About Cardinal Education

Cardinal Education provides educational consulting services and personalized, expert tutoring to augment your child's education. We exclusively focus onindividualized goals, needs, and abilities, taking a holistic approach to develop young adults to be successful in their academic and extracurricular pursuits. From early academic planning to college admissions, Cardinal Education is firmly committed to the very best for you and your child.

Mission Statement

At Cardinal Education, we seek to resolve the root causes of academic problems by working with both the family and the student to develop a personalized approach to education. This is an eminently more powerful and useful method than any other, one that addresses common difficulties, such as learning disabilities and inefficient study habits. Whether through standardized test preparation or motivational support, it is our mission to see students become the successful individuals they can be.

Our Tutors

Our dedicated, passionate tutors are undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni of top-tier universities. Every team member possesses a personal record of academic and extra-curricular achievement, a rarity in education. Our tutors are experts in the subjects they teach, and act as mentors who have the ability to inspire and motivate learning. Each tutor undergoes our rigorous application process to ensure they are as excellent as their résumés and applications reflect. Furthermore, Cardinal Education has the most comprehensive understanding of the California public and private school systems, the UC admissions process, and how the two are linked. With sincere compassion and an emphatic desire to teach, our tutors are excited to begin working with your child today.



Cardinal Education Scholars (CES) is a multiyear, cohort-based program that intervenes in the academic paths of Bay Area middle-school students who, though committed to their studies, face an exceptional number of barriers to success as a result of their families’ modest financial resources and limited cultural and social capital. CES integrates individualized academic mentoring and community building to support and enrich the intellectual and personal development of small cohorts of students each year.

CES is a charitable program that was launched and is run by the Cardinal Education Foundation, a non-profit foundation founded by Allen Koh. Cardinal Education allows the CES program free use of Cardinal Education’s intellectual property, resource and teaching library, and office space. Its staff volunteer their time and expertise to promote the non-profit program’s success. Because of this open structure, CES students receive academic coaching and support of the same caliber as the elite services provided to Cardinal Education’s families.

Mission Statement

Cardinal Education Scholars offers elite academic consulting services to driven Bay Area middle-school students from lower socio-economic status and otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds.  By providing demanding and individualized academic skills coaching as well as one-on-one tutoring at no cost to students’ families, Cardinal Education Scholars substantively intervenes in the academic and personal trajectories of its students by lessening the salience of raced and classed achievement gaps in their lives.


The CES pilot program was launched in partnership with the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club (MPBGC) in the 2014-15 academic year. Each cohort is made up of 5 – 8 motivated, diligent, and positively-minded Scholars from supportive families. CES is structured around four regular activities: 1) once-weekly instructional group sessions, 2) Saturday homework sessions, 3) mandatory Friday study halls with parent supervisors, optional daily study halls to ensure access to academic support and mentoring, and 4) one-on-one academic coaching.

Selection of CES students and families is based on a number of criteria, but we are most interested in motivation, a past record of academic discipline and commitment, and demonstrated need. Currently, CES recruits from students at about one dozen schools, and as of the 2017-18 academic year, its student body is represented at eleven schools.

Affiliated Organizations

Cardinal Education Scholars has developed partnerships with the following organizations in order to promote its students’ success:

  • The Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
  • The Bay Area Youth Agency Consortium (BAYAC) Americorps
  • Daly City’s Garnet J. Robertson Intermediate School
  • San Francisco’s Our Lady of the Visitacion School
  • Daly City’s John F. Kennedy Elementary School, which advertises, nominates, and provides school records and recommendations for select fifth-grade students.
  • San Francisco’s School of the Epiphany
  • Daly City’s Fernando Rivera Middle School
  • Daly City’s Thomas R. Pollicita Middle School
  • The Magis Summer Program at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory High School in San Francisco

Initial Results

  • In the 2014-15 cohort, which is the first one, 86% of students were accepted to their first-choice high school. Some of the schools students were admitted to include:

    o   Archbishop Riordan High School
    o   Crystal Springs Uplands School
    o   Eastside College Preparatory School
    o   Head-Royce School
    o   Immaculate Conception Academy
    o   Junipero Serra High School
    o   Lick-Wilmerding High School
    o   Mercy High School (San Francisco)
    o   Ruth Asawa School of the Arts
    o   Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School
    o   Saint Ignatius
    o   The Bentley School
    o   The College Preparatory School

  • The 2014-15 cohort earned a total of over $1.4 million in merit- and need-based aid for their four years in high school.
  • In 2014-15, student GPAs organically increased an average of .41 from the time that they began the program to the end of the year without any explicit attention to school grades or homework.
  • In 2014-15, the average student reading level increased by two grade-levels
  • On the middle-school SSAT, a test for private school admissions, students in the 2014-15 cohort increased their scores by an average of 42% on verbal, 46% on reading, and 133% on quantitative reasoning over the course of their first academic year. By the time that they took the high school SSAT, they were competitive for some of the very best schools in the Bay Area.
  • 44% of 2014-15 cohort students were accepted to and received scholarships to attend Magis, a competitive summer program at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory High School in San Francisco, and 63% of 2015-16 cohort students were accepted to the program this year.
  • 100% of 2015-16 and 2014-15 students were accepted to external programs for the summer of 2016, and 100% of the students and their younger siblings participated in summer enrichment.


Los Gatos Observer – 12/06/2007

“Stanford found Allen Young Ji Koh, executive director of Cardinal Education in Palo Alto. Koh studied political science and sociology at Stanford University, and his influence clearly helps Stanford think big.”

The Stanford Daily – 10/07/2008

“[…] students do turn to large off-campus tutoring organizations such as Kaplan, Cardinal Education and Sylvan.”

Palo Alto Weekly – 10/31/2008

“Some college coaches, such as Allen Koh of Cardinal Education, emphasize the importance of packaging students’ essays properly. Koh’s educational consulting firm specializes in ’emphasizing strengths and mitigating weaknesses’ in application essays.”

Palo Alto Weekly – 10/31/2008

“[…] in less than four years, Cardinal Education has flourished throughout the Bay Area and even opened up an office in South Korea. It now employs up to 100 employees and part-time tutors, Koh said.”

” ‘Education is such a huge investment and parents want the best for their kids,’ Koh said. ‘I love my business because it’s more than just tutoring; I get to show children that they have more potential than they think they do.’ ”


We appreciate everyone who has supported the second edition of our test prep book. We have been receiving rave reviews, selling copies throughout the world, and ranking among the top 10 ISEE, SSAT, and HSPT test prep books on Amazon. While individual families have responded positively to our book, the professional community has resoundingly endorsed us. Individual tutors and test prep companies alike have been buying our book in droves; yesterday, a prominent tutoring company set a record for order size, requesting 159 books in a single shipment! Even our local competitors are jumping on the bandwagon. Thank you to all those who have made this possible.


In Home Tutoring in Silicon Valley & Bay Area

  • Atherton
  • Hillsborough
  • Los Altos
  • Los Altos Hills
  • Menlo Park
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • Portola Valley
  • Redwood City
  • Stanford
  • Sunnyvale
  • Woodside

Other California Locations

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco


  • Seoul, South Korea