"Just a little over a month before my 20+ college applications were due, I had made little progress on my personal statement and decided to contact Yelena. Her understanding and flexibility subdued my anxieties but also allowed me to stay on track towards completing my essay in time for submission. In that short of a time frame, I grew from being relatively insecure about my essay to being extremely proud of it. Yelena gave the narrative I had placed on paper an unrivaled sense of vitality and power. She narrowed in on the formative experiences that made me more than a score or a GPA. Yelena not only transformed my paper, while still preserving my voice and message, but gave me an unparalleled confidence going into the final steps of the admissions process. She made my dreams of going to an elite school tangible. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful and encouraging Yelena has been throughout the process, and I wholeheartedly recommend her services to others wishing to give themselves an edge in writing." -Laura, accepted to the University of VanderbiltRead More
"Yelena helped illuminate my strengths on my personal statement, breaking my habit of cutting myself short. She used her excellent intuition to select compelling scenes, asking questions that allowed me to elaborate on my defining moments. She also helped cut my repetitions, maximizing the use of space on the very limiting word count.
"I'm extremely grateful for Yelena's help for she is one of the reasons why I'm able to have the opportunity to attend a top liberal arts school on the opposite of side of the country from where I live." -Octavio, Williams CollegeRead More
- Ring the alarm! Today's the last day to register for the June 3 SAT! Late registrations can still be made until May 24. You can register for the June 10 ACT with a late fee until May 19. [College Board] [ACT]
- While we're on the topic, here's how one first-generation student from Flint, Michigan learned to take the SAT "like a rich kid." To recap: "They approached studying for the SAT with a near-professional intensity that was alien to me. I realized that they didn’t just want to score exceptionally well on the SAT. They were gunning for a score on the Preliminary SAT exams that would put them in the top percentile of students in the United States and make them National Merit Scholars in the fall. As a result, all the drilling they did for an exam that is supposed to be an equalizer in ranking students according to raw test-taking skills was only widening the American achievement gap." [NYT] I agree. To check out my pro bono services, click here.
Let's establish something from the start: admissions essays are freaking hard. Most schools don't emphasize personal essays in their academic curriculum, so it's not surprising that many students struggle with the form. Unless you're a creative writing prodigy, you may not know how to be confessional without revealing TMI, how to impress strangers without being annoying, and how to write well without sounding like a blowhard. Here are five newbie mistakes any senior should avoid in their personal statement, from Ivy League valedictorians to veteran admissions reps.Read More