Academic Advising
"We provide you with THE KEY to college admissions."

"We must have the courage to be who we are. If we are afraid to be different from the world, how can we make a difference in the world?"
____________________________– Rev. John Jenkins

About Us

THE KEY provides a comprehensive, unique and individualized process to navigating high school academics and tackling the complicated college admissions process. We provide you with the key ingredients to creating a winning application.

We differentiate ourselves by helping students find their true passions, which in turn will enable them to be remarkable college candidates and make their applications stand out from the competition. Our goal is to help students select universities that meet their unique educational, personal and social needs.

Every year, an amazing group of high school students works with THE KEY to successfully navigate the college admissions year from start to finish. By working closely one on one with clients, THE KEY is able to provide extremely personalized service in a class of its own.

Services Offered

Freshman Year Planning Meeting (1)
• Discuss student's academic and personal goals
• Review academic history
• Assist with high school course selection and planning
• Develop an extracurricular and community service plan
• Make suggestions for summer programs and enrichment
• Address any parent or student questions or concerns

Sophomore Year Planning Meetings (2)
• Review academic history
• Develop a 3 year action plan
• Discuss PSAT/ACT/SAT
• Create a college entrance exam timeline
• Review extracurricular and community service plan
• Recruitment discussion
• Make suggestions for summer programs and enrichment
• Address any parent or student questions or concerns

Junior Year Planning Meetings (3)
• Review academic history
• Review test scores/grades
• Discuss PSAT/ACT/SAT
• Discuss extracurriculars and other activities
• Discuss student's likes, dislikes and and needs for colleges
• Discuss factors in choosing a college
• Discuss college options and visits
• Discuss creating a college list
• Discuss summer enrichment and programs
• Discuss athletic recruitment (if necessary) and NCAA rules and regulations
• Assist with activities and spreadsheet preparation
• Address any parent or student questions or concerns

Senior Year Planning Meetings
• A custom designed and personalized 10 month program that covers the A-Z of college admissions.

Founder Profile

Eva Scalzo

Eva Scalzo's passion for helping high school students achieve their academic goals stems from her experience over the past twenty-four years in the education field. She makes it a point to visit and assess colleges, meet with college admissions personel, and attend college advising conferences several times a year to best counsel her clients. After graduating from Yale University cum laude, Eva's entrepreneurial spirit drove her to establish her own academic tutoring company in Orange County, California.

Concurrently, Eva was selected to interview potential Yale candidates in Southern California as a member of Yale's Alumni Schools Committee (ASC) and asked to represent the college at numerous annual events.


She was voted "Most Outstanding Member" of Yale's ASC several times. In addition, she founded College Interview Boot Camp™, an essential new program for college interview prep.

Eva's successes span the realms of sports and entertainment as well. As a club swimmer, she captained her CIF Championship team at Mater Dei H.S., led her NCAA Division 1 Yale University team to Ivy League titles and captained the U.S. National Long Distance Swim Team. Eva also had a highly successful television career which included t.v. shows, national commercials, and extensive video, print ad and magazine coverage.

As founder of THE KEY, Eva has shifted her focus to helping students navigate the complicated field of college admissions. THE KEY is a unique and comprehensive academic advising company driven to helping students discover their true passions and achieve both their academic and college goals. By focusing on an extremely select group of candidates, Eva is able to provide unparalleled service and results in her field. Eva is also a member of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC).

College Acceptances
99% of students of The KEY are admitted to one of their top college choices annually.

Client College Acceptance List

All Cal State Campuses
All UC Campuses
Boise State
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Chapman University
Colorado State
College of Charleston
College of William and Mary
Du Paul
Florida State
George Washington University
Georgia Tech

Idaho State
Loyola University
Montana State
Northern AZ University
Ohio State
Oregon State
Pacific Lutheran
Penn State
Purdue University

University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Chicago
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Georgia
University of Hawaii
University of Illinois
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Mississippi
University of Montana
University of North Carolina
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of South Carolina
University of Tennessee
University of Texas, Austin
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin
Wellesley College
Western Michigan

The following article appeared in national media


After a summer that seemed all too short, it’s back-to-school time yet again for the kids of Orange County, which means it’s time for the adults to have fun! September is one of those months with something for everyone, whether it’s the start of Monday Night Football, the leaves turning colors or my son’s fourth birthday. For Riviera, September means fun with fashion and home design! We always love opening our readers’ minds to new styles through our fashion spreads, and we have our creative and editorial teams to thank for showing us what’s hot this fall! I personally love asking my friends like Stevan Hill at Canali, David Heil from David August, John Braeger at Garys and Austin Taylor’s Dave Welsh what color tie I should be wearing with which suit for the upcoming seasons. And for those who don’t like to shop for themselves, or prefer to get an expert opinion, O.C. has multitudes of options. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten Prosser, who styles our locals at her On Que Style boutique in Corona del Mar, and Kathryn Moore and Elizabeth Harris of Style 20/20 in Newport Beach. Th ese three fashionistas have devoted their lives and careers to making the men and women of Orange County look like a million bucks!

With Riviera’s eighth annual anniversary party right around the corner, my sage advice is to connect with my friends in stylish places for help choosing your wardrobe for the see-and-be-seen night.

And moving from high fashion into surf fashion, with the Liquid Nation Ball coming up quickly, SoCal companies such as Quiksilver, ...Lost, Billabong, Roxy, Rip Curl, Hurley, Etnies and L*Space are all looking for ways to make their ever-popular brands stand out. We wanted to help them fi nd a unique concept, so we rolled up our sleeves and found our answer: the Casa Surf Project. Next month we break ground on our fi rst-ever remodel series that will meld surf style and home design. Our good friends and partners at Casa Resorts have off ered 10 of their most coveted rooms at the Casa del Camino hotel in which experts will incorporate the surf industry legacy with high-end home design. Stay tuned for more details!


Some of us aren’t able to attend wild parties, shop for fancy clothes or even remodel the kitchen—we simply have to continue working and get back into carpool mode. Th e babies that were born the year I graduated from college are now applying to colleges at this very moment. How scary! And that race is hot. A new friend of mine, top Ivy league University alum Eva Scalzo, is a must when it comes to getting your almost- graduate a leg up on the competition. She founded collegeinterviewbootcamp.com and her plan is unbeatable: Eva preps high schoolers with interview skills, etiquette and real practice questions. Who better to give advice than an Ivy Leaguer herself?

See, O.C. really has it all: the private wardrobe stylist; the surf-inspired, luxe interior designer for your home makeover; and even an expert to get your child into the best colleges. I couldn’t ask for anything more! cgialanella@modernluxury.com

Gialanella, Chris, Riviera Magazine.




With the KEY Academics and Eva’s help, I was able to get into my dream school. After meeting with various college counselors, Eva truly stood out as someone who was able to prepare her clients to be admitted to top colleges. She is consistently available to answer questions and edit essays through text. This availability was extremely helpful in getting my applications done on time and thoroughly. I especially appreciated her being extremely honest and straight forward with all matters. I truly would not have got into so many top universities if it were not for her.

— John Shepherd

I just want to thank you for Carly and I and say that we appreciate your encouragement, your thoughtfulness your caring and being available at anytime day or night to help her out. Both of us will always recommend you as a college counselor as both Carly and Griffin had a great experience with you. Thank you for supporting Carly not only in her academic achievements but in her dance and on her Instagram. You will always have a place in our heart!

— Kathy (parent of a senior)

Thank you again for helping me this year in order to reach this next stage of my life, so grateful for your help!❤

— Charlotte Turner

Eva, From the moment you came into my life eight (crazy!) years ago, I knew you would forever impact me for the better. I had no way of knowing, however, that you would mean so much to me. Thank you for taking on a role in my life that had a lot more to do with counseling me as a person than just guiding me through applications.

— Konner Speth

I just wanted to thank you for being such an exceptional help. You truly did help me convey my ideas in such an eloquent way that I think will really make a difference. Again, thank you for the help!

— Griffin Saltron

Eva's guidance was absolutely instrumental in my college application process. My first email to her literally included the phrase "in all honesty, I'm not sure where to begin" - three months later, I had a portfolio of schools that fit my interests, a sharp personal essay that had gone through countless rounds of edits, and a trusted adviser in Eva Scalzo. Two months after working with Eva, I was awarded a full scholarship to my top choice university and I have no doubt her counselling helped make that possible! I would highly recommend Eva's work for any student looking to illuminate a path to an exciting academic future.

— Zack Fowler

Custom College Plan Log In


For more information...
Call: (714) 745-9487, or click here to send an email.

Find me on ...