College is about many things: knowledge, social skills, hanging out with people smarter than you. Getting into college is about taming anxiety, picking the right schools, meeting deadlines. How you get through the application process is a direct correlation to how you will do as a college student. Turning in a successful college application requires tone and nuance. You have to convince an institution that you’re a valuable commodity. You need to write clearly, with meaning, and you want to stand out but not brag. Those are formidable tasks for anyone, at any age.
Admission Readers spend an average of 12 minutes on your entire application. I know this because I’ve been an admissions reader for a major public university for over 25 years. I started reading college admissions when it was a room full of retired professors and professional staff sitting around a big conference table. The applications were paper files: transcripts, typed letters of recommendation. Notes and decisions were made at the back of the file, in pencil or pen. Reading college applications these days is entirely different. Admission readers do much of their work remotely—after extensive training by the university. Although there are procedures distinct to each college, one thing every applicant needs to know is that Admission Readers are on your side. They want to say yes. It’s a joyful process accepting students. Rejecting students gives no one pleasure. So make it easy for them to do their job—turn in a persuasive application. Make a clear argument why they should take a chance on you.
Much of my experience comes from the university. When I was a UC Writing Center Director I hired and trained 70 tutors each year. Those 70 tutors worked with over 6,000 students every academic year. I worked for the Vice Chancellor, heading the Committee on Student Representation. I advised students on graduation requirements and prepared them for graduate school. I served on the National Scholarship Committee for the Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, and other national competitions. I was an academic advisor, taught undergrad writing courses, wrote grants and managed departments. During those years I continued to read admission files. I travelled to other colleges and learned from my colleagues. I analyzed admission statistics and coordinated with Academic Affairs to help formulate UC admissions requirements. I have an insider’s knowledge of how universities choose their students and what they look for in applications.
what can you expect?
Every student is different. Some apply to 20 schools, meaning 20-40 supplementary essays or long questions on top of the personal essay. Some students are at the very beginning of the process and we take it step by step. A few students have it so together that they’re months ahead of the deadlines. Whatever kind of student, here’s what you can expect:
Unlimited consultations via phone, email, FaceTime, etc. You can reach me by text almost anytime. We’ll use email to work on the complicated stuff. We’ll also talk by phone and use FaceTime.
Help choosing where to apply. You want colleges that will fit your needs and welcome your talents.
Help with all issues that arise with your applications, such as whether to retake the SAT/ACT, who should write letters of recommendation on your behalf, or how to handle an issue in your past.
We’ll work together on your Personal Essay, supplemental essays, any long-form questions. I won’t write them for you but you’ll get step by step editing and advice. Your Personal Essay will stand out; it will tell your story.
Organizing activities, evaluating the best to list and in what order.
Financial Aid information and scholarship advice.
I keep in contact with my students during college and beyond. If something comes up during your college years, I can advise you on who to contact and how to handle a college bureaucratic obstacle. Need help after college when you’re applying for jobs/grad school? Just text me.
accepting students June 15-September 15th
email or text to set up a consultation.