Sheila Vatan

Sheila Vatan

Admissions Expert

With 10+ years of counseling experience, Sheila provides step-by-step guidance for students to showcase their identities and follow deadlines. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Columbia, Sheila gives families insight into the application process to help gain admissions to students’ dream schools.


I am a longtime college counselor, tutor and SAT/ACT expert. I’ve spent the last decade in leadership positions at private academies in California, helping students develop their interests, grades, resumes, testing timelines, college list and essays. My students have applied and gained acceptances to a multitude of universities, from Ivy Leagues like Columbia, Cornell, and Brown to public ivy like UC Berkeley, UCLA, and University of Michigan; from renown liberal arts colleges like Amherst, Harvey Mudd, and Wellesley to competitive STEM programs like Caltech, Purdue, and Georgia Tech.

Counseling Style:

I am passionate about helping students discover themselves. I’m a strong believer in finding tangible activities that allow students to explore their myriad interests and use the power of creative nonfiction to reflect their perspectives and experiences and tell their life stories.


In my spare time, I write, work on short films and occasionally explore the mountains and deserts with my husband and two children. I’m an aspiring marathoner, a sometime rock-climber and a fiction editor for a UCLA-affiliated literary magazine.


  • BA in Philosophy from UC Berkeley
  • MA in Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University


  • NACAC (National Association for College Admissions Counseling)
  • WACAC (Western Association for College Admissions Counseling)