EXPERIENCE THE BLUE TRAIN DIFFERENCE

Tools

While other college counselors and prep companies were Googling, we were building our dream tools. Not only have we created the most user-friendly and immersive college list building and app tracking system available, The Blue List digital suite, but now we also have a crew of counselors who know the world of colleges like the back of their collective hand. Whether we are taking you on a whirlwind tour of the quads, course catalogs, or campus communities, one session with a Blue Train counselor and you will experience the difference. If we sound proud, it’s because we are!

slider-img
Created in 2006, the paper version of "The Blue List" was jam packed with helpful information on our most popular schools. It was an instant hit!
slider-img
As the years passed, more and more families were using The Blue List, calling it their most used and useful tool in the college process!
slider-img
The Blue List digital suite is where easy navigation meets deep exploration, ensuring our families the smoothest and most empowered journeys!
slider-img
Admission stats, course catalogs, study abroad destinations, campus vibes, rankings and reviews, and so much more, all one click away!
slider-img
Colorful slide shows, curated playlists (10,000+ videos,) with one click drop-ins to dorms, dining halls, stadiums, rec centers, and research labs!
slider-img
Live cams, radio stations, current weather!
slider-img
Explore campuses and college towns at your own pace with Google Earth 3D or be guided along with 360 degree interactive tour videos!
slider-img
Our "Red Zone GPA" helps families shape their lists with easy to understand guidelines, ensuring a balance of safe, target, and reach schools!
slider-img
Export your saved list to a timeline driven application tracker that you can adjust to your changing needs throughout the entire application process!

Process

Imagine seeing the college process as something wonderful, as a time when every young person has the opportunity to work hard for him or herself, all while exploring who they are and want to become. That’s how we see it. Blue Train’s name comes from our focus on the journey, on the process. So whether it’s test prep that shapes you into a better tester forever, an essay process that changes how you see writing, structure, and yourself, or a deep-diving exploration that opens your eyes to what you really want out of college, Blue Train honors all your journeys. We do not fear the college process or give it fangs to scare you into signing up with us. Quite the opposite. We embrace it for all that it is and can be. We invite you to hop on board and do the same.

First Semester Junior Year:

     Lay the foundation for your GPA and your college process by starting junior year strong. Focus on keeping a balanced load and remember that it’s okay to swap out or drop a class if it’s better for your GPA and mental health. Too many students wait too long first semester junior year to make adjustements. The goal is to set a healthy and manageable academic pace this semester.

Second Semester Junior Year:

     Once you get first semester grades, reflect and adjust course load and/or activity commitments if necessary. Best case scenario, in addition to your classes you are able to continue exploring and developing interests outside of the classroom whether through clubs, organizations, or your own do-it-yourself efforts.

Spring Break Junior Year:    

     Consider visiting schools on spring break/ski week. Local visits or focused trips to one area where you can see multiple schools are highly recommended. Try to mix things up by seeing big and small, rural and urban, reach and safe schools. Having a greater cross section allows for better understanding and extrapolation when researching new schools later in the process.

     Please Note: Students shouldn’t feel obligated to “want to visit” at this stage, as many have their hands full just staying afloat in junior year. If spring break feels like it would be better served to decompress, then we believe that should be honored. Seeing schools under duress is much less fun for everyone! 

Junior Year Finale:

     With APs in full swing, finals on the way, and end of year burnout creeping in, May can be a tricky month. Add to this, many ACT and SATers just finished an exam or are preparing for the next one. 

     Ultimately, through all of this, we encourage our Blue Trainers to find a pace and balance that allow them to prioritize their second semester grades. This may mean delaying an ACT or SAT, talking to a teacher about redoing assignments or exams, or just staying the course until the summer whistle officially blows!

Senior Summer Has Arrived!

     Step One: Rest.      

     After a busy school year, rest is important. Take a few weeks to shake off the steady drum beat of exams, morning announcements, and period bells. Sleep in, scroll your phone, eat ice cream, ride your bike in the sun, dance in your room. Relax and reboot, unapologetically! 

     Step Two: Get Ready.   

     By the end of June, many students will begin to feel the weight of the college process looming. Rather than curl into fetal position, Blue Trainers will begin taking steps by getting an understanding of their workload in terms of college list building, essays, and applications. Having a clear vision and plan for your next two months will streamline and empower. 

Senior Summer: Part I

      Blue Trainers looking to have most of their apps and essays locked down before September will use July to its fullest, including:

     Getting Started on Essays 

      Many Blue Trainers begin their essay process with our Personal Statement summer workshop. Arrive confused about what you want to write about, leave inspired, your head spinning with ideas, structures, and possibilities. Blue Trainers may continue their process by attending Writing Labs or working with an Essay Specialist. Beginning earlier in the summer allows more time to explore, craft, and polish.

     Building Your College List

      Students who have not yet started building a college list should dive into the deep end of exploration this month. Not only is this a critical aspect of the college process, but also much of the organizing, timeline, and workflow strategizing cannot be done until a student knows which schools he or she is applying to. Whether you attend a summer workshop, work with a Blue Train counselor, or click around with excitement on The Blue List, do your best to have a solid list drafted by the end of July.

1

Senior Summer: Part II

     August 1st: Apps Goes Live

     On August 1st, the Common App and UC App reboot and "officially open" for the new year's class of applicants. Working on the applications before this time (other than essays) really doesn't help expedite things and quite often updates and changes are made to the application. Starting in August, Blue Trainers will participate in Summer Workshops and/or polish their applications with the help of a Specialist. Outside of the essays, activity sections require the most attention and care.     

     Refining Essays and College List

     August is also a time to take your rough drafts to the next level, whether it's your Personal Statement, UC Insight responses, or college list. Blue Trainers will do their best to get as much done before school starts. While there will still be supplemental essays to write and other todos, locking down your major essays and college list will keep you ahead of the curve!   

Senior Year Has Arrived!

     September Time Flies.

      Whether it’s your course load, fall sport, or any number of obligations involved in the college process– letters of rec, portfolios, interviews– there is no doubt that first semester senior year can be a lot. Remember, the majority of schools will want to see your first semester senior grades, so getting a solid start should be your priority. If you used July and August fruitfully, you should be in good shape with your apps and essays. Breathe, find your balance, and set achievable goals for each week. 

     School Specific Supplementals.

      In addition to their primary essays, many schools will ask students to respond to more specific prompts, such as "why are you interested in this school?" or "tell us more about your intended field of study" or "how will you contribute to our community?" Blue Trainers collect supplemental prompts in advance, identify potential overlaps, and streamline their workload. Most students will be buffing and polishing their supplementals right until they submit their first application.

1

Early Application Season Has Arrived!

     Countdown to November

      November 1st is the most common Early Action and Early Decision deadline; therefore, October tends to be a month when ambitions meet ticking clocks and perfectionism meets practicality. Even the most proactive students will find October to be a busy month of dotting i's and crossing t's on their mini-masterpieces, not to mention having to keep up with their high school's requests for brag sheets, teacher recs, college lists, scholarship forms, and more.

     Prioritizing  

      Blue Trainers avoid the common mistakes of applying Early Action to all their schools or choosing emotionally (or arbitrarily) as to which schools they will submit early. Deadline strategy should be based on admissions impact (or lack thereof), merit aid impact (or lack thereof), departmental deadlines, and number of school specific essays. Families needing assistance with their timeline and workflow will set up On Track sessions this time of year.

     October 1st

      On October 1st, the Cal State Application, the FAFSA financial aid form, and CSS Profile institutional aid form go live. (For the Class of '24, the FAFSA form will open in December 2023.) For more on the FAFSA and CSS Profile, see Scholarships and Grants under College Guidance.  

1

November 1st: EA and ED Deadlines. 

     Early Action and Early Decision.

      November 1st is when the vast majority of Blue Trainers will submit their first batch of applications, mostly comprised of Common App schools with early submission deadlines. Blue Trainers submit a high percentage of early action applications but also know when to withhold important applications that they want to commit more time to (and whose merit aid isn't dependent on an early deadline.) Families will use On Track sessions to strategize with a Blue Train counselor.  

     Countdown to November 30th!

      While EA/ED deadlines might hog the spotlight the first half of November, in California it's the UC's and Cal States who take the stage in the second half. Due November 30th, the UC Application has lots of moving parts: majors, alternate majors, expanded activity sections, etc. Put simply, do not procrastinate on starting your UC App. Also due November 30th, the Cal State App is much simpler, as it does not require any essays or activity descriptions.

15

Homestretch of Deadlines!

     December 15th: First Round Notifications

      December 15th is the first major day of notifications for EA/ED schools. Updated applicants will find out if they have been accepted, rejected, or deferred to the main applicant pool until further notice. Since going test optional, more schools have taken beyond the December 15th deadline to notify their early applicants.

     Priority Applications & Early Final Deadliines 

      Once the November deadlines have passed, including the UC's and Cal States, students must pay attention to any priority or final deadlines in December. Priority deadlines can be for specific programs, merit aid, or honors colleges. Early final deadlines (often December 1st) are becoming increasingly common (UT Austin, Gonzaga, U of San Diego, etc.)  

     Wave Two Applications 

      Some Blue Trainers split their application process into Wave 1 and Wave 2. Wave 1 consists of a full range of reach, target, and safe schools that should reap a solid return of options. Wave 2 schools are ones you would apply to if you still had time, energy, and desire once Wave 1 has been submitted. Separating by waves allows for a reasonable pace without letting dream schools hog all the tender loving care that all apps need. Some students will work on Wave 2 schools into January and February.

Happy New Year of Waiting!

     The Waiting Game.

      While some students will continue to grind out a few last applications in the New Year, the vast majority have begun the waiting game. Increasingly, schools have been lengthening their review period which often means later notification dates, more waitlists, and more requests for updates and letters/expressions of continued interest.

     First semester grades.

      First semester grades are the most common update request, as they are the last snapshot of your academic performance that the school will receive. This is all the more reason...

     Early Decision II

      First semester grades are the most common update request, 


Final Final Deadlines!

     February Finish Line.

      While the vast majority of students will have finished their applications before the New Year, some students will continue to work on what we call Wave 2 applications into January and February. Wave 2 apps are those that a student will do only after they have submitted their primary list of applications. These may include last minute additions or work intensive apps like Stanford (yes, we've seen many students get into the highest caliber schools with later applications because they benefitted from the extra care and growth.)

     Financial Aid Deadlines.

      While many Early Action and Early Decision schools will have financial aid form deadlines in November, the majority of schools will have their FAFSA and CSS Profile deadlines in February. Overall, we encourage all Blue Trainers seeking need based aid to get their financial information in sooner than later. Institutional aid is flexible in how it is allocated and being late to the party will not help your cause. Also, depending on your situation, these forms may require more time and energy than you expect. For example, asssets, divorce, remarriage, self employment can all add to the complexity of the applications.

Keep An Eye On Those Portals!

     Accepted? Rejected? Still Waitlisted?

      March is when Blue Trainers are most regularly visiting their portals to see if any new notifications have arrived with that oh so coveted first word "Congratulations!" While there is no doubt students will continue to twist and turn on waitlists for weeks and months to come, March is when the majority of schools will notify their applicants, including the majority of the UC's and the Ivies towards the end of the month. 

     Waitlists

      As waitlists become increasingly common and extended, students are left trying to make decisions with only a fractional return of their submissions. Unfortunately, this is the way it is, which means families will need to consider the choices they have in hand, while also remaining aware that more acceptances may come as late as April, May, or yes, even June and July. Blue Trainers are encouraged to remain engaged and responsive to any waitlist school they are still interested in. 

Countdown to May 1st!

     May 1st is National Decision Day

      Excitement, uncertainty, a ticking clock: April is the official action thriller month of the college process! Blue Trainers will be boarding planes, embarking on road trips, visiting all the schools that have made it to the top of their option list. Visiting as an accepted student feels completely different and will give you a whole new perspective on these schools. No longer wondering what it will take to get in, now it's about how much do I love (or not love) this town, campus, community? Blue Trainers often schedule college decision consultations at this time of year to process all the moving parts, from fit to finances. Truly, it is an exciting honor to sort through things with our families and it is our favorite and most rewarding time of the college process.

     Committing and Beyond

      It's official! You've committed, bought the t-shirt, and registered for your orientation. Next it will be getting your roommate(s), shopping for your dorm, and spending a wonderful summer with your family and friends before you head off for your freshman year. There are few summers as magical as the one when you graduate high school, so make the best of it. Lie in the sun, all the hard work behind you, your entire future before you... Congratulations!

NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR

before applications

summer work

deadlines

junior year
senior year

The PSAT    

      While some students may take the PSAT sophomore year, most will take it for their first time in October of junior year. By design, this exam is supposed to be a low pressure first run at an abbreviated SAT under official conditions. This can be a good experience for students planning on taking a real SAT in December or in the spring. On the other hand, for those taking the ACT, or not testing at all, the PSAT may turn out to be an unnecessary trial to put onself through.

      Lastly, for those aiming to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship, it is important to note that only junior year scores are eligible. Please see PSAT/NMSQT for more information. 

2

December 2nd, 2023

     Beware Of Testing Too Early.      

     Although you will hear of students taking SAT's as early as October of junior year (with the goal of "just getting it over with"), decades of experience has shown us that peak scores more commonly come after first semester. Therefore, we encourage our Blue Trainers to pace themselves, for not only will their math and reading skills continue to strengthen and improve their confidence, but also the college process will become more ambient and less abstract which often translates into more driven and focused test day performance. 

     December Testers.

      While the majority of Blue Trainers will take their first official SAT in the spring of junior year, some students might consider taking the December test. If you are someone who is already hitting close to your target score on practice exams or you are prospective athletic recruit who might need to share scores with coaches, then December might be a good first test date for you. Remember, test dates can always be postponed. If you register for December but don't feel ready, you can always reschedule for March. Depending on their skill building needs, Blue Trainers will begin prepping for the December SAT anywhere from mid October to early November. 

      Please Note: Students who know they will have their hands full first semester junior year will often do skill building preparation over junior summer in what we call "jumpstart prep." These students will stop prepping once school starts, then begin again with speed and endurance training closer to the December test date. 

9

March 9, 2024 (digital only)

     SAT Officially Goes Digital!       

      March will be the first nationally administered digital only SAT. For some students, this change of platform may add additional considerations into their test choice. Put simply, we will not know fully how students respond to the differences until several exams pass. The inability to interact with math questions and figures on paper can cause the greatest issue for some. We encourage students interested in taking the SAT to discuss how the test format change might affect their performance during their free Meet and Greet with a Blue Train counselor. 

     March Testing      

      Situated after the end of first semester and before AP season fully heats up, March has traditionally been a popular month to take the SAT. For some students March will be a follow-up to December, for others it will be their first official sitting. Students taking it for the first time will often consider May or June as a second exam, depending on how light or heavy their AP courseload is. 

4

May 4th, 2024 (digital only)

     AP Season in Full Swing!       

      Traditionally, May is less popular for SAT testing because it lands right in the middle of AP exams. On the other hand, students who are not taking two or more AP's may consider this date as it tends to be less crowded and, in turn, often less anxiety producing.

      For non AP students, the May/June exams can be a great back-to-back testing experience, where the proximity of the exams can be used to tweak performance and build endurance. With this said, we must remember this is the end of the school year when many students are at their peak of exhaustion and burnout.  

1

June 1st, 2024 (digital only)

     Are You Tired or Rejuvenated?        

      How a student's last six weeks unfolded will often determine whether June is a good month to test or not. If a student had an extrordinarily heavy AP season mixed with teachers who still haven't stepped off the gas yet, they might be in for a bleary eyed test in June, which often takes the greatest toll on the reading section. Tired students may choose to hold off until August when they have had time to rest and reboot

      June First Time Testers

      While the June SAT is most often a follow-up to a March or May exam, for some late testers this will be their first time sitting. While these students may be a little late to the party, we have seen the majority hustle up and make great score gains. Sometimes being late lights the fire; nonetheless, these students should plan on taking follow-ups, most likely in August and/or October (scores still admissible for Early Action applications.)

24

August 24th, 2024 (digital only)

     Sunscreen or Scantrons?        

      While the August date does come after a nice sumer rest and occur before senior year starts, it can be a sand trap for some. Simply put, some students are not in the testing mindset with the smell of barbecues and sounds of laughter all around them. Therefore, students who are aiming for August should remember there tends to be an easiness of the summer that can contribute to laggy starts and gasless performance pushes. To shake themselves of the summer sandman, Blue Trainers are encouraged to participate in the August proctored exams and spin class style performance sessions leading up to test day.

     Postpone Until Fall?

      Students who feel the August exam lands too squarely in summer land (for whatever reason), may consider waiting and taking the October and/or November exams. We know it feels scary to test so late and it might not have been your first plan, but rest assured many Blue Trainers have found these months to be the gold at the end of the rainbow. The back-to-back nature of these two exams allows students to benefit from the endurance build, which lightens their need to do as much prep in these busy months. Think how a runner would need to do less daily roadwork if she were competing in back-to-back marathons. Just another reminder to stay hydrated, Blue Trainers!

5

October 5th, 2024 (digital only)

     Start Your Engines, Again!        

      With most of the seniors having taken the SAT one or more times, the October exam has an air of experience and focus like no other. Students are not as jangly and chatty; tests are not so foreign and scary. When October testers start their engines, you can feel them thinking back to previous exams, what went right, what went wrong, and now they are just waiting for the light to turn green. October exams are admissible for the vast majority of Early Action deadline dates. 

2

November 2nd, 2024 (digital only)

     Let's Do This!        

      Whereas the October SAT has a vibe of assured experience and focus, the November exam comes in with a more naked fearlessness. Students sitting for November are either those who got a very late start, those with extra stubborn test anxiety, or those who are trying to put a cherry atop their score. While we never want you to test more times than you want to or have to, we do want you to know that there are more viable opportunities than many initially think.

     November & December aka the "WTF" exams.

      Whoa, whoa. Don't blame us, we didn't nickname these last chance test dates! To be fair, we did adopt the profane little acronym fairly early because it reflected the power of attitude when sitting this late in the game. Because their skills and techniques should already be locked down, Blue Trainers taking November or Decemer tests tend to do minimal prep. Rather, just like their in-your-face nickname, these tests come with a hand me the bat and just let me swing swagger. In other words, if you're on the fence about taking a test this late but feel you could give it one more Satruday morning try, then we say knock it out of the park, late testers!

      If they choose, Blue Trainers can participate in free Performance Sessions and Proctored Exams. As well, Test Prep Specialists are always at the ready if you need some late game tweaks or performance enhancing drills.

2

December 2nd, 2023: Not Too Late! While December usually isn’t a senior’s Plan A for testing, there is no doubt that December scores have changed students’ destinies. Regular decision schools with deadlines in December, January, or February will certainly use December scores. But for schools that won’t use it for their initial admission decision, a strong December score can be a great for any schools you’re wait listed at or any school where a score boost could mean score-dependent merit aid (potentially tens of thousands of dollars over four years.) And remember, this could just be another opportunity for that “Why Not?” Test — no more prep, no more practice tests, just sharpen the pencil and be on time. This evaporation of expectation can often unlock the tumblers of test anxiety.
OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
junior year
senior year

9

December 9th, 2023

     Beware Of Testing Too Early.      

     Although you will hear of students taking ACT's as early as September of junior year (with the goal of "just getting it over with"), decades of experience has shown us that peak scores more commonly come after first semester. Therefore, we encourage our Blue Trainers to pace themselves, for not only will their math and reading skills continue to strengthen and improve their confidence, but also the college process will become more ambient and less abstract which often translates into more driven and focused test day performance. 

     December Testers.

      While the majority of Blue Trainers will take their first official ACT in the spring of junior year, some students might consider taking the December test. If you are someone who is already hitting close to your target score on practice exams or you are prospective athletic recruit who might need to share scores with coaches, then December might be a good first test date for you. Remember, test dates can always be postponed. If you register for December but don't feel ready, you can always rescedule for February. Depending on their skill building needs, Blue Trainers will begin prepping for the December ACT anywhere from mid October to mid November. 

      Please Note: Students who know they will have their hands full first semester junior year will often do skill building preparation over junior summer in what we call "jumpstart prep." These students will stop prepping once school starts, then begin again with speed and endurance training closer to the December test date. 

10

February 10th, 2024

     Prime First ACT Date.      

      All things being equal, the February exam offers many advantages as a student's first official exam. You will have your first semester behind you, you will be refreshed and ready after holiday break, and you will have the opportunity to take two official exams before AP season begins, with the space between the Feb and April ACTs allowing for continued practie and score growth. Blue Trainers will often begin prepping for the February exam in December or over the winter holidays.

13

April 13th, 2024

     America's Favorite ACT Month.      

      While April is historically the most popular ACT test date, for many Blue Trainers this will be their second exam. Building off the experience and results of the February exam, they head into April with a strong sense of focus and mission. Blue Trainers who take the February and April ACTs usually do not take the summer exams, as they often prefer more time to reboot.

      Students taking the ACT for the first time in April will often begin prepping in mid February. Depending on how well they do, they will usually either test again over the summer or wait until the fall for another swing (or two) bat. 

8

June 8th, 2024

     Are You Tired or Rejuvenated?        

      How a student's last six weeks unfolded will often determine whether June is a good month to test or not. If a student had an extrordinarily heavy AP season mixed with teachers who still haven't stepped off the gas yet, they might be in for a bleary eyed test in June, which often takes the greatest toll on the reading and science sections. These tired students might be wise to kick the testing can down the timeline a date or two.

      Students who didn't have a heavy AP load or who have teachers who have been going easy on them at the end of the year might find a sweet spot in June. If June is your second test, we often recommend waiting until the fall to take your next exam. On the other hand, first time testers in June will often make use of July as an immediate follow-up.

13

July 13th, 2024

     Sunscreen vs Scantrons      

      Testing centers in July tend not to be as busy as the previous months. There are multiple reasons for this, including both burnout and barbecues. Hard as they try, some students have a trickier time getting their head in the game in July.

      With this said, the July exam can be a perfect second test for those who sat for the first time in June. Feeling a little late to the game sometimes, these testers tend to appreciate July as a time to catch up to the college process in a more peaceful testing month. Just remember to shake off the sand and take off the sunglasses on test day!

14

Sepetmeber 14th, 2024

     Two Magic Months for Many!      

      We could bore you to testing tears with stories about students who flatlined in the spring only to spike dramatically in the fall. Sometimes it's the late starts, other times it's the ones who have no more patience for their test anxiety, and still for others it's the perfect storm of senior September/October momentum that delivers big. No matter what it is, we make sure our Blue Trainers understand that September and/or October can be profitable test dates. And if you're not sure if it's worth it, just remember squeezing out an extra point or two never hurts for admissions or more merit aid.

      Most September testers will be on their second or third exam so they need not put in much prep time other than getting their gears moving again. Participating in our proctored exams will help shake off the rust, and if desired, Blue Trainers can request a specialist for quick review and performance work. Many students will pull their ACT book out from under their flip flops in early to mid August to be ready for the September exam.

26

October 26th, 2024

     Still Valid For Most Early Action Schools      

      Many schools with November 1st early deadlines will accept the October test scores if they are sent to them upon receipt (following your application that has alredy been received.)

      Blue Trainers who take the September exam will often preemptively register for the October exam as well. Not only do the two exams work collaboratively in an endurance building, process focusing way, but also students report they are more relaxed in September knowing they still have October. By no means do we want our Blue Trainers to over test, but we want to assure them that the options are there if they wish to sit again. For many students, prep at this time should be minimal.  

7

December 7th, 2024

     The Good Old "What the Heck" Test!      

      Although December is late in the college process to be testing, there are times it can be advantageous. Students who still haven't hit the score they've been getting on practice exams will sometimes say, WTH (or something similar), and sit for one more Saturday. Pencil sharpened, sleeves rolled up, no regrets. If a higher score comes through, as they somewhat regularly do, that student can use if for any schools he or she has not applied Early Action or Early Decision. 

     Also Helfpul For Waitlist Updates!      

      With waitlists becoming frequently more common, students are often seeking new things to report when the school invariably asks if they have any recent accomplishments. For schools that use standardized tests in admissions, an improved test score is certainly something worthy of mention.

OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR
junior year
senior year
Results

We’ll let the other companies throw arbitrary stats and figures at you. For we believe our results go much deeper than just our ridiculously amazing acceptances and our over the moon merit scholarship offers. Immediate results are seen in the relief on your family's faces over the course of a single session. Short term results are felt when you receive all the amazing college options your hard work has created. Long term results are when you rave to us years later about how we helped you find your perfect fit. Each year, in addition to our Blue Trainers' always impressive acceptances and award offers, our true hope is that our families arrive at their destinations even better than when they started!

 

Click to View Some Happy Blue Trainers!

Scott and Celeste were instrumental in helping my daughter build a personalized and relevant college list which included schools she would have never applied to without their guidance. Our 100 percent confidence and trust in Blue Train was validated when the acceptance letters started rolling in. Thank you for helping set her on a trajectory for college (and life) success!

Steven K
Torrance High

The magical Blue List is like a unicorn - you have to see it to believe it's real. Tons of helpful, up to date info about schools of all sizes in all areas of the country that your kid might be interested in! I have recommended Blue Train to several friends who are looking for a SANE approach to the college process.

Shelly S
Manhattan Beach

I felt that Blue Train really listened and helped me to discover what I cared about and wanted to get out of my college experience, and I’m so happy I was able to work with them!

Tyler S
PV Peninsula

We had a terrific experience working with Blue Train on college prep for our twins, who have very different interests. The Blue Train team is unbelievably knowledgeable in all things 'college' and have the patience of saints in helping guide students with not only how to build their college lists of choice but to see them through the whole process.

Nancy A
Hermosa Beach

Although first semester was the most stressful period of my life, your expert guidance helped immensely and I don't know what I would have done without it! Thank you for helping me get accepted to my dream school.

Jax S
Mira Costa

Perhaps the best way to sum it all up is when my daughter said to me the other night after her tutor left: 'The only thing I think I'm going to miss about applying to college are my Blue Train specialists.' Then she went on to thank me for having done my research and given her more help than she could have imagined...

Megan C
Rancho Palos Verdes

The personalized tutoring is key to finding what areas need improvement and with such busy schedules, it was the most efficient way to prepare. We also truly appreciate how BT approaches the process as a family partner and helps reduce stress during an otherwise very stressful time.

Mary D
Rancho Palos Verdes

Love Blue Train's passion for helping students and families through the frustrating college application process

Erik G
Palos Verdes High School

I was completely lost during the college application process until I found Blue Train. They took the time to get to know me and my goals, and provided me with the guidance and support I needed to succeed. Soon, I was able to navigate the college admissions process with confidence and ease. I am incredibly grateful and cannot thank them enough!

Angeline S
Peninsula High School

Blue Train was the best find in helping our two daughters along the college prep route. They were accommodating, thorough in communication, always willing to happily answer questions, knowledgeable about colleges and universities, and wonderful at paying attention to the personal aspect. Both our daughters went to their first choice college.

Susan T
Rancho Palos Verdes

From the moment I sat down with Blue Train, I felt that both my academic and personal goals were prioritized in the college search. Not only did my ACT score improve significantly, but Scott helped me talk through the culture and fit of each school on my list.

Lexie F
Brunswick High School

Our kids loved their specialists and never dreaded their sessions. In addition, the essay writing and college application workshops are invaluable.

Artine H
Mira Costa High School

Through the college application process, Blue Train helped me realize what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. All of the staff members put me and my ideas, feelings, and decisions first, and I was able to learn more about myself and who I want to become as a result.

Gus F
PV Peninsula

Blue train helped to make this experience so helpful and easy. Everybody who works at the company truly cares for you and wants to see you succeed both as a student and as a human.

Seth G
Mira Costa High School

Blue Train was immensely helpful throughout every step of the application process. I can honestly say that I believe that my future outcomes will permanently be positively impacted by this program.

Luke S
Mira Costa

Blue Train made the process less stressful through the writing workshops which build my confidence in my essays. They were available to answer any questions my parents and I had about the application process, big or small.

Fred W
West High School

I really appreciated all the help from you guys, and it made applications a breeze! Scott was a lifesaver when he gave advice on financial aid, and helped secure the scholarship that is letting me attend my dream school. Sheila was amazing helping with my essays as well, and Daniel was a huge help with ACT prep, overall, I had an amazing experience, thank you!

Dean A
West High School

My specialist David made my college process feel like anything but a college process in the best way possible. I looked forward to attending every meeting, and he truly cared about the things I did in my life as a whole. We talked like equals instead of feeling intimidated by this 'know all essay master.' My experience was truly only a positive one.

Natalie G
Venice High School

Blue Train was able to simplify a very overwhelming process at a pace that was very flexible to my schedule! Also provided enthusiastic and genuine guidance with a ton of super helpful resources :)

Izzy H
Manhattan Beach

The ability to pick and choose services, use the Blue List, and attend the virtual town halls make the Blue Train experience unique and extremely valuable. I would use them again in a heartbeat (but start earlier and use more of the services), and would very highly recommend them to other families. Thank you!!

Angie R
Mira Costa High School

During the whole college process Scott and Matt were so helpful in guiding me through it. They made essay writing and applications so much more enjoyable and easy and I am so grateful to them for that!

Molly T
Mira Costa High School