Helping students identify and apply to colleges where they will thrive.


Combining administrative, instructional, and advisement experience with a student-centered approach.

About Maria

Maria has worked in higher education for nearly ten years. Most recently, she was the Associate Director of CollegeNow, the State University of New York’s largest concurrent enrollment program. Maria coordinated academic advisement and oversaw the Early Degree program, through which high-achieving high school students earn Associate's Degrees. She was the liaison to high school guidance offices across Central New York and provided support to school counselors, parents, and students in all aspects of the transition to college. While with CollegeNow, Maria also counseled homeschoolers and their parents in the college search process. She represented Tompkins Cortland Community College in the Access to College Education Program, a consortium including Cornell University, Ithaca College, and SUNY Cortland, and was part of various student success initiatives. Previously, Maria was the Assistant Director of the SUNY Adirondack Wilton Center. Maria holds a bachelor's and master's degree in English Literature, has taught college and high school English, tutored in college writing centers, and worked as a freelance writer and editor. She is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and belongs to the New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling. For more information about her background and experience, visit Maria's LinkedIn profile.


Fordham University, B.A. (English Literature); Centro de Estudios Interamericanos, Cuenca, Ecuador, (TEFL Certification); The University of Montana at Missoula, M.A. (English Literature); The University of Great Falls, (Secondary English Teacher Certification Program); Summer Training Institute for Independent Educational Consultants, Swarthmore College.

Why hire an independent educational consultant (IEC)?

It's no secret that helping a child research and apply to colleges can be time-consuming and stressful. High school students are busier than ever, juggling rigorous course loads, extracurriculars, athletics, and often part-time jobs. Most students begin to feel the pressure of the college planning process around the middle of junior year, just as they are gearing up for their most academically challenging season. As a result, many postpone thinking about college until the summer, when the weight of the task can start to feel heavier. Confused by the deluge of college admissions marketing that seems to speak specifically to them, many students (and parents) feel overwhelmed by their options.

While some parents have the time and experience to walk their children through the college planning process, many hire independent educational consultants to ensure they have ongoing, personalized support from start to finish. An IEC helps students discover and define their college and career goals, explore relevant degrees and programs, identify good-fit colleges, and best represent themselves in the application process. 

Maria Nissi

Maria Nissi

“I cannot thank Maria enough for the support and guidance she provided my daughter this fall. Maria was professional, knowledgeable, and patient. She was also readily available via text and email between meetings. My daughter’s acceptance letters keep rolling in. Thank you Maria!” -Christine M.