Lauren is the owner of College Pathfinders, as well as a graduate of the program. She was selected to carry on the business by Founder Judy McNeely, who recognized Lauren’s experience with the admissions climate of today and genuine connection with her students. Since 2012, Lauren has enjoyed helping her clients and their families navigate the path to successful college admissions.
After earning her B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising at Chapman University, Lauren decided to pursue a career with College Pathfinders. Her unique experience started in freshman year at Pacific Collegiate High School, when she chose to work with Judy on her college applications. Completing the four-year process, applying to thirteen schools, and receiving scholarships from many of them, including her top choice university, inspired her to support students on their own journeys.
Lauren has completed a two-year apprenticeship with College Pathfinders that involved consulting on more than forty clients and two admissions cycles. She also earned a certification in Independent Educational Consulting through The University of California system. This masters-level program requires counselors to complete eight courses on the college admissions process and financial aid network. Her first-hand experience with the admissions climate of today gives Lauren and her students a unique advantage.
Judy and Dennis have been a couple since age 15 and married their junior year at Stanford. They went on to complete masters degrees at UCLA and Judy taught high school English and French for many years. In 1982, while teaching English on a small island in Washington, Judy saw the need for college admissions counseling. She studied all available materials and attended conferences, finding joy in helping high school students complete successfully the college admissions process. By 2006, when she saw that students often missed crucial deadlines, she saw the need for a checklist, and wrote 25 Months Until College, a manual used worldwide for admission to U.S. colleges. By 2008, Judy had more clients than she could handle. Dennis was able to step into the job he’d been a part of for over 30 years.
As the time came to retire... Judy and Dennis began looking for a successor to carry on College Pathfinders. It had to be someone who would mirror their serious commitment to the profession and deep regard for their students. Lauren, a former client of College Pathfinders, came to mind because of her experience with the admissions climate of today and her genuine interest in helping students.
After asking her to join, they began a two-year apprenticeship with Lauren in which she learned every facet of the admissions process and consulted on over fifty clients. In her retirement announcement, Judy reflected, “Lauren’s youthful ability to connect with teens is remarkable, yet she maintains an authority because of her depth of knowledge and structured, individualized approach.”
In December of 2014, Judy and Dennis decided to travel the world and enjoy their retirement in style.