Kara Courtois Bio Image

Kara Courtois

College Admissions Consultant

Admissions Experience:

  •  Former admissions officer at Barnard College 


  • University of Notre Dame – Bachelor’s in History 
  • University of Portland – Master’s in Teaching 
  • Teacher’s College, Columbia University and Steinhardt School of Education, NYU – Graduate Coursework 

Background: I came to College Coach with five years of college admissions experience combined with eight years of teaching in elementary and high schools in Washington D.C., California, and Florida. Upon graduating from the University of Notre Dame, I volunteered as a teacher for two years with an AmeriCorps-sponsored program while earning a master of arts in teaching. Having taught in urban areas with students who had great needs of all varieties, I was honored to transition to working in college admissions at Barnard College. I traveled extensively, recruiting a huge diversity of academically gifted young women from the Midwest, NYC public high schools, and internationally. College admissions at a highly selective college gave me the unique opportunity to mesh my classroom teaching experience with an ability to understand what colleges seek in their students today. Additionally, having been a competitive high school athlete in track followed by rowing on the varsity crew team at Notre Dame, I know the extra demands student-athletes juggle. I enjoy helping them figure out how to balance their athletic interests with their academic goals.

I have worked with students interested in:
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Pre-med Accelerated medical - BS/MD
  • Pre-dentistry
  • Accelerated dental - BS/DDS
  • Nursing
  • Pre-veterinary
  • Physical therapy
  • Pre-law
  • Business
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Dance
  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Computer science
  • Graphic design
  • Teaching/education certification Honors programs
  • Ivy League
  • Large state schools
  • Small liberal arts colleges
  • Religiously affiliated schools
I have also worked with:
  • Athletes
  • International students
  • Students with learning differences
  • Non-traditional students
  • Transfer students
  • First-generation students

Why I joined Bright Horizons: I came to College Coach because I grew to understand through both my teaching and admissions experience that I work best with students and families in a 1:1 relationship so that I can truly get to know them as individuals. Teaching 150+ students each year or reading applications for several hundred students in each admissions cycle rarely gave me time to get to know students beyond grades and numbers. Working with College Coach has allowed me to focus my attention on helping to understand the very specific questions, concerns, frustrations, and misunderstandings that co-exist in the minds of students and their families. I especially enjoy getting to know a student’s personality to help her find the next step on her academic and personal journey. Additionally, I am constantly seeking ways to learn in all facets of my life. College Coach has specifically encouraged any opportunity to stretch myself  through my interaction with all types of students and  in collaborating with colleagues as we constantly gain new knowledge about today’s college admissions process and  trends in education. I have enjoyed eight years with College Coach because of the close relationships I have been able to form with families as we’ve walked the path to college together.

Hobbies: Running, yoga, hiking, volunteer work, traveling, reading, writing, cooking, doing arts & crafts with my kids