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The Story behind The Applicant

After being accepted to Stanford, Ishan assembled the Synocate team to bring the experiences of over 20 successful applicants from schools like Harvard, Yale, UCLA, and Princeton together. They analyzed successful essays, profiles, and supplemental materials, and developed the Perspective Approach. 

The Perspective Approach allows students to think long-term about education and embrace the college admissions process as one step in a journey of self discovery. This is the approach we use with all of our students at Synocate, and it has worked wonders.

The Applicant: An Insider's Guide to the College Admissions Process, has been used  by parents and educators for everything from personal use to hosting workshops on college admissions throughout the United States, Asia, and Australia. It continues to inspire 5th - 12th grade students and teach them the value of education. 


As an international student applying US colleges, I've read a lot of admission books, both in Chinese and in English. This one is particularly helpful because it has great insights about college admission and gives many practical suggestions for applicants. It even provides useful career guidance, which not many other books do. And this particularly attracts me! 

- Jesse

I bought this book to help my son (in 9th grade) learn about the best way to prepare and get accepted by his top colleges. Both of us read this book and found it very helpful. The Applicant clearly guides ambitious high school students to develop a theme and portray themselves in the best possible light to colleges. We were so impressed by the insights (especially the Perspective Approach) that we reached out the author (Ishan) and his company Synocate afterwards and signed up for his college counseling services. I highly recommend this book!

- Tyler 

I bought this book a few years ago in high school to better understand the college admissions process and how to stand out among thousands of applicants. I was applying for mostly very selective colleges, and I was felt very overwhelmed by everything (essays, SAT, grades, etc) that I had to prepare. Reading The Applicant was honestly a lifesaver.

- John