top of page
JDeren Profile Pic_edited.jpg

Dr. Jenny Deren

I started Hilltop College Consulting to provide affordable, expert college admissions advice for high school students and their families. An experienced college counseling professional and former college classroom instructor, I have seen first-hand how competitive and stressful the application process can be. By meeting students where they are, I help them reduce anxiety, develop confidence, and find success. I define "success" not only in terms of college acceptances but also in terms of overall well-being and preparedness for life after high school. Finding schools that match students' personalities, needs, and future goals is crucial for ensuring that they'll thrive there


I hold a Bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and a Doctorate in English from Tufts University. I am an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a member of the Ohio Association for College Admissions Counseling (OACAC).


My Story

A native New Englander and now a resident of Northeast Ohio, I have 15 years’ experience working in and around higher education. Before starting Hilltop College Consulting, I advised high school students as a college counselor at a global education consulting company. I also served as an Application Reader for the Admissions Office at Williams College and taught college-level writing and literature courses at Tufts University, Providence College, and the College of the Holy Cross. 


As a classroom instructor, I enjoyed guiding my students as they identified, fine-tuned, and articulated their ideas in writing. But I loved serving as a mentor and adviser as they deepened their academic interests and prepared for future careers. My favorite conversations with students were not about literature or composition; they were about which courses to take, how to manage time and stress levels, and what opportunities were available outside of class. 


As an application reader, I evaluated hundreds of applications and contributed to committee discussions about which applicants should be admitted and why. In this role, I made two observations that have guided my approach to educational consulting ever since: first, applicants who understand the application itself – what the essay prompts are asking, how to answer them clearly and coherently, and how to organize a concise and impactful resume – have a distinct advantage over those who don’t. Second, I saw that the memorable applicants are the ones with a sense of identity and purpose. They know what they like (and don’t like), they know what they want out of their college experience, and as a result, they’re able to make a strong case for why they belong at the school they’re applying to.  


Since then, I have leveraged my teaching experience and my insight into the admissions process to coach high school students preparing for and applying to college. My clients have enrolled in large public universities, small liberal arts colleges, private research institutions, Ivy League schools, and STEM institutes. They study disciplines across the academic spectrum, including computer science, business, engineering, architecture, history, fashion design, media studies, biology and health sciences, and more. 


Above all, my goal for young people is that they leave high school with a plan for their future that ensures their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. I believe that life satisfaction – happiness and fulfillment alongside a reliable salary – is a crucial component of “success” in adulthood. At Hilltop, I offer personalized consulting services focused on building self-awareness and discovering purpose in academic and extracurricular pursuits; understanding the variety of pathways to success and what makes one school or option a better fit than another; and reducing anxiety in the college application process.   


When I am not coaching and learning from clients, I am a Den Leader in my children’s Cub Scout pack in Northeast Ohio, where I like to explore local parks, raise chickens for fun (and eggs), and read.

What makes Hilltop College Consulting stand out?



bottom of page