Colleen McDonough Headshot

Colleen McDonough

Colleen is an Independent Educational Consultant based in Woodside, California, guiding students through the complex world of college admissions. Colleen is unique among consultants in that she understands admissions from both sides of the desk. At Stanford, she read thousands of applications and learned the difference between what makes a student competitive and what makes a student compelling. At the University of Michigan, Colleen interviewed prospective MBA candidates and weighed in on committee discussions. Based upon her experience, Colleen applies the insights she learned to help her students stand out among the most competitive applicants.

Colleen earned an M.B.A. from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for more than a decade in brand marketing and corporate strategy at consumer products companies including Pepsi-Cola, General Mills and Mattel. Active in her community, Colleen served on the board of the Las Lomitas Education Foundation that generated over $2 million annually for the Las Lomitas Elementary School District. She enjoys volunteering with local philanthropies through the National Charity League as well as Young Men’s Service League.

Colleen founded McDonough College Consulting to provide thoughtful, compassionate and expert guidance to students and their families. When she is not touring or thinking about colleges, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, Charlotte and Alexander.

Frances Nuelle

Frances Nuelle is a writer and editor who has vast experience helping students develop and write compelling essays. She brings extensive editorial management expertise to help students manage multiple, often-competing deadlines. She works closely with her students so that they submit polished applications that showcase their unique talents and qualifications. Frances begins her work with every student with comprehensive brainstorming and Q&A to identify their personal stories. She spends time helping students understand and feel comfortable writing in the singular style required of the college personal essay, then coaches them to develop a narrative structure for each essay. Frances loves watching her students’ stories take shape and evolve through a deadlined draft process that includes multiple readings and reviews.

Frances holds a B.A. in history and political science from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University. She started her career in New York at the book publisher Bantam Doubleday Dell, and went on to write articles for and work on the editorial staffs of a variety of trade and consumer magazines.

Frances and her family have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001, where she and her husband parented two boys, both now in college on the East Coast. Frances considers herself an Expert Teenage Wrangler and Task Master, who brings a sense of humor and as much “fun” as possible to the college essay process.

Colleen McDonough Headshot

Moni Puri-Schlotter

Moni has spent time in admissions offices at UC Berkeley and Wellesley College, where she worked both as a reader and admissions tour representative. During this time she became familiar with the thought process behind college admissions and the often-overlooked drivers of a successful application.

Moni has worked in management consulting at both Bain & Co and Mc Kinsey & Co, where she helped clients with key strategic initiatives. She has also developed marketing strategies at companies including BASF, Oracle, the DG Bank as well as an Adobe Ventures startup. Prior to becoming an Independent Educational Consultant, Moni worked at Stitch Fix where she built lasting and meaningful relationships with her clients. In addition to working with students, Moni serves on several boards that support educational and community programs through the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, as well as refugee education programs in Pforzheim, Germany.

Moni views the college application process as a unique time of personal growth where she can assist students to look at themselves from a different lens which often results in a richer and more introspective college application, a key hallmark of what admissions offices are looking for.

Moni holds a BA in Economics and German Studies from Wellesley College and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She lives with her husband in Menlo Park, CA, and has two college-aged children.


McDonough College Consulting is about access to expert college guidance. We work closely with parents and students as early as the freshman year of high school. Over the course of four years, we help the students choose courses, create a compelling resume based upon their unique interests, develop a thoughtful testing plan, earn outstanding letters of recommendation and write unique essays. Our mission is to mentor students through an exciting journey of self-discovery. We help them uncover their interests and aptitudes, identify their best-fit colleges, and complete outstanding applications.

McDonough College Consulting utilizes a data-driven approach to college advising and offers a unique menu of services including YouScience, Corsava, College Planner Pro and innovative essay brainstorming and writing techniques.

We are active members of professional organizations with high ethical standards including IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association), HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association), and NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling).