Colleges would like to know their applicants beyond grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. They would like to see the applicant’s personality and character as well as skills, and hence ask for personal essays. The application essay must tell a story about the student and show that the student will be a valuable addition to the college.
Why should you hire an essay consultant?
Most applicants will have similar GPAs and SAT scores. Most will have noteworthy achievements in sports, music, and extra-curricular activities. In such a scenario, what makes one applicant stand out from others with identical achievements is the essay component. Furthermore, while letters of recommendation and scores are not entirely in your control, you can tailor the essay to portray you in the most appealing light. A compelling essay is one that will keep the admissions officer reading till the end, and convince the admissions committee that the applicant would be a strong addition to the institution.
Honestly: if you are amongst the best in the world in your field, an average essay will not hurt your chances of admission. But if your application lands in a large pool of similarly-qualified applicants, a strong essay will significantly improve your chances of standing out from the crowd. In today’s ultra-competitive admissions scenario, excellent grades and (near) perfect SAT/ACT scores are necessary but not sufficient conditions for admission to the top tier of universities. (Check out this article in The Atlantic if you want to read more about this topic.) It’s the extra-curricular activities, strong letters of recommendation, and, most importantly, memorable essays that distinguish the student from equally high-performing peers.
Good writing appears deceptively effortless, but it's not easy. The personal essay in particular requires a level of self-reflection and audience awareness that can be incredibly challenging, especially to a high-school student unused to this sort of writing.
Why work with me?
I’m a successful editor as well as a widely-published writer whose work appears in national magazines and newspapers across North America. My essays have appeared in publications such as The Smithsonian Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and more, as well as in Readings For Today, an essay anthology used as a college text. I thus understand the process of essay writing as well as the product--the essay--at a deep level.
I have over 10 years of experience working with students and authors to edit their writing to maximize their success. My education and work experience allows me to bring to the college essay a unique skill set--I approach it in terms of both crafting a well-written story as well as a rigorous assessment of the appeal of the essay to the admissions officer.
I will gently guide you through the process of understanding what universities are looking for, and help you brainstorm for ideas, and work with you through as many drafts as it takes to create a truly special essay. Please see the testimonials section to learn more about how I work with students.
Please note that I do not write (any part of) the essay for the applicants, under any circumstances. We work together to polish your idea and perfect your writing.
When should you start working on your essays?
Early, but not too early! Good writing needs time to marinate, but it also needs to sound fresh and urgent. There is no "best" timing, as the process is driven by the needs and personality of the particular student, but in general: students should begin thinking about ideas and topics at least during the summer break before senior year (Grade 12). Many of my students start working on the essays in their junior year, and finish the main Common App essay in the summer. You will have a lot to do in the fall of senior year, so try and finish the main essay before school starts.
Please see the services and rates section for further details about the services I provide and the costs for each.