“The essay is the first thing I read. I really slow down over that.”
Thyra Briggs, Dean of Admission at Harvey Mudd College
“A picture of the student begins there,” Briggs adds. But for busy seniors, that picture is an assignment that’s easy to procrastinate about and difficult to enjoy.
Where students enjoy a solid counseling setting in their schools, help crafting a distinctive personal statement might be all that's needed. Sarah McGinty brings a long career at Harvard, her experience as an admission director, and research for six College Board books to making the process fun and the result, memorable.
If you work with Dr. McGinty on a “JUST THE ESSAY” basis, you'll schedule a few conversations, write a few short exercises, and build some “topic nominations” to help you choose wisely, focus sharply, and work efficiently. With a library of potential material to draw upon, you will create a semifinal draft as your first draft (knowing exactly what you want to say definitely makes saying it easier). You will craft one “Why us?” answer in order to understand the proper approach for this question. And you will plan all your supplemental answers in one strategy session. By the first EA/ED deadline, you will have a completed Common Application and the plans and strategies for subsequent work, should you require it. This contract is competitively priced as a package and includes a family conversation as Step One, to be sure all advising voices are heard.
Admission readers consistently cite the essay as the most interesting and engaging part of every application. It can be the same for you as the author...with the right lens on the process and with light-handed support, you can let go of what you ought to say and focus on what they need to hear.