Frosh startup aims to shift college admissions industry

Oct. 10, 2022, 11:31 p.m.

In their curated TikTok feeds, many high school students are now stumbling upon college advice videos, many from AdmitYogi.

A startup created by Stanford frosh Atman Jahagirdar ’26, Ananth Veluvali ’26, Soham Govande ’26 and Peter Alisky ’26, AdmitYogi posts everything from the “most overdone college essays” to information about scholarships. Founders told The Daily they hope to help everyone receive an acceptance to their dream college.

AdmitYogi was created this summer and continues to grow, despite concerns over the service’s affordability and accessibility.

AdmitYogi fulfills a small but growing niche within the industry of college admissions: the opportunity to view the applications of accepted students. Veluvali, who is the CEO, said they created the service to provide more authentic guidance on applications. He described the current college admissions process as “learning how to do math with a teacher just telling you what to do, but never showing you a practice problem or practice equation.”

College students working with AdmitYogi upload their college applications, with the option to participate anonymously. Some college students serve as mentors with whom customers can schedule one-on-one meetings for an added fee, which is determined by each individual mentor. College students who upload their profiles receive half of the profit from each student who views their profile, and those who mentor receive 90 percent of the profit. 

AdmitYogi charges between $5 and $15 for applicants to view a profile, depending on the individual plan. AdmitSee, another service that allows customers to view college application profiles, charges between $6 and $12 per profile.

The founders of AdmitYogi highlighted that their costs are relatively low compared to private admissions consultants, who can charge upwards of $1,000 to advise applicants.

“Top college consultants recognize that people with a lot of money are willing to pay a lot of money to get their kids into college,” said Alisky, who is the start-up’s marketing director. “With a service like ours, it enables anyone, with our low price point, to be able to access our materials.” 

College consulting services, like Bay Area Consulting located near Stanford, can range from $1,500 to $5,000 in annual fees. This typically includes consulting from independent college counselors who can guide students through standardized testing, creating an application and applying for financial aid and scholarships.

Despite its lower price point, some raised concerns that services like AdmitYogi remain inaccessible. Anthony Lising Antonio, an associate professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, studies equity issues in American higher education and college admissions.

“The selling point of AdmitYogi is that it is similar to a private college counselor at a fraction of the cost. It sounds like a wonderful democratization of high-status, specialized knowledge,” he wrote in a statement to The Daily. 

However, services like AdmitYogi are not typically sought out by low-income students, according to Antonio. “It’s not the low-income students who consider these services. It’s the middle and upper income, higher achieving students that do,” he wrote. 

Antonio continued that even with services which are “cheaply available,” or even free, information does not reach low-income or under-resourced students, nor does it make the college admissions process easier to navigate for them. 

Olivia Ledbury ’25, who is a staff member in the University’s first-generation low-income (FLI) mentorship program, echoed Antonio’s perspective. “I think the price is reasonable but it could still contribute to greater inequality,” she said. 

Ledbury said the representation of FLI students among applicants and college students participating in the program was likely limited. “Not only do you have to pay if you’re a FLI student, you also may not see many applications with your same demographic,” Ledbury said. 

AdmitYogi founders said they hoped to democratize information on college admissions beyond their paid services.  Their TikTok account, where they post explanatory videos and share some takeaways from their services, has over 40,000 followers. They use comedic strategies to teach viewers about college admissions, from admissions officer POVs to videos explaining common essay prompts.

According to Veluvali, AdmitYogi intends to expand its reach to not only undergraduate college admissions but internships and graduate school applicants as well. Govande also said they were exploring ways to incorporate information students received from viewing their admissions files.

A previous caption incorrectly identified Peter Alisky ’26 as a co-founder of AdmitYogi. The Daily regrets this error.

Mark Allen Cu ’26 is the Staff Development & Data Director for The Daily. He is currently studying Education and Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. Contact him at mallencu ‘at’

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