About College Admissions Strategies

Empowering students for college admissions success.
Kelly Barnhardt, MS, CPC, ELI-MP;  Owner/President
Kelly Barnhardt, MS, CPC, ELI-MP; Owner/President

Kelly is the owner of College Admissions Strategies. She has a certificate in college counseling with distinction from UCLA (Extension) and is a certified life coach (CPC) through the iPEC training institute with a designation as an Energy Leadership Index – Master Practitioner. She is an associate member of IECA and a member of NCAG and SACAC.

As a college counselor, she has worked with teens and their parents from 8th grade to senior year to help them achieve their college goals. “Each student’s journey to college is as unique as they are. This is an individualized program with one-on-one help the whole way. I help them see their future possibilities and figure out what is the best college fit for them. The process doesn’t have to be complicated when you have the right tools and roadmap to help you.” Kelly currently has one son in college and another in high school, so she understands the position everyone is in from both a personal and professional standpoint. Her unique approach has not only helped her clients with their college dreams but also allowed her to help them with the transition to college, which includes increasing their confidence and motivation, improving time-management skills and decision-making skills, and overcoming stress and anxiety.

Kelly’s past work and leadership positions helped her achieve the following honors and awards: The Charlotte Ledger’s “40 Over 40” winner in 2024, Charlotte Business Journal (CBJ) “40 Under 40” honoree in 2015, Union County Weekly Top 100 Business People of 2016, CBJ Top 50 Mentor for National Bizwomen Mentoring Event 2016-2018 & 2022; Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly Top 50 Women Leaders 2017-2019, The Mecklenburg Times Top 50 Most Influential Women of Charlotte 2017, ATHENA Charlotte Leadership Honoree for Service 2018, Top 25 Female Leaders of Matthews 2018, Mecklenburg Times 2019 Icons and Phenoms Honoree of Charlotte; and Charlotte Media Group’s “Best of Weeklies” Best College Preparation Services 2023, 2022, 2021 & 2020.

She is a passionate advocate of community service and currently sits on the Boards of two nonprofit organizations: Turning Point and the Union County Education Foundation. Her past board positions include the Union County Chamber of Commerce and RedBrick Partnership. She has sat on the Human Services Council of Matthews, the Economic Development Advisory Boards of Matthews and Indian Trail, and the Quad Alliance of South Charlotte. She has also been involved in Rotary International.

Originally from upstate New York, she has lived in Charlotte for over 25+ years with her husband and two sons. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and she completed her Master’s Degree in Management from Louisiana State University.

Contact Information:
Phone: 704-516-9907 / Email: kelly@collegeadmissionsstrategies.com
Client Calendar (existing clients only) Online Booking:  Click Here

*New inquiries/consultations can be booked HERE