About Us


Cigus Vanni
Wynnewood, PA
“I know stuff”

June 1, 2019 — doesn’t just the sound of “June 1” make you smile?  School is winding down and we are eager to embrace summer <sigh>

June 1 also means that I am no longer accepting appointments for the Class of 2020 (present juniors or if you prefer, rising seniors).  I am a one-person show and I have reached the limit by which I can reasonably and professionally care for the students with whom I am already engaged.  I will work with present sophomores (i.e., rising juniors) who are ready to consider college search and selection, but will defer these students and their families toward the end of the summer

What do I do this summer?  I do not take vacation time between today and Labor Day so that I can assist students in applying to college.  I will work with my rising seniors to help them complete applications; I will review and provide feedback on essays; and I will scour the world for updated information on colleges so I can pass this along to the people with whom I work.  I will update the lists that I have created and will attend an occasional college conference and/or webinar (professional development is critical–I can never know too much)

I can provide you with a list of area college consultants to help you (or your student) with college search and selection–please feel free to email me.  I’m sorry that I cannot accept new students

“Cigus the College Fairy” is Cigus Vanni, a man with forty-two years of experience in college search and selection.  Details can be found on Cigus’s resume posted below–but for openers, here are some things to know about your College Fairy:

—  Cigus was born in north Jersey but escaped after high school;

— Cigus attended Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr College for his formal education (yes, Bryn Mawr–Cigus is a male type individual and Bryn Mawr’s grad school has always been co-ed);

— Cigus was the first member of his family to attend college, to attend graduate school and to eat Swedish fish;

— Cigus refuses to add to the stress of college search and selection–when one has 2464 four-year colleges and universities in the US alone from which to choose, one can find myriad possibilities to enrich and inspire (and Cigus knows that myriad is an adjective, not a noun);

—  Cigus serves as a College Fairy on a part-time but alert and aware basis.  He’s not looking for a full time slate and so it’s possible that there may be some wait time–or possibly no room–for your request.  If the latter Cigus will certainly offer suggestions for other college consultants;

—  Cigus will NOT “get (your) kid into Harvard,” nor will he be part of any process that violates the ethics and standards laid out in the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Statement of Principles and Good Practice (http://www.nacacnet.org/about/Governance/Policies/Documents/SPGP_9_2013.pdf).  Cigus will also refuse to be put on retainer or be available 24/7 to respond to questions/concerns about college admission–nothing in this process is that critical.  If you are looking for someone to assume full responsibility for this process, please do not hire Cigus–he is a collaborator and an empowerer (say that fast five times), working together with students and families and teaching them to control their emotions and this process;

— Cigus enjoys spending time with young people but he makes them pay (literally) for this.  Cigus does not want his fees paid by parents/guardians but rather by the students he serves.  You can find his fee schedule and slate of services on the Fee Schedules page on this website;

—  Cigus welcomes and accepts students and families regardless of sex, religion, ethnic/national origin, race, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status.  DACA students (“Dreamers”) will never be charged any fees for any services Cigus provides.  Gender fluid and transgendered students, Cigus could care less about what your front looks like–he will always have your back;

—  and really–who cares if Cigus knows anything about college admissions?  He was a five-time winner and undefeated champion on the quiz show Jeopardy! in 1988 and returned for the 1989 Tournament of Champions for this program.  That alone makes him way cool



 Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, NJ, 1964-68 – high school diploma

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, 1968-72 – BA, English Literature BA, Psychology

Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, 1974-79 – certification, school psychology
graduate course work in Education and Child Development

Villanova University, Villanova, PA, summer 1975 –  two graduate courses

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney, PA, spring 1978 – one graduate course

The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, summer 2002 – one graduate course


Cigus The College Fairy LLC, Wynnewood, PA — academic advising and college search/selection assistance; present workshops on college admissions in local libraries (since 1999); offer presentations to professional associations on various aspects of college admissions, 2016–present

Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA — volunteer adjunct counselor at various sites of school; provide presentations on college admissions; serve as individual counselor for students and families on college search and selection, spring 2016–present

Cherry Hill High School West, Cherry Hill, NJ—school counselor, Sept 2002-June 2016;                       lead counselor, 2002-03; Coordinator, Advanced Placement program, 2002-2012;                       individual and group counseling; college and career advising of students

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ—residential director, pre-college program for high                   school students; director, college admissions seminars, June-July 2008

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA—residential director, Pre-College Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program, July 2007

Academic Study Associates, White Plains, NY—program director for two-week college admissions preparatory series at Tufts University, Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley, summers, 2005-2007

Howell High School, Farmingdale, NJ—school counselor, September 2001-June 2002; individual and group counseling, college and career advising for caseload of 387 students; Coordinator, Advanced Placement program; member, Superintendent’s Advisory Council

Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, Pennsauken, NJ – Director, Student Personnel Services. July 1996-June 2001; individual and group counseling, college advising, career guidance; Coordinator, Advanced Placement Program; supervisor of standardized testing; primary architect and initial chairperson, Camden County Regional College Fair, 1998-2001

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA – various and diverse roles: 1976-78, dormitory counselor; 1978-81, instructor, Psychology/Education; 1981-88, Assistant Dean of the College, liaison to Admissions Office; 1991-96, admissions counselor–Saturday office manager, covered local region

Camden County Educational Services Commission, Clementon, NJ – Child Study Team 1976-88, part time school psychologist for non-public school services – consultant and evaluator for eleven secondary and elementary schools; 1988-91, full time Director of Child Study Team for above cluster

Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Bryn Mawr, PA – Counselor, 1991-93; general  counselor for school N-12, college advisor to upper school; teacher, AP Psychology and Psychology, 1992-1993

Norristown Public School District, Norristown, PA; Camden City Public School District, Camden, NJ; Philadelphia Public School District, Philadelphia, PAper diem school psychologist, 1980-1993, part-time

Child Abuse Prevention Effort, Philadelphia, PA – caseworker and volunteer, speaking engagements and outreach, 1976-1980

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA –volunteer reproductive health counselor, 1980-84

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Newark, NJ – teacher of Social Studies; four sections grade nine, one section grade ten, 1973-74

Certified in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in school psychology;

Certified in New Jersey in student personnel services


National Association for College Admission Counseling: member since 1984; (elected) Assembly Delegate, 2003-06; (appointed) Member, Professional Development Committee, 2007-2010; (appointed) Member, Ad Hoc Steering Committee for Admissions Practices, 2016-2018

New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling: member since 1996; (elected) Executive Board Member, 1999-2006; (appointed) Chair, By-Laws Committee, 2005-2009; (appointed) Co-Chair, Atlantic City National College Fair, 2007-present; (appointed) Interim Co-Chair, New Jersey Meadowlands National College Fair, 2016-2018

Associate Member, Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling, 2008-present