Our daughter had a terrific experience working with Mark throughout her college application process.  Mark is extremely knowledgeable about the college admissions landscape, and provided excellent counsel on all aspects of the process including developing a college list, strategizing on which school(s) to apply to early, and managing the entire project into bite-sized chunks. He took the time to get to know our daughter, and was able to direct her towards some schools that were good fits for her that she otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. He provided targeted, constructive input to her on her many essays and other application supplements and was always an encouraging cheerleader.  We appreciated the informative summaries that Mark provided after each meeting, which helped keep us calm through a typically stressful process.  We highly recommend Mark and look forward to working with him again in the future!                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                       ROB AND ALISON L.        

                                                                                                                                                         2016-17 CLEAR PATH CLIENTS




Mark has a thorough and special knowledge of the college application process; I could always depend on him for guidance in both the logistics and the writing. His feedback on essays was amazingly detailed and honest, and it was always paired with specific options on how to improve. Overall, Mark kept me on track and eased my application process, and I am so grateful I had him to help me. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                     MINA M.

                                                                                                                                                                2016-17 CLEAR PATH CLIENT


"I came into Menlo School as a low-income, first-generation Mexican-American. The culture shock and minimal preparation to enter a predominately white, affluent, incredibly rigorous space was one of the hardest trials in my life. Now at Duke, I will be in the first in my family to graduate from college. I cannot stress however the crucial role that Mark Clevenger played in my life. I remember, in one of our earliest meetings, him looking over one of my personal essays, shaking his head, and telling me, “You have a bright future ahead of you.” I realized then it was one of the first times I’d ever heard those words. From that point forward, he walked me through every single step of a complicated college application process, to selecting the colleges themselves (which my family and I knew little about), to the essays, to SAT/ACT scores, to FAFSA, to securing waiver fees, and so much more.  He is a mentor, teacher, college counselor, and friend. I honestly cannot recommend anyone more highly than him."

Tony L.
Menlo School graduate and Duke University student

"Mark is a wise, kind and grounded person who approached his role as a college counselor to my kids with incredible care.  He devoted a great deal of time getting to know my kids well.  His approach involved many one on one sessions where he would ask thoughtful, open-ended questions and then spend much of his time listening to my sons' responses.  I know he was committed to truly hearing from my kids about what inspired them, what their hopes in education and life were, who their close friends were and why and what kind of place would enable them to thrive during their college years.  Mark was a tremendous source of knowledge about colleges and universities we were less familiar with and he was able to illuminate some of the reasons why those schools might be or might not be an excellent academic, geographic and social fit for my kids.  I know he was committed to reducing everyone's anxiety about the college application process and was available to answer questions or provide some valuable insights whenever any of us needed some reassurance about our thinking.

I know my sons were extremely lucky to have had Mark as their college counselor. He not only was an excellent advisor to both of them during this particular quest, but he also modeled for them how to listen carefully, care deeply and retain perspective about the things that matter most in living a meaningful life."

Susan B.
Menlo School parent

“Having worked closely with Mark for a number of years, I found him to be extremely professional and it is evident that he genuinely has the best interests of his students at heart. His experience and knowledge in the world of college admissions and the counseling process are invaluable.”


Sam Carpenter
Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission
Duke University
Durham, NC

"We feel so very lucky to have had Mark Clevenger as Rory’s college counselor and we have been so grateful for all the wise, reasoned and student focused guidance he has given us over the past two years.  It has truly been a joy for Rory, and by extension Patrick and me, to go through this process with Mark walking along side us in lock step. In addition to his incredible depth of knowledge, his utterly calm measured and reassuring manner was a complete breath of fresh air in what seemed like the surrounding ‘madness’ of the college application process!"

Helen P.
Menlo School parent

"Mr. Clevenger is not just an impassioned and dedicated teacher and mentor, he is a pillar of support and compassion for all those around him.  He pours his heart into his work with infectious enthusiasm, and his humble and generous character never fails to inspire.  He truly embodies the spirit of meaningful education."

Taylor T.
Menlo School graduate and Stanford student

"I have long respected Mark Clevenger’s knowledge of college admission, and I've also come to trust his opinions on students and their potential.  At SMU, we select some of the nation's leading college counselors to help us recruit great students.  I invited Mark to be one of the first members of this advisory group.  What a great choice!"

Wes Waggoner
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

"Mark's vast knowledge base in terms of college choices and the application process is invaluable.  He was able to break down the application process in a supportive and clear way that helped our child feel comfortable and empowered.  We are so grateful!"

Devon M.
Menlo School parent

"I was so lucky to have Mr. Clevenger as my college counselor. Along with many more reasons, Mr. Clevenger was a great college counselor because he cared about getting to know me by learning who I was as a person, an athlete, a friend, and then a student. Whether he was asking me about my latest tennis match or checking in about how stressed out I felt by the college process, he never failed to care about my success inside and outside of the classroom. This care undoubtedly carried into his advice on my decisions and applications and ended up helping me get into my dream school."

Mia M.
Menlo School student

"I worked regularly with Mark, over the course of 15 years, in his capacity as Director of College Counseling at Menlo School and I always found him to be knowledgeable, insightful, responsive, caring and concerned. I consider him to be an exceedingly talented college counseling professional."

Gary Ross
Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

"Mark is a truly talented college counselor. We have had three children with very different backgrounds, passions and interests work with Mark. He guided each of our children in identifying the optimal set of schools under which they would thrive and realize the combination of academic success, confidence and happiness. They were each admitted to their early decision school, ranging from Ivy League to well regarded liberal arts institutions. We have the highest regard for Mark and his thoughtful approach toward children as they embark on their most formative transition."

Emmalyn and Art S.

Menlo School Parents

"Mr. Clevenger tailors his advice to the kinds of schools that you are interested in and the type of student that you are. He is encouraging, realistic and gives great feedback on college essays. When it comes to the application process, no matter how unusual your question may seem, Mr. Clevenger seems to have all of the answers. It is thanks to him that my college application process went as smoothly as it did."

Esmee M.
Menlo School student

"Mark was by far one of the most informed and knowledgeable counselors I have met in the field of higher education. His engagement with others demonstrates his priority on assisting those navigating the realm of college admissions."

Joel Ontiveras
Undergraduate Admission Officer

Los Angeles, CA

"Mr. Clevenger was both incredibly informative and supportive during my college process! Meeting with him helped me transform the mess of deadlines and essay questions and interviews into something much more manageable and less stressful."

Parvathi N.
Menlo School student

"Mark is thorough when researching universities and providing thoughtful recommendations to find the best fit for his students. Between visiting our campus personally and collaborating with me over the past few years, he’s presented university options to excellent candidates who otherwise may have been missing out on some stellar under-the-radar opportunities."

Stewart Lampe
Undergraduate Admission Officer

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Mr. Clevenger has been an incredibly knowledgeable college counselor who I can trust and rely on for guidance in any aspect of the college admission process. Recently, he gave me excellent advice about taking an additional SAT, on which I ultimately exceeded my expectations. Most importantly, though, Mr. Clevenger cares more about balance and the right fit for a student - I think he really exemplifies the sound advice a parent would want for their child's well-being in this often-crazy process. I've been very satisfied with the product of his kindness, expertise and many years of college visits!

Lauren C.
Menlo School student

"I’ve spent my entire career working in California private universities and Mark Clevenger is a counselor with whom I love to work.  He has a wealth of knowledge on the process and honestly wants to serve the best interests of the student."

Brian O’Rourke

Vice President for Enrollment

Mount Saint Mary’s University
Los Angeles, CA

"Mark is my kind of college counselor; the kind that is student-centered, deeply experienced, genuinely committed to helping young people find their best match, and in possession of a healthy dose of humor.  His background doing the real work of admission, coupled with his long history in secondary settings, means that Mark really knows all the nooks and crannies of the landscape.  He’ll help demystify the process, give students tools to manage it effectively, and probably crack you up along the way."

Meredith Herrera
Co-Director of College Counseling
Branson School
Ross, CA

"Mark Clevenger is an extraordinary college counselor. I have worked with him for the past ten years and can attest to his consistently high level of professionalism and his unbridled compassion for his students and their families."

David Anderson
Director of Admission

Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI