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     By stueyg 6 5

Key message:

**Expensive firms are not the only viable option!**

ApplicantLab is essentially a series of one on one recorded consulting sessions that you can replay time after time! It's personalised, intelligent advice that doesn't have any personal agendas or biases. Here's how it helped me.

The reason I looked for extra advice was that I lacked some confidence in my profile and I also felt a bit out of the loop being so far away from the US and Europe, as I was based in South Africa. In retrospect, I think many people people feel this way; it's normal.

Maria's platform caught my eye while I was looking for supporting material. The price was far better than the traditional admissions consultants and after the free trial of the platform I took the plunge and purchased access. The beauty of an appified, online admission advice process is the following:

1. Maria's words and advice have been chosen very carefully for her videos, and you can go back and listen to them over and over
2. The platform's algorithms are smart and give you personalised advice that I found very helpful, for example in identifying your strong and weak points
3. You can work at your own pace, which means you have enough time to type down various thoughts and reflections. You simply wouldn't have that amount of time with a consultant unless you paid for huge amounts of time
4. You can get personalised, well-researched advice for any of several top tier schools at no extra cost. If you want to add a school, it's easy.

Maria and her team have clearly put a huge amount of time and effort into curating a product that I found so relevant and helpful, greatly assisting me to get admitted to Oxford in stage 4 of the 6 rounds of admissions (this year there are only 4 rounds). I was blown away.

Don't consider this a second choice to traditional consultants - the lower price point is not a marker of its usefulness or quality. It's simply due to the online nature of the offering that the price comes in more affordably. Plus, if you decide you want someone to speak to, Maria is available for one on one consultations at additional rates.

I wholeheartedly recommend ApplicantLab. Good luck!

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