Frequently asked Questions

We are here to answer all your questions about us and our offerings.

General question

We have built an unmatched program in Athena’s Personal Mentorship, which is the most potent counseling program in India for Ivy-League admissions. At Athena, we have a dual purpose: to help students become the best version of themselves and get them into the world’s top universities. Our acceptance into top universities is #1 in India.  

We only accept selective students per batch, which ensures a personalized experience for each Athenian. Both founders went to Princeton and believed in top colleges’ power in setting their students up for success. Athena is highly selective and handpicks students who are motivated and share similar values. If you enjoy learning and demonstrate aspiration and humility, we would love for you to apply!

 

  • Results
    • Athena students have received admission into countless top colleges, including every Ivy-Leagues, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. More than 25% of our students make it to the big leagues. 
    • Scholarships
  • (Selectivity) Our selective program focuses on top colleges for top candidates 
    • Our acceptance into top universities is #1 in India. We only accept screened students, which ensures a personalized experience for each Athenian.
    • We stay in touch with students all through the program, teaching exchanges of inputs and updates.

 

  • (Team) Our Mentors
    • Both our founders have graduated from Princeton and therefore have the first-hand experience that inspires students and their strategic expertise. 

 

    • Students work very closely with mentors who are the cream of the crop and all spectacular writers. It usually is an enriching two-way learning experience. 
    • We consult International mentors: our research consultant from Singapore, Kah Ying, conducts tailor-made research guidance workshops. Our senior writing consultants, Jared, studied English Literature at Princeton and Philip, studied at Dartmouth then Sarah Lawrence possess a technical understanding of Ivy League admissions.

 

  • (Personalization) Our highly personalized mentorship 
    • We provide bespoke mentorship; every week, we touch base with every student, providing specific project guidance and inspiration along the way!
    • We conduct periodic Workshops that act as a platform for healthy channeling of creative energy and imbibition of new learnings.
    • The Athena Blog features all the latest updates related to admission to top universities. We do not rest on our laurels and are continually refining our program to include more— from internship programs and research partnerships to student wellness and time-management initiatives. 

 

  • (Expertise) We know the latest trends
    • Every year, we meet admission officers and make sure we stay updated on the latest trends in the application processes. 
    • We take advice on admission strategies from Ivy League admission officers and use that information to design a well-rounded plan keeping the student and their profile in mind. 
    • We maintain a database of scholarships and financial aid policies, advising families on an admissions strategy and college list that maximizes the likelihood of such assistance. 

 

Rahul and Poshak personally lead each student’s mentorship. They have spent the past seven years creating a bespoke program for Ivy League admissions, coupling the domain expertise gained from working with top admissions counselors in California with a deep understanding of the Indian schooling system and cultural context.

We have students from all over the world - across India, Singapore, and the US. The delivery of the program in this case happens through video conferencing. The content of the program remains the same.

Athena’s Result & Scholarships

    • The premise on which Athena functions is that we focus on only top colleges
    • On average, over 95% of Athena students get into the top 20 colleges.
    • Out of them, many get into Ivy Leagues and other top 10 colleges of the world 
      • We received multiple acceptances from Yale, Stanford, Caltech, UPenn, Dartmouth, and other top universities.
      • A few examples: 
        •   In 2019, 3 of our students were admitted into Yale 
        • 2 Athena students went to Princeton in 2018
        • In 2016, 3 out of the 7 Indian students admitted to Harvard were from Athena

 

 

We provide a comprehensive and specialized Personal Mentorship program to help students get into Ivy-League and other top colleges. Based on the student’s interests, strengths, and goals, academic performance, extracurricular skills/interests, awards, and honors, etc., we develop a comprehensive strategy for the student. 

 

Our in-depth counseling sessions include a series of workshops for extracurricular guidance, a personalized Application Theme, and Strategy, as well as regular 1-1 guidance sessions. We help the student across all-important decision-making regarding the study abroad process, providing extensive 1-1 essay guidance and application support.

Our co-founder Poshak, who went to DPS RK Puram, got a 100% scholarship from Stanford and Princeton. Rest assured, we know exactly what it takes to maximize your chances for a scholarship. Scholarships for foreign students are selective. Nevertheless, numerous Athena students have obtained them over the years, receiving anywhere from 25%-100% scholarship. Apekshita Alkesh, Head Girl, DPS RK Puram, received the Cornell TATA Scholarship, covering 100% of her fees. Our student Ashish Solanki from DPS Noida got a 100% scholarship to Williams. Tanya Sharma, Head Girl, DPS-I, received the UBC ILOT, a 100% scholarship to the University of British Columbia.

Yes, Athena conducts a host of workshops dedicated to research projects and summer school programs. Our partnership network of 50+ NGOs and tech organizations allows students access to internship opportunities aligned with their interests and goals.  Our students have worked closely with organizations like Sitare Foundation (based in Palo Alto, USA, and Gurgaon, India) to provide underprivileged children access to education at top schools in their cities. Many of our students have worked with leading tech companies like Hora to hone Machine Learning and data analytics skills. They have used this knowledge to create a host of apps - from awareness-boosting video games to virtual historical tour apps. Every year, a large number of our students are admitted into some of the best summer programs in the world, including but not limited to SUMaC (Stanford), Wolfram, MIT Launch, SSP (MIT), YYGS (Yale), and the Stanford Summer Humanities Institute.

Concerns regarding COVID-19

Owing to the economic and financial stresses that US universities are under, they are looking to accept more international students this year to boost their coffers. This year is a time to capitalize on a rare opportunity of increased acceptances. It is not advisable to take a year off as Next year, admissions competitiveness is predicted to be higher.  The loss of an academic year might push back your timeline and affect your academic performance when you get back after a large gap. Besides, there might be a slight upside! Getting top-class education will be economical even if one semester is conducted online. (This is just for the class of 2021 - never to be said in written) It is predicted that it will be more difficult for international students to get into top universities abroad in 2022 and 2023. When the curve flattens, and international travel is relatively safe, it is essential to consider that colleges will take all precautions in their capacity.

We understand that the current situation is unprecedented and challenging. However, while safeguarding the health of our employees, we are functioning just as we normally do through online platforms— from weekly workshops to 1-1 meetings with students and parents.  We are running at FULL CAPACITY to support our students and to help them get into the Ivy-Leagues and other top colleges around the world. COVID-19 will absolutely not affect Athena students going to college in 2021 and beyond.

Program Related Questions

The 2-year Personal Mentorship Program aims at guiding the student through their 11th and 12th grade, making the counseling very specific to the student’s aspirations and personal strengths. The 2-year program aims at generating a more thorough roadmap for the student which then translates into taking on deeply meaningful extracurricular activities as well.

 

  • Nutshell

 

    • Personalized Strategy
      • What needs to be done to take one’s profile to the next level, differentiate oneself for Ivy League admissions
    • Execution
      • Like a personal trainer, we check in every week, ensure progress, all milestones are hit
    • (In the second year) Applications
      • Present one’s unique value in a clear and powerful manner through the various components of the app, especially essays 

 

 

  • Personalized Strategy:

 

    • We evaluate students’ interests, goals, and strengths. 
    • The Application Theme and Strategy (ATS): We then draft an Application Theme and Strategy Report; which becomes the go-to reference document for all that the student will need in order to get into their dream university. 

The Application Theme and Strategy (ATS) is intended to differentiate students from other applicants and is optimized for Ivy-League colleges. For students who do the 2-year program,  we will build upon, refine, and enhance their existing projects based on fresh developments in their academic and extracurricular endeavors throughout their 12th grade.

We think profoundly to highlight one or more characteristics of each applicant that almost no other applicant will possess.   

      • Academic Guidance: We provide timelines for fulfilling all academic requirements outside the classroom, and help students determine which standardized tests will reap optimum results for them.
      • Early focus on getting into Ivy League colleges: we carefully curate each student’s profile from class 11 itself from an Ivy-League admissions perspective. 

 

  • Execution
  • Project plans: Once a quarter, we schedule strategy meetings with the student and their parents to check in on progress and carve out the next steps for the coming quarter. In this meeting, we set short-term goals for the next few months and chart out a plan for execution. These meetings are crucial to map progress and re-evaluate trajectories wherever needed.  

 

      1. Deliverables:  We try to map out all the possible projects (academic/research, leadership, relevant internships, liberal arts) for students so as to enhance their profile and chances of getting into the best universities.
      2. Timelines: We think it is important to set timelines for the completion of these projects. This is so that we have enough cushion for the betterment and accommodating any necessary changes. This timeline is drawn keeping in mind the student’s hectic schedule so that the student can perform well overall; at school as well as in their development journey to get into Ivy Leagues. 

 

 

  • 1-1 counseling 

 

    • We assist students by designing a detailed strategy that outlines: leadership, research, liberal arts, and internship projects. We support them in executing these projects and also offer guidance throughout the college application process.
    • We also provide mock interview sessions for the students for some of the US universities. Once all results are out, we provide an in-depth analysis of the college acceptances received and help families make the best decision.
    • 2-year Personal Mentorship is meant for 11th graders. It is a comprehensive program where we work intensively with the students to build a unique and well-rounded profile that gives them an edge over other applicants.

 

  1. Workshops 

Our workshops equip students with the foundational skills they require to conduct and compile research, launch their own projects, and build their own brand. 

    • These workshops are unique and have shown tremendous development in our students 
    • As we bring together a community of India’s top students, these workshops entail a great deal of cross-dimensional learning from the conductor and fellow students alike!
    • In addition to covering strategies and brainstorming narratives for a variety of essays, these workshops will also cover items such as recommendations, so students know exactly how to go about selecting recommenders and obtaining recommendations from them.  

 

 

  • Applications 

 

      • Athena’s process is comprehensive; we make sure the student is preparing their profile and essays in accordance with the university they are aiming to get into.
      • All essays are reviewed by writing professionals in the US who attended Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Our research program is run by Kah Ying, a leading research counselor in Singapore. Jared, our senior writing consultant, is a literature graduate from Princeton who possesses a deep understanding of the Ivy-League admissions process.

 

  • Skill and personality development of the student 
  • Athena is very selective 
  •   Both founders went to Princeton and believe in the power of top colleges in setting their students up for success. Athena is highly selective and handpicks students who are motivated and share  similar values.

 

 

The 1-year Personal Mentorship is meant for 12th graders. It is a comprehensive program where we work intensively with the students to build a unique and well-rounded profile that gives them an edge over other applicants. We assist them by designing a detailed strategy that outlines leadership, research, liberal arts, and internship projects. We support them in executing these projects, while predominantly focussing on college applications and essays. We also provide mock interview sessions for the students for some US colleges. Once all results are out, we provide an in-depth analysis of the college acceptances received and help families make the best decision.

 

  • To draft a brilliant essay, we believe in getting to know the student inside-out. We spend time understanding a student inside out and identifying their deep driving purpose.
  • We delve a level deeper into not just their activities, but more importantly their experiences, beliefs, values, character, and passions. 
  • While our program is very personalized, we continue to be highly process-driven and guide students systematically at every step of the process
  • Our aim is to not only ensure students’ admissions into the best colleges but also to help them achieve success in these new environments. Through our program, students become clear and powerful thinkers, writers, and communicators.

 

The essay process is intensive and super creative; we collaborate with students through regular interactive sessions. Writing Specialists work closely with the students and brainstorm ideas and potential storylines. Based on those interactions, a detailed outline of the student is created and the student is expected to work on the outline and compose drafts which are reviewed by the specialists. 

 

Athena’s signature 5-step Common App review process:

  • Extensive conversations with students on their life experience, understanding their psychology and background inside out (Deep AOS)
  • Our writing specialists brainstorm ideas and help outline essays. 
  • They then go through an iterative drafting process until they finalize an essay.
  • Rahul and Poshak thoroughly edit and vet the final draft personally.
  • We then get the essay review by our writing consultant, Jared (English Literature, Princeton) or Philip(Creative Writing, Sarah Lawrence & English Literature,Dartmouth)

On average students visit once a week, across workshops and 1-1 session. During the peak of the essay and application season, students frequent the office as regularly as needed and correspond with counselors as per their needs.

 

We also offer support for online video calls when students prefer.

On an average students meet their mentors once a week. However, the counselors do regular check-ins as per the student’s requirement. Once a student is selected for our program, it is our responsibility to put in whatever it takes to get the outcomes. We believe in sharing the responsibility and put in a lot of effort to get results!

We closely coordinate with parents and keep them in the loop for strategic meetings and project alignments throughout the year. Athena mentors keep in close touch with parents through a WhatsApp group we create for the student’s communication & updates.

Parents are cc’d on all emails. We invite them to meetings, especially when critical strategic decisions need to be made. We love bouncing ideas off parents and welcome their inputs at every step of the process! We all want the same thing, the success of the student, and creative collaboration is in our DNA.

 

Admission to top universities is highly competitive. We provide bespoke counseling and believe in formulating a comprehensive strategy to make every profile unique and Ivy-worthy. This strategy connects seamlessly with the essay process. Therefore, we do not provide stand-alone essay assistance as we don’t believe it would do justice.

 

If they apply for scholarships and financial aid, then it's all the more important that the college application process is completed thoroughly and in a rigorous manner. 

 

As part of our belief of providing comprehensive guidance, we also conduct various workshops which are an irreplaceable added benefit of doing the program in its entirety.

We mentor students as they conduct research projects, participate in group discussions with the brightest students in the country, and take on professional internships.

In our experience, we have seen that the most effective essays are a product of experiences gained through nuanced, impactful, long-term projects undertaken by students. The power of our essays comes as much from the student’s prior efforts as from their flow and language.

Ivy Strategy Program

For students younger than 11th-graders.

 The Personal Mentorship is a comprehensive program in which we work intensively with students to build a unique and well-rounded profile that gives them an edge over other applicants. We assist them by designing a detailed strategy that outlines leadership, research, liberal arts, and internship projects. We support them in executing these projects through regular check-ins and also support students end-to-end on their college applications. The Personal Mentorship begins from 11th grade onwards.

 

My Ivy Strategy is a 1-2 year program during which we help students develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the academic year. This program is designed to guide younger students by building a strategy for them through which they can navigate academic and extracurricular activities with an applications-oriented lens. The program also includes quarterly strategy reviews, where an Athena senior counselor will meet the student once a quarter to review their progress, answer questions surrounding the program, troubleshoot, and motivate them to keep on rolling!

There are no disadvantages to joining the program. The primary objective of this program is to help students build a strategy for navigating academic and extracurricular activities with an applications-oriented lens. It is equally important that this happens in a spaced-manner, over a period of time, given that the students have a lot on their plates.