iOS app Android app

Ishan Puri
Ishan Puri is the founder and CEO of Synocate (, a college admissions agency that helps 9th-12th grade students find and develop activities, form personal themes, and articulate those in the admissions process.

With 10 students and graduates of Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, and Yale, Synocate has guided over 5,000 students over the past 5 years with an average acceptance rate of 4x the norm.

From Los Angeles, he is the author of The Applicant: An Insider’s Guide to the College Admissions Process. He graduated with a degree in Public Policy with a minor in Creative Writing from Stanford University.

He loves to play the didgeridoo, study linguistics, box, or take photographs. One day hopes to get involved in education reform at the national level. Feel free to give him a shout—he always loves an interesting conversation!

Entries by Ishan Puri

This Little Girl Is the Cutest Thing You Will See All Day

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 10:44 PM

We uncovered a gem on YouTube today - the utter joy of a girl seeing her father come home.

YouTube user Aubrei Gines caught the moment on camera for all of us to enjoy, and to share with Sky as she grows older.

First, Sky realizes that...

Read Post

How to Prepare for the New SAT

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 12:23 PM

The new Standardized Aptitude Test (SAT) has high school students, tutoring centers, universities, and the undergraduate education system waiting. In college admissions, students have always used the SAT as a barometer of where to apply -- whether that is right is another question. As a college admissions company, we have...

Read Post

College Admissions: Debunking the Myth of Prestige and Maximum Financial Success

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 3:02 PM

By Cyrus Pinto and Ishan Puri

College acceptances have plummeted in the last 15 years. The explosion of online applications and the Common App, have been a boon to access, reducing the barriers to applying. However, the increase in applications has resulted in eye popping acceptance numbers. Stanford's 5.05% acceptance...

Read Post

Do You Need a College Admissions Counselor?

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 12:21 AM

Every year we hear dizzying statistics about the college admissions process. Thousands of students apply to colleges with single digit acceptance rates, and often it feels like a lottery ticket to get accepted. Amidst this madness, many parents find resources to help their child: academic tutors and college admissions counselors....

Read Post

Surviving the College Admissions Hype

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 8:03 PM

Over the next several weeks, thousands of high school students will hear back from colleges with one of three results: accepted, waitlisted or rejected. High school seniors and their parents are anxious for the fated emails from universities.

For seniors, it feels like the culmination of hours of self-reflection...

Read Post

Extracurricular Activities: Finding Your Focus in College Admissions

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 2:49 PM

Harvard University accepted 5.9% of applicants last year, and Stanford admitted 5.1% of applicants - the lowest in college history. High school students increasingly turn to extracurricular activities to differentiate themselves, and even with that, they must apply to more and more schools to diversify their...

Read Post

The Most Overhyped Component of College Admissions

(2) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 12:01 PM

What major should I chose? One of the most common questions we get about the college admissions process is the major selection. From our experience helping 5,000 students through workshops and individually through the process, we conclude that the major selection is the most overrated entry on the common application....

Read Post

After Beating Nadal at Wimbledon, Is 19-Year-Old Nick Kyrgios the Next Big Thing?

(3) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Nick Kyrgios beats Rafael Nadal to advance to Wimbeldon semifinals, shows promise for the future, but is he the real deal?

19 year-old Nick Kyrgios stunned No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbeldon earlier this week, shining the spotlight on a rising star in tennis. Kyrgios, an...

Read Post

Maximize Your Summer

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 11:53 AM

Around the nation, the summer sun dawns a new beginning and change of pace. High school students ask the perennial question: "What should I be doing?" The sun beckons out to relax -- and yes, relaxation is very important, but summer is a critical time to build on extracurricular activities....

Read Post

INFOGRAPHIC: The Evolution of Printing

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 1:25 PM

From clay tablets to woodblock and magazines, media has evolved with time and technology. Check out this infographic for a quick reflection on our past and the acceleration of new mediums! Where will we go next? Comment below!


Read Post

Hollywood's Screenwriting Duo: Behind the Scenes with Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 5:59 PM

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Stephen McFeely and Chris Markus, co-writers of Pain and Gain, the Captain America series, and The Chronicles of Narnia series. Over the past decade, Steve and Chris went from being Master's students in Creative Writing at UC Davis to powerhouses in the...

Read Post

The Third Energy Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 3:11 PM

Energy is at the core of who we are and our activities every day. Whether it is firing synapses, moving cranes, or powering our homes, we run on energy. And our dependency is only growing: 7,000,000,000 humans with an annual growth rate of more than 1...

Read Post

A Broken Future: Fixing America's Education Problem

(3) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 3:59 PM

America is facing a crisis in education. There are many leading indicators that suggest we are lagging in technical education, undergraduate and graduate degrees, and ultimately employment. These issues are linked together by a set of core deficiencies that Obama is addressing with Race to the Top, an expanded

Read Post

Gun Control: A Poem

(8) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 1:29 PM

Below, I have included a poem of the recent happenings in Congress on gun control. President Obama has taken a firm stance on the issue but was still unable to turn a widely accepted 90 percent national approval for more gun control into 60 Senate...

Read Post

Start Thinking Now: Teacher Recommendations

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 5:17 PM

Most colleges require students to submit letters of recommendation from teachers or professors to demonstrate academic potential outside of reported grades. On this recommendation, the teacher has the opportunity to write a letter for the student and submit a few boxes with relative aptitude of the student. In this analysis,...

Read Post

Unplugging Education

(3) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 12:24 PM

Technology is the key to our future. It will shape aspects of our life in ways that we cannot imagine. But beyond technology itself, we must carefully consider its applications and use. Today I am making the case for the perpetual existence of the physical university, especially in the United...

Read Post

The Dreaded Wait for College Admissions Decisions

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 2:46 PM

It is that time of the year: the wait after you have submitted your applications and before you hear back from colleges. That infamous time that we all go through as we think about our future and try to stay calm as high school seniors. I will present my thoughts...

Read Post

Revise, Revise, Revise: Approaching Your College Admissions Essays

(5) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 12:53 PM

December is a critical month for high school seniors around the world as they prepare their college admissions essays and submit college applications. Most applications are due December 31, and virtually all are due by mid-February. First, I will explain how I view the applicant today and then I will...

Read Post

A Hidden Gem: The Counselor Recommendation

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 4:19 PM

The school counselor recommendation is one of the most important and overlooked portions of the college admissions process. Virtually every classmate that I have spoken to at Stanford had a good relationship with his/her counselor and some maintain friendships. This year, the Common Application has added two options for school...

Read Post