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About Us

Rhodes Educational Consulting in Beverly Hills, CA guides students and their families through the college application process, helping maximize options while minimizing anxiety. We offer assistance throughout the four years of high school, culminating in college selection, application presentation, essays and supplements, interview techniques, and strategies for admission.  We also have experience handling special cases, including student athletes pursuing the recruitment process and student artists who are submitting art portfolios.  Our students have been admitted to over 200 different colleges and universities, and many have received partial or full merit scholarships using our advice. We believe it is never too late to get guidance in the application process and to benefit from learning about college-essay writing. Our essay/application specialists work exclusively with high school seniors on their college applications, guiding students through every step of the process. In addition to working with high school students, we privately counsel college transfer students and assist with personal statements for other higher education applications, including post-baccalaureate programs, graduate school, medical school, law school, and pharmacy school.

Our Philosophy

We believe that the college application process is a journey towards more than just finding the best-match colleges; it is a chance for a student to become his or her most authentic self during high school.  Our philosophy is that every one of our students is an individual who deserves customized advice on a case-by-case basis.  We will never recommend that a student do specific activities or take particular classes in order to "get in to college."  Instead, we help our students follow their academic and extracurricular passions, which will of course create a more authentic and rewarding college admissions experience.

Our Counseling Team


Alexandra Dumas Rhodes

Alexandra Dumas Rhodes, founder of Rhodes Educational Consulting, is a graduate of Stanford University with both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in English.  She holds Professional Clear California teaching credentials in English, Social Studies, and Bilingual Education (CLAD). She has also done college counseling coursework in UCLA’s Certificate Program in College Counseling.

Alexandra opened Rhodes Educational Consulting in 2004, although she has been working with high school students for 27 years.  She has taught in the international community at the American International School of Zürich (now Zürich International School); in the public school sector at Beverly Hills High School; and in the independent, college preparatory environment of Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA and Philips Exeter Academy (Summer School) in Exeter, NH.  She has also worked as a writing instructor at UCLA’s High School Extension program and taught private SAT preparation classes. Her areas of specialty in teaching include Advanced Placement English, essay writing, and grammar. She has experience grading standardized tests, evaluating both the Golden State exam in English and the Advanced Placement English test in Literature.

Alexandra is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC), and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC). Education is her passion, and helping her college consulting students reach their dreams has become her life’s work.


Paola Fantini

Paola Fantini graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the University of Texas, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. A college counselor, teacher, and writer, Paola has over sixteen years of experience working with students both in and out of the classroom.  She has taught at Mount St. Mary’s College, UCLA Summer Discovery, Los Angeles Valley College, and for LAUSD. She particularly enjoys mentoring high school students and working one-on-one to help them achieve their goals.

Paola began working with Rhodes Educational Consulting in 2008 as an essay specialist.  After training extensively under the direct supervision of Alexandra Dumas Rhodes and completing coursework in college counseling at UCLA, Paola became a full-time College Counselor and Educational Consultant in 2012.  She also served as the Director of Operations for Rhodes Educational from 2014-2016. She is a member in good standing of both the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC).

Our Specialists


Essay & Application Specialist

Gilli is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, where she majored in Anthropology, earning departmental honors for her senior thesis. Gilli worked in the Barnard Office of Admissions for three years, granting her an inside look at college admissions. A professional writer, she has been working as a college essay coach and application specialist for eight consecutive seasons and enjoys guiding students through both the creative writing and logistical portions of the application process. In addition to working one-on-one with students, Gilli has led college essay writing workshops throughout Los Angeles and continues to expand her coaching abilities by participating in regular trainings under the tutelage of Alexandra Dumas Rhodes. She enjoys helping students find their voices and develop a passion for writing to serve them not only in their college essays but also in their future writing endeavors. Gilli's college essay students have been accepted to institutions such as Columbia, Barnard, Harvard, UChicago, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Cornell, Emory, Wesleyan, USC, Sarah Lawrence, Bard, NYU, Brandeis, the University of Michigan, USC, UCLA, and UC Berkeley. Gilli is currently the Director of Operations for Rhodes Educational.


Essay & Application Specialist

Ross brings two decades of professional experience as a writer (fiction/nonfiction/personal narrative, screenwriting, journalism) into each college essay tutoring session. An experienced educator with an MFA in creative writing, Ross understands that every student writes differently. He is skilled at helping his students elevate their writing to compelling and original personal narratives that express who they are in their own words. Ross’ students do more than produce a piece of writing to attach to an application; they achieve the demanding writing standards that will be expected of them at the university level. Ross’ students have gained admission to universities including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Caltech. He particularly enjoys working with creative and artistic students. Ross also helps students with borderline grades not only gain admittance to a four-year college but also have options to choose from. Whatever kind of student your child is, Ross is excited to help them meet their goals!


Essay & Application Specialist

Kala earned a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), holds an MMus degree in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory, and is a certified Spanish-to-English translator. Fluent in Spanish and highly proficient in German and French, Kala’s diverse cultural, educational, and professional experiences have required her to communicate in many different languages, tones, and media. She loves working with students to uncover the stories deep within them and help them discover their own unique voice – especially when that voice lands them an early decision acceptance! Kala is a highly accomplished application specialist with Rhodes Educational whose students have been accepted to colleges such as Barnard, Tulane, and the UCs.


Art Portfolio & Art School Application Specialist

Chana is a Fine Artist, Graphic Designer, Trainer, Public Speaker, and Art Portfolio Specialist. Chana offers students the creative consulting, technical skills, and direction needed in order to obtain admission to Art programs. She has been teaching at the university level for over 30 years in the fields of Fine Art and Digital Imaging at top art schools including UCLA, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Annenberg School of Journalism, Otis College, and the Parsons School of Design. She has also consulted on incoming fine art portfolios and applications. Chana is also an Adobe Certified Expert/Instructor. You can see her exhibiting art at


Film, Television, Theater Portfolio & Application Specialist

Rachel is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, where she studied Film and Media Studies and Political Science. As a filmmaker and producer, she has extensive experience on set producing her own work, as well as in production company offices, evaluating scripts and stories for large studios and production companies. Rachel has produced several short films and a feature documentary. As a result of her work experience in theater, film, documentaries, and reality television, Rachel knows how to find and evaluate a good story or script - and how to tell it. Rachel is happy to be working with film applicants to define their film school portfolios.  In addition, Rachel has extensive audition experience and loves helping drama applicants find the right monologue and prepare for their BFA drama auditions.