College Counseling

The college admissions process is fraught with anxiety for many families. We are here to make the experience as relaxed and rewarding as possible. Whether you need help finding the right colleges or building a competitive application, we can help. Our college counselors have years of admissions and counseling experience to make the process as smooth as possible. We’ll help you maximize your options and eliminate second thoughts throughout the process.

  Common College Counseling Tasks:

  • Review classes, grades, extracurricular activities, and family goals for the college transition
  • Develop a timeline for a standardized testing schedule
  • Plan course selections and identify appropriate level of challenge for high school courses
  • Create and narrow personalized college list
  • Help student learn to research colleges independently and take ownership of the process
  • Review and make recommendations for summer plans
  • Create resume/activity sheet
  • Develop timeline, Early Action/Early Decision strategy, and due dates for college applications
  • Set up organizational chart to track deadlines and progress
  • Brainstorm, plan, and edit college essays
  • Collaborate on application work with a thorough review of presented information
  • Strategize and edit supplemental school-specific essays
  • Review final applications
  • Discuss the final decision and waitlist options
  • Additional components developed for student-specific needs (ex: athletics, academic support)

INDIVIDUAL COLLEGE COUNSELING

Comprehensive programs to cover all aspects of our college counseling curriculum Hourly sessions to help with certain components like college list review or essay guidance Contact Amanda to get started amandar@breakawayprep.com

SMALL GROUP “BOOTCAMP” WORKSHOPS

Tackle the Common Application and the main essay over the summer before senior year Work with our counselors through each Common Application component 5:1 student/counselor ratio For more info and registration: click here

EVENTS and FAMILY PROGRAMS

Topics include graduate school and career planning, financial aid, gap year, and summer program options Watch our newsletter and Facebook page for upcoming programs

Check out our Facebook page!             


Meet the Counselors

Amanda Robertson

Director of College Counseling

Despite years in the garden state, Amanda still answers “Rhode Island” when people ask where she’s from. She attended Middlebury College where she captained the women’s swim team and earned NCAA All-American honors. After teaching in the Washington, DC public schools, Amanda served as the Director of College Placement for an independent school in the DC suburbs and as Assistant Director of Enrollment Management within the University of Maryland system, where she also earned a master's degree in Higher Education. During that time, she was lucky enough to see lots of applications on both sides of the process. In 2006, Amanda emerged from the stacks of application folders and relocated to New Jersey. She followed her underlying passion and began working on her own to help local families navigate the college admission process. She is a member of NJACAC, an associate member of IECA, and gets great pleasure building spreadsheets to track admissions data.

Amy Coates

Amy graduated as a Biology major from Cornell University. She went on to get her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced corporate healthcare law in NYC for ten years. Amy decided that assisting students in navigating the college process was much more fun than those many legal applications and arguments. She went back to school, online, and received her College Counseling Certificate from UCLA, sometimes wishing she was in L.A. rather than at her kitchen table. In her free time, Amy can be found skiing with her family, playing paddle and driving her two teenage daughters back and forth from their many activities.

Jen Dunn

Jen is a NJ native. She grew up in Short Hills and New Vernon and is one of 5 kids who attended Oak Knoll School in Summit. But, before she migrated back to the area, Jen spent most of her high school and college years traveling the globe with the US national soccer team to countries like China, Mexico, Germany and Thailand. However, her favorite place on earth is Charlottesville, VA where she spent her undergraduate college years as an English major at the University of Virginia. Oh and she also played a little soccer at UVA as well (8 out of the 10 months of the school year to be exact). After receiving her MA at Boston College in 2012, Jen and her husband decided to head back to NJ and settle down in Chatham. Jen has worked with high school and college students in a variety of settings; at Boston College she worked with academic affairs to help student athletes navigate the challenging academic curriculum, at Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City and then at the Drew University Counseling Center. Once she found her way back to NJ, Jen was eager to continue working with HS students and help counsel them through the college process. She is also a member of NACAC and NJACAC When she’s not strategizing with students on how to tackle their mountain of supplements or going through primary essays with a fine tooth comb, you’ll find her hanging out with her family, reading, dreaming of traveling again, or squeezing in any form of exercise.

Katie Horan

Jersey born and bred, Katie graduated from Princeton, where she majored in American history, played left wing on the field hockey team, and served as a resident advisor for freshmen. After a Rotary Scholarship to England and a stint editing research reports in the financial industry, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry and completed her MBA in Marketing and International Business at NYU. She’s been a consultant, volunteer, and field hockey and lacrosse youth coach. Katie was an active member of Princeton’s Alumni Schools Committee for 25+ years, is an active member of NJACAC, and has survived the college process with her daughters. She loves to conduct mock interviews (and tell students what she was thinking on the other side of the table), brainstorm and proofread essays, and help students highlight their strengths as they complete their applications. In her free time, Katie reads college admission blogs for fun and walks her golden doodle, Clover.

Eileen Honicky

Eileen graduated from Indiana University back when the Hoosiers were still a basketball powerhouse. With a BA in Criminal Justice and a National Championship from IU, she returned to her hometown of Morristown, NJ and worked for New Jersey and New York law firms. Eileen realized that much like the legal world, college admissions is complex, competitive and ever changing and is not characterized by easy answers and guaranteed strategies. She decided to change professional hats to pursue her passion to help students find their true college fit. She went back into the classroom to earn her College Counseling Certification from UCLA. She is also a member of NJACAC. When Eileen is not touring campuses or on Naviance researching colleges, she loves hot yoga, running (even sometimes racing) and spending time with her husband, two sons and their high maintenance Bichon, Maddie.

Kate Balboni

Kate Balboni attended the College of Saint Elizabeth, earning a BA in Psychology and her Master’s in School Counseling at the University of Saint Joseph. She is a certified New Jersey School Counselor and has also had experience as a writing tutor. Since graduating she has served as an admissions counselor for Drew University and as a regional admissions coordinator at the University of South Carolina. During her time in Undergraduate Admissions she has reviewed thousands of applications and student essays, conducted hundreds of student interviews, and has visited over 50 college campuses throughout the nation. Kate has also served as a learning coach for an adult learning program, College for America, and is a proud member of HECA and NJACAC.

Linda Kern

When Linda’s kids were younger, they could get away with telling a little white lie, but if they made grammatical errors, she’d send them straight to their rooms. Linda is not quite so strict with the students she works with as Breakaway, but you get the picture. As a litigator, she had considerable experience writing legal briefs, but she also had a background in journalistic and creative writing. Linda enjoyed working with high school students so much that she began expanding her knowledge—going on college information sessions, delving into the college application process, and conducting alumni interviews for her alma mater, Cornell. She realized that proper planning, research and great essays were the key ways in which students could position themselves to achieve their admissions goals. Her approach to counseling in today’s uber competitive environment is to work strategically while providing families with the information they need to ease the stress of the college application process. Years after earning her J.D. from NYU School of Law, Linda returned to school and earned her Certification in College Counseling from the University of California-San Diego. She is an Associate Member of IECA and a member of NJACAC where she serves as Co-Editor of the ABCs of College Planning. Additionally, Linda is a member of the Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey whose resources have helped when she counsels students with learning disabilities and anxiety. Finally, Linda has been asked to serve as an Educational Advocate for the Court Appointed Special Advocates-Morristown (CASA). She now offers clients the full range of college planning services. In addition, Linda works with students applying to private high schools and graduate schools.