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College Essay

Young people need a mentor and guidance to tackle the toughest part of the college application: the essays.

Even great young writers don’t know how to talk about themselves. That’s where I come in. My goal is for students to write essays that college admissions readers won’t forget, and that stay true to the student’s authentic voice. The whole process is fun, effective, and transformational.

I work 1-on-1 with only a handful of students each year, including a few on need-based scholarship. 

  • Parents get to step back and focus on their relationship with their child
  • I meet confidentially, 1-on-1, to brainstorm, structure, and fine-tune their essays
  • My students discover who they are, what they value, and how to express themselves

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Online Bootcamp: How to Write a Great College Essay

Enrolling now! A four-part online course that guides you step-by-step in
20+ videos and one 1-on-1 call with me.

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I’ve been an award-winning writer and a teacher of writing for 25+ years. As an English teacher and assistant director of the Mountain School of Milton Academy, I taught High School juniors and seniors the art of the personal essay, and oversaw their college application process. I also worked as the director of Where There Be Dragons, an organization dedicated to meaningful travel programs for teens. I am one of those rare people who LOVES teenagers. As a trained personal coach, I know how to interview them to get their best ideas powerfully told on the page. My system includes multiple tools, honed with experience, that they can use in college and beyond to write clearly and persuasively. The top five schools attended by the students I’ve advised are Brown, Middlebury, Yale, Bowdoin, and Cornell.

This process was overwhelming: how do you say who you are in 650 words? Your guidance made it easy and helped me to find my voice. It was challenging, but you made it fun. Your interview process gave me clarity and helped me to focus on one great story. My writing was better, clearer and flowed beautifully. In the end I was so happy with what I wrote and I got into my top choice schools!!”
—Maureen M.

College Essay Coach

The Process

Pre-Meeting. Before we meet, I’ll send you a few questions to help me get to know you. This frees us up to dig in immediately when we connect and begin the 3-step process.

  1. Brainstorming. This is a no-judgement space. I do a series of interviews and share my favorite tools for finding the story that makes you distinctive. We have fun diving in and uncovering your developing sense of self.
  2. Structure. With a topic in hand, how do you write in a compelling, focused way? How will this essay stand out from the rest? We work on creating a “storyboard” for each essay. I’ll challenge you to take risks. I’ll teach you how to take something that seems so ordinary, so mundane, and write it so vividly that it ends up extraordinary.
  3. Fine-Tuning. Plan to write 3-5 drafts. We work together to find the best hook, to end with a “bang” and to get rid of any prose that weighs down the writing. I’ll help you with grammar and spelling to avoid distracting errors. I’ll also provide that outside perspective: does this person come across as curious, open, likable?

Let’s Get Started!

Susie is a miracle worker! She has tremendous empathy for students as they write (or procrastinate) an essay that requires self-reflection and storytelling. She is patient yet firm and most importantly can pull compelling writing out of these students that will surprise both the student and their parents. As an experienced educator who has taught and run a school with students exactly this age, she has a deep understanding of what will be a successful essay from the perspective of the admissions office. Her process reduces stress and anxiety for both parents and students, and instills fun into the task. I highly recommend her!”
—Tom V.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re curious about college essay coaching, try a session on me! Book a free 30-minute phone consult to gain instant momentum, and to see if working together is the right fit.

Schedule a Free Consult

Our son didn’t always want our advice on his college applications. So we found it very reassuring to have Susie guiding him through the process. It greatly decreased our stress level to know that he was getting first rate advice. He really enjoyed working with her and found her feedback very helpful. She pushed when she needed to and helped him to elevate his writing. Susie cared about his success and in the end, he was excited to hit submit! Absolutely worth it.”
—Kelly R. S.

College Essay Coach

I offer a few paths forward:

Standard Essay Package

This is the worry-free package. It’s a flat rate. I work by phone or in-person, beginning to end, for all essays. You don’t have to count how many hours we work together. And you can trust that I have your back to brainstorm, generate uncommon ideas, create a structure, provide unlimited editing and revision feedback of the personal statement essay (for either the Common Application or the Coalition Application), plus all supplemental essays/questions for up to 5 colleges (Ivys & UC schools count as 2 schools). This package also includes targeted teachings on how to shine on the page and write the supplementals for all schools beyond the top 5. Book a free 30 min consult to get started. $2,549

A La Carte

Personal Statement/Core Essay

This essay is the toughest because colleges are looking for insight into who this applicant really is in 650 words. It requires reflection, perspective, and a unique angle. The open-ended prompts are overwhelming: “share your story” “what makes you unique?” My system breaks the mountain of writing down into small hills and gives support for the three main steps: 1. Brainstorm 2. Structure 3. Fine tune. Book a free 30 min consult to get started. $949

Supplemental Essays (under 500 words)

For Returning Clients Only

These essays are shorter, but they need to be of the same quality as the core essay. Each school asks for 2-3 of these. Done well, these responses can pull an applicant out of the ‘Maybe’ pile and into the ‘Yes’ pile. $315

Review of Finished Essay

A close look at a polished draft from an outside, experienced perspective. This is to catch grammatical errors, flow, and to help find the best hook and the most powerful ending. Book a free 30 min consult to get started. $150/hour

By popular demand, I’ve added services:

Comprehensive College Advising Package 

Cover all the bases; Don’t miss a detail. One-on-one coaching every step of the way on all aspects of the college application process. Reserves your spot in my calendar (get first pick of coveted meeting times). Saves you money and includes the packages listed below plus the Core Essay package above. Book a free 30 min consult to see if this package is right for you. $5549

Find Your Path: Major/Career Coaching 

For any student who wants clarity on who they are, what they want to do, and where they want to go. One-on-one coaching on finding a college major and potential career path based on 25 years experience guiding high school students on their values, interests, and strengths. Book a free 30 min consult to see if this is the right package for you. $549

Make the Match: Build a Custom College List 

Identify the best-fit schools and discover programs you may never have heard of before. Strategize for family budget considerations. Build a custom, balanced list that emphasizes fit, plus complete the common app profile and learn how to make the most of college visits. This can be done as a 2-day intensive to use momentum to motivate through overwhelm. Book a free 30 min consult to see if this package is right for you. $1849

On Track & On Time Complete Application Support

Don’t miss a deadline!  Soup-to-nuts application support for all colleges on your list. Strategize for scholarships. Develop supplemental essays that stand out (this package includes brainstorm & design of supp. essays but not editing or fine tuning). Track all school requirements and Honors’ program needs. Learn best practices for communication with coaches and department heads. Grow self-advocacy skills for on-campus accommodation or support services, if needed. Book a free 30 min consult to see if this package is right for you. $2549

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re curious about college essay coaching, try a session on me! Book a free 30-minute phone consult to gain instant momentum, and to see if working together is the right fit.

Schedule a Free Consult

There is nothing on a college application that is half as daunting as the Personal Essay. With writing prompts such as ‘what makes you unique’ or ‘what’s an experience you learned from’, it’s a massive challenge to come up with a unique idea, much less write an interesting, coherent essay about it. Susie was amazing at working with my son to take an experience from his summer (a road trip with friends), interview him at length to get his perspective, and help him craft his words into a quality essay. As a parent, I don’t think I’d have been able to help him create such a solid essay with his authentic voice.
— Karen S.

Thank you for your guidance!! You drew out of me what I wanted to say and helped me find my voice on the page. By the time the deadlines came, I was happy and confident about my work. I’m so grateful for your help with the stressful college process!
— Austin S.

Your coaching when I applied to post-bac programs brought to light the clarity and purpose that I had within myself. You helped me take myself seriously. Your questions helped focus my story and simplify my writing. I am excited to begin my journey into medicine at Scripps College this summer.
—Catharine D.

Susie did a masterful job of encouraging my teenage son to become a better, more passionate, less reluctant writer. She helped him find his own unique voice and inspired him to do the hard work necessary to write clear, well-written personal statements, essays, and more. While the skills he built are important, equally important is the fact that he really enjoyed working with Susie; she made writing interesting and fun!
Mara R.

Susie you helped me feel much more confident in my writing ability. With your help I was able to make my writing clear, concise and thoughtful. I now enjoy writing more and feel comfortable getting my thoughts down on paper. Having someone to help me brainstorm and look over my work helped me become a more skilled writer.
David B.

You helped me narrow down what to write about. It was nice to work with an expert essay writer to help me express my words and turn it into an essay that colleges want. Thank you!
Lucan W.

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