myUsearch blog

Honest college information — choose, apply, get into and pay for college.

About myUsearch

myUsearch is dedicated to providing a completely unbiased resource for students searching for colleges.  We offer two services: 1) the myUsearch blog with tips and information for students and 2) the myUsearch college search tool that objectively matches students with colleges.

Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions of your life, but when students search for college information on the web, they are often directed to sites that exist solely to collect their contact information.  These sites only promote the schools that have paid for a listing and sell the names of their visitors to any school or business willing to pay for it.

myUsearch EXISTS TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.  We offer completely unbiased information and do not endorse any schools.  Admittedly, we sometimes shamelessly plug our site on our blog, but this is only because our search tool offers a completely honest and objective match.  We provide the names of matching colleges regardless of their willingness to pay for a listing and allow only the schools that match the students’ criteria to contact them.  We check all of the websites we recommend to ensure relevancy and legitimacy, and actively pursue students, counselors, admissions reps, financial aid officers and professors to uncover the real story about higher ed.

myUsearch is always searching for college stories and contributing bloggers.  To submit your story or apply to be a contributor, email  To learn more about myUsearch click here.

About myUsearch Writers

jst_elizabethfacial_001_edited.jpg Elizabeth Kraus: myUsearch Co-Founder

My name is Elizabeth Kraus and I am the co-founder of myUsearch.  When I went to undergrad at the University of Colorado, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I decided to get a degree in Marketing because that seemed like a “safe” thing to do.  But after 4+ years and several thousand dollars, I realized that I didn’t really like marketing.  Oops.  But luckily, I quickly realized I was passionate about two things:  Entrepreneurship and Journalism.  So, here I am.  Even though I followed all the rules and did what I thought was right, I made a lot of mistakes in college and my early career.  This is my chance to stop you from making the same mistakes I did.

ally head shot Ally Demos: University of Colorado Journalism Student

I graduated as the Valedictorian of my class, and still had to learn everything about the college process the hard way.  I hope my experience can help others not to make the same mistakes.  The good news is, I did survive and am thriving as a journalism student at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  I’m crazy about traveling and hope to explore every continent (even Antarctica) before I die.  When not on vacation, I can usually be found outside in beautiful Boulder.  I’m blessed with wonderful friends and an incredible big, loud, Greek family.  I also enjoy learning about anything and everything. Some of my current obsessions include cooking, crafting, and Spanish.

jst_jillianne_photo.jpg Jillianne Hamilton:  Blogger & Journalism Student

I’ve been writing since before I could form letters on paper with a pencil. I write fiction and non-fiction but have recently discovered the art of blogging. I’ve just started the Journalism program at Holland College (in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island) and am very excited about it. I share my college experiences at My official site can be found at

lkruse.jpg Laurelin Kruse: Yale Freshman

I’m a small town girl who has moved to Yale for my first year of college. After a year in an intimate (and what I’d call successful) relationship with the college application process, I feel like I can offer a few words of advice to help others play the game of college admissions. I’m a Colorado Voices columnist for The Denver Post, a reporter for The Valley Courier and am constantly looking for ways to get my writing out there. When I’m not writing about college admissions or small town news, I may be found composing short stories or reading the newspaper.

facial_closeup.jpg Derek Kraus:  myUsearch Founder

I founded myUsearch because I believe all of the world’s problems can be solved through education.  After nearly being kicked out of college for bad grades, I finally woke up and realized just how important education was for my and my family’s futures. I went on to receive my undergraduate degree from Montana Tech, and continued my education with computer and business classes at local community colleges and Central Washington University, ultimately passing the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. I have continued my focus on education by volunteering my time to tutor children and am currently a board member for the Colorado Youth for a Change organization.

sonia head shot Sonia Simone:  Professional Writer and Undergrad Wannabe

I’m a writer, editor and social media expert. Over my career, I’ve written professionally about topics as diverse as technology, the criminal justice system, luxury travel, romance novelists, online community, and parenting. I blog about social media and communication at “remarkable communication,” found at Given a preference, I would have been an undergrad forever. I live in Denver, Colorado with my husband and young son.

petersam1.jpg David Petersam: Admissions Consultant

I’ve been involved in admissions for over a decade, as an admissions consultant, as founder and president of AdmissionsConsultants and as a successful business school applicant (and graduate) from the University of Chicago. I’ve seen the admissions process from the side of the applicant and from the side of school. It’s given me an exceptional opportunity to understand what schools are looking for, what prospective students are (or should be) looking for, and where those sets of expectations can be encouraged to meet.

Our consultant and client feedback gives me a good idea about what schools and applicants are thinking and doing in the admissions process, and about what works and what doesn’t in admissions strategies.

bnorvall.JPG Brady Norvall: Private College Counselor

I have pursued my passion in higher education for many years. After graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy, I went on to complete my M.A. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership in my native California, with the goal on becoming the first 25 year-old college president. When that didn’t pan out I started a non-profit organization aimed to increase college access for high school student-athletes. Thus, So You Want to Play in College was formed. My next step was a move to South Florida where I operate Find a Better U, (, a private college counseling and education consulting firm focused on working for individual families and organizations. My primary focus has been with first generation students from Latin American countries who have recently emigrated to the U.S. and who know very little about the system of higher education in the States. Aside from reading, writing and working with wonderful people, I enjoy playing backgammon, sampling from the bulk food bins at Whole Foods and NOT seeing alligators.

pdiaz.JPG Pauline Diaz: Seattle University Freshman

I am excitedly starting my freshman year as a Journalism student at Seattle University, where the blend of independent music, social consciousness, overcast weather, and flying fish fits me perfectly. I write constantly, sometimes about independent music and social justice for (but never about flying fish). My experience throughout the college admissions process has wavered between utter excitement and periodic terror, but without a doubt it has always been a learning experience. I anticipate I’ll be saying the same about the next four years, too.

katescozzaro.JPG Kate Scozzaro: University of Rhode Island Student

I’m a Public Relations student at The University of Rhode Island. I’ve always enjoyed writing and recently found out that I’m not half bad at it. My newest hobbies are blogging and figuring out the world of social media. Find my blog on PR, marketing & social media at As a tour guide and mentor at URI, I hope to share some of my experiences and also provide helpful advice to perspective students making the transition from high school to college. Name your worst nightmare or biggest mistake— I’ve been there!

a_burns.jpg Andy Burns: Director of Admission

I am the Director of Admission at Fort Lewis College. Prior to joining Fort Lewis, I worked as Director of Admission at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, as Director of Admission and Financial Aid at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, and taught middle school and high school social studies for three years.  After teaching middle school, I knew I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher-I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop!  Sometimes higher education can feel like middle school, but I’ll save that for my blog.  I graduated with a BA degree in History from the University of Notre Dame and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia.  I moved back to Colorado in 2006 to take full advantage of my mountain nascent biking interests , my trail running passion, and chasing after my Labrador Retriever, Soleil.

lynnmattoon.JPG Lynn Mattoon: Career Expert, Teacher, Writer

I am a Content Editor for College Job Bank, a college job site that helps both college students and recent graduates find jobs, post resumes, and get noticed by top employers. College Job Bank offers career resources for resume writing, effective interviewing, and access for continuing education. As a Content Editor, I research, compile, and write content for our site users. I received my Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Rowan University, as well as a certification in Secondary Education. I enjoy writing in all its forms and have taught college prep level English, Creative Writing, and tutored elementary through high school level students in reading, writing, and verbal SAT Prep. I’ve also scored the writing portion of standardized tests for public school districts.

julie-manhan.jpg Julie Manhan: Independent College Counselor

I started working in education before I had even graduated from college and have been there ever since. From doing art projects with four year olds to teaching pre-med students how to do Gram stains in Microbiology, I’ve worked with students of all ages. Along the way, I settled into doing college counseling because I love helping students find their way to the right college for them. I’ve also always loved writing, so combining the two by blogging seemed like a natural progression. You can check out my blogs about getting into college at

taylorgarrett.jpg Taylor Garrett: NYU Student

I am currently a junior at New York University, a Bio-ethics major, and a transfer student from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. I took a semester off before transferring to become certified as a Hatha yoga instructor, and to make money to travel after school.  I love my home state, Colorado, and I plan on returning there after I complete school to continue to hike, bike, and run, tucked away in a cabin in the mountains. I believe strongly in sharing my experience with others so that they too may see the wide array of paths open to young people on their way to getting a college education.

gil_rogers_100x100.jpg  Gil Rogers: Associate Director of Admissions, Univ. of New Haven

My name is Gil Rogers and I am a guest blogger for myUsearch.  My experience in higher education is primarily in recruitment of undergraduate students for small, liberal arts based schools.  I got my start at the University of Hartford where I earned my BS in Business Administration, as well as an MBA from the Barney School of Business.  After two solid years of career development there, an opportunity to advance professionally presented itself at the University of New Haven in 2007 as an Assistant Director of Admissions.  I’ve worked with students all up and down the east coast, and travelled all over the country.  I am thrilled to bring my insights and advice as an “admissions insider” to you here at myUsearch!

jkatz.jpg Josef Katz: Higher Education Marketing Expert
I’m Josef Katz and I’m the VP of Marketing for StraighterLine, a company that offers convenient and affordable online college courses that you can take on your own schedule. While working behind the scenes in higher education as the Vice President of Marketing for Trump University and the Executive Director of Integrated Marketing for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, I saw student after student struggle to cover the cost of college and fit college into their busy schedule. That’s why I started Straighterline — to offer distance learning courses for less – less money, less time, and less hassle. I hope to offer a fresh perspective to help every type of student find a college that fits their life situation. You can read my marketing blog to learn more or follow me on Twitter and start a conversation.

barry-lenson.jpg Barry Lenson: Independant College Counselor

Barry Lenson is an author and independent college counselor in New Jersey. His books include the bestseller Good Stress, Bad Stress. As that title implies, Barry concentrates on helping students take the stress out of the process of applying to college. Barry has been Executive Editor at Trump University, where he was in charge of The Donald Trump Blog and other publications. Barry is also a contributing writer at 

shaun_bailey.jpg  S.B. Bryan: 30-Year-Old Freshman

Shaun Bailey (S.B.) Bryan is a blogger, writer, speaker, and activist. He is a junior in the honors program at Texas State University majoring in Applied Sociology, English, and Social Work. Shaun’s personal blog, 30-Year-Old Freshman, is tied for most popular blog on College Blender (the largest college-blog network on the Internet). He is also an accomplished public speaker and has been requested to give presentations concerning diversity, autism, and youth suicide prevention. An autistic man who has returned to finish a college education at 30, S.B. is devoted to passing along the knowledge and wisdom he has collected along the way to college students in need of advice.

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