Sandy Clingman founded SJC College Counseling in 2013 to help students and families navigate the college admissions process.


Her goals are to

  • provide insight and information on selective admissions, with customized guidance, so students and families can make intentional, well-informed choices
  • help students stand out with distinctive applications and essays that highlight their unique abilities and accomplishments
  • support and facilitate students' efforts to develop and clarify their strengths and interests

  • suggest post-secondary options that will be an excellent fit for the student -- personally, academically & financially
  • reduce the stress, anxiety, and confusion that often accompany the college admissions process

Sandy is an alumna of the University of California, Davis, with a major in International Relations and a minor in English. She holds a Master of Education in Counseling from Boston University and earned post-graduate certificates in College Advisement from the Teachers College, Columbia University and in Independent Educational Consulting from the University of California, Irvine.


In addition to college consulting, Sandy is employed as an Admissions Reader for the University of San Francisco's Office of Undergraduate Admission, evaluating an average of  600-700 applications each year. Sandy also writes freelance articles focusing on the college admissions process.

Rice University
University of Houston
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


Sandy's further training, experience, and volunteer roles include:

  • Graduate, IECA Summer Training Institute held at Swarthmore College 
  • Graduate, PCACAC Summer Training Institute held at UMW
  • Virtual College Coach, College Essay Guy's Matchlighters Scholarship for low-income students (3 seasons & counting!)
  • Application Reader, American Councils for International Education Student Cultural Exchange Program of the U.S. Dept. of State (6 seasons & counting!)
  • Application Reader, Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (7 seasons & counting!)
  • Essay Coach, Peer Forward at College Summit for low-income, first generation to college students (4 residential three-day workshops held at UMBC and Yale)
  • Group recipient of the 2017  IECA Foundation Irvin J. Katz Award, in recognition of volunteer service for The Possibility Project 
  • Former Guidance Counselor for DODEA
  • Former Assistant Testing Coach for FCPS
  • Former SAT Co-Coordinator for the College Board
  • Former Field Representative for Boston University


A California native who loves to travel, Sandy studied abroad in Madrid, Spain one summer. She also spent three years in Berlin, Germany and four years in Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as lived in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Washington and Monterey, California as the spouse of an active duty military officer. Sandy has resided in Virginia with her husband since 2005, where she worked for several years as a testing assistant at Fairfax County Public Schools, founded SJC College Counseling, and raised two children.


Sandy is a member in good standing of key industry professional organizations (IECA,  HECA, NACAC, and NCAG ) and adheres to the highest standards of ethical and professional service. She attends multiple college admission conferences each year for the opportunity to meet with admissions staff, stay current with higher education policy and trends, network with colleagues, and join college tours. To date, she has visited more than 200 colleges and universities!


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