College and Graduate School Applicants in Special Circumstances

Hanna Stotland specializes in counseling students who face unusual challenges in the college or graduate school application process. Hanna’s philosophy is grounded in ethical disclosure. She guides clients in how to tell hard truths, never how to hide them. She has helped students apply successfully despite a range of problems that required explanation:

  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Title IX problems
  • Substance abuse and treatment
  • Death in the family
  • Medical crisis
  • Criminal charges or arrests
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Suspension/expulsion
  • Multiple moves during high school
  • One unexplained semester or year of lower grades

Parents and students often give up hope and assume that a selective college, or any college at all, is out of the question for students with one or more problems on their records. But you might be surprised to learn how open-minded colleges can be about these issues when the student has changed and explains the transformation effectively. Hanna herself made it to Harvard despite straight F’s in her last three semesters of high school. There is a strategy for every student who wants to return to an academic path. Sometimes community college or a planned transfer is a component of the plan; sometimes an international university is the right solution; sometimes it is just a matter of explaining the history in a more effective manner. Whatever the problem, Hanna can help you create a unique solution that works for your family.

Hanna has also helped students who have dealt with an educational crisis to enter graduate school, including JD, MD, MBA, and Ph.D. programs. She has experience with students entering as first-years or as graduate transfers. She can even assist with disclosures and background checks related to professional licensure.

Hanna is a nationally recognized expert on counseling students with application irregularities. She is regularly invited to deliver talks on the subject to fellow professionals at major conferences. She has also been asked to speak to the press on these issues.

Multimedia Links:

Interview on WNYC’s Radiolab podcast

Interview on NPR’s All Things Considered profile

Letter in the New York Times

Title IX Talk at Harvard Law School