Hanna Stotland has been a well-known figure in the admissions world since 1997, when she was admitted to Harvard College with a G.E.D.
Hanna flunked out of high school and began working full time on her 18th birthday. After two years working as a museum guide, a freelance caterer, and an Omnimax projectionist, she decided to return to the academic path. She entered Bryn Mawr College, excelled academically, and transferred to Harvard College. There, she joined the Harvard College Office of Admissions as a student guide and began to offer volunteer advice on admissions sites. Before long, families began to seek her professional counsel, and she opened her consulting business.
Following her graduation from Harvard College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Hanna received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. She completed two federal judicial clerkships and spent several years in law firm practice. Hanna has also worked as an admissions advisor and LSAT instructor for Kaplan, Inc. and Brody Admissions.
Hanna's unique experience as a former troubled teen who overcame her mistakes gives her unusual sensitivity to the challenges young people face.
Hanna left legal practice in 2008 to become a full-time career and educational counselor. She is based in Chicago, but works with client families nationwide. She enjoys supplementing her counseling work with pro bono work on behalf of underprivileged youth. She is a frequent speaker at high school career days and community events encouraging young people to reach for college. Her recent speaking engagements include programs at the Union League Club of Chicago, the Chicago Math and Science Academy, the Harvard Club of Chicago, the Glencoe Public Library, and the Deerfield Public Library, as well as multiple presentations to fellow education professionals at meetings of the Higher Education Consultants Association, the Independent Educational Consultants Association, the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Mawi Learning Power of Adults Conference. Hanna also serves as an expert witness in lawsuits concerning college and graduate admission problems.