The college application essay can count for up to 30% of the college admission decision. Personal details and content that connects with the reader (in this case, the admissions counselor) matter. I know what works and I know how to find the hook - the thing that makes the reader want to keep reading.
I accept a small number of students each year and coach them through the essay-writing process.
The college application process can be stressful for you and your teen, and the essay is a big piece of the puzzle. Maybe writing doesn't come easily to them. Maybe they are applying to extremely competitive schools and need the strongest essay possible. Maybe you'd like to help them but don't have the time or writing expertise. Maybe they're stuck, don’t know where to start or just feel overwhelmed.
I can help. No, I won’t write any of it, but I will take it off your plate, coach your student and coax out of them their best possible work, resulting in an essay that truly shows who they are and rounds out the rest of their application.
I’ll make the process of writing your essay as clear and easy as possible. We'll work together to determine your topic and create your essay's structure. I'll coach you and cheer you on as your essay gets better and better, and at the end, you'll have an essay that is fully you, grammatically perfect and ready to submit.
We’ll meet for about 1 - 1½ hours to brainstorm topics, ideas and details. If you’re in the Twin Cities area, we'll meet in person. Farther away? No problem - we’ll jump on a call. By the end of this meeting, you’ll know what you’re going to write about and will be ready to tackle your first draft.
We'll set a due date for your first draft, and I’ll hold you to it. You’ll be glad about this, I promise. You’ll write your first draft and send it to me, typically as a Google doc. It might not be great initially, and that’s fine.
I’ll review your essay, make comments and suggestions, and have you revise it.
Another round (or two or three) of revisions if needed.
Final edit where I make sure your spelling, grammar and structure are perfect.
"Thank you for all of your help with my college essay. I just committed to Wellesley and am very excited to be going in the fall! I really appreciate your feedback and advice in the process."
"I wanted to email you to thank you again, tremendously, for all of your help. I was recently accepted into Johns Hopkins, UPenn, WashU, Princeton, Yale, and a few other colleges. I couldn't have done it at all without your insight and reliability. I'm so grateful and excited to let you know that I will be joining the Yale Class of 2026. :)"
"Thank you so much for all your help with all of this. It has been so amazing to work with you. You are absolutely incredible at what you do!"
"Your essay help must be working because she is getting accepted all over the place and into the honors programs automatically at most. Thanks again for everything."
"Applying to colleges these days is complicated - filling out applications, requesting transcripts and recommendations, keeping track of the deadlines - but nothing feels more overwhelming and labor-intensive as writing a personal essay.
And I’m sure it was more overwhelming for me than it was for my son because I wanted so badly for him to get into his dream school. The best decision I made was to hire Nancy as his essay coach. I instantly felt relief knowing that this was in her hands, and I was confident that she would be able to pull from him what I couldn’t as his mom. And she did. He wrote a compelling essay on a topic that I would have otherwise considered risky. Nancy made the process feel simple and almost fun! It was so efficient with their initial meeting, a draft, some refinements and voila! - the final product. And he got into his dream school. Thank you, Nancy!"
"We are so grateful for your guidance and support with the essay sections! It was great that you were able to help him tell his story in a way that will be relevant to college admissions counselors!
Also, the tips you gave us on how he should prepare for the supplemental essay were priceless. I just know that his final essay wouldn't have been nearly as focused and detailed had we not invested in your services."
Choose this option if you only want help with part of the essay process, like brainstorming your topic or having me review/edit your final draft.
Full Coaching Process: $600
Includes all the steps listed above, from brainstorming your topic to proofing the finished product. Typically involves 7-9 hours of my time.