Hanna Stotland, Admissions Consultant

Private consultant to help you achieve your educational dreams

College Applicants in Special Circumstances

Hanna Stotland specializes in counseling students who face unique challenges in the college application process. She has helped students apply successfully despite a range of problems that required explanation:

  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Title IX problems
  • Substance abuse and treatment
  • Death in the family
  • Medical crisis
  • Criminal charges or arrests
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Suspension/expulsion
  • Multiple moves during high school
  • One unexplained semester or year of lower grades

Parents and students often give up hope and assume that a selective college, or any college at all, is out of the question for students with one or more problems on their records. But you might be surprised to learn how open-minded colleges can be about these issues when the student has changed and explains the transformation effectively. Hanna herself made it to Harvard despite straight F's in her last three semesters of high school. There is a strategy for every student who wants to return to an academic path. Sometimes community college or a planned transfer is a component of the plan; sometimes it is just a matter of finding a school that will be more forgiving. Whatever the problem, Hanna can help you create a unique solution that works for your family.

Hanna is a nationally recognized expert on counseling students with application irregularities. She instructed fellow professionals on this topic at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) 2013 national conference in San Diego, CA and at the Higher Educational Consultants Association (HECA) national conferences in Portland, OR in 2014 and Philadelphia, PA in 2016. She will be presenting again in 2017 at IECA in Denver, Colorado, at HECA in Long Beach, CA, and at the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling in Boise, ID. Her most popular program, "Explain Fully on a Separate Sheet: The Special Circumstances Essay," offers guidance to other counselors on how to shape the supplemental essay explaining a problem on the student's record.

Upcoming and Recent Events

Recent and upcoming speaking engagements:

Understanding Title IX and Sexual Assault on Campus

April 23, 2016

Higher Education Consultants Association annual conference, Philadelphia, PA

How to Succeed in College

Thursday, May 14, 2015 7:30 PM

Glencoe Public Library -- FREE and open to the public

 Navigating College Finances

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 7 PM

Indian Trails Public Library, Wheeling, IL -- FREE and open to the public

Navigating College Finances

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 7:30 PM

Glencoe Public Library

Straight Talk on College Admissions

Thursday, November 20, 2014 8:30 AM

 Chicago Math and Science Academy

The College Essay: How to Keep an Admissions Officer Awake

Monday, October 6, 2014 7:30 PM 

Indian Trails Public Library, Wheeling IL

Straight Talk on College Admission

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 6:30 PM

Offices of Barack Ferrazzano, 200 W. Madison, Chicago IL

College Admissions in the 21st Century

Monday, September 8, 2014 7:30 PM

Deerfield Public Library

Mawi Learning Power of Adults Conference 

Thursday, July 31 2:30 PM


The College Essay: How to Keep an Admissions Officer Awake

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:30 PM

Glencoe Public Library

Explain Fully on a Separate Sheet: The Special Circumstances Essay

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 10:15 AM

Higher Education Consultants Association Annual Conference, Portland, OR