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Colleen McDonough Headshot

Colleen McDonough

Colleen McDonough received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The University of Michigan. She worked for a number of years in strategy and corporate development at software startups and brand marketing at consumer products companies such as Pepsi-Cola, Pillsbury and Mattel.

After raising two children and launching both into middle school, Colleen cast about for another career and found her true calling in college admissions. While working at Stanford University in Undergraduate Admissions, Colleen learned the difference between what makes a student competitive and what makes a student compelling.

Colleen founded McDonough College Consulting to provide thoughtful, compassionate and expert guidance to students and their families throughout the college application process. When she is not thinking or talking about colleges, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.


Catherine Northup

Catherine Northup received a BA from Smith College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  She was President of the Student Body and served on the Board of Trustees for two years upon graduating. Professionally, her focus has been the financial services technology area in account management, marketing and product development for such companies as Visa, Online Resources and E*TRADE.

Catherine has one son who is in middle school.  When he started school, Catherine began working for the Office of Admissions at Stanford where she worked for seven years before being recruited by Colleen to join her.






About College Consulting

If you have a top-notch college counselor available at your high school, you can and should make good use of them. Unfortunately, it is more likely that you are one of 300 students assigned to a college counselor whom you have met only once if at all.

McDonough College Consulting is about access to expert college guidance. We work directly with the parents and student as early as the freshman year of high school. Colleen and Catherine share their expertise with your family, help you explore a wide range of public and private colleges and universities, and ultimately whittle down your choices to achieve the best fit for your student.

While working at Stanford University, Colleen and Catherine learned the difference between what makes a student competitive and what makes a student compelling.  Leveraging their marketing expertise, they work closely with students to craft a story, which they use to their students’ advantage in helping them create their own personal narrative.  And this distinction is often the difference between and admit or deny decision.

Find out more about our Services.

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