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shining applicants
is a process and an outcome

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Why Shining Applicants

We have over 30 years of experience in international and study abroad college admissions, career and academic advising, student support services, visiting scholars, and scholarship programs at public and private universities in the United States. We have reviewed and evaluated thousands of applications. Our professional and success experiences, coupled with our individually tailored consulting services, empower you to stand out in highly selective college admissions and scholarships programs.

Customized Consulting

Shining Applicants is a process and an outcome. We provide customized individual consulting services tailored to your needs. To accomplish this, we accept and commit to a limited number of clients each year. We invest our time in getting to know you. We apply that knowledge to tailor our consulting services and help you shine.


Whether applying for university admissions, visiting scholar programs, or prestigious scholarship awards, success  results are multidimensional. Our student and scholar applicants have gained admissions at selective universities and liberal arts colleges where they were a good fit, achieved their academic and professional goals, and were happy with their social and cultural experiences.

Our clients have been accepted at a variety of highly selective institutions and programs, including prestigious public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, and scholarship programs.  

What Our Clients Say

Tammy - University of South Florida Student
Ph.D. Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Career and Workforce Education

"With Alex's guidance and writing assistance, I successfully presented my candidacy and gained admission into my Ph.D. program at the University of South Florida. Alex walked me through the entire graduate application process, admission requirements, preparing for the GRE, how to choose my recommenders, and understanding the graduate studies experience. He helped me understand how graduate admissions committees rate applicants. Alex's guidance, feedback, and writing assistance were instrumental in preparing my personal statement and resume to align with the admissions committee's interests and priorities. Thank you very much, Dr. Akulli."

James - University of Washington Student

Master of Science in Biostatistics

“Alex helped me a lot during my application for admissions into my master's degree programs. I was struggling with the personal statement. Alex provided great suggestions that helped me organize the content and convert my collection of relevant experiences into an appealing story that reflected my personality. He taught me how to turn my personal statement into an ‘in-person conversation’ with the reader. With his unique and professional experience in international education, Alex also gave me valuable guidance on my university selection. I really appreciate Alex’s support during my graduate admissions application process.”

Binwen - New York University Student

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

“Alex is responsible and incredibly kind. He respects my ideas—he doesn’t tell me what to do but guides me to present who I am effectively. He is patient, knowledgeable, and definitely competent for what he does! He is the best advisor you can find.”

Cindy - Parent of NYU Student 

“When my son Brian decided that he would apply to universities in US, we asked Alex for help.  Brian studied in traditional national high school in China, which means there were no help from school for his application to international universities.  Therefore, Alex’s assistance was very essential.  He made a few online meetings with Brian and I.  Through frequent meetings, Alex got to know Brian’s personality, his strong points, requirements etc. in details, then he made research on top US universities and figured out the best candidate schools for Brian, offered us the relevant data about the schools, and gave advice for the choice of school according to Brian’s condition. Essay writing is very important for application.  Alex offered very professional assistance for Brian’s essay writing and revision.  His writing assistance was in great detail and timely.  Sometimes, in order to meet the deadline to hand in the essays to schools, Alex would work through midnight to meet Brian’s requirement.  The outcome is marvelous!  Brian got several offers from his ideal universities.  We are very thankful for Alex’s help!”

Shining Applicants - Logo - Greenville SC

(+1) 864-735-8217

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