Independent Education
Help applicants pursue
study abroad aspirations
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team-based approach
Strive to find an institution
of best fit
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Independent education consulting company, helping applicants plan their education at the school, university or postgraduate levels. We also assist high schools in developing student-focused, scalable university counselling infrastructure that addresses the academic needs of its communities.

From the blog


Rahul Krishnan's Application Journey

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After eight incredible years in India, we were planning to return to Silicon Valley in northern California. Schooling for our two daughters (6th grade and 9th grade) was our primary area of concern and we had a list of questions: How should we consider options? What are the trade-offs between public and private schools? What are the admissions and application processes? We are very grateful to Kavita, Kim, Namita and the whole team at The Red Pen for being such great partners in helping us navigate this crucial part of our journey. Both of our daughters were offered admission to The Harker School, the #2 ranked K-12 school in the US, and their #1 choice amongst the shortlist; we said “yes” in a heartbeat.

-Kirthiga Reddy
Global Client Partner and Emerging Markets Lead, Facebook

Former Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia

I heard about The Red Pen from a friend, who had received acceptances from several top universities. I was impressed by how the team personalized the process to align with my needs. The Red Pen counsellors were particularly indispensable in reviewing my drafts and providing constructive criticism, which made my essays flow effortlessly. They were in touch regularly; making sure that my applications were on track. The team's wholehearted engagement in the process helped me achieve phenomenal results - I was admitted to my dream university with full financial aid! I admire The Red Pen's commitment and meticulous attention to detail.

-Vanderbilt University, Class of 2021

I worked with The Red Pen on two MBA applications. I think their biggest strengths are responsiveness, their network and interview preparation. Their Wharton interview prep is the best that I have ever come across and I highly recommend it! It was exactly like the real interview. They have an in-depth understanding of what each school wants and are excellent at creating access to alumni, events, and interview experts. Their school selection process is the best I have seen. I have often reached out to Vrinda and Kavita for advice on all aspects of the application process and they have always been thorough, honest and to the point. They would keep pushing me to bring out the best in me.

-Harvard Business School, Class of 2018

The Red Pen team was extremely adept throughout my college admissions process. We developed a plan and the consultants helped me strategically select universities that would best suit my profile. Their constant help and advice was encouraging. I would not have been able to get into such prestigious universities if it wasn’t for their effort!

-New York University (NYU), Class of 2019

The one thing that stood out for me was the counsel I received - that is where The Red Pen is unique among its peers. A great example, which highlights how they focus on what is best for the client, is my first conversation with the team. They suggested I should consider waiting for a year and apply in the next cycle, because I would be a much stronger candidate. I didn’t really pay heed to that advice. To my surprise, I was waitlisted at my dream school; the admissions committee felt my career progression was very positive but thought I could do with more exposure in my current industry. The second time round working with The Red Pen, I listened; I made it to one of my dream schools!

-MIT Sloan School of Management, Class of 2018


Your window to news and perspectives on studying abroad
and the international admissions processes.

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Acing Admissions can help students and their families answer important questions about education in the US…

  • What are the types of colleges and courses offered in the US?
  • How do I choose a school or board in India?
  • Why are essays and recommendation letters important?
  • How much does it cost? Is it possible to get financial aid?
  • Is it better to submit my application before December 31st?

This book is a definitive guide to US undergraduate college admissions, whether you are preparing as early as class 8 or you are in class 12 facing applications deadlines within months.




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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?