Dafna Adler


  • Passionate about working with students to find the right college fit academically, socially, and personally
  • Over 12 years of experience in college planning and application support at a competitive public high school
  • Experienced in working with 1 st Generation college students
  • Visited 50+ colleges and universities in the USA, as well as schools in Ireland and Canada
  • Strong essay editing skills
  • Specific interest in international admissions


About Dafna

Dafna has worked for the past 12 years as a counselor at a competitive public high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has enjoyed engaging with students from all backgrounds to realize their college dreams. As a 1 st Generation college student herself, she understands the visible and invisible challenges of being the first in one’s family to navigate the college application process and then to embark on the journey of pursuing a college education with her family’s hopes and dreams on her shoulders. Dafna has worked in several fields during her career, including technology consulting, non-profit, and customer service, and she realized that Counseling was the right path for her when Psychology kept pulling at her attention and interest. She decided that the field of education was where she could make the greatest impact on young people—school has been and always will be a part of her life. In her free time, she enjoys baking and all things food-related, travel, languages and culture, yoga, photography, and writing. She is spending the 2018-19 academic year in Tel Aviv on her own “gap year” and will work with families virtually on location.


  • Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in French Studies
  • Study abroad in Paris, France


  • Pupil Personnel Services credential

Professional Affiliation(s)

  • NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling)
  • IACAC (International Association for College Admission Counseling)


One of my favorite things as a counselor is getting to know the bright young people who I’m working with: Who are you? What are you passionate about? Where do you want to go in life? What is the world that you come from? Every student applying to college is unique and interesting, and he/she can bring so much to their future college campus. Of utmost importance to me is helping students figure out what the “right fit” means for them—every individual has a different experience in their journey toward college, and there is no right or wrong pathway. The key is to figure out what each student wants and needs at college in order to be happy, successful, and excited about their campus. My job is to help students and their families understand how applications work, what colleges are looking for, how to choose where to apply, and how to present their very best selves on their applications; I love going through this discovery process with my students, and I strive to do so in a caring, compassionate, and helpful way. The process can be stressful, particularly when families are new to the American college system, and we will work together to reduce that stress and to help students have the best possible college choices.


I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help throughout my rather stressful college application process. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come into your office, worried and confused over testing, recommendations, or whether I had enough activities, but you greeted me with a smile every time nonetheless. Thanks for making it all come together for me and being a fantastic counselor!

- Seung, student

Ms. Adler, I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for me over these past four years. You have been an amazing resource and a truly caring, passionate, and helpful guidance counselor. It’s crazy that it’s all coming to an end, but I couldn’t be more excited to be attending Stanford in the Fall! So much of that is thanks to you.

- Marley, student

Ms. Adler helped me so much throughout all four years of high school. At the beginning, it was especially hard for me, partly because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. She encouraged me to pursue my dream of studying design. I wouldn’t have thought four years ago that I’d be majoring in Industrial Design at Carnegie Mellon! She always took the time to answer the millions of questions I had. She had a lot of other students, but she always made me feel like a person, not just another number.

- Bonnie, student

We are so grateful for Dafna’s help getting both of our children through the college application process. We didn’t go to college in the U.S., so the whole system was a new world for our family, and we didn’t know what to do or who to listen to for good information when we started. Dafna always pushed our sons to strive for their best, and also provided a balanced perspective to help them manage their stress and stay organized. They are both very different, and she treated each one like an individual with his own goals and ideas. The boys are very happy with their college options, and we give Dafna a lot of the credit for guiding them to this point.

- Sonal & Kamal, parents

My daughter struggles with organizing and making big decisions, and Dafna was so patient with her! She helped her see the bigger picture and then they worked together to narrow down what my daughter wanted and find the colleges that matched. We wanted to visit some schools, and Dafna helped us put together a great itinerary. I felt like she cared about my daughter and took the time to get to know her. I highly recommend working with Dafna—she is knowledgeable, kind, and trustworthy.

- Jena, parent