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Dr. Michele Hernandez
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DR. MICHELE HERNANDEZ is known as America’s premier college consultant through her work with high school students and her bestselling books: A is for Admission (Warner), The Middle School Years (Warner), and Acing the College Application (Ballantine). She is the president and founder of Hernandez College Consulting ( and co-founder and co-president of Application Boot Camp (

Hernández has been featured in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs including Newsweek, Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Atlantic Monthly, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and MNSNBC and NPR.

As an Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College for four years and the academic dean of a private high school in South Florida, Hernández has crafted a unique angle for assisting students gain admissions to the most selective colleges, incorporating her “inside perspective” on the admissions adventure. She is one of a small handful of college consultants with years of hands on admissions experience and a ten-year history of helping students through her work.

Dr. Hernández graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1989 and went on to earn a Master’s degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern. She is married to Bruce Bayliss, former headmaster of the International School in Portland, Oregon. They have two children, three golden retrievers and a Gordon setter. In her non-existent spare time, Hernández enjoys stargazing with her 16 ½ inch Dobsonian telescope, working out and reading obsessively. The family lives in Weybridge, Vermont.

Entries by Dr. Michele Hernandez

College is Much More Than an End Game

(8) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 12:28 PM

New York Times journalist Frank Bruni called me some time ago to chat about the frenzy that accompanies admission to top colleges. Having worked at Dartmouth College in the admissions office and 15 years as a college consultant, I've seen every facet of admissions: the good, the bad and the...

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Why Highly Selective Colleges Should Kiss the Common App Goodbye

(8) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 9:04 AM

I'm a card-carrying member of the college admissions "old guard," having spent from 1992-1997 evaluating applications for Dartmouth College as an Assistant Director of Admissions. We were troglodytes who used actual "paper" files in actual hard copy folders (remember those?) that arrived at our office via (gasp) the United States...

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Save Our Teenagers: Ditch the SAT Reasoning Test

(22) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 3:08 PM

One of my students, a bright young woman from Westchester County, took a break from her marathon SAT Saturday study session to call me. She was anxious about her practice test scores even after prepping for 30 hours last summer and three hours every Saturday since with her tutor. She's...

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10 Secrets for Top College Admissions

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 12:53 PM

The following 10 college admissions secrets seek to offer insight into the college application and preparation process:

1.) High test scores are not a hook

High test scores alone (SAT/Subject Tests/ACT/AP/TOEFEL) do not guarantee admission to any institution. High test scores can boost the chances that your application...

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What Harvard and Princeton Don't Want You to Know

(7) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 7:16 PM

It's refreshing when two of the supposed most intelligent institutions in the world make an intelligent decision. This week, Harvard (followed an hour later by Princeton) announced that it would reinstitute the single action early action policy it abandoned four years ago.

Across the country, students, parents and high school...

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Tiger Kids With Heart: What the Ivies Want

(4) Comments | Posted February 14, 2011 | 2:32 PM

"Our son is in 8th grade and he will go to Harvard, Stanford or Yale -- how can you help us reach our goal." That's how the dialogue begins with many Chinese parents I speak with day in and day out as a college consultant.

Note the possessive pronoun that...

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Harvard Hampers Admissions at All Top Colleges

(41) Comments | Posted May 27, 2010 | 2:25 PM

College acceptances, which went out at the end of last month, broke records for the 10th year in a row: Harvard admitted only 6.9%, Stanford 7.2%, Princeton 8.2%, Brown 9.3%, MIT 10.1%, Dartmouth, 11.5%, University of Pennsylvania 14.22%, Duke 14.8%. Those lucky admittees will be deciding where to go; the...

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