Jeff Knox

Counselor & Educational Planning Services Director

Subjects

  • Application Essays
  • Career Prep
  • Educational Counselors
  • Educational Planning
  • Mock Interviews
  • Resumes

Tests

Locations

  • Bethesda, MD
  • McLean, VA
  • Remote (Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime, etc.)
  • Tenleytown, DC

Bio

With more than a decade of experience in education and admissions counseling, Jeff Knox is a trusted adviser for students and families, both in the DC Metro Area and around the globe. As Director of Educational Planning Services, he manages the pedagogy, curricula, logistics, and quality of PrepMatters’ Educational Planning Department range of services, including application and essay assistance, interview coaching, and resume help.

Jeff’s resourceful and customized approach to admissions planning encourages students to strategically develop their academic interests and talents and to create compelling narratives for their applications, whether applying for private high schools or for colleges. Jeff helps families manage each and every moving part of the admissions process: course selection, testing plan, academic and career goals, extra curriculars, personal narratives, interview assistance, campus visits, and creation of a thoughtful and strategic college list. Jeff continually monitors the ever-changing admissions scene so that he is always ready to recommend accurate, effective, and meaningful approaches to admissions ranging from the most selective to the ficklest. Relying on his experience and continuous research of collegiate and high school requirements, programs, and trends, he recommends schools that will appropriately complement each student’s specific strengths and personal preferences.

Jeff has worked both in college admissions and as a high school and middle school English teacher. Through his previous work at the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, he has observed the college admissions process from the inside and uses that knowledge to help his students stand out from other applicants.

Jeff supplemented his work experience with post-graduate study in special education; this, along with the university endorsement he earned in gifted education, has further prepared him to work both with gifted and talented students and students with learning differences. His writing on admissions has been featured in the Washington Post and ParentInsider.com and has been quoted in The Atlantic and Washington Monthly. Most recently, he has been contracted to work as the education adviser to the World Bank Group. Jeff regularly speaks at law firms, financial institutions, public and private schools, and other organizations.

Working at PrepMatters has given Jeff the opportunity and challenge of working with a wide range of student circumstances, including:

 

  • Students seeking admission to Ivy League schools and other exceedingly selective institutions
  • Students interested in undergraduate education abroad, especially the United Kingdom and Canada
  • Students with individualized education plans (IEPs), 504 plans, and other approved learning accommodations
  • Students with a history of disciplinary infractions, ranging from school suspension to criminal conviction
  • Recruited athletes for all divisions of the NCAA
  • Students planning to transfer from one institution to another
  • Students preparing for admission to United States service academies

 

Recognizing the significance of this critical time in the lives of young adults, Jeff strives to understand each student’s unique story, genuine passions, and academic interests to find the best school fit. Jeff helps students understand just how reflective this process truly is and coaches them to develop an important sense of self-awareness and self-advocacy.

Jeff holds a Master of Art in Secondary Education, a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, and a Bachelor of Art in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. He subsequently completed post-graduate coursework in special education and holds an endorsement in gifted education from the University of Virginia. He is a voting member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and Higher Education Consultants Associate (HECA). Additionally, he is a current member of University of Pittsburgh’s Admissions Advisory Board, serving as a consultant to help admissions officers understand what to look for in promising applicants.

Perhaps it is his professional narrative-building work with adolescents that drew him to serve his community by becoming a board member of Story District, a local nonprofit arts organization named the “gold standard” in storytelling by the Washington Post.

Testimonials

Jeff was able to take our “half-formed” ideas about college and develop them into an effective plan of action.  His advice started with high school course selection, moved on to a sound college visitation schedule, covered resume and essay development and ended with guiding my son into his first choice – Macalester College.  He understood the subtleties of the process – the personalities of the schools, what interested admissions’ staff and what school would be the best fit.  We could not have done it without his expert hand.

- Eden Durbin
parent of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School student

Jeff was invaluable during the college process and helped me get into my top choice school! I think what made our sessions together so productive was that Jeff was genuinely invested in my search. He really got to know me from talking to me about my interests and reading my essays. Knowing I had his support, I felt confident throughout the whole process and that allowed me to produce the strongest application I could. I highly recommend working with Jeff!

- Tucker Gibson
Potomac School student

Jeff Knox made my daughter’s college wishes come true!  It’s certainly up to the student to do the school work and SAT prep, but the nuances and secret language of college applications requires a skilled professional, and Jeff guided my daughter through this thorny maze.  If I had to go through the college application process again (and thankfully I don’t since our daughter is the youngest of three), I’d certainly go back to Jeff. Hands down, Jeff is the gold standard for educational counseling and college admissions.  I am forever indebted!

- Beth Gibney
Georgetown Visitation School parent

Jeff Knox was amazing to work with. He really helped to relieve a lot of the stress of the college process. It is thanks to him that I got into my top choice Bucknell University! I highly recommend him for anyone looking for a college counselor.

- Trevor White
Walt Whitman High School student

The strategic coaching, support, and tutoring from Jeff Knox provided my daughter with the clarity, direction and self-confidence to help her chart her path through the complex college admissions process. His pep talks came with just the right advice and with just the right tone to help her make some hard choices and understand the consequences of those choices. Ultimately, she was accepted into the university of her dreams. Thanks Jeff.

- David Cohen
South Lakes High School parent

Jeff Knox is one of the major reasons I got into my first choice college, Occidental College. He helped me make choices on which schools would fit my interests in science and engineering as well as tennis. More than just helping me with my essays and always focusing on business, he really got to know me, and we developed a strong relationship. Because of our comfort with each other, we were able to get a lot of work done because we were always cooperating and he could tell when I needed a break or had other things on my mind. He always had my best interest at heart, and there is no one more capable in helping you reach your highest potential.

- Blake McGinley
Flint Hill School student

The first person he wanted to tell [about his college acceptance] was you! So far he has gotten in everywhere he applied. Thanks again for all your hard work and patience with him—not only was it good for his test scores, but it also made the process so much less stressful. You’re the best!

- Jane Feller
Wilson High School parent

In this whole crazy process I have come to realize that having your child get into their first choice is like winning the lottery! I just can’t tell you how much “fun” you made this for her. She so enjoyed her meetings with you, and I know it probably wasn’t always easy getting her to do what she needed to do — but you did.  The whole thing is a grind, and somehow she never felt that way.

- Mindy Delk
National Cathedral School parent

The college application process is a daunting one and something we had previously experienced with our eldest son. Unfortunately, we did not have the guidance of Jeff Knox with our first son’s college application, but we did not make the same mistake when our second son began his college search!

Jeff came to us with high accolades from other friends who had used his services with their children. The praises were justified and Jeff’s knowledge and professionalism is exceptional. He guided our son through the entire process — kept him motivated and on track — and assisted with every aspect of the application. Jeff offered high school course recommendations, a detailed strategic plan and a thoughtful college visitation schedule. He also worked closely with our son and provided invaluable input with the resume letter and essay. The partnership of Jeff and our son resulted in an acceptance to his first choice — Wake Forest. We still sing Jeff’s praises to families needing a college counselor and know that we could not have done it without him.

- Gary and Stacia Smith
Ellicot City Parent

Engaging Jeff was one of the best decisions we made in the college admissions process. He helped strengthen our daughter’s common application in ways we would have never considered, recommending additional submissions to give the schools a better feel for her potential, both academically and personally. When her application to her top-ranked school was deferred to the regular cycle, Jeff was reassuring and warm, and immediately provided us with a thoughtful and effective plan for the next steps. Thanks to his counsel (and our daughter’s redoubled efforts), she’s been admitted to her first choice, Bard College, for the fall.

- Bethesda Chevy Chase High School Parent

Jeff Knox has been outstanding for us as 1st time PrepMatters customers with our daughter, who is now a senior in high school. We started working with Jeff in early Spring 2016 when she was a junior, and he has been instrumental on coaching all of us on many things:

– high school class selection balanced to student’s capabilities and optimized to college
– SAT/ACT strategies
– college sourcing and shortlisting
– college tour strategies
– college application strategy and assistance
– essay strategy and assistance
– personal coaching to student on dealing with the whole college application and waiting process anxieties during the year
– just to name a few……

THANK YOU JEFF!

- Dimple and Meena Amin

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