(925) 284-1644 info@lafayetteacademy.com

 Comprehensive College Admissions Counseling

Online & Local College Admissions Counseling that is …

Personalized, Aspirational, and Ethical


How do I know? I’m married to our college counselor, Kathy Bressler.  I have witnessed unparalleled dedication to her craft and students for the past fourteen years. Kathy offers a unique combination of experience, intuition, empathy, encouragement, organization, honesty, and smarts. She helps her students navigate the college admissions process and go to colleges where they belong.

In fourteen years, fewer than 4 students have transferred from their original four-year college. Think about that: 14 years, approximately 300 students, and less than 4 leaving their original four-year college. Nationwide, 24% of freshmen dropped out of (or transferred from) their original college, and that was before the pandemic.

It’s harder than ever for students to get accepted by a great school to which they belong. You’ve probably heard a lot of post-pandemic horror stories, but not from us!  Feel free to read all about our program below, but do yourself a favor and contact Kathy before all of her slots are taken! She only has a few openings left in each grade.


Comprehensive College Admissions Counseling


Our comprehensive college admissions counseling program begins with hourly appointments for high school freshmen or sophomores to make sure they are on the right path to college admissions success.  Freshmen and sophomores benefit from expert, relevant advice on course curriculum, extracurricular activities, and standardized testing. During these initial appointments, we create an academic plan for the remainder of high school, consider options for activities and programs to supplement academics, and discuss standardized tests.

College Admissions Counseling

Our college counseling program helps students with every aspect of college admissions. Our goal is for every student to get accepted to multiple target schools, and at least one reach school.

Following these initial appointments, families can choose to sign up for the Comprehensive College Admissions Counseling Program, which begins after sophomore year. Most families reserve a spot in our comprehensive program after their initial freshmen or sophomore visit, but some people reserve spaces when their children are in middle school to ensure a spot in our program!  Plus, Kathy will only work with 15 – 18 students per grade starting in 2024!

If you would like to learn more about any of our programs, request an initial meeting here or call us at (925) 284-1644.

Rest assured, Kathy is not an “over-the-top, Ivy League, or Bust” counselor. The middle school reference is simply an acknowledgment that parents need to register early to guarantee their child a space in our college admissions counseling program.

Comprehensive College Admissions Counseling Details:


Pre-Applications Preparation & Support

  1. A comprehensive battery of assessments to help students identify latent interests and potential college majors (this is huge!)
  2. Continued advice on academic subjects and extracurricular activities to ensure students maximize their high school experience.
  3. Guidance to create your ideal high school resume one year at a time, but with a long-term plan.
  4. Advice on standardized tests, retakes, and submissions
  5. Exposure to lesser-known, highly regarded schools that are universally loved by their students
  6. An extensive college search that culminates in a list of colleges that are great fits for your teen. The list includes “likely”, “target”, and “reach” schools.
  7. Preferred access to other Lafayette Academy services (e.g. our best SAT Prep tutors for last-minute score boosts)

 Application “Season”

  1. Weekly meetings that keep students on track throughout the application process
  2. Brainstorming and editing college essays
  3. Help and advice to complete applications
  4. Assistance with tasks on Naviance
  5. Preparation for school visits and mock interview sessions
  6. Access to the best online college search and application management system
  7. Financial Aid tips
  8. Test prep support when you need higher scores
  9. Help making the final decision on which college to attend

Professional Background

Kathy Bressler received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned her Master’s Degree in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California.  She also completed UC Berkeley Extension’s Certificate Program in College Admissions and Career Planning.

Kathy is the co-owner of Lafayette Academy and has been a college counselor for 14 years.  She belongs to two different consortiums of college counselors who trade notes and meet regularly, and she has traveled to 40 states to visit hundreds of colleges.  Kathy is a member of the following professional organizations, and pre-pandemic she attended a number of annual conferences:

  • NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling)
  • WACAC (Western Association for College Admission Counseling)
  • HECA (Higher Education Consultants Organization)


Personal Information & Experiences

Kathy raised four active daughters in Lamorinda with some help from yours truly.  She also found time to contribute to the community: Burton Valley PTA Board of Directors, Las Trampas Swim Team Director, and Chair of the Youth Committee as a member of the Board of Directors at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. As a parent and later as a college counselor, Kathy guided her four daughters through significantly different academic experiences and college admissions challenges.

Her oldest daughter, Mallory, graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Political Science and Sociology with an emphasis in Education. Mallory managed after-school programs in Boston and NYC, helped manage a few non-profit organizations, and is now running a coaching business for non-profit organizations. She also founded and hosts the “What the Fundraising” podcast.

Kathy’s next daughter, Dana, graduated from UC Santa Barbara as a Business Economics major with an emphasis in accounting.  Dana worked at several companies, including KPMG, Google, and Credit Karma before becoming a Product Manager at Airbnb. That’s how they do it these days.

Kathy’s youngest daughters are twins, Hillary and Rebecca. Hillary double majored in Sociology and Political Science at UC Davis and has a popular dog training business in Lamorinda.  Becca was a Cognitive Science major at UC Berkeley and is a producer at Radiolab in NYC. The twins turned 30 in 2021, so we’re probably older than you.


College Admissions Counseling 
 Our Family in January 2023


Bay Area College Counselor


The Inside Story

Click "get the inside story" for valuable (but often overlooked) insights into K-12 Education, Parenting, and College Admissions from parents who have helped over 20,000 families.