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Aiming at a top college and not sure how to get in?

Athena Mentor offers genuine guidance


With 30,000 applicants to each Ivy League college every year, how do you stand out? 

The Ivy League has become legendary the world over. But did you know that the current acceptance rate hovers around 5%? If you’re sure you’d love to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, are you aware that they take just over 10% of applicants? If you have your heart set on the London School of Economics, have you seen that their standard offer includes a 7 in IB mathematics?

Furthermore, numbers are not enough to catch the attention—and the heart—of an admissions committee. With applications at record highs, any absolutely top college has its pick of students with superb grades and test scores.

Sound hopeless?

Athena Mentor can help

We provide individualized, genuine guidance for families seeking the highest quality academic counseling. The path to college is a wonderful opportunity for a young person to discover the answers to the Two Big Questions:

  • Who are you?

  • And what do you really care about?

That’s what we mean by “genuine guidance”: caring, personalized support in identifying what makes you you. We’ll talk with you about your goals and challenges, suggest activities that will help you explore possible directions, and review programs and colleges whose strengths coincide with your own.

Make a match, and get accepted! Start early, to give yourself the best chances!

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Dr. Marlena Corcoran

Founder of Athena Mentor

 Hi, I’m Dr. Marlena Corcoran.

For the past 15 years, I’ve helped teenagers discover who they are and what they really care about—and present themselves with confidence, enthusiasm and success to the most selective colleges in the world. During my many years of volunteer service interviewing and organizing interviews for my alma mater, Brown, I experienced first hand that many applicants, especially international students, had little idea how to present themselves effectively. I founded Athena Mentor to help students avoid the pitfalls of rushed, inadequate preparation, uncertainty about where to apply and why, and relying on numbers alone to make their case. Athena Mentor looks at the path to college as a journey of genuine discovery, at a time of life when teenagers are searching for meaning and purpose, as well as admission to an outstanding college that will bring out the best in them. Athena Mentor students arrive at excellent colleges excited to begin their studies and their lives.



“At the beginning of eleventh grade, when I was just starting the IB, I was kind of a disaster. I was really overwhelmed by just the IB and on top of that, my college stress. I know that I would not have been able to get through it without Marlena’s help. She helped me to organize my schoolwork and my college essay work, (so that I was) able to actually breathe without being stressed out at every moment . . . “

Watch the video for the happy ending!

Thank you for working side-by-side with me for the past two years. The meetings and conversations that we have had have not only helped me significantly mature, but have helped me develop a mindset I will carry with me for university and beyond. I am truly grateful for the coaching, tutoring, and guidance sessions we have had together, and I am excited to hear back from the IB with my exam results.

Step-by-step guidance from 7th grade through a gap year, with special tips for IB and international students.

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From creating a list of colleges through alumni interviews, checklists walk students their applications.

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What makes Athena Mentor different?

Think you need perfect grades and SAT scores to get admitted to a top college? There’s something even more important. You must develop what makes you you. At Athena Mentor, we work closely with you or your child to discover what will help you stand out. Sign up for our college newsletter, and download and read our free ebook, “The 10 Biggest Mistakes International Students Make When Applying to U.S. Colleges.”

We invite you to download and fill out the Athena Mentor College Questionnaire. Return it to us by email, and we’ll schedule a free 30-minute consultation to help determine whether Athena Mentor is right for you.