About Us

We’re here to help students navigate the college search process.

Guidance. Research. Planning.

Rising Tide was founded in order to provide students with professional guidance, research and personalized college planning assistance at a pace students can comfortably handle.
We also introduce our clients to new possibilities. Families may not realize it, but in some cases a more affordable AND better fit college option might be a private university.
We believe that the best college lists are built when students take the time to explore their interests, preferences and needs to define the qualities they would want in their ideal college.

Liz Smith, Founder & Independent Educational Consultant

About our Founder

Originally from Chicago, Liz Smith and her family moved to Wilmington, NC 12 years ago so they could avoid shoveling snow and learn how to surf. Liz received her certificate in Independent Educational Consulting from the University of California at Irvine and is a graduate of the Independent Educational Consultants Association’s Summer Training Institute. Liz is also proud to represent the “Saints” (BA, St. Lawrence University, class of 1991) and “Maroons” (MPP, University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy, 1997).

Giving Back: Each year, Liz partners with the Matchlighters Scholarship as a volunteer counselor to provide pro-bono college application assistance to high-achieving, low-income students.

Liz visits between 20 and 30 colleges each year.

Check out our College Visits page to see where she’s been recently.