Q: Do I *NEED* to pay someone to read my college essay?

Absolutely not.

Q: Okay, but *SHOULD* I pay someone to read my college essay?

Only if you’ve exhausted all the free resources you have access to, have had as many trusted adults as possible read your draft, and you still feel like you need more insight. Not sure what free resources and trusted adults are available to you? I suggest starting with this list:

  • Your school’s counseling office
  • Your current/former English teachers
  • Your parents and extended family members
  • Other current/former teachers who know you well and have your best interests in mind
  • Coaches
  • Advisors
  • Youth group leaders
  • Employers
  • Internship supervisors
  • The admissions offices of the schools to which you’re applying. Many offer clear guidelines for what they’d like to see in their applications.
  • Local essay workshops, many of which are offered in conjunction with college fairs.
  • Resources offered by national orgs, including but not limited to the National Association for College Admission Counselor (NACAC) and the College Board

Q: Okay, I’ve explored all the free resources I can, and I still want to know what a former admission counselor thinks of my essay. If I work with you, can you guarantee acceptance to my college(s) of choice?

No, and I have serious ethical questions of anyone who claims that they can. Even when working as an admission counselor, I couldn’t and wouldn’t promise students that they’d be admitted. There are simply too many variables, many of which don’t reveal themselves until the essay is completed and all pertinent information has been shared in a format that the admissions staff is trained to assess and compare, in the context of their entire applicant pool.

Q: So…what happens if I want to work with you?

Great question! First, I need to hear from you.

Why do you sometimes say admissions counselor, and sometimes admission counselor? And why is advisor sometimes said instead of counselor?

Old habits die hard. My campuses used both, too.

I have more questions that aren’t addressed on this FAQ page. 

Great, send them to me!