By the time admissions officers start reading your essay, they already know all about your grades, extracurriculars and family background. What they don’t know is what you’re like in person. What are your outstanding personality traits? What is it like to spend time with you? What motivates you to take action? What are the events that have had a meaningful impact on your life? When trapped within the confines of a generic application, so many students look the same. The only way to make yourself stand out is to show admissions what makes you an individual. The written component of the application is your one true chance to show it, and it can make all the difference between rejection and admission.
In short, pretty much everyone. The average admissions reader spends 2-3 minutes on a student’s application essays, which means each student has about a commercial break’s worth of time to make a lasting impression on the person who has randomly been selected to seal their academic fate. It is imperative to make those minutes count.
Unless it is 11:30pm with an essay due at midnight, it is never too late to work with CEA. We want you to be thrilled with the writing you submit to the admissions board, and find there is almost always room for improvement. Not only that, we have extensive experience with and insight into what admissions committees are looking for when they read through a student’s essay. A fresh pair of eyes, free from the bias of the teachers and parents that know a student intimately, are always an asset. Do you love your essay? Does reading your essay make your brain launch into a Disney-fireworks-style celebration of uncontainable glee? If not, it’s probably not too late to work with us.
The parent statement is an opportunity for you to introduce your child to admissions; to give admissions a glimpse of who your child is and why they would be a great fit for the institution in question. It’s also the perfect place to address any special circumstances affecting your child/family that admissions needs to know in order to best support your child. By the time the admissions committee finishes reading your parent statement, you want them to be clamoring for what your child can contribute to their student body.
We tell a lot of jokes. (Some of them are even funny!) We eat too much ice cream. We also help students brainstorm ideas, outline concepts from beginning to end, and edit final drafts to perfection. We assist with everything from narrative essays to short answers to parent statements. Because we have over two decade’s worth of experience in admissions essay advising, we have seen it all — and this allows us to guide students away from the trite treatment of overdone essay topics and into the realm of the truly insightful narratives that admissions is looking for. We are also pretty great at helping students overcome writer’s block and other challenges related to these often daunting and high-pressure assignments and are always happy to lend a supportive ear for parents and students, alike.
A few things about CEA’s essay advisors: We don’t eat carrots. (We just don’t like them.) We don’t go to bed before midnight. (We’re busy beavers.) And we definitely don’t write essays for our students, though we are more than happy to advise, reflect, inspire, analyze, edit, and aid students in unearthing and expressing their most poignant and captivating personal stories. Ghostwriting essays for students is unethical. And the admissions boards know when it happens. Also, our lives aren’t interesting enough to fill 10,000 unique essays. We leave that to our brilliant students.
That would be you! Here’s why. Each student knows the details of their life better than any of the CEA Advisors ever could. If you lie to us, your essay will contain lies. Don’t do this! It makes for terrible essays. The truth of your life is far more interesting than any lie you could conceive and keep up.
We also hold parents and students responsible for the factual accuracy of information researched about schools for supplemental essays. Most of our Advisors know the specifics of each school up-down-and-sideways, but it is still impossible to familiarize ourselves with every program, every professor, and every club at each school. If you tell us something exists, often we will double check it to make sure, but no matter what it is still ultimately your responsibility to ensure your facts are straight. We are writers, not fact-checkers. So students, parents and Advisors must truly work together to make these essays as compelling and accurate as they can be.
Fighting? What fighting? By now you, the parents of pre-college-age students, have realized that teenagehood is tough. Don’t take it personally. Who is the one person your child doesn’t trust for opinions about essay subjects, writing style, school choice? It’s not your fault. We were all like this once. But we at CEA are not just expert essay finessers, we are slick mediators, navigating the territory between parental and teenage desires and bringing the disparate parties together in harmony. How do we get your kids to cooperate with us? It’s magic. We’ll never tell. Also, our advisors are pretty darn cool. Also, your kids will probably listen to us simply because we’re not you. Twisted, isn’t it? But it works!
Nagging? What nagging? We totally get it. We were there. What is worse than parents bugging you about one of the most stressful and daunting assignments of your academic career thus far? CEA’s job is to take the pressure off. We want you to be happy with the final product. At the end of the day, we are on your side. Because your parents are not applying to school, you are. So let’s get that brain unstuck.
Absolutely. References from a wide selection of former CEA clients are available upon request. Simply send us a message in our Contact Us section, and we will be happy to connect you with someone who has employed us in the past.
CEA HQ is in New York City, but we have advisors all over the continental US. We have found that it is much easier for everyone to meet remotely, in order to accommodate crazy extracurricular schedules, long commutes, and distant time zones.
We live in the age of technology. Let’s use it! Though we loved working with students in person, we have found over the years that successful essays are easily brainstormed, outlined and edited via phone, email and Skype. We attract clients from across the country and around the world, in places as far as Singapore, Dubai and The Netherlands. Besides, this way none of us have to deal with traffic (we hate rush hour).
Writing effective admissions essays is a process. Even with our help, brainstorming powerful ideas and tweaking artful wordplay takes time, which is why we urge our students to begin the process as early as possible. Clients should expect multiple drafts to pass back and forth between advisor and student before an essay is finalized. The time taken to complete applications in full varies depending on the number of schools applied to and the complexity of those schools’ applications, and we ask clients to please keep this in mind throughout the process. We are happy to estimate a more specific timeline for the completion of all applicable essays before we begin working together.
Because every student is bound to apply to a unique set of schools, each requiring a different amount of time and effort, CEA finds it most helpful to give parents personalized quotes to fit each student’s very specific needs. Please call CEA HQ at 347-927-9232 or use our contact form, and we will be happy to discuss pricing and provide you with a quote asap.