Hi, I’m Dr. Lan Ngo.

From first-generation college student to PhD

I know applying to college is hard, and combating the insane costs of higher education is even harder.

I got into Stanford with no one’s help and filled out all the financial aid forms on my own. After discovering my love for education, I got my master’s in teaching from Columbia and my PhD in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Those sound like expensive schools, but I specifically chose schools where I wouldn’t have to take out massive loans. Stanford was practically free because of my modest background; I got funding while at Columbia; and UPenn actually paid me to obtain my PhD. Plus, I worked throughout my entire time in school.

Having spent the past 7 years helping students with the college admissions process, I decided to create digital tools and resources to make my advice and materials available to more families and students–hence, Your College Advisors.

I’m also involved in other areas of education, and I’ve been working in this field for over 12 years. Currently, I manage digital learning tools and teach at the University of Pennsylvania. I have presented at education conferences and published academic articles based on empirical research.

Given my background as a researcher, I take an analytical approach to college admissions. I read a lot of information, analyze large data sets, and distill everything into simple-to-understand formats. I do all the hard work so you don’t have to.

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(Shout out to these amazing photographers: VIA Agency and Penn GSE/Daryl Moran)