We are an independent education consulting company that helps applicants plan their journey at the school, college or postgraduate level. At the heart of The Red Pen is our commitment to finding the ‘best-fit’ institution for every applicant. We are committed to helping our applicants and their families by first understanding their cultural backgrounds, financial plans, long term goals, interests, academic performance and professional expertise.
Highly qualified, diverse team: We have an international team of highly educated consultants with over 70 years of consolidated experience from different professional backgrounds. Our knowledge and skills result in rich, holistic perspectives and a deep understanding of the admissions process.
Customised counsel: We recognise that every applicant is different and we are committed to helping each one express his or her unique narrative throughout the application process.
Personalised service: Each applicant is assigned a senior consultant and a senior essay expert who work with less than ten clients to ensure quality servicing.
Data-driven, virtual approach: We embrace technology in every aspect of our interactions to work seamlessly with applicants around the world and leverage data to derive insights and make recommendations.
Up-to-date knowledge of the ever-changing educational landscape: As members of professional organisations like Int’ ACAC, IECA, AIGAC, we stay up to date with new higher education opportunities.
Extensive knowledge of scholarships: Every year our applicants are awarded substantial scholarships. Last year, we had more than $8 million awarded.
Ethical standards: We maintain the highest ethical standards and work closely with applicants to bring out their unique voice.
While we are based in Mumbai, we work with clients from across the world. By leveraging technology and adopting a flexible work style, The Red Pen has helped clients across India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, France, UAE, the UK and the US. In India, we have worked with clients across 22+ cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, Kota, Bangalore, Kanpur, Ahmedabad and more
We have a team-based approach when working with applicants. They are assigned a primary consultant, who is their single point of contact and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the application process. Our wider team of experts weighs in on specific components which include:
Essay Expert: Edits and polishes your essays
Country Specialist: In-depth knowledge of admission processes and leading programmes
Leadership Support: An in-depth review of your application from the most experienced team member
Individual Specialists: Specialised counsellors for specific application components such as resumes, interviews and letters of recommendation
For early advising, boarding school and undergraduate studies, we welcome parental involvement, but the student should ultimately drive the application process. For MBA and postgraduate applicants, we work with applicants directly.
The Red Pen specialises in providing advice on programme strategy and the application components; we do not provide test preparation services such as SAT/GMAT/TOEFL. We refer applicants to professionals who provide these services.
Timelines and deadlines vary according to the applicant’s age, education needs and goals. We help parents whose children are in kindergarten understand school board options and curricula. We work with parents of children who are in junior school (grades 3-4) to explore boarding school options and requirements. For undergraduate studies, we advise parents and students as early as grade 8 on pre-application strategy and profile development. We consult with college students and recent graduates and strategise postgraduate options.
For current year applicants, we recommend:
- Undergraduate applicants in class 11 to contact us at least six months prior to the regular deadline. This means June 1; earlier if you are considering early action/early decision
- Business school applicants (with a minimum of 3 years of work experience) to contact us by April 1 of the year they plan to apply
Rankings are a great starting point to help you compare institutions on a variety of criteria that matter to you–faculty, research, facilities, campus life, student satisfaction, employment/recruitment stats, etc. However, as there are no official university rankings, The Red Pen focuses on a ‘best-fit model and recommends universities based on the college’s ethos, its USPs and see how its courses and offerings fit into your future goals.
Higher education institutions in popular destinations have unique characteristics, strengths and requirements. We help you brainstorm and strategise geography/location, taking into consideration factors such as your goals, family circumstances, finances, language and cultural issues, academic performance and interests.
The Red Pen specialises in advising on programme strategy and the application components; we do not provide test preparation services. We are happy to refer clients to professionals who provide these services.
The Red Pen does not write essays or recommendation letters.
Essays: We support applicants when they are brainstorming essay topics, review drafts, provide feedback and help applicants fine-tune their essays so that their messages can be communicated in the most impactful way.
Recommendation letters: As part of our service, The Red Pen can offer themes and general suggestions for your recommenders. We discourage applicants from writing their letters. Recommendations can be as important as essays–the recommenders’ voice and perspective need to come through.
Scholarships & Financial aid: This varies for international students based on country, institution, level of study and programme. The Red Pen can help identify colleges where you have the greatest chances of being offered need-based financial aid and scholarships and review your application form(s).
Visas: While our consultants stay on top of immigration issues and requirements, we are not experts; nor do we provide visa services. We can refer visa experts who have helped our clients in the past. We encourage applicants to contact university admissions staff early in the process. You can also visit country-specific government resources–websites and local offices–that provide up-to-date information on visa/travel matters.
The college application process is complicated and many students require assistance. However, not all schools have the resources to provide individual attention to each student, which is why going to an education consultant might help. Your consultant would ideally work alongside your school counsellor or faculty collaboratively to help bridge the gap. Also, many education consultants have built relationships with admissions officers and may have up-to-date information.