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Essays Focus

Common Application® or Coalition Application personal statement: $1450.

Supplementary essays: $400-$900 per school.

The University of California (UC) system essays: $1550 ($2500 total for combined Common Application® and UC package).

  • Common Application® (or Coalition) Essay: The Common Application® requires a 650 word personal statement that is arguably the most important essay the student will write. It should convey who he or she is as a person. I work with the student to brainstorm unique topics, outline, and edit through the entire process to draw out their personality and express it on paper. We begin by ensuring the student identifies a topic that is unique and fits their personality. Then I guide the student through the writing process. We start with an outline and then make sure the entire essay flows together. Finally, together, we choose the language that will most effectively convey the message. The most important thing is to make sure the student’s own voice comes through the essay in an engaging way that helps the essay connect with the reader (the admissions officer!). The Coalition Application requires a very similar essay that is approximately 550 words long.
  • Supplemental essays: Many individual colleges ask additional questions, and the essays vary widely in number and length. These essays serve as a great opportunity to round out the student’s profile. Additionally, the questions are chosen by the colleges themselves, so it’s very important to take these just as seriously as the Common Application® personal statement.

Comprehensive Package

$9,500 for a strategic approach to the entire application process for an unlimited number of schools (Max 60 hours of meeting time, editing between sessions, reviewing application materials, correspondence, and schedule management to meet deadlines)

Services include

    • Everything in the freshman/sophomore package
    • Generate a college list specific to the student
    • Guidance on choice of major for each school
    • Strategically approach early action, early decision, and regular decision options
    • Craft central student narrative
    • Standardized testing strategy as related to applications (not ACT/SAT tutoring)
    • Common Application® or Coalition Application personal statement: brainstorm, outline, guide, and edit
    • Supplemental essays: brainstorm, outline, guide, and edit
    • Strategically approach and edit activities list and honors section
    • Resume/brag sheet editing
    • Recommender selection
    • Final application review
    • Interview preparation
    • Decision support

The comprehensive package considers the whole student to find programs and schools where each student can thrive. When students find the right school for them, they discover a home where they can grow personally, explore new ideas and experiences, and take critical steps towards a successful and rewarding career. This is a place that will challenge and excite without overwhelming them.

In order to enhance their applications, I collaborate with students to present a coherent idea of who they are. We create a narrative of the student and then craft the entire application around that narrative. This prevents the applicant from appearing scattered and allows the application reader to present the student to committee in 1-2 sentences.

Example narrative: Sally is very passionate about biology, which she demonstrates through neuroscience research with a faculty member at a great university, an independent research project she began in AP Biology, and STEM tutoring/medical volunteering. She hopes to use this in her career as a neurologist who gives back to the community through free clinics and Doctors Without Borders. Her positive attitude and focus on giving back to the community will make a great addition to our campus.

Each school’s application is considered in terms of Common Application® personal statement essay, supplemental essays, activities section, honors/awards, optional resume, optional portfolio/video, and optional additional information. Together we create a plan to convey the student’s core to each school. We also take into consideration differences in application strategy between schools.

Freshman/Sophomore Strategy Package

$2,350/year. During an initial one to two hour meeting, we review the student’s background and goals in detail. I follow up with recommendations to make the student’s profile more competitive for highly selective college admissions. We will have 30-60 minute monthly video chat sessions or email check ins to assess the progress and adjust the strategy if necessary.

The goal is not to overload the student with more activities. Instead, the focus is on ways to build a central narrative and convey the essence of the student. This encourages the student to dive deep into what they are passionate about or explore possible areas of interest which in turn catalyzes personal growth, not just resume development.

Services include

    • Extracurricular analysis
    • Class selection guidance for following year
    • College visit preparation – how to make the best of your college visit
    • Summer opportunity selection and application assistance. (Summer program application essays are an additional fee based on individual programs)

Hourly Sessions or Editing

    • $250/hour for live strategy or essay editing video chat sessions or detailed comments on an essay draft. *
    • $350/hour for high school seniors from September – January

* Volume discounts for sessions or draft reviews are available starting at 4 hours

Advanced Ivy Prep will not write the essay for the student. This program helps find, develop, and edit the perfect essay by collaborating with the student. The most effective essays convey the student’s own voice. A truly great essay is authentic and sincere.