Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a personal statement?
It’s your college essay, and it’s about you! It is an extremely crucial piece of your application because it paints a picture of who you are outside of grades, activities and standardized tests.
Should I come to you with a completed personal statement?
No. If you have something written, let’s take a look, but most times, students come to me with an idea that doesn’t work. Our brainstorming session is highly effective, eye opening, and fun. When we hit on the right topic, it’s like magic: we see fireflies or feel a flurry of chills.
Speaking of topics, what are some of your favorite essay topics?
There are so many great ones; t’s amazing how our essays take shape. One I loved was about a girl who learned to love watching westerns amidst dueling TV’s, and a grandpa who has Alzheimer’s. Another was about a boy who wanted to be a superhero, so he turned it into a grown-up dream, becoming a modern day hero in the world of cyber security.
Do you work on anything besides the personal statement with me?
Yes! We compile your college list, write supplemental essays, write letters to coaches, research and apply for scholarships. The heart of my business is composing the perfect personal statement, but I work on all parts of the college application process.
Should my parents come to our meetings?
If we are working on scholarships, your parents are welcome, and usually want to come to our meetings. For our work on essays, it is much more effective to work one on one.
I live in another state. Can I work with you?
Yes! I have students as far away as Arizona, Japan and the UK. We work via FaceTime, Skype, and Google Docs.
What should I bring to our sessions, and where do we meet?
If you have a laptop, a resume, or a brag sheet, please bring them with you. My students usually come to my home in Bridgewater, NJ. Once we have established a cooperative working relationship, we often switch to working via Google Docs.
How much time will it take to complete my personal statement, supplemental essays, and applications?
Every student is different. Some students do a lot of “homework” in between our visits, which is an efficient and cost-effective way to complete the process. I ask every student to commit to three hours with me. After working through the process with many students, I have found that’s the minimum time needed, if all the stars are aligned
How do I know you are good at what you do?
I love what I do! My biggest reward is seeing how surprised and excited my students are when we hit on the right topic. I am constantly thinking of your essays, doing research, and honing my college consulting craft. I also believe in keeping my own writing muscles flexed. Here is a recent piece I published: https://swimswam.com/a-diehard-breed/