- Many years of school-based college counseling experience, most recently as Director of College Counseling at a private school in Maryland
- Highly successful in helping students craft meaningful essays that are well received by admissions officers
- Toured 306 institutions in 33 states; 32 more visits planned this year. The states with the most visits are currently PA (49), NY (41), VA (24 after November), CA (23), MA (18 after November), VT (18), FL (16), and NC (14)
- Knowledgeable about scholarship opportunities from colleges and outside sources. Last year, I helped my seniors earn an average of $35,000 per year in scholarship offers
- Experience working with students from all over the USA as well as from China, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Columbia, Spain and Japan
- Key Strengths: Enthusiasm, Knowledge, Humor, and Honesty
About Marissa Margosian
I love what I do! Recognizing the diversity of student interests and family expectations, I take the time to get to know you and to provide personalized guidance, insight, and support in helping you find and apply to institutions where you will flourish, receive a quality education, and succeed in your goals.
Students, this is YOUR journey. YOU need to be in the driver’s seat. Think of your parents and I as your pit crew; we’re here for support, to be your cheering section, and to help keep you on track, but ultimately, this is about your college education. I will be with you step-by-step through the college preparation, application, financial aid, and decision process while also helping you self-advocate. I partner with you to offer choices, help you develop into the person you want to present to colleges, minimize stress and anxiety, and help you have as many options as possible when it comes time to choose a college.
My parents were both first-generation college-goers. Coming from immigrant families, they understood that education was a gift, and they were expected to take advantage of higher education. Growing up, that ethos was passed on: going to college was always “when” not “if.” I want to help others with that mindset, as well. My goal is to help students figure out the institutions that will best fit their educational, social, financial, religious, and other needs and work with them to prepare themselves to thrive.
I have worked as an English Teacher and/or College Counselor both in public and in independent day and boarding schools. For the past ten years, I have also worked as a Site Director for Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth summer programs in La Jolla, CA and Chestertown, MD. I love the excitement in the students as they delve into things they love to do!
I am active in several national and regional professional organizations, and I’ve presented at national and regional conference sessions on “Advocating for Students” and “Finding Fit Beyond the Rankings.” I keep current on college admissions trends by attending conferences and workshops, participating in webinars, and visiting college campuses, over 300 institutions in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
In my free time, I read, play trivia, learn languages, volunteer as a docent at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC, and am a Girl Scout Leader.
- UCLA, Graduate Certificate (with distinction) in College Counseling
- Binghamton University, Coursework Complete towards PhD, Cultural Anthropology
- SUNY Cortland, MAT in Secondary English Education
- Elmira College, BA in English Literature, minor in Anthropology
- Studied abroad for a year at the University of Sydney studying Australian Literature and Aboriginal Studies/Social Anthropology
- Graduate Certificate (with distinction) in College Counseling
- National Association for College Admissions Counselors (NACAC)
- Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA)
- Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admissions Counselors (PCACAC)
Even though you might not like everyone you meet, you still have several friends that you enjoy being with, who support you and help you grow. Along the same lines, there’s more than one college out there for every student. There are more than 1,900 4-year, non-profit undergraduate institutions in the US alone; most people are only aware of a tiny fraction of these. My job is to help you explore more of the available options and help you make informed decisions about them.
Just like you don’t only have 1 friend, don’t limit yourself to only 1 college option. Setting your sights on a single college, particularly if it’s only based on prestige or a name, severely limits your options and more than likely will set you up for disappointment. The best college in the world is the worst one for you if it doesn’t provide what you want and need out of an education. For example, a highly-ranked institution becomes the worst one for you if it doesn’t offer the major you want. To put it another way, buying the most expensive/best car in the world does you no good if you’re too tall to fit behind the wheel. The reputation alone is not going to get you where you need to be.
You should go to college where you are comfortable and are appropriately challenging academically. I will work with you to develop self-assessments and self-knowledge, helping you figure out what is important to you so you know what to look for in a school. Rather than depend on name-recognition of a school, I’ll help you to research, ask the right questions, explore all the options, verbalize what you do and don’t like about schools, and know your options before making a final decisions about where to apply and ultimately attend.
Because I am unaffiliated with any college, I provide unbiased information about schools to help you learn about institutions which weren’t previously on your radar, open up financial options that can make college more affordable, and help you present yourself in the best possible light to colleges and universities.
I’m with you step-by-step on the journey through the college preparation, application, financial aid, and decision process while also helping students be self-advocates in the process. I partner with you to offer choices, help you develop into the person you want to present to colleges, minimize stress and anxiety, and help you have as many options as possible when it comes time to choose a college.
“Six months ago, I didn’t think I would be going to college. I didn’t think I was ‘college material.’ But guess what?? I just got into my first choice college – with a scholarship! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
~C., Goucher College ’19.
“Marissa Margosian is wonderful to work with! She is patient and thorough during what can be a very overwhelming process for students and parents. Having an extensive background in College Counseling and preparation, Marissa is extremely knowledgeable and informative. You will not be disappointed with her services.”
~Michelle, parent of a rising junior (HS ‘18).
“Thank you for all your help! You are a college counseling superstar!”
~E., American University ’20.
“The education you get in college is a process, not a discrete event. It is not a battle to get into the most prestigious or most competitive school possible. For some students, admission to a college full of hyper-competitive students or a place where status is constantly measured in all kinds of ways, can lead to bad outcomes. If you really want to have the best outcome, you must head to a college that is a good fit for you: where you will study, converse, join clubs, explore, etc in an environment where you are comfortable and challenged. Finding the best fit is the best end of a college search. Marissa has shown me how important that is over the last 2 years.”
~Joe, parent of a Wellesley (’19) student.
“I am not sure what to say except for Thank You for all your hard work and devotion. Your support has been amazing and you not only helped our daughter, but us as parents get through a difficult transition to college. I personally am going to miss seeing you: you are such an amazing woman with great talent and loving soul. Thank You for everything!”
~Julie, parent of a Susquehanna (’20) student.