comprehensive and creative college admissions counseling



about PortfolioPrep

PortfolioPrep is an innovative, full-service college admissions consulting company providing students (especially young artists and designers) with practical information and creative mentorship to help them develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to launch themselves as successful college students. An expert resource for both students and parents, PortfolioPrep offers a range of real-world services, including comprehensive college counseling, specialized art advisement for high school and college artists, summer program and career planning, and a calendar of focused workshops and seminars. Uniting a sophisticated network of educators, working artists, designers, and associated professionals, PortfolioPrep is committed to fostering academic and artistic development and success in college-bound students. 

about Lorraine Serra

When I founded PortfolioPrep in 2008, my goal was simple: to offer high school artists the college guidance service that I would have liked at their age. As an art director and educator, I believe that everyone needs a mentor – a knowledgeable ally who can give them relevant information at just the right time. That goes double for creative students facing decisions about colleges. I share my knowledge and advice with high school students, provide them with the nurturing artistic community they need, and make it all less daunting. To date, I’m proud to say that I have a 100% success rate with my students.

Like all matchmakers, I love fixing people up with the right solutions for them. Like all coaches, I enjoy bringing out the best in my students. And like all working artists, I know what it takes to walk the walk.

If you’re thinking of college or art school, I’d love to hear from you.

Lorraine Chiaro Serra
Founder and President, PortfolioPrep®

PortfolioPrep was founded in 2008 by Lorraine Serra, and offers college coaching for creative students, including those interested in pursuing visual arts, design, architecture, art history and criticism. She balances her passion for mentoring young people with a successful career as an award-winning art director (see her work here). She taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and lectured and presented workshops for the American Crafts Council as well as for numerous museums and colleges. She frequently reviews student portfolios for organizations including the National Scholastic Art Awards, Connecticut Art Directors Club, and FIT.


Lorraine earned a Certificate in College Counseling with Distinction from UCLA, an MA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art & Design, and a BS in Visual Arts from Purchase College. She is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the New England Association for College Admissions Counseling (NEACAC), the National Association of Colleges of Art & Design (NASAD), and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Lorraine provides pro bono counseling to underserved students, and received a 2010 Puffin Foundation Grant to bring PortfolioPrep’s resources to students in Connecticut and New York. She offers college guidance and mentorship to undergraduate, graduate and transfer students from the US and around the world.


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