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About Us

Ivy League Potential was founded by Sonia Lal, M. Ed., a former Harvard interviewer. Since 1997, Sonia has been in the field of education, trai​ning, and human development. She was trained in college admissions by the admissions deans of Ivy League schools and top universities (including Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Stanford, and Northwestern) and brings that unique perspective and experience to her work. ​

Sonia works with 8th to 12th grade students throughout the nation, helping them develop high school action plans and college admissions strategies for their top choice colleges. In addition to personal college coaching with high school students, she conducts workshops at high schools, middle schools, PTA’s, gifted parent association meetings, and corporations.

Sonia spends many hours a week analyzing college applications, admissions decisions, and trends in higher education. She brings a unique holistic approach in her work with high schools students, helping them learn about themselves and their life's journey during the college application process. She teaches her students mindfulness and helps them awaken to their own genius and create a meaningful life in which they live up to their fullest potential.

Sonia has served on the Illinois Math and Science Academy Admissions committee, evaluated IMSA student research projects, and was invited to be a judge at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Her expertise on essay writing was featured in AdmitSee's ebook "99 Successful Admission Essay Excerpts."

Previously, Sonia was a teacher at Singing Winds Waldorf School, a private school in Oak Park, Illinois. As faculty chair and a member of the board of trustees, she was involved in the admissions process for new students. She has also taught at a Montessori school and various community colleges.

Sonia spends significant time serving nonprofit organizations and has done pro bono college coaching work for The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago and the AAUW. Ms. Lal was a speaker at the AAUW Dare to Dream education conference for middle-school Latino girls and their mothers in 2012 and 2013.

She is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the National Association for Gifted Children.

Sonia graduated from Harvard University cum laude with a B.A. in Social Anthropology (Cross-Cultural Studies). She also completed coursework at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard’s public policy and public administration school. She has a masters degree in education and is certified as a Waldorf grades teacher and Strategic Intervention Coach.