With universities across the country moving to test-optional, the essay is increasingly seen as one of the most important parts of your collegeapplication. The essay gives you a personality in the eyes of the admissions team, setting you apart from the countless other students who have taken the same classes, played the same sports, and done the same service hours.
As Elizabeth Benedict — an author, university professor, and the founder and president of Don’t Sweat the Essay Inc. — summarized: “Applying to a hyper-selective college with top grades and scores, outstanding extracurriculars, and a mediocre essay could sink your application.” And in her experience, “The more selective the college, the more the essay matters.”
Everybody Has a Story to Tell
That includes you! As an author and educator, I know how to help you share that story. Am I going to write the essay for you? Hell no. But I will work with you, the way your favorite English teacher might, to help you craft the best story you can. Parents often report that students are “giddy” after our sessions, in disbelief at how much they got done in such a short period of time.
Totally Stuck? Just Want a Second Pair of Eyes on a Final Draft?
I know it can be intimidating or even embarrassing to ask for help. However, I can assure you that tutoring is a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if…
You’re staring at a blank screen
You wrote your first draft, but want to make it better
You have a final draft, but want a professional “go-ahead” before submitting
I’m happy to help.
Pain-Free Approach With an Experienced Writer & Teacher
Everything I’ve learned in the 10+ years I’ve spent working in the field of education — as a tutor, English teacher, and author — is at your disposal when you book a tutoring session. I’ve worked with students from some of the top schools in the country, meeting them where they are in the writing process. Some arrive feeling completely “lost,” while others just want another pair of eyes on their paper before hitting “submit.” Either way, I believe in making the experience as pain-free as possible. How that looks is different for everyone, but it doesn’t take long to figure out what type of learner and writer you are, tailoring the session to your strengths.
Google Docs make it so easy to view your words the moment you write them, I actually began virtual tutoring before COVID-19. After years of reading over students’ shoulders in Microsoft Word, or passing a computer back-and-forth across a table, I simply realized that virtual tutoring is more efficient and less awkward.
That remains my preferred set-up today — Google Docs and a phone are all you need.
However, if you live in Rome and are desperate for me to edit your essay in person, feel free to fly me out. I probably won’t say no!
Is Tutoring Unethical?
In case I didn’t make myself clear above, I will not write your essay for you. Some people might say tutoring is unethical in the same sense the SAT is unethical — i.e. inherently biased towards wealthier families who can pay for such services — and they’re not necessarily wrong.
However, from an academic honesty perspective, you have no need to worry. Students from the top schools utilize tutors (including myself) to help push students to create their best work. The best comparison is having extra before/after school time with your English teacher.
Do You Work With International Students?
That depends. I will happily stay up late and get up early, but you’ll have to meet me in the middle with the time changes. And also, sorry to point this out, but you’ll have to have some form of payment that’s accepted in the United States (Visa, PayPal, or something like that).
I’m going to save us both some time here and tell you my prices up front.
Before I do though, I just want you to know that I am fully aware of how blindly hypocritical the college admissions system is. Schools are nixing the SAT because it’s unfair to low-income students, which makes the essay that much more important… But the essay is equally biased towards high-income students who can afford tutoring services — probably more so, because it’s easier to cheat on the essay than the SAT.
However, I can’t single-handedly change the system, much as I’d like to. With that in mind, here are my rates for college essay tutoring:
Typically used for students who already have a rough draft
Can include edits on the Common Application essay, college-specific supplemental essays, resume review, activities section, and anything else you’d like a second pair of eyes on
Start-to-Finish Package: $1299
I will meet you wherever you are in the process
Includes the Common Application essay, as well as two college-specific supplemental essays
Additional college-specific supplemental essays may be added for $100 each
Please note that payment is due at the start of the project, and I am happy to offer reduced rates to households with low income or special circumstances, subject to availability.
In case you didn’t already know, I’m Mrs. Abbett! In addition to attending, teaching at, and tutoring students from some of the top schools in the United States, I received my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Liberal Studies degrees from Southern Methodist University.
I scored in the 94th percentile on the verbal reasoning component of the GRE (it’s like the next-level SAT, one of the ones you take for grad school). I’m also the author of a young adult novel that helps students prepare for the SAT, and I love helping students make writing breakthroughs of their own!
Let’s Finish That Essay
Despite how many months you may have spent stressing out over your college admissions essay, it typically doesn’t actually take that long to write. There are stringent maximum word counts, after all! When working with a tutor, many students can complete the entire Common Application essay in one weekend.