Not sure how to approach the common app essay or your supplemental essays?

The college essay (a.k.a personal statement) must be introspective, personal, and emotional.

This type of writing is rarely taught in typical high school English classes.

As a result, many students struggle with how to start their essays or end up wondering whether they’re on the right track or not.

But that’s okay! With proper guidance, any student can craft a powerful story.

Our co-founders, Kevin and Greg, have spent the last 15+ years helping students achieve admission into their top choices, including all of the top colleges.

They’ve taken their best techniques and created a structured methodology to guide you through the creative storytelling process.

How Does It Work?

  1. Free Consultation – We learn more about your child
  2. A Perfect Tutor Match – Our team thoughtfully matches you with an amazing College Essay Advisor
  3. Progress Tracking – Stay in the loop with detailed progress reports after every session

Available Online or In-Person

  • Online – Over the past decade, we’ve successfully helped students all over the world using Zoom, virtual whiteboards, and other technologies.
  • In-Person – Locally in the Princeton, NJ area

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

  • Experience You Can Trust – Near-perfect ratings, 50,000+ hrs of tutoring experience, and 500+ happy reviews
  • Not completely satisfied with a session? Let us know, and we’ll make it right or refund the unused sessions.


# of qualities that all successful college essays must have



“He just read us the Sequioa essay and it’s awesome.”

A.S., Parent of 12th Grader


What makes a great college essay?

We have a strong understanding of how colleges evaluate your essay.

Our experience is based on:

  • “Inside” knowledge from friends and colleagues who were former admissions officers at the most selective colleges
  • In-depth analysis of hundreds of the best college essays (which are sourced from our own Ivy League tutors and not available anywhere else)
  • Tons of research & many years of successfully working with students

At the end of the day, the personal statement is all about… telling an engaging story that expresses your values and personal growth.

So how do you actually do all of this?

Our approach

If you don’t have a strong foundation, it doesn’t matter how beautifully written your essay is…

While the essay is very much a creative exercise, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a structure or certain principles you should follow:

Step 1: Brainstorming

  • Understand 7 qualities of a successful college essay
  • Multi-step brainstorming process
  • Work through 6 tips for choosing a winning topic

Step 2: Outlining

  • 5 ways to structure your college essay & identifying the best one for you
  • Outlining best practices

Step 3: Drafting & Revising

  • Multiple revisions and comprehensive edits
  • Enhance with “advanced” storytelling techniques and ensure a compelling intro/conclusion
  • Polish for style, grammar, and mechanics

Yale, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon

“College decisions finally came. Alan has been admitted by Yale, Cornell and Carnegie Mellon…. Thank you so much for your help through this difficult process! We really appreciate it!”

J.X., Parent of 12th Grader


Who will you be working with?

Work with storytelling experts who are highly skilled at helping students uncover their best essay.

The majority of our essay consultants are Ivy League graduates and are EXCEPTIONAL writers.

They are:

  • Hollywood screenwriters, playwrights, and authors
  • MFAs in Creative Writing and PhDs in English
  • College professors and English teachers

HOWEVER… we are fully aware that it takes more than just a strong writer to craft a great college essay.

Not only have our consultants successfully achieved admissions to top colleges themselves, but they also truly understand what colleges are looking for and are well-versed in our proprietary methodology.

Furthermore, they have the unique ability to connect with students and make them comfortable. This is a critical factor during the brainstorming and introspection phases.

7 qualities of successful college essays

Introspective & Reflective

The most successful essays are highly introspective, full of reflections of what you’ve learned, how you view the world, and who you are.

Not used to writing about yourself? Don’t worry. Most students aren’t.

Descriptive & Engaging

Superficial descriptions in your essay will make your essay forgettable.

Incorporate imagery, emotions, perspectives, or insights to bring your reader into your story.


Be honest with yourself. Be vulnerable. Put yourself out there.

You’ll have a richer set of experiences to draw from during the brainstorming process. As a result, your essay will have more depth and be more engaging.

Unconventional & Distinct

What is unique about your essay?

If the reader can guess the rest of your essay after reading the first paragraph, you’ll want to go back to the drawing table.

Full of a Student’s Voice

Your grades, GPA, test scores, and extracurricular achievements are just numbers and facts on a page.

The college essay, on the other hand, is a chance to showcase your personality and unique way of expressing yourself.


Don’t forget that admissions officers are also evaluating whether or not you can write at the college level.

There are different ways to improve your writing, but at the very least, make sure there are no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.


A college essay, above all, adds meaningful value to the rest of your application.

When evaluating your draft, ask yourself whether your essay successfully showcases your voice, sheds light on your unique perspectives, and honestly conveys who you are.

How is your essay performing in these areas?


Thank You Thank You Thank You

“I GOT INTO USC!!! I don’t think I’ve ever cried from happiness so much in my life. I’m really going to Los Angeles! It feels surreal saying that.

I just want to say my deepest thanks to you. You were my mentor and my one and only helper during my college applications and I really don’t think I could’ve made it without you. I am truly so grateful for all the help you gave me. I’m not sure how to put into writing how much I appreciate everything you did to help me.

Thank you for helping me along my journey and I’m so happy I even made a new friend while I applied everywhere 🙂 I’ll stop writing now because I think I’m getting a little too existential and my keyboard is starting to get wet. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!”

B.S., Ecstatic 12th Grader 🙂


Frequently Asked Questions

“Common App Essay” vs “Personal Statement”?

When you hear the term “college essay”, it usually refers to the “Personal Statement”.

This is the most important essay because it can be reused for multiple schools.

The Personal Statement is also commonly referred to as the “Common App Essay”.

Even if you’re applying to schools that don’t accept the Common App and instead require a different application (e.g. Coalition Application, Universal College Application, UC Schools), each application will have its own version of the “Personal Statement”.

In summary… “College Essay” = “Personal Statement” = “Common App Essay”.

Additionally, each school might also require that you also submit “Supplemental” essays (e.g. “Why X School”?). These essays require a different approach.

When is the best time to start working on your college essay?

The reality is that most students will wait until the last minute.

This is not ideal for obvious reasons.

If possible, we recommend all of our families to start the process in the early summer with the goal of completing their personal statement by the end of the summer.

This timeline allows you to focus on completing the actual college applications themselves, as well as to work on the other supplemental essays (while also taking care of your other academic and extracurricular obligations).

How important is the college essay?

The college essay is simply ONE piece of the puzzle.

And while an important piece, rarely will even an AMAZING college essay make up for lackluster GPAs or test scores.

For rising seniors, there’s not much that can be changed in terms of GPA.

Standardized testing, ideally, will be done by the end of junior year as well (there should still be chances to take the tests in the fall/early winter if need be).

The college essay is usually the last remaining part of the application that you can still impact.

IF you’re targeting more selective or smaller liberal arts schools…the college essay will be VERY important.

IF you’re targeting larger state schools or less selective schools…the college essay will be LESS important.

IF your grades and test scores are below average for your target school…consider spending more effort on your essay.

Conversely, IF your grades and test scores are above average for your target school…you have a little more breathing room with regards to your essay.

IF your target school has gone test optional… then every other part of the application, including the college essay, becomes a little more important.

What is our pricing?

Pricing starts at 85/hr, ~149/hr, or ~349/hr depending on the tier of tutor.

Discounts are available for larger packages.

100% risk-free guarantee.


Let’s Get Started

Work with experienced and trusted advisors… and go from a blank page to a polished draft that you’ll be proud of.

In less time and with less stress.

All of our students have an overwhelmingly positive experience. We’re confident yours will too.

Contact us today!

We’d love to learn more about your student and see how we might be able to help!

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