I’m Dr. Barbara Austin

College Entrance and Scholarship Coach

I help you make yourself irresistible to a great college and get plenty of money to go.

Personal College Coach

I am a full service personal college coach who meets directly with your child one-on-one. I will do what it takes to help your child get into the college of their dreams.

Expert Financial Aid/Scholarship Advising

I will help you shape your family’s financial story so that you are positioned to receive as much free money from grants and scholarship as possible.

“Your passion, dedication, and pursuit of excellence have not only inspired D but have also motivated him to strive for greater accomplishments and to dream big.”

“As parents, we are immensely grateful for what you’ve been able to achieve in such a short period of time. Thank you for your exceptional dedication and support in getting D into Cornell.” – March, 2024

My job is to help your child shine for college and scholarships so that after reading your child’s application the Office of Admission says: “We want this person and we will give the best possible $ to have him/her to come to our university!”

Quite simply – beside helping your child discover the right college match – I focus on making your child shine in the five key areas the college admissions want.




Volunteer Services

Inspiring Story

What is College Coaching

In building the application story in high school, I am helping your child bring out his or her greatness. My job as your family’s college coach is to cup the flame in your child’s life so he or she has a better experience not only in college but in high school.

Besides shaping the application story, I also help shape your family’s financial story, if needed, positioning you to receive as much free money from grants and scholarships as possible.

What is the Process like?

It’s very simple: The first meeting is by Zoom, FaceTime, or phone. In this hour, I willl look at the story you have now (GPA, testing, talent, leadership, and volunteer service, etc.) and I will show you how to develop it to the next level so that your dream college wants you.

If we’re a good match, then I will invite you to join my CollegeQuest SuperStar program in which I coach you how to build and market the most remarkable application story possible so that colleges find you absolutely irresistible.

About College Quest

My company, College Quest, which I started 27 years ago, is designed to help you create an authentic, interesting, and surprising story on your college applications. You don’t get into college, your application gets you in, and the story on your application (essays, resume, your classes, recommendations, etc.) is crucial.

Many college and universities have more than enough money to spend. And the students who tell the most compelling story from beginning to end are the ones who are going to get most of it!

Read more reviews on YELP

College Quest is named a Top Yelp Business in the Bay Area.


“In Northern California, Barbara is considered a legend – she has helped hundreds of students from all walks of life get their stories together in such a way that their applications shine out like stars to the best colleges. I unequivocally refer her.”

Dr. Harry Feld

Parent of Cornell Student

“Dr. Austin not only helped my daughter get into Stanford, but she helped our whole family get through the process!”

Dean Fisch

Parent of Stanford Student

Latest Blog Posts

Current information and strategies about getting into the best colleges with the best $$