GREAT NEWS! The Hunt Workshop Bonus is extended to ALL who enroll in The Admissions Formula Winter 2023 session.









Hey parents!

Let's create your teen’s perfect path to college without all the stress and worry!

(seats are very limited)

If you’re like most parents, the whole college admissions thing just stresses you out.


It’s easy to approach the process from a place of fear, especially if you are NEW to embarking on this journey with your very first child.

You just don’t know what you don’t know and that’s the hardest part of all.

There is so much misinformation, that with an untrained eye, how would you ever differentiate between what’s the truth and what is straight up fiction?!



The college admissions process doesn’t need to feel so complicated.

It doesn’t need to feel so overwhelming.

And it definitely does not need to add undue stress on your teen and family.

Don’t spend another minute worrying & second-guessing whether or not your teen is doing the right things to open the most doors to college admission.


It all starts February 1st.

I am going to teach you everything you need to know and be on the lookout for when it comes to college admission.

I’ll gradually pace you through my carefully crafted online course.


There are 5 college admission modules, each containing approximately 60-90 minutes of video content and about 30 minutes of optional activities for self-reflection or to encourage “college talk” with your teen. Everything is easily accessible in a beautifully designed course platform you log into from your computer or phone!

You have the option to follow the pacing schedule I suggest for our group OR do it at your own pace! My recommended schedule suggests one hour a week over the course of 10 weeks!

Nice and easy folks!

You'll also be invited to engage with me & members of our community in 3 group coaching calls & our private The Admissions Formula Members Only Facebook group.

Not a fan of Facebook? No prob. Bring your Q's to our group calls and we'll get you squared away!

If any college admissions stuff comes up for you or your teen, you get direct access to Ask Me Anything in our group!

Every question you have gets answered & you'll learn where to find exactly what you need.

Here's our schedule:

Program runs February 1st to April 21st

  • Upon registration, you'll get immediate access to the introductory Module 0 in your online classroom
  • Week 1: Module 1 is released on February 13th + FB Live Session Intro in our private group (ALWAYS recorded)
  • Week 2: Module 2 is released
  • Week 3: Catch Up/Reflect + Zoom Group Coaching Call #1
  • Week 4: Module 3 is released
  • Week 5: Module 4 is released
  • Week 6: Catch up/Reflect + Zoom Group Coaching Call #2
  • Week 7: Module 5 is released
  • Week 8/9: Catch Up/Reflect
  • Week 10: Final Zoom Group Coaching Call

REMINDER: Members will have full online course access for 12 months until 01/31/2024

I am going to help you troubleshoot before there’s even trouble to shoot.

All of my behind the scenes secrets that I’ve seen first-hand through my 28 years of experience in the business of college admission are yours for the taking.

You're going to be the most informed parent & immediately feel a sense of relief knowing you've got me on your side to help design the perfect college admissions plan for and with your teen.



In Their Words

What parents say about The Admissions Formula

The Admissions Formula is a combination of my best college admissions practices and the secrets I've used with students & parents over the last two decades.

It's going to completely transform how you engage with your teen in middle and/or high school, as crucial decisions are being made that will ultimately affect college options.

It's time to get on the same page with your teen!



12 Months of Access to The Admissions Formula Online Course (expires 01/31/24)

Exclusive Personalized Q&A in our Private Facebook Community

65 Engaging Video Lessons within 5 Modules (Press play & pause on your schedule!)

3 Group Coaching Calls with Lisa McLaughlin for Q&A

The Admissions Formula Workbook

Detailed tutorials that show you step by step how to build the perfect college list

Peace of Mind!

Want a sneak peak of what's inside?


Let's Talk Details

Here's What's Covered

Setting the Foundation

In Module 1, Setting the Foundation, you will:

  • Identify what you believe will be the most challenging aspects of the process
  • Discover what it takes to have really connected conversations with your teen & begin engaging in positive college talk to get your teen excited about the future
  • Dig into your own beliefs and values about education, where they came from, and how your own personal experience shapes your perspective(and that of your teen!)
  • Craft a values statement that will serve as your calm guide throughout the entire process
  • And so much more!

Your Admissions Timeline

In Module 2: Your Admissions Timeline, you will:

  • Learn about the 9 Factors that Matter Most Through the Eyes of Admissions Officers & how these factors are used in determining your teen’s chance of admission
  • Learn how to calculate the REAL GPA that colleges will be using for admission (hint…it’s not on your teen’s high school transcript!)
  • Evaluate your teen’s extracurricular involvement & how to “fill in holes”
  • Discover the 6 personal characteristics that colleges are seeking in qualified candidates
  • Identify your teen’s strengths and weaknesses and commit to focusing on your teen’s personal growth
  • Design a personalized test preparation plan
  • Discover the secret of choosing the best test prep for your teen & how to identify which test is best ACT v. SAT
  • Learn all about whether or not your teen should take the PSAT, Subject Tests, AP, IB, etc.
  • Understand test-optional, test-blind, test flexible, and once and for all have clarity on what to do about testing!
  • And so much more!

The Academic Plan

In Module 3, The Academic Plan, you will:

  • Design a plan that meets your family’s core values, builds on your student's strengths, and allows for a balanced high school experience
  • Uncover the secrets behind what selective colleges really look for in their academic review
  • Learn Lisa’s 5 Guiding Principles to design the best high school plan for your unique teen
  • Map out a 2, 3, or 4 year plan, step by step, subject by subject, with the specific expertise of a college admissions strategist
  • Learn to think like an admissions officer as you make critical academic decisions that will ultimately make or break your teen's chance of admission
  • Get honest, straight-forward answers to the most frequently asked questions when it comes to academic advising
  • Learn how to advocate for your teen’s best interest if he or she is misplaced or not recommended for the courses that matter most
  • Know exactly what to ask your student’s academic advisor or high school counselor to ensure your student’s best interest is always put first!

You’re going to feel so much better about it all. And the better YOU feel, the BETTER your teen will feel!


Selective Admission Case Studies

In Module 4, Selective Admission Case Studies, you will:

  • Uncover the secrets of the “business” of college admission
  • Peel back the curtain and see exactly how decisions are made when I teach the 3 Pillars of Application Review
  • Discover the 2 most important criteria in selective college admission
  • Evaluate your teen’s extracurricular interests through the eyes of admissions officers
  • Learn exactly how to identify a college’s institutional priorities and how this affects your teen’s chance of admission
  • Learn all about the high school profile and how colleges use it to evaluate your teen's candidacy
  • Participate in admissions case studies to see first hand how all the factors come into play when college’s are making decisions

The Ins and Outs of College List Building

In Module 5, The Ins and Outs of College List Building, you will:

  • Learn the top 3 Mistakes parents make in the college list building process
  • Discover how to lay the best foundation for an ideal college search
  • Learn how to correctly categorize schools into reach, competitive, and good bets to ensure your teen is applying to colleges with varying levels of selectivity
  • Discover exactly how to build the perfect college list & why it does not begin with naming colleges of interest
  • Learn how to manage expectations and your role in the list building process
  • Identify and prioritize the most important factors in your teen’s college search
  • Learn exactly how to plan and have the best campus visits that go behind the scenes of the traditional campus tour
  • Explore 3 of the best college research tools to help you design and research the perfect list


GREAT NEWS… The Hunt Workshop Bonus is extended to ALL who enroll in The Admissions Formula Winter 2023 session! 😉

NOTE: Seats are very limited










The Hunt For The Perfect College!

This fabulous workshop will help your teen figure out FAST what they want & need in their college experience!
  • The results of this hands-on workshop with your teen will guide all of your college search & selection conversations

  • Engage your teen in a guided, meaningful, low-pressure college conversation to get them fired up and engaged in this process

  • Help your teen build massive awareness of what colleges even offer

  • Discover the 50+ factors that MUST go into your teen’s college search

  • Help your teen feel confident making the final college selection

  • Discover an easy way to expand or narrow down a college list

  • Get your teen to open up & articulate exactly what they’re thinking about college

  • Feel confident that your family is picking the right colleges that perfectly FIT your teen’s interests, aptitudes, and goals

  • Discover how to choose colleges that align with your family's priorities and parameters

  •  Get you and your teen on the same page when it comes to the 5 non-negotiable factors that will guide your entire college search process

  • The information you get from this workshop will be the only blueprint you need to design a well-rounded, ideally matched college list


"Fact: the college admissions process is one of selectivity and evaluation. TAF has changed what that means to me though. I now see that it isn’t only the colleges that get to be selective. We get to be selective FIRST. My senior is deep into research and we are absolutely being choosy about which schools will get our attention and her application. Based on our “top 5” from The Hunt we have rejected some great schools (just like great schools will reject some great applicants based on poor fit). This feels empowering. Yes, the schools get to be selective but we get to be selective FIRST which makes this process feel exciting instead of intimidating.

Thanks again Lisa McLaughlin!"


Get ready to engage in an interactive, 90 minute workshop WITH YOUR TEEN that will set the stage for an ideal college search and selection process!

Watch your teen take the reins as Lisa guides both you and your teen through a highly engaging, thought-provoking (and FUN!) activity that will help your teen to clearly articulate exactly what he or she wants in a college.

We go far past college factors like the size of school, geographic location, weather preferences, choice of major, and the criteria most families use to design a list. There are 50+ other college factors to consider!

Let’s get your teen INVOLVED in the college list building process and fired up to find the best schools.

This is the only blueprint you need to design a well-rounded, ideally matched college list and the results will guide all of your college list building conversations.


Grab your seat for The Admissions Formula

Let's Recap What's Included

 You get:

  • 12 Months of Access to the Admissions Formula Online Classroom (expires 01/31/2024)
  • 65 Engaging Video Lessons within 5 Modules
  • 3 Months of Personalized Q&A & Support in our Private The Admissions Formula Facebook Community
  • 3 Personalized Group Coaching Q&A Sessions with Lisa McLaughlin
  • The Admissions Formula Workbook
  • Peace of Mind!

You'll also get immediate, on-demand access (a just-press-play recording) of Lisa’s exclusive 90 minute Hunt For The Perfect College Student/Parent Workshop to use over and over again with your teenagers on their college search & selection journey! ($197 value)

What's the investment?



Single Payment

(seats are very limited)



Billed today + 5 monthly payments

(seats are very limited)

Remaining time before doors close, unless seats fill earlier:









Seats are very limited!
I’m a straight-shooting, big-hearted mama of 2 bold daughters and determined to help parents calm wayyyyy down about college admission. 
I’m a straight-shooting, big-hearted mama of 2 bold daughters and determined to help parents calm wayyyyy down about college admission. 

Nice to meet you. 

In August of 2018, I locked myself in a hotel room with a mission. At 44 years old, after more than two decades working in college admission, I was almost ready to throw in the towel.

I talk to myself a lot. And that day was no different. 

"Lisa, you're not leaving here until you figure out what's next for this college admissions business you started in 2004."

I had one focused question on my mind and was determined to get to the bottom of it:

"What would make me excited about college admissions work again?"

You see, in 2017, I took a little break from my entrepreneurial endeavors and went corporate.

I was recruited for a high-level position in what I thought was a very stable, growing, and intellectually stimulating role as the Executive Director of College Admission for a very well known, nationally recognized college admissions & test prep company.

I went into that job with passion and major excitement!

I traveled extensively. I trained college admissions counselors. I created new products. I did market research. I engaged in the highest levels of professional development.

I was able to travel back and forth from Southern California to the incredibly fun city of Austin, Texas.

But, there was a major problem.

What I was being asked to do was WAY out of alignment with my values.

I truly felt like my role was adding to the mania that has become college admissions.

And I hated it.

So I left (and there's, of course, more to that story, but you get the gist).

And I had some big choices to make.

Go back to working full time 1:1 with students on college applications OR create something NEW?

I was scared.

A newly single mom.

I had the weight of the world on my shoulders parenting two little girls (ages 13 and 6 at the time).

But I knew something needed to change.

I wanted to feel re-inspired.

I wanted to inspire others.

I wanted my girls to see their mom do something she LOVED.

And I deeply desired for work that would make a HUGE impact.

So, I got to work.

I loaded up hundreds of manila folders of curriculum into cardboard boxes, downloaded files, packed an overnight bag, and locked myself in a hotel room.

Three days and hundreds of pages of notes later, I figured it out.

You see, for 28 years, as a college admissions strategist, I have witnessed what this process often does to so many families.

I’ve seen it completely debilitate students’ self esteem. 

I’ve seen it in the high schools where I counseled thousands of students. 

I’ve seen it as a consultant where I trained dozens of high school counselors. 

And I’ve seen it in my own community as the parent of a high school student.

And I knew there was a better way.

A better way to reach MORE people.

A better way to calm it all down.

And I had to start with changing the hearts and minds of PARENTS.

Which brings me to you.

When I looked back at the work that lit me up over the years, it was working with parents of teenagers. Now, most college counselors will tell you that it's the hardest, most unliked part of their job. NOT ME!

Parent education is SO my jam.

I wanted to arm parents with everything they needed in order to create the most positive & healthy college admissions experience for their teens. I wanted to turn parents into college admissions experts!

That, my friends, is how The Admissions Formula (TAF) was born.

I spent the latter part of 2018 putting my decades of college admissions expertise into building it. (I still think I should have called it the UNformula, but that's not really a word and I digress..)

It’s now four years later and I am humbled that more than one thousand parents have put their trust in me & this program...

In doing so, their perspective about college admission has completely changed.

They are calm.

They are confident.

They have a clear personalized admissions blueprint so they know exactly where to start or what to do next.

They are helping their teens to design the path to college that is best for them.

And the results are incredible.

1000+ parents now have a completely different perspective about this whole college admissions thing–

They KNOW there is a path for their teen and it's going to work out NO MATTER WHAT.

So I’m on a mission to do the same for you. 

We’ve crossed paths for a reason & now it’s your turn to take the leap. 

I’m grateful for every parent I meet. 

Thank YOU for re-invigorating my LOVE of my vocation.

Thank you for providing me this opportunity to be 100% in tune with my values doing what I LOVE.

The Admissions Formula is going to change your life. 

You’re going to feel incredibly more at ease and insanely empowered to make the best decisions for and with your teen.

Hope to see you on the other side.

With deep gratitude,

Lisa McLaughlin, M.Ed.

The Admissions Formula​

I've been working in college admission for 28 years. Let me explain...

About Lisa McLaughlin, M.Ed.

Founder/CEO of The Admissions Formula

Professionally, my career in admissions counseling began 28 years ago as a middle school college-readiness tutor serving low-income youth while a student at UC Santa Barbara.

After graduating with a B.A. in English, I returned to UCSB for a Master’s Degree in Education and English teaching credential. My five years of specific English teaching experience at both the middle and high school levels honed my ability to teach students strategies for writing college admissions and scholarship essays.

I went on to become the lead coordinator of a college readiness program for students in grades 6-12 where she planned and led various college tours, assisted students with college applications and admissions essays, prepared students for the rigors of advanced high school courses, met with college admissions representatives, led national staff development all over the United States and developed relationships with directors of admissions at higher educational institutions throughout the country. During this time, I became an application reader for The University of California where I broadened my understanding of holistic application review and saw first-hand the “business” of college admission.

I ended my public education tenure as a high school administrator.

In 2004, I launched EDvantage Consulting, Inc., where I’ve provided thousands of families with a comfortable environment in which educational goals are broadened and students are motivated to achieve their highest academic and emotional potentials.

For the last three decades, I’ve empowered students and parents to take control of their own college admissions process. Encouraging self-advocacy, bringing a wealth of college admissions knowledge to critical planning conversations, and providing families with the highest level of personalization and expertise has been my mission.

A teacher at heart, I greatly enjoy both the 1:1 personalized approach to counseling, as well as group coaching and presenting college admissions information in a way that greatly resonates with both students and parents. The path to college admission doesn’t need to feel so overwhelming. This is why I created The Admissions Formula, to help parents calmly navigate a process that’s frankly gotten way out of control.

Professionally, I was one of the founding Orange County, CA’s professional members of IECA, the Independent Educational Consultants Association. I was also one of seven IECA members selected to be on IECA's College Committee. In 2010, I was appointed a position by Roger Rossier to USC's School Counseling Advisory Board. I have also supervised counseling interns from Chapman University's School Counseling program.

My dedication to providing the most comprehensive and up to date college admissions information and support compels her passion to continuously develop relationships with college admissions reps., high school counselors, and colleagues throughout the nation.

Maybe you're wondering:

Create your teen’s perfect path to college without all the stress and worry!

(seats are very limited)