to look at myself differently through my writing. He had no qualms about telling me to scrap entire paragraphs and rewrite them. Once I got over my hang-ups on taking out a nice-sounding line, my writing became fluid. After talking with Sasha, all of my 640 words were different, and completely my own. I had written a common app essay which a friend later told me gave her goose bumps. To this day I am immensely proud of it, and I owe its development to Sasha.

Sasha never fails to impress me with his quick wit. He pursues many passions, and his understanding of the arts, sciences, and college trends allows him to relate to his students on many levels. He is wonderfully compassionate, always willing to offer thoughts, open about his own experiences, and unafraid to admit his own struggles. Sasha intellectually challenged me and helped develop my college apps, but most of all, he strongly believed in me. I cannot express my gratitude at his enthusiasm for guiding me through my thoughts, my academics, and my writing. He was the only person who advised me in my college applications, and I know he pours just as much effort and sincere care into each of his other students.

-Michelle

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5/5
Wendy Y.
Parent
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
5/5
Arda E.
Student
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
5/5
Samson S.
Parent
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!