Applywise History

ApplyWise LLC was founded in 2006 by Dr. Katherine Cohen and Liz Hamburg. Dr. Cohen is one of the country’s leading college admissions counselors and founder of IvyWise, a nationally recognized, highly respected college admissions counseling company. Liz Hamburg is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Upstart Ventures LLC. The ApplyWise Programs are based on the proven methodology that Dr. Cohen and the IvyWise team have developed in ten years of successful private admissions counseling. In 2006, 90% of IvyWise students were admitted to one of their top two choice schools and 100% were admitted to one of their top three choice schools.

ApplyWise is the first online college admissions counseling program that provides college-bound juniors and seniors the guidance and tools they need to navigate successfully though the college admissions process. For parents, ApplyWise eliminates “the nag factor” by providing custom views of their student’s progress, materials, and upcoming tasks. For students, ApplyWise provides advice, interactive exercises and organizing tools to help create a winning college application. ApplyWise guides them through each step of the college application process to help them get into the college that’s right for them.

Bay Area Applywise

Dr. Katherine Cohen, Founder 

Dr. Cohen graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University. She continued her studies at Yale University, receiving two Master’s degrees and a PhD. She received a certificate in College Admission Counseling from the U.C.L.A. Extension. She is the founder of IvyWise, a nationally recognized, highly respected admissions counseling company.

Prior to founding IvyWise, Dr. Cohen gained valuable experience as an intern college counselor at Palisades Charter High School. She also served as a Reader in the Yale University Office of Admissions, reading applications and evaluating hundreds of applicants for admission or rejection to Yale College. At Yale, Dr. Cohen taught undergraduate courses and for four years was an advisor to sophomores at Yale College. In her capacity as Sophomore Advisor, she approved course schedules, counseled students experiencing academic and personal problems and wrote recommendations for students seeking summer employment or supplemental or social service experiences. In addition to her experience at Yale, Dr. Cohen taught SAT test prep classes for The Princeton Review and provided private academic subject tutoring services. Dr. Cohen is the author of two books on college admissions, The Truth About Getting In and Rock Hard Apps: How to Write a Killer College Application.

Dr. Cohen has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, CBS Evening News, MTV and the Joan Hamburg Show and been profiled in Bloomberg Markets Magazine, People Magazine, New York Magazine, Crain’s, YM, Vogue, Town & Country, W Magazine and the Financial Times. She is frequently interviewed by the national and international media on the subject of school admissions and the application process. Additionally, Dr. Cohen is flown all over the world to speak on the topic of college admissions as a faculty resource for YPO (Young Presidents Organization). Dr. Cohen is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), the Independent Educational Counseling Association (IECA) and the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC). She has served on the Brown University Alumni Schools Committee as an Interviewer and Manhattan School Chair.

Liz Hamburg, COO 

Liz Hamburg is a “serial entrepreneur” with more than 15 years experience launching innovative new businesses in areas of communications, technology, media and entertainment. She is the founder and president of Upstart Ventures, which helps to launch new businesses. Upstart Ventures has been a leader in identifying trends in media, technology and communication and has successfully incubated several companies in-house.

Through Upstart, she has been involved in the startup of 12 new businesses. Ms. Hamburg was chairman and founder of Hypnotic, an early leader in online user-generated content and a leading branded entertainment company that was sold to a publicly traded company.

Ms. Hamburg was part of the founding management team and a director of the board of Vimpel Communications (NYSE: VIP), the leading cellular company in Russia and the first Russian company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

She received a BA degree from Brown University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Ms. Hamburg speaks Japanese, Russian and Spanish. 


The college-admissions process is "now a full-time job," says Liz Hamburg, ApplyWise chief operating officer. "This is a way to organize parents: While you're away, while you're at work, you're able to keep tabs."