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. 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. She empowers students to find not simply the “right” college but the right college for them. Over the past two decades, Emily’s clients have been admitted to the most elite schools throughout the world. 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 for students and their families.

Overview of Admissions Journey

  • STEP 1

    While every admissions journey is unique, each one begins with a comprehensive 60 minute consultation. Emily reflects upon the initial consultation and takes note of all questions and concerns raised by student and parents. Emily leads a discussion of the student’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments, answers questions from the whole family, and outlines how she will cultivate results.

  • STEP 2

    After reflecting upon the student’s credentials and the input of each and every family member, Emily develops a plan of action that synthesizes her decades of experience in the industry with the unique circumstances of each student and their family.

  • STEP 3

    The work begins! With a customized plan firmly in place, Emily leads her clients as they begin their journey together.


    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 challenging year. In addition to overseeing their academic and extracurricular obligations, Emily methodically prepares her clients for the various components of college applications so they are fully prepared for the demands of senior year.



    Throughout senior year, Emily 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.