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"My daughter received invaluable advice and support from Kari during her university search. And really, we as her parents received the same! Applying for university has changed greatly, and as it is a journey fraught with indecision, having Kari’s perspective and calming demeanor was so helpful."

Tim, Brightwood, VA

Real High School University Counselors
Next Level College Application is a partnership of Counselors who use their experience to make your application experience as painless as po
We pool our experiences so no matter which Counselor is available, they are working as a team to get you the best feedback
and guidance.  This will make your application process focused and supported to get you where you want to go.

Kari Withers

I am Kari Withers (she, her, hers) and I currently live in Vietnam with my husband while our daughters are attending universities in the USA.  I have been working in education for 25 years as an English teacher and as a University Counselor in Oregon, USA as well as in international schools in China and Vietnam. 


I am one of those people who think teenagers are really enjoyable because they have a unique way of looking at the world and can find humor in many things.  Each student has unique experiences and I love helping them reflect upon their personal stories and craft an application to highlight exactly what universities need to know in order to really get to know them as people.  My students see me as a guide, a listener, and an unabashed cheerleader through the application process.


Matthew Akitani

I am Matthew Akitani (they/he) and I currently live in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have been working in education for 20 years as a French teacher, the director of a program for Japanese “returnees”, and as a university and careers counselor in both the US, Japan and Denmark. 


Helping others find their passions and reach their potential is one of the most rewarding aspects of working with students about to embark on their post-high school paths. What I love most about this age group is that everyone has a unique and special story to tell. Using those stories as a base upon which to discover and grow is one of many ways to find university and life paths that fit. The best part, though, is that Every Situation is Different and no two people will share the same journey! 

Our Promise To You

There are many agencies out there that make dubious claims.  We, on the other hand, want to be completely transparent. Here are some examples of what we will and won't do in order to provide the most authentic and principled assistance for our clients.

What We Do

  • Get to know you as a person and as an applicant to understand what you want out of the college experience.

  • Guide you through the application processes for your chosen universities. 

  • Assist with essays and personal statements from topic selection to final edits and everything in between.

  • Work with students to convey their personal voice in their essays, showing their authentic selves to prospective universities.

  • Give you honest and ethical feedback.

  • Advise about ‘Good Fit’ universities and how to apply at a range of schools to give you the best options.

What We  Don't Do

  • Push clients toward particular universities.  Our counselors are NOT agents and have no incentive to recommend one university over another.  We recommend universities based on the best fit for the client.

  • Promise admission to any particular university.  It is impossible to make these promises honestly and ethically. 

  • Promise Financial Aid or Scholarships.  Our counselors can help guide through the process, but make no promises about receiving aid.

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