The mission of College Sage is to help fuel student passions into rewarding high school experiences and best-fit college placements. 

Because it’s cool to go to your dream school.

Susan R. Leadem is Founder and President of The College Sage.  Susan discovered her passion for the college consulting business through a circuitous route of investment banking, volunteering in education, advising colleges and corporations, and parenting.

Susan’s career began as a financial analyst. Lured to London in 1994 to build a European financial institutions research business for Goldman Sachs, she became a Managing Director, the first female to earn that title outside of the United States. As a top industry analyst, her views were cited in periodicals, annual reports and broadcasts around the globe for nearly two decades.

After relocating to Charleston, Susan applied her analytical strengths to her passion for education.  She has served on the Finance Committee of the Charleston County School District Board, the CCSD Strategic Vision Team, the Charleston Educational Excellence Financing Corporation, the Academic Magnet Foundation with past roles on the boards of Charleston Day School, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, and The Charleston Concert Association.

Susan is actively involved in her own alma mater, Wake Forest University, where she served on the Calloway Board of Visitors and as advisor to the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship and currently serves on the College Board of Visitors .

When she isn’t busy helping students realize their college dreams, you can find Susan walking downtown with her husband, four children, and their golden retriever Lily.


Member of Southern Association for College Admission Counseling AND the cfa institute

Research is my passion

Today’s college investment requires serious research and analysis.

Finance is my background

BEWARE - financial aid can be a four letter word - DEBT.

Organization and efficiency are my strengths  

Knowledge is the piling up of facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.

Education is my every day sphere

I have been advising schools in Charleston and the Southeast for over a decade.

I’ve got kids; I get it

Your student can learn from following their dreams.

The goal is helping students excel in life 

The resume is the by-product, not the means.

My parents taught me right

I offer pro bono services to a student with financial need for every paying client.