Maria Chiem


College Admission Counselor

Maria joins our team with an abundance of experience, serving for five years as the Director of College Success and Alumni Services for the Orange County-based Nicholas Academic Center where she managed and directed three college planning centers with other college counselors that help over 200 students and their parents per year with college planning and admissions. While managing the three centers, her achievements included developing, implementing, and facilitating the “College Knowledge” lesson plans for high school students and parents, which guided them through admissions, applications, and financial aid planning for college. She was also responsible for tracking the progress of their alumni, as well as managing their scholarship program, which granted students over $1 million in scholarships per year to students in their program.

Maria has also worked with community members, board directors, and colleges to create education and awareness programs connecting families with the community and the community with universities.

While building these programs, Maria has personally worked with over 800 students through their path to college, where students have attended schools ranging from all the Cal States and UC’s to Ivy league schools like Harvard and Cornell University and many colleges in between! Her passion for helping students to identify their goals and achieve them is apparent from the moment you meet her. She firmly believes that providing a holistic approach towards college planning allows for higher education opportunities to become a reality.

Maria, along with all our other counselors, maintains her up-to-date knowledge of careers, majors, and the current admissions landscape through our professional admissions networks, associations, and experience. She is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) and the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC).
One of Maria’s greatest accolades includes being selected as the 2016 Counselor of the Year for Counselors That Change Lives; she was selected from thousands of counselors who were considered.

Maria holds her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from CSU Fullerton. In her spare time, she spends her time with her family, reading, doing community service and enjoying her time exploring San Diego.

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