With a background in both counseling and college admissions, Susannah Files lends her reassuring ear to students and families confronting the challenges of applying to college. She began her school counseling career in 1999 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC, and has experience evaluating applications for The George Washington University admissions office and as an independent college admissions counselor.
For students with learning differences, the college admissions process can feel challenging, and Susannah offers both expertise and support as they make decisions about standardized testing accommodations, applications, and finding the best fit in a school. She counsels students virtually as well as in-person at the Bethesda, MD, Washington, DC, and McLean, VA offices of Marks Education.
Susannah has a steady and empathetic approach to managing anxiety and stress related to the college admissions process, having worked with adults with mental illness, survivors of the events of September 11, 2001 and, recently, as a hospice volunteer. She was also a college coach for College Summit, a national nonprofit that offers college admissions counseling and support to high-achieving, low-income high school students.
As the parent of a high schooler, Susannah has firsthand knowledge of the environment that students and their families experience today. She is an adoptive parent and understands the unique considerations adoptive families, and other diverse families, might have when supporting their children through the college admissions process. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog Otis, and recharging while gardening.
- Montgomery County Public Schools: Bethesda Elementary, Pyle Middle School, Walt Whitman High School
- National Cathedral School
- Hamilton College, BA in Government
- The George Washington University, MA in School Counseling
- National Certified Counselor (NCC)
- Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions
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What our clients say about Susannah
We had nothing short of the best college prep experience with Marks Education and in particular, with Susannah. From the beginning, she helped us navigate the college admissions process and worked with us to identify the best schools for our son to consider. Susannah was always available for questions and advice, even in the middle of college tours when our questions were time sensitive.
Because of the detailed timelines Marks Education provided, we knew our to-do’s well in advance and our son had ample time to prepare his applications and essays. Susannah’s feedback on his application details and essay drafts was quick, thoughtful, and incredibly helpful. He ultimately settled on applying Early Decision to his first-choice school, which Susannah helped us determine by matching his profile and interests; her insights and suggestions lead us far beyond the information we researched on our own.
Most importantly, Susannah made the admissions process significantly easier to understand and navigate, which in turn eliminated the tension and stress otherwise associated with applications. As parents, we really appreciate how calm she made us, and more importantly, how comfortable she made our son. Susannah established a terrific working relationship with him, and he was happy to reach out with questions and concerns of his own.
As our younger children make their way through high school, we can only look forward to working with Susannah and Marks Education.— Scott S., parent