About the Author

So, who am I? And what makes me qualified to write a book about getting into any school? I am Kim Palacios. And here is a bit of my story

  • I am an alumna of two prestigious private primary and secondary schools and two world-renowned universities. I have personally experienced the pressures, joys, and disappointments of the admissions process several times. Over the years, I have written more than 100 short answers and essays, sat in dozens of interviews, and waited for approximately twenty admissions verdicts. I have attended competitive schools in three different states and one foreign country, and even when enrolled as a full-time student, I was compelled to apply for competitive programs requiring separate admission, including exchange programs and special status courses.


  • I sat on the admissions committee at a top university. As a student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, I participated as an application reader during my first year, before being selected to be one of four admissions committee co-chairs in my second year. That appointment made me a member of the committee with full “accept/deny rights,” on par with full-time admissions committee staff. During my tenure as an admissions committee co-chair, I spent 10–15 hours per week reading applications, interviewing candidates, and coordinating and participating in admissions events. I read hundreds of applications, interviewed dozens of candidates, and made the tie-breaking admit/deny decision numerous times. I was party to closed admissions committee meetings during which waitlist or borderline candidates or event attendees were candidly discussed. During my two years of service, played a large role in influencing outcomes. I know what is said behind closed doors.


  • I have volunteered as a long-term coach, mentor, and career advisor to more than a dozen individuals applying to schools. As a successful corporate professional, I was sought out to mentor colleagues considering different career and educational paths. To those applying to school, I became a coach, giving candid feedback and insider tips throughout the process. Of those who pursued school admissions, all were successful in attending their program of choice.


  • I am a professional writer and editor who has critiqued and supplied editorial advice on numerous application essays and resumes. The ability to articulate oneself using the written word is critically important to applicant success. I have supplied coaching and editorial advice concerning how to refine voice, tell stories, and create structure to enhance written application elements from essays, to short answers, to resumes.


  • As a student, my grades were always mediocre at best, and my test scores were never at the top. I got accepted to great schools because I knew how to highlight my strengths and address my weaknesses. As time went on, I got better at applying to schools. I can make you better, too.