the big envelope : home page


Human beings are unique in their capacity for higher-level thought and imagination. Although it should be a basic right, quality education is a privilege. Since you or your child is planning to go to college, you are in a category occupied by less than one percent of the global population. As Peter Parker’s uncle wisely said in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Education endows individuals with tremendous power and it is the responsibility of those individuals to use that power to enhance the lives of the human family. Susanna Short has helped many students in Morris County to gain admission to hundreds of colleges. While some of her students have been accepted to Ivy League schools, she simply does not believe that there are only a handful of “good colleges” in the country. The best college is the one where you can take advantage of leadership opportunities, develop your intellect and character, and enjoy the privilege of education.

As far as SATs are concerned, Susanna has been quoted as saying that the test is “just a blip on the radar screen of life.” She is concerned about the pressure that faces high school students and she is committed to alleviating some of that pressure. Her instruction reinforces the reality that the SAT is nothing more than a test of how well you take the SAT at the same time as she motivates students to perform to the best of their abilities. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and Susanna is gratified by the opportunity to assist students in “beating” the test and raising their scores.

Who is Susanna?

At heart and in practice, Susanna is a teacher. As a young child, she often corralled her brothers and sisters in front of her homemade chalkboard and “played school.” Her father, a teacher himself, gave her empty lesson plan books and she filled them with pages of notes and ideas for classes.

Every good teacher is also a student at heart, always craving a new understanding or perspective. This is true of Susanna. She has always enjoyed school and excelled across the disciplines. Her learning extends beyond the classroom as well, and she has made the world her classroom through frequent travel and continuing education.

Susanna’s formal education began in Philadelphia at a Montessori school, where she responded to the student-directed method of learning. Her elementary school years were spent at three different schools, one public and two parochial. She attended Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, for high school. During her senior year, she was selected to participate in the Diocesan Scholars Program, which allowed her to take courses at Chestnut Hill College in addition to a full load of AP classes.

Susanna scored very well on her SATs and was accepted to a variety of colleges, including an Ivy League institution. She chose to matriculate at The University of Scranton, motivated by the words of the college’s president who offered the hope that Scranton students would “grow in wisdom and in grace.” Susanna received a full scholarship to The University of Scranton and participated in the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts honors program. In college, she served as the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, worked as a resident assistant (“RA”), directed the school’s Siblings’ Weekend program, served as the student representative to the justice committee, participated in a student-faculty mentorship and team teaching program, and initiated an evening program for young children at a local housing project. She also met her husband, Mike Short. Susanna graduated with the highest GPA in the College of Arts and Sciences, and was inducted as a member and officer of several honor societies.

During her summers in college, Susanna worked for a woman who ran an SAT prep program in the Philadelphia area. She also trained with a major test-prep company and tutored students for the SAT. After graduation, Susanna taught at a high school in Pennsylvania. Although Susanna was just a novice teacher, the reviews from administrators at the school lauded her for having the “aplomb of a veteran teacher.” She tutored several of her students for the SAT and also assisted them with the college admission process. A few of Susanna’s college friends had secured jobs in admissions offices at various colleges, and she found them to be invaluable resources for learning about the “ins and outs” of the process.

When Susanna and Mike Short decided to move to Morris County to be closer to family, Susanna decided to take a break from working in a school. She planned to study for an advanced degree and was exploring her options at area colleges. In the mean time, she tutored a few family friends in New Jersey who were preparing for the SAT. She also joined the New Jersey Association of College Admission Counselors (NJACAC) and had the time to research area high school profiles, admission trends, and test strategies. She developed her own methods for SAT test prep and, before she knew it, her business had grown in leaps and bounds simply by word of mouth. Although Susanna hopes to go back to school at some point, she very much enjoys the work that she does every day. Her services are booked months in advance, and the success of her students has been overwhelming.

**Update: Susanna and her husband welcomed a child into their family in January of 2012. For several years prior to that, Susanna had been working on a part-time basis following some health challenges. Since she had her son, she has continued to work only on a limited basis, but she remains active in professional organizations and is up-to-date on trends in the test prep and admissions industries. In 2014, Susanna began partnering with two area professionals and is pleased to present the dynamic "Check It Off" working seminar series.

Susanna’s favorites


Any one of the 11,083 songs on her iTunes, including (but not limited to) U2, Indigo Girls, CCR, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews Band, Bon Jovi, Jack Johnson, The Beatles, Guster, R.E.M., Janis Joplin…


The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Moloka’i by Alan Brennert, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


Isabel Allende, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Barbara Kingsolver, Maeve Binchy (beach reads!), John Updike, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gail Tsukiyama


Remember the Titans, Good Will Hunting, The Shawshank Redemption, A League of Their Own, Annie, Finding Nemo, Garden State, Dead Poets' Society, Anne of Green Gables


spending time at the shore, crafting, reading, clean eating, traveling, hiking, crossword puzzles, mommying

susanna short

Mendham, NJ

Sea Girt, NJ



LaurenSusanna, I just found out that I got the scholarship you helped me to apply for. I just want to let you know that you are such an important person in my life and you mean so much to me.

ChelseaSusanna, you were a great teacher and you also became a great friend. I know that you really cared about me and wanted me to do well.

read more >



Mark your calendar: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11 from 7 to 9 p.m.! Registered students will leave this 2-hour working seminar with a polished resume that can be used to fill out applications, ask teachers to write recommendation letters, meet with interviewers, and apply for scholarships.



see more >