A native of Santa Barbara, Cassie Nichols earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Princeton University. At Princeton, she was an NCAA All-American and Academic All-American athlete, as well as captain of the Princeton women’s water polo team.
After graduating from Princeton, Cassie settled in New Haven, Connecticut and conducted educational research at Yale University. At Yale, Cassie researched leadership in the college environment and helped coordinate educational studies on college campuses throughout the country.
Cassie later accepted a faculty position at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, where she taught American and World Literature to high school juniors and seniors. It was at Choate that Cassie began teaching workshops on the college application essay.
Cassie returned to Santa Barbara to earn a Master of Arts degree in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara. While at UCSB, Cassie taught college freshman composition courses for UCSB’s Writing Program and conducted extensive research on the teaching of writing and literature. She also supervised and facilitated UCSB’s student teachers as they prepared their Masters of Education theses.
In 2010, Cassie founded College Specific in response to the need for guidance and reassurance on the college admissions process, and to help students create a clear and sustainable path to the college of their choice. In addition to providing individual guidance to families, Cassie publishes articles, hosts The College Specific Podcast, and conducts college admissions workshops and presentations. She is the author of the popular book, The College Essay Trap, which helps students avoid the most common pitfalls of the college application essay. She is also the co-founder of Collegica, a website that offers college admissions guidance and services to students and families worldwide.