Hi, I’m Dr. Sarah Curzi.

I specialize in helping families navigate college admissions with less stress. Forget about “toughing it out” – you’ve probably been through enough of that this year.

I believe in planning in advance (so there is no last minute drama), taking tiny steps forward, and fitting in as much time for rest as you and your teen can manage.

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College Admissions Consulting

Navigating the college admissions process without help can be intimidating. I can help your teen identify schools based on their academic background, decide what to write about for your essays, create a system for meeting major deadlines, and even leave time for sleep and relaxation. When you’re rested, this process is a lot easier.

College Admissions Essay

If you’re not sure what to write about or what an admissions officer expects, you’re not alone. I’ll help you identify the sweet spot where your skills and interests overlap with specific colleges.

I can’t write the essay for you, but I can help you present yourself professionally. I can also help you create a compelling story about who you are and why you are a great match for schools on your list.

Music Admissions Consulting

My PhD is in music composition, and I’ve attended some of the best music programs in the country. I work with high-achieving high school musicians to help you find an appropriate program for you, and to help you manage the admissions process itself.

I can also help you identify which music programs would be beneficial to you based on your instrument and your professional goals. I also have a deep knowledge of the professional landscape and can help you match your interests to a relevant career in music.

College Consulting for International Students

It can be difficult to choose schools in the US if you don’t live here. If you want admissions support from an educator who is familiar with American schools, I can help.

Trauma-Sensitive College Consulting

The lack of predictability involved in college admissions can feel triggering. I can help you make an organized plan for your college applications, including time to rest, so that you always know what tasks and responsibilities are happening next.

You don’t have to share anything personal with me – we’ll focus on the nuts and bolts of making a predictable college application plan.


When students miss assignments, it’s usually because they didn’t have a plan in place for their papers, deadlines, and commitments. I can help you create a customized system so you never feel like you’re drowning again.

While some tips are standard (use a planner!) I understand that different people need different systems, and I’ll help you find something that works for you.

Study Skills

Did you know that study techniques can increase memory, improve your grades, and leave you with extra time to relax? It’s true. Many of us were trained to study through sheer force (the more hours the better), but the human brain does better with certain techniques.

I draw from developmental psychology and will share productivity hacks that will make that content stick! The best thing is that you can still use these techniques when you graduate college and get a job.

Who I help

I work with high school students, college students, and their families. I aim to provide services that are as inclusive as possible (feel free to send your pronouns if you’d like). You are always welcome to request disability accommodations for our work together.

I’m very good at what I do, but I do not provide college admissions guarantees – no one can legally promise you a spot at a competitive school. I can offer you actionable advice based on over a decade working in higher education, customized advice, and professional information about college success.

I feel strongly about respecting my clients, and I like to work with kind people.

If this sounds like it might be a good fit, you can reach out at hello@cafephd.com or through the contact button. Looking forward to speaking with you!

– Sarah

What People Are Saying

I have had the pleasure of working with Sarah in a PhD music program since 2015. Sarah is professional, skillful, smart, and is the most generous person I’ve ever met. She loves to help others, and is able to offer effective and constructive solutions. People around her trust her advice, and always feel comfortable asking for her suggestions. I highly recommend Sarah to anyone who needs advice in their studies!

Dr. Yuxin Ouyang, Founder of Passionato Music

Sarah’s kindness makes her approachable, and overall she is an amazing person to work with!

Treniyyah, Duke University graduate

Sarah Curzi is a wonderful person to work with. She sincerely cares about all the people she comes into contact with, personally and professionally. Sarah is the first person I would think of to ask for any educational advice, as she also takes into consideration the personal and emotional aspect of education. If you are looking for any educational consultant who will put you in the right direction, while taking care for your mental stability, then Sarah Curzi is the perfect match.

Caleb Y. Moon

How to get in touch:

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to email me using the “Contact” button or at hello@cafephd.com. You can just ask a few questions or you are welcome to schedule a short (free) consultation so we can get to know each other a little bit.

I don’t believe in pressuring people; this is just a chance to have a normal conversation and get your initial questions answered. Looking forward to hearing from you!

You might find that your browser tries to send you to an email client you don’t use (like Microsoft Outlook). The easiest and fastest solution is to paste my email (hello@cafephd.com) into your normal email client (Gmail or whatever you normally use) and send an email normally.