Case Studies


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Schools Accepted Into


2015-2020 Classes were offered over $240,000 each, on average in merit scholarships.


Making College Success a Reality Since 2004


“This past school year my senior son and I have worked closely with Katherine O’Brien of Celtic College Consultants.  Katherine has been a tremendous help, offering aid in evaluating career choices, researching universities which previously had not been on our radar, and putting me—a home school mother—at ease in my new role as high school guidance counselor.  Katherine’s extensive experience as a college admissions consultant gave our family intimate knowledge of what schools are looking for.  Especially as a homeschooling family, we were not aware of how transcripts and other supporting documents should be prepared.  Katherine was a great help in providing templates and advising us on document preparation.  Most importantly, her assistance with my son was priceless.  She provided him with timelines for deadlines and weekly “to dos” to meet those deadlines.  Additionally, she was a tremendous aid in proof reading essays and offering suggestions to make those essays “pop” off the page.  With Katherine’s partnership, my son was accepted at all seven of the schools to which he applied.  She made a daunting year-long task into a manageable, step-by-step process, which culminated in a happy ending.  For this we are especially grateful.” 

–Monica Trainor


“We are very grateful to Katherine O' Brien for the guidance she has provided in our son’s college application process.  Our son is a homeschooled high school senior.  He has applied to several universities including Belmont Abbey College, St. Vincent’s University, La Sierra University, and Catholic University of America. Her advice was invaluable as we sorted thru all the different applications and scholarships for each school. Our son hopes to play baseball in college, and Katherine is very knowledgeable with the NCAA and NAIA processes.  We are especially thankful for the personal guidance she gave our son with the essays required for the different scholarships. One of the best things is that she is readily available to answer questions and responds quickly to e- mails!  We highly recommend Celtic College Consultants.”

-John and Magda Flores


“In my world as a physician, I have learned to leave the specialty work to those who know it best and let them do their jobs.  ….I am pleased Katherine takes the initiative and is very proactive with my son.  She is a go getter.” 

-Neil Levine, MD


“I would like to recommend Katherine O’Brien to you.  She is a college prep consultant who can work with you and your children now to get them ready to apply to colleges.  Katherine has been doing this for many years and we used (and appreciated) her expertise when we were getting ready to face the daunting task of having Aubrey apply for college. Katherine’s insights and guidance were extremely helpful, as were her promptings to follow the suggested steps in a timely manner!  I recommend Celtic College Consultants to each of you. It’s a jungle out there, folks, as you know, and it’s comforting to have a guide at your side as you brave the trails of college applications.”

-Ann Aubrey Hanson, Writer/Editor/Publisher


“I will be attending Georgia Tech this Fall.  I started working with Katherine my junior year.  She helped me with the tests and everything – all the hoops you have to jump through to apply to colleges.  She helped me choose my major and the college itself.  For the applications, she helped me with all the essays that made that go much quicker.  She really kept me on track because without her I probably would have missed a lot of deadlines.  Overall, I was very happy with the service Katherine provided and am very happy with the results!”

-Trevor Hyatt


“We are VERY happy with what you do for us, so referring you is just a pleasure for us. “

– Gudrun Fichter, mother of Class of 2010 and 2012 students who worked with Katherine O’Brien


“N has about six universities that she will apply to and she is very excited…I was happy and satisfied with your service.  We felt so good after we talked to you that I told Mrs. H. that she had sent us an angel with wisdom words…. Thank you so much.”

–Y Majano


“Thank you for helping me…I would have been COMPLETELY lost doing all of this without any help.  [Your] course was a lifesaver!  Thank you. “

–K. Coviello, Class of 2014


“I can tell you I find [Katherine’s services] enough peace of mind that I have purchased her services for a friend also.  There is so much conflicting and overwhelming information out there….we have chosen Katherine to guide us.

“It’s priceless to have someone other than me advising the girls – my kids hear the parent’s voice from Peanuts (wha wha wha) when I speak.  The other week I had a meltdown about one of my daughters and the possibility of her EVER being successful.  Katherine’s response was “how soon can you get her here?”  After A met with her she was a different person.

“The school counselors are not in touch with how thing have changed since they were in college.  The budget crisis and other things have turned the world upside down.  My girls could go to SDSU and take 6 years to get through, or they could go to a private college with deep pockets and get a better education for less money out of pocket and sooner.  My twins are very different and she gets that – she is putting together completely different paths for each of them, so she doesn’t have just one way of approaching college.  She is very adept at sensing the differences in what they need to be successful….My girls love Katherine to death and are very, very happy to listen to her.  That alone is worth a lot to me!

“I learned of Katherine through a business associate, and if he thinks well of her that’s a huge plus.  We signed on very quickly as I knew anyone he recommended had to be excellent.”

– Sue Loach


“We use Katherine as a consultant for several reasons.  The first is I don’t have time to manage all the details of college admissions – what tests to take, when to take them; what programs to look at that match my son’s interests; how to proceed with financial aid applications.  She knows all the deadlines and timetables and will research which colleges are worth looking at.  She will also research programs at schools we want her to look at.  She meets with my son routinely to review his admissions process, which motivates him to get the admissions work done.

“In short, you could do all of this yourself, but it would be very time intense and you would not have the experience to know which tests to take and when and all the deadlines and financial aid items. “

-Barb Levine


“You have done an excellent amount of work for us in a short period of time.  I will certainly recommend you to friends of mine who need help guiding their children…It is so much time and effort navigating the flippin’ California college system.  I don’t know how children do it on their own without parents and private counselors to help them.  The high school and college counselors do the best they can, but simply cannot put this kind of time into every student.  Thank you again …I will keep your name and number handy to pass on…”

– Jan Glynn


“Thanks for all of your help on the college selection process, it would have been very difficult without your guidance.” 

-Zach Levine, Class of 2011


 “You are a sweetheart for caring so much about my daughter….She is much happier, excited about school, and relieved…The short time she spent with you was more valuable than you will ever know.  She was feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders and was stressed about everything.  I think you were able to give her ‘permission’ to be a kid and give herself a break.  The information that you provided was timely and valuable, but the counseling was just as important.  Rachel was deeply touched by your compassion about losing her mom.

“This is a long-winded way of saying ‘thank you’, but it is important to me that you understand just how much you helped my family.”

– David S. King, President, Water Flow Technologies


“Katherine O'Brien's assistance has been invaluable - that is...impossible to put a price tag - as she has opened up a world of possibilities for my son, Christopher, a high school senior looking to enter college in 2015.  Ms. O'Brien was able to do more for Christopher in three months than I was ever able to do in years working with his three older siblings researching the best colleges for just the right fit.  There is absolutely no way for even the most involved parent to do anywhere near what Ms. O'Brien has done in narrowing down the colleges which best fit my son after considering all factors:  academics, athletics, financial aid, majors of interest, post-graduate ambitions, career ambitions.  I cannot say enough about the value which Ms. Katherine O'Brien brings to this extremely complicated process and pressure-filled task of college (and scholarship) searching.  She has removed a huge load from my shoulders. She is worth her weight in gold!  


Thank you, Katherine!”

-Mike Chavarria




I think you are definitely using your talents to help others in ways that God needs you to. I have never met anyone with your unique blend of practical, mathematical understanding, big picture understanding, and sensitivity to let the Spirit guide you. Beautiful!”

-Amy Edwards, Director, San Diego Liberal Arts Academy


“I have used Katherine / Celtic College Consultants - I would highly
recommend her. She was wonderful to work with. She has much knowledge
and insight. She kept up on track and made the process easier. Now that
my son is in college, she still sends us the most important updates (rare
but when they come I am grateful to have them), for example the heads-up
when FASFA changed their rules last year.”

God bless,
Kathy Dutton
Homeschool Connection
Physical Science/Chemistry


“Luke was accepted at 5 colleges and is waiting to hear from the 6th (but he won't go to that one even if accepted). He was awarded an Army ROTC scholarship and accepted it at Colorado Christian University. He was also awarded an academic scholarship at CCU and they will let him use that towards his R&B since his tuition is covered by ROTC. He may opt to change it to Liberty University- we are waiting to hear what they are offering for scholarship money and he needs to look closer at the majors they have there. I really like the way you helped me tweak his transcript!”

-Susan Sobczak



“From a grandparent's perspective hiring Katherine to facilitate our granddaughter's college search and application process was a multi-generational gift.


“Our granddaughter's high school did not have a well-defined college guidance program.  She was late in getting the process going in her senior year.    Her parents were in the background getting information and nudging for college selections. As it is with many families, everyone has busy, demanding schedules  and suddenly the stress of deadlines is felt.


“As grandparents we wanted to be helpful, listen to our granddaughter's goals along with her parent's but respect the boundaries. We talked to them about our willingness to hire a professional college consultant to guide the selection of the best schools and  application process. It was for them to decide if that would be helpful and beneficial. After their initial conversation with Katherine they realized how valuable her services would be.


“Our granddaughter appreciated working directly with Katherine. The parents were grateful to have the expertise and guidance of a professional. Having someone to nudge and keep our girl on tract and meeting deadlines eliminated the pressure from all. This was accomplished long distance via Skype and email.


“The end result was applying to eight universities that met our granddaughter's and her parent's priorities. She was accepted at six, all offered scholarships.


“What was "where do we begin?" with deadlines looming became a well-organized process due to Katherine's professional services.


“The choice was made, the family recently went for a few days of orientation. The generations are very excited to have this next phase of life off to a great beginning.

-Rose Carroll



“The school counselors are not in touch …  The budget crisis and other things have turned the world upside down.  My girls could go to San Diego State and take 6 years to get through, or they could go to colleges with deep pockets and get a better education for less money out of pocket and sooner.  My twins are very different and she gets that – she is putting together completely different paths for each of them, so she doesn’t have just one way of approaching college.  She is very adept at sensing the differences in what they need to be successful….My girls love Katherine to death and are very, very happy to listen to her.  That alone is worth a lot to


Sue Loach