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College Consulting Services NYC

Smart City Kids College Division supports students in meeting their post-secondary educational goals by providing individualized guidance through the college admission process. Our aim is not just to help students gain acceptance to their top-choice colleges, we also hope that through this process we can help students self-actualize on their path to becoming lifelong learners.
Our consultants come with significant experience in the field of highly selective college admissions and bring a warm but honest approach in helping families strategize about the best options for college. Choose among our essay advising, 10-hour or unlimited packages to get the support that best fits your needs.
We understand that the college admission process can be overwhelming and stressful for both students and their families. Our college advisors support students in meeting their post-secondary educational goals by providing personalized guidance throughout the college admission process.
We believe that our role is not just to help students gain acceptance to their top-choice colleges, but also to help them self-actualize on their path to becoming lifelong learners. Our advisors work with students to identify and highlight their strengths and interests, explore their passions, and develop a sense of purpose as they research programs.
In addition to guiding each student to develop a compelling essay, we support learners through the supplemental application elements, the Financial Aid process, testing strategy and Early Decision, Early Action and Regular Notification considerations building a unique and robust plan for each student.

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Mariel Kessel, MA

College Education Consultant

Mariel Kessel has worked in the education field for over fifteen years. She began her career working in MBA admissions at Columbia Business School. After several years there, she moved on to become Associate Dean for undergraduate admissions at Princeton University, where she worked to identify the right candidates for admissions. It was at Princeton that Mariel discovered her passion for working with adolescents. She used her vast knowledge of the admission process to help students apply to colleges and universities with a focus on best fit.

Mariel understands the stress and pressures around the college admissions process. Building strong relationships with her clients at Smart City Kids, Mariel works closely with them to identify goals and create plans and structure so they can achieve the goals they set for themselves. One of her favorite things about her job is to help students find their voice in the process. Working with Mariel, students come to understand that the process is as much about them choosing a school as being admitted to one. Mariel has worked with students who attend competitive schools from around the world. She has a solid grasp of a wide variety of curriculums available to students, and she is well-equipped to help students face the unique challenges ahead of them. Mariel holds a B.A. from Smith College and a M.A. from Columbia University. Mother to two small children, Mariel enjoys hiking and reading In her spare time.


Lorelle Brennen

College Education Consultant

Lorelle Babwah brings over a decade of experience in higher education and has a passion for helping young people navigate their educational journeys. She has invaluable knowledge of the application process, having worked at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. At Duke, Lorelle started out as Assistant Director of Student Services, working in both admissions and recruitment, and is currently active as a senior career coach. At UNC she oversaw a college preparatory and mentoring program and advised scholars for the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship Foundation, which is the oldest merit scholarship at the country’s first public university, with a 3% acceptance rate. Lorelle also spent years as a college counselor, guiding students at independent schools across the world to places at select US universities.

Lorelle holds both her BA and JD from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a graduate certification in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University. She is also a certified mindfulness and meditation coach, specializing in emerging adults. She brings a mindful approach to her work with students, focusing on self-awareness, curiosity, and intentionality in selecting a best-fit university. When not working with students, Lorelle loves playing pickle-ball, cycling, and learning in general. She has tried her hand at metalsmithing, Mandarin, and break-dancing so far, and is always on the hunt for new pursuits.


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