College Advising

College advising can play a crucial role in shaping a student's academic and professional future; sometimes that can be found through a school-based counselor and, if not, this can come from a trustworthy and credible industry expert. Advising provides personalized guidance to help students navigate the complex process of selecting the right college, preparing strong applications, and making informed decisions about their post-secondary and future career paths. Effective college advising goes beyond merely suggesting schools; it involves understanding a student's strengths, interests, and aspirations, and then aligning them with the best-fit institutions and programs and can help students to identify suitable extracurricular activities, internships, and courses that enhance their profiles. Counselors also offer insights on financial aid, scholarships, and the ever-changing college admission landscape and trends, ensuring students are well-prepared for the process. Ultimately, college advising empowers students to make choices that lead to academic success, personal growth, and crafting and submitting their best application work

Why College Advising now?

Mindspire has perfected the art of test preparation and is now expanding to offer college admission advising services. We are excited to introduce group/family offerings and supplemental 1:1 advising that address all facets of the college admission process.  Recognizing that a successful college application is multifaceted, we understand that strong academics, meaningful activities, and compelling essays are just as crucial as high test scores. Our holistic approach ensures that students receive timely, personalized guidance in every area, from crafting compelling personal statements to selecting co-curricular and extracurricular activities that align with their interests and goals. We can also assist in creating a strategic academic plan that highlights a student’s current strengths and future potential. With Mindspire’s support, students will be equipped to present a personalized application, ensuring that they are submitting their best credentials to their dream schools.

Meet our team!


Malissa Takacs

As a licensed counselor and social worker, Malissa has worked for two decades in the field of college counseling and admissions. For the last eight years she’s worked in private international schools in Switzerland and Singapore as well as in her own practice as an independent college consultant. She also served as Director of College Counseling at a therapeutic college preparatory boarding school in Virginia (2008-15).  

Malissa has overseen all aspects of the college and post-graduate counseling and application processes for over 1600 students. Her students have applied to a range of institutions of higher education as well as community college and boarding schools. Malissa is also a Senior Application Reviewer for the Undergraduate Office of Admissions at Northeastern University, which allows her to evaluate over 1,200 applications annually for a university that admits less than 10% of its applicants. She has visited over 200 universities worldwide and she maintains a current understanding of university application systems globally.

Malissa is deeply committed to helping students realize their full potential. She mentors them through a process of self-discovery to promote the version of themselves that feels most authentic. Her goal is to be available to students and parents in a way that ensures the least amount of stress and the most amount of excitement about future opportunities.  

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