American College Funding

Student Positioning

The approach we use to most effectively help Students make decisions about the future is to combine a Personalized Private Interview with the results of a state of the art Student Assessment tool.

Student Assessment takes place by providing the Student with full access to an interactive, online research and evaluation tool. The tool helps the Student to identify key interest areas, potential majors, and career options that may be a good fit, and links these to a comprehensive database of national colleges and universities. We evaluated several other online research and assessment tools, and found the one we offer to be extremely accurate, informative, and useful. It is backed by extensive research, and was developed and is licensed to us by the organization that administers the ACT.

The Personalized Private Student Interview is our opportunity to focus on the Student. This is a mentoring/counseling/coaching session in which the Interviewer will determine where the Student is in his or her thinking about colleges, majors, and careers. The Student's Assessment results are reviewed with the Student during the Interview. During the Interview, the Student is encouraged to become engaged in the decision-making process, and is provided with information and resources that will help the Student make these important decisions.

After the Interview, the Student and Parents are provided with a written document that summarizes the Interview and makes personalized recommendations. Students and Parents are encouraged to continue communication with the Interviewer throughout the Student's decision-making process.

Interviewer Bios


After completing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology & Biology at Loyola College in Maryland, Shannon continued on to complete a Master's of Education in School Counseling from Fordham University. Serving as the Internship Coordinator for two years at Fordham's Career Planning office prepared her for her current position as a College & Career Counselor at a high school in the Northeast. She is an active member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling, National Education Association, and American Counseling Association.


Since graduating from DePauw University with a B.A. in Communication and later a Master's Degree in School Counseling from Butler University, Linda has served roles in both the high school and college sectors. She worked in admissions for both private and public colleges for eleven years before making the move to the high school side, where she was director of college advising at a private college preparatory school. She currently serves as the resident college counseling and scholarship advisor at a large public high school in Indiana. Linda is a past Indiana delegate for the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) and has served in various roles for IACAC in her home state.


Trish has seven years experience in college and career counseling. She has worked with students both at the high school and college level. She currently is a college counselor in a large public high school. Trish earned her Bachelor's Degree in Communications from West Virginia University and her Master's Degree in Counseling with a focus on career, from The School of Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).


Duane earned a B.A. from DePauw University and majored in both Spanish and Political Science. After pursuing graduate studies in Spanish Literature at The Ohio State University, Duane began his career in education that now approaches 15 years. He worked in college admissions for four years and served as coordinator of college advising for two years at a private college preparatory high school. He currently serves as the vice president for enrollment management at this same high school. A first-generation college graduate, Duane is passionate about helping students increase their educational opportunities and improve their understanding of college financial aid and scholarship processes. He has helped develop summer workshops for capable students at risk of not attending college and has counseled numerous families about options for financing their students' college educations.


Deborah Heller has been a College Counselor for the past 6 years. She has helped hundreds of high school students navigate the college application process successfully. She has experience working in public and private high schools and has made contacts in college admission offices around the country. The students she has worked with have been accepted to a variety of different liberal arts colleges and universities across the US, in Canada and Europe. Deborah received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her MSED in School Counseling from Hunter College.


David Knudson is a high school counselor with over 34 years experience in a competitive high school in the Minneapolis area. He was department chair for over 20 years in a high school counseling office of eight counselors serving over 3000 students 9-12. He continues to be a committed, versatile educator recently working at the American International School of Vienna. David has varied experiences in classroom teaching with students, parents, and professional adults. He possesses a strong background in post high school planning and admissions. Coupled with strong counseling skills, life planning, and interpersonal communication skills, he continues to demonstrate a passion for working with young people.


Dara Klein Kornblatt has been a high school guidance counselor since 2004. She has had the privilege of working in both public and private high schools in urban and suburban areas. Since 2007, she has been employed at a competitive public high school in New York City. Dara enjoys working with students to realize their goals and plan for their future by guiding them through each step of the college process, ultimately helping them find the best fit for them. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and a Masters of Education from Fordham University. Dara is an active member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling and of the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling.


Melissa Ludwa has nearly nine years of experience in the college advising process, both from the university and high school settings. Melissa currently works as a high school guidance counselor at a school with a highly college-bound population. She has counseled freshmen through seniors through the college planning process, but in particular has focused on seniors and juniors. Melissa is a member of the Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling and has presented at the IACAC state conference. As the college visit coordinator for her high school, she interacts with several college and university admission representatives and coordinates family information sessions on the general college application. Melissa has also read thousands of college and scholarship application essays and takes pride in successfully coaching students through the essay writing portion of their college applications. Melissa truly enjoys many aspects of her current counseling position, but her favorite responsibility by far is meeting with students and parents as they begin and work through the college search and application process. She says, "I feel thrilled when I am able to ask the right questions and guide students toward the college or university that is their best fit."


Anne has extensive admissions experience in highly selective programs. She is a graduate of: Barnard College, Columbia University (B.A.); Rutgers University Graduate School (M.A.); Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (M.Phil & Ph.D.-ABD) with additional graduate study at Columbia University Teachers College. For over twenty years, she has served as director of admissions and scholarships, enrollment management, international admissions/student services, graduate admissions and assistant vice president for student recruitment and outreach at liberal arts colleges, national research universities, specialized music conservatories and arts colleges including: Boston University, San Francisco Art Institute, Westminster Choir College, Antioch/New England Graduate University, California State University and Penn State University. An active member of national and regional admissions professional associations: NACAC, AACRAO, NAGAP, the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools and NAFSA for international admissions and education, Anne has made national presentations on admissions, recruitment and retention. She has conducted workshops on "Making College Affordable" and "Understanding Admissions to Visual and Performing Arts Colleges & Programs." Anne has enjoyed working privately as an educational consultant over the last decade with hundreds of domestic and international students and their families. She has guided them through the college search and admissions process, ensuring that each student completes a thorough college-search and strategically planned admissions application process and finds the right college match.


Harry is a graduate of Michigan State University where he received his B.A. He went to Western Michigan University for his M.A. and Butler University for his EdS. Harry has over thirty-five years of experience in education. He has been a teacher, administrator and a college counselor. He has experience in both public and college preparatory high schools.


Mindy Popp has worked in the college admissions and counseling profession for over 10 years and manages Popp & Associates, a college counseling company based in Boston, MA. Most recently, Ms. Popp worked as the Associate Director of College Counseling at a private high school located in Massachusetts. Prior to beginning her college counseling career, Ms. Popp worked as a Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Wellesley College. In addition to her counseling work, Ms. Popp supports various college access initiatives. She worked as a college counselor in a 2008 College Summit workshop in Amherst, MA advising students from under-resourced communities. Ms. Popp also volunteers at College Goal Sunday, an annual event that offers support to families applying for college financial aid. Ms. Popp is a member of professional organizations including the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). She also participated in the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) Guidance Counselor Financial Aid Training (2007-2009) and the AAA Student Lending: Guidance Counselors Training (2008, 2009). Ms. Popp is a graduate of Tufts University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Randee Stark is a high school guidance counselor with ten years of experience in college planning and advisement. She has a Bachelor's degree in Biology from SUNY Albany, a Master's degree in Psychology from Long Island University, and a Master's in Guidance and Counseling from the College of New Rochelle. Randee has experience ranging from magnet schools in New York City to highly competitive suburban high schools. She has an in depth and personal understanding of the rewards, stresses and difficulties involved in college admissions and truly enjoys working with students and their families, helping them through the process. She prides herself on being a life long learner, constantly updating her knowledge of college admission trends and practices.


Mary Beth received her BS degree in Secondary Education from Michigan Tech. University, her MA degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, and is certified as a Career Development Facilitator through Oakland University. She has 17 years of experience working in the public education system as a teacher, consultant and program coordinator. She worked for the past 13 years in a large public school district in Michigan helping students connect what they were learning in the classroom to the needs of their communities through Service-Learning. She believes that all students can be successful in their post-high school endeavors if they have the right tools to help them discover how to use their skills and passion to lead them in their career choices.

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