Lodestar Admissions Services specializes in supporting students and their families throughout the entirety of their admissions journey.

Emily formed Lodestar in order to synthesize her multihued background, her passion for inclusive models of education, and her extensive training to embolden young students at a crucial juncture in their lives. At Lodestar, she personally designs a customized plan of action for and works with each and every client herself. Her combination of emotional support, extensive knowledge, and pleasure in working with young people ensures that her clients present the best versions of themselves in their applications. Her mindful and empathic approach takes the burdens off of families and minimizes distress while maximizing results. Students are empowered to find not simply the “right” college but the right college for them. Over the past two decades, Emily’s clients have been offered admission to the most elite schools in the country. Emily’s writing on college admissions has appeared in multiple publications including most recently The Orinda News. Her peaceful disposition and sense of humor make for a pleasant experience along the way.

Overview of Admissions Journey

  • STEP 1

    While every admissions journey is different, each one of them begins with a comprehensive sixty-minute consultation. During this critical first meeting, Emily will lead a discussion of the applicant’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments and aspirations as well as any sources of anxiety. In addition to answering any questions or concerns, Emily outlines how she will cultivate results while minimizing distress for all family members.

  • STEP 2

    After gaining a sense of the student’s strengths and goals, Emily will design a customized admissions plan of action uniquely suited to the individual at hand. This detailed follow-up report is customized for every applicant and is included in the price of the initial consultation.

  • STEP 3

    Within two weeks of the initial consultation, Emily delivers the follow-up report. She reviews the initial report with all members of the family. After ensuring that all parties are in support of the proposed plan, and clarifying any remaining questions, the work begins!


    9 & 10

    During the first two years of high school, Emily offers guidance to students and their families in many different arenas. Meetings during these years will include assessments of academic standing and course selection, extracurricular pursuits, standardized testing schedules, and summer activities. We will also discuss how to cultivate relationships for letters of recommendation.



    Emily works with students to create a realistic and effective schedule for this demanding year. In addition to overseeing the academic and extracurricular duties of junior year, Emily methodically guides students through the various components of college applications in order to ensure readiness for the demands of senior year. In the pivotal summer after junior year, she mentors students in essay writing so that they have an advantage when application season arrives.



    Throughout the process, she offers intensive support with each and every aspect of the application and admissions process. Notably, Emily emphasizes goal-setting, time management and organizational skills in order to set students up for success not only in their applications but also in their college years.


    Specialized services include but are not limited to: strategy sessions, interview preparation, personal statement brainstorming/editing, and comprehensive application review.

Emily Perez, Ph.D., Founder

Emily Perez, Ph.D., Founder

Emily Perez has over twenty years of experience helping to demystify the complicated process of applying to college.

During her high school years, Emily supplemented her bicoastal education with residential summer programs at Choate Rosemary Hall. She matriculated at Princeton University (with summers at Harvard University and Columbia University) where her interdisciplinary coursework culminated in a degree in English Literature. Upon graduation, she began planting the seeds for Lodestar through her work as an admissions essay editor for CyberEdit. Emily’s rigorous editorial work led to an Editor position at Sparknotes’ New York City headquarters, where she specialized in study guides and test prep materials as the company swiftly expanded. When Emily began her doctorate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California, she was one of only two students ever admitted without a prior Masters degree. She was a Provost Fellow upon entry, and earned a dissertation completion fellowship during her final year before graduating summa cum laude. While at USC, she served as an alumni interviewer for Princeton University and also began to advise students on their college applications.

After graduation, Emily worked as a professor teaching across multiple departments at both public and private universities as she expanded her admissions consulting business. While she occasionally responds to requests to teach, she relishes now being able to devote herself to her clients at Lodestar.

Book an Exploratory Phone Call

Use the form below to schedule a complimentary 10 minute phone call with Emily.