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A Partner in Your Success

My Story

I was the kid who could not wait to go to college. I remember purchasing a college survival guide, and I could not put it down. In fact, I read it twice! In our family, the “when you go to college” conversation began at an early age. My mother, a first-generation college student, attended the University of Idaho, and my father attended Vanderbilt University.  They both loved their experiences, and my sister and I grew up listening to their stories. On family vacations, we often visited the nearest college or university and this is where my fascination with all things college began.

My personal college search was focused on schools where I could receive an excellent education and those with NCAA gymnastics programs. I was a club gymnast, and I wanted to compete at the university level.These goals led me to research about 64 colleges across the country. I took five recruiting trips and visited more on my own.

The University of Illinois at Chicago  (UIC) offered me a scholarship to compete and study. During my recruiting trip, everything at UIC felt right. I often tell my own students, sometimes after all of the research is complete, the final choice is a gut decision.  My parents were supportive of any decision I made, even if it meant moving a long distance from my home outside of Annapolis, Maryland. Attending UIC was one of the best decisions I have made, and I credit my time on the gymnastics team for preparing me for a 21 year career working in higher education.

I spent 13 of those 21 years in the University of Illinois College of Medicine in a variety of roles including Chief Operating Officer and Instructor for the highly competitive BA/BS - MD program (formerly the GPPA Medicine Program, now the GPPA Medical Scholars Program). In this role, I directed the admissions process, and advised and counseled current GPPA Medicine students as they completed their undergraduate careers and matriculated to medical school. The GPPA Medical Scholars Program is non-binding, allowing students to apply to other medical schools. I assisted GPPA Medicine students with their medical school applications, helping to place students in the top medical schools in the country. In addition to my administrative and advisory roles, I designed curriculum for and taught the GPPA Medicine course: The Evolution of Medicine.

In addition to my work with GPPA, I was an application reader for the College of Medicine, supported and developed curriculum for the Medical Colloquia course, and completed my tenure in the Office of Students Affairs as an advisor to first through fourth year medical students. 

In 2016, I launched Caryn Marcus College and Pre-Medical Advising. I decided to enter this field because I wanted to help more students and families understand the often confusing college and professional school admissions processes. I see myself as an educator and a coach, and I care deeply about my students and their families. I strive to know my students and their families well and believe that my work with them does not stop at an acceptance. I have built my entire practice on goals dedicated to bringing out the best in my students and helping them find their unique attributes and personal narratives.

My practice consists of working with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets.  I have placed high school students in a vast array of majors including psychology, business, engineering, linguistics, sociology, computer science, economics, neuroscience, advertising, and more.  The common denominator they have all shared is finding a school that meets their individual needs and objectives. My professional students come to me with vast experiences and backgrounds and I enjoy helping them discover more about the profession they are entering.

Professional affiliations include: Associate Membership in the Independent Educational Consultants Association; memberships in the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC); and a previous membership in  the AAMC BA/BS - MD group.

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