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Writing College Application Essays

The Secret To Writing Any Essay

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Every college admissions consultant – professional and otherwise – seems to have a process for getting through college application essays. These processes typically contain a combination of well-worn advice and various steps that include brainstorming (and writing lists or random ideas), writing a shitty draft (I’m not sure if… Continue reading The Secret To Writing Any Essay

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New Service: $300 Common App Personal Statement Review

I am now offering reviews of the Common Application Personal Statement for students who would like actionable, detailed feedback on their CAPS. My reviews cover syntax, thematic and narrative consistency/cohesion, grammar, spelling, academic sophistication, redundancy analysis, word choice and whatever else I see fit. In addition to in-text/sidebar comments, I will also provide separate editorial… Continue reading New Service: $300 Common App Personal Statement Review

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Consulting and Price Changes

Effective immediately, I will no longer be doing free consultations. I planned to eventually phase this out, but after a few incidents with clients who requested my services, spent time with me on a free call, agreed to work with me, and then ghosted me, I have decided to implement pricing on any consultation that… Continue reading Consulting and Price Changes


The Problem With The Common Application’s 7th Prompt

If you've followed me on the r/ApplyingToCollege subreddit or its Discord server, then you're probably familiar with my lengthy rants advising college applicants to avoid prompt 7 when they write their Common Application Personal Statement (CAPS). Despite my exhortations and pleas, I still receive messages containing either essays or abstract ideas intended for this prompt.… Continue reading The Problem With The Common Application’s 7th Prompt

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Writing College Application Essays

Why Are College Application Essays So Badly Written?

There are a few harsh truths that no one wants to face about college application essays, writing in general, and the state of this aspect of the humanities in K-12 education as it relates to higher education. Since no one seems to be addressing them, I'm going to say the quiet part out loud, but I'm going to try not to re-litigate the case for literature, philosophy, and the humanities as they relate to culture.

Common Application Personal Statement, Writing College Application Essays

How To Write The Personal Growth Essay (Common App Prompt 5)

Thinking about using the Common Application Personal Statement’s (CAPS) “personal growth” prompt for your college application? Good. It’s a strong prompt and one of the best ways to demonstrate your maturity, growth, and perspective. One of the problems that students encounter in this essay – and in most personal essays – is not knowing how… Continue reading How To Write The Personal Growth Essay (Common App Prompt 5)

Writing College Application Essays

How Important Are College Application Essays?

So you're wondering how important college applications actually are. Students that intend to apply to competitive colleges and universities spend most of their high school years in something of a vacuum, pursuing extracurricular activities (ECs), volunteering, preparing for standardized tests, collecting letters of recommendation, and taking AP classes to demonstrate their academic ability and discipline as well as their "fit" for the schools they're targeting.

Writing College Application Essays

Don’t Let These Clichés Kill Your Essays

Looking for some tips to make your college application essay stand out? Avoid falling into the trap of using clichés and overused language that can make your essay – and you – sound uninspired and unoriginal. Every year, students unwittingly rely on the same tired phrases and ideas, which can hurt their chances of being… Continue reading Don’t Let These Clichés Kill Your Essays

Common Application Personal Statement

Choosing a Common Application Personal Statement Topic And Prompt

Are you struggling to come up with writing topics? You're not alone. Many students feel that their experiences are not as exciting as those they read about online, from peers, or in the news. This is particularly true when applying to college, where certain hardships and obstacles seem to be more valued than others.