Photos by Alicia Stemper 919.812.4934


After what seems like forever, I’ve finally decided to go with the design school! I decided that I would regret it more if I looked back on college and had not gone to design school rather than a liberal arts school. Thank you so much for guiding me and talking to me about my choices. It really helped so much to have someone to talk to about my future and I’m feeling pretty good about my decision now, so thank you for instilling confidence in me as well. Thank you, again, for helping me along my college-picking journey!!

Student, ECHHS

Mary has been an excellent resource.  My daughter is a strong student with no idea where she wants to spend her college years.  After meeting with my daughter and getting to know her as a person, Mary helped us to develop a workable list of potential schools for her to consider.  Mary is very knowledgeable and thorough.  She has also made herself available by e-mail to answer questions about testing strategies and other college prep issues.  I feel like we have gotten more than our money's worth in hiring Mary to assist us in navigating this stressful and confusing process.

CHS, Parent

For us Mary was a special counselor. She demonstrated remarkable insights into both of our children's unique personalities and needs. She displayed thoughtfulness while providing guidance to each child so they could discover for themselves what the best college choices might be. She had impressive knowledge of the options and if she didn't have all the information at her fingertips, would do the research to obtain it. We were most pleased with the outcome of her counsel.

CFS, Parent

Mary has gone beyond my expectations. Even after she had found a list of colleges to which my child would apply (which is really when she should have been done with us), she continued to advise us. She helped us to navigate the add/drop period after my child didn't get his ideal schedule, she gave us suggestions on how to talk to the guidance counselor, she suggested colleges to visit, and continued to help us to tweak his college list. I highly recommend her consulting services and plan to use her again for my second child.

Parent, CHHS

Mary has been so helpful this past year with my son.  She assisted him in finding a summer job that he enjoyed and kept through the school year.  She was excellent at listening to his perspective and coming up with creative ideas for jobs and for his college search.  With Mary's help, he narrowed his college list to a manageable number and which helped keep the application process sane.

Parent, CHHS

Mary has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience of the entire college preparation process – from recommended high school courses, college entrance exams, essay-writing, college visits, etc.  And the additional bonus of understanding teenagers! Mary created a “road map” personalized for our daughter that simplified the college application process and reduced the stress in our household tremendously! It is an honor to work with someone so knowledgeable about the entire college application process.  Mary created a straightforward, realistic plan for our daughter and was able to relate her in a way that we (parents) were not!

                                                                    Parent, CHHS

Mary Gratch is a life saver when it comes to students with college match. She knows just the right questions to pull the answers that you need from students. If you are a parent and getting more "I don't knows" from your student, than responses, save the time and headache and have Mary cut to the chase with them. We went to see Mary the summer before senior year, for my first child when we had hit a wall and she helped us get back on track. My second child is now a junior and I did not waste any time getting him in with Mary.

Parent, Carrboro HIgh School