College Application Essay Guidance

Essay Guidance

Get our expert guidance on your college essays.

“T received a letter for those who’d been accepted to Harvard. At the end of it, a handwritten paragraph was added by the individual who was T’s reader and who then presented her to the entire committee. She commented on how she saw T’s interest in art history throughout all aspects of her application and how impressive it was how everything tied together. We immediately looked at one another and said, “That was Top Tier!” Bottom line – hats off to your team! I can’t imagine where we would be without you!”

– Essay Guidance Program parent

The essays that make up The Common Application & supplements are not just typical pieces of writing, nor are they just another step in the application process. College essays are an uncommon genre that must catch the attention of admissions officers and illuminate students’ intellect, personality, and potential. Our Senior Counselors have years of experience guiding students in writing essays that make admissions officers take notice.

Essay Guidance Program Includes:

  • 5 or 10 Hours of Essay Guidance: Time includes any combination of detailed written responses and phone/video chat time to brainstorm and discuss ideas and read through drafts

NOTE: All students possess differing writing abilities. Our 5-hour package generally covers Common Application related essays whereas our 10-hour package is more realistic if students are hoping to complete supplements as well.

  • Call Summaries:
    Email synopsis of every phone consultation
  • Your Senior Counselor Will:
    • Brainstorm and Discuss Essay Topics
    • Draw out Compelling Angles
    • Guide You Through the Writing Process and Help with Writer’s Block
    • Offer Candid and Specific Feedback to Drafts
    • Provide Motivation and Set Deadlines

Some essays may need only proofreading while others need to be coaxed from a blank page—your Senior Counselor will help with both and everything in between to create compelling essays.

Our counselors are accustomed to tutoring over the phone and reviewing drafts by email. They can work with students from anywhere in the world, at any time.

* This program must be used within 6 months from the date of purchase.
* This package can also be used for prep school essays which are very similar in content to college essays.

Receive successful essay samples now with purchase of our Essay Guidance Program or our Common App 911/Essay Guidance Program bundles.

Consider our Essay Guidance Program & Common App 911 Bundles for a complete application package!

High Praise From Past Clients:

"Thank you so much for helping P with her essays. Your advice, insight, and edits were extremely helpful and really pushed P to improve upon her work. My son will be starting this process in two years, and I would love to have you help him as well!"
–R.F., parent of Essay Guidance Program student
"Thank you so much for helping H with her essays and activities list.  She really enjoyed working with you, as you were positive, incredibly helpful with suggestions and cutting down word and character counts, and so fast!  Thank you for your kind words about her hard work.  I know she feels better after working with you.  She's going to get this first round in, then she may be coming back to you for help on other applications.  Thank you again for everything!"
–P.A., parent of Essay Guidance Program students
"Thanks for all you did to help K with the essays and app this past month. I cannot believe how much work you both put in to get this done. I had no idea submitting a college app was so daunting. She was able to submit all of her early apps! Anyway, thanks for the great work, you are truly a wordsmith and a special talent!"
–H.M., parent of Essay Guidance Program student
"I was accepted at Harvard early action, and intend on enrolling there in fall 2020.  I'm thrilled!!! Many thanks for reaching out and for all your help."
–Z.F., Essay Guidance Program student
"I was accepted to Yale yesterday!!! Thank you so much for all your help with my application! The impact was obviously very positive! I could not have done it without you!"
–L.R., Essay Guidance Program student
"T was accepted early decision to Boston College! Thank you so, so much for all of the help and guidance that you provided us over the past 6 months. I can’t imagine there are many (if any!) people out there who are better than you at what you do! Thank you for your patience, prompt replies, and for keeping T on track! We are very grateful to have found you and worked with you!"
–D.M., Essay Guidance Program parent
"I could not imagine where I would be without the help of TTA, and I am very thankful to everyone, especially L, for helping me through this process."
–J.D., Essay Guidance Program student
"H's grades just came back, and I wanted to share the great news: A for English! Thank you so much for your amazing help." -- P.B. & J.B., Personalized Writing Tutoring Program parents
"Both R. and I were very pleased with how the program went and we feel like L made material improvements in his writing skills. L also enjoyed working with you and we felt like the two of you had a good working rapport. He has been incorporating some of the concepts the two of you discussed this summer in his early writings this fall." -R.S. & G.S., Personalized Writing Tutor program parents
"I wanted to send you a note to thank you for all the help you have given to P on her college essays. You have helped her so much within such a short period of time. I wish we had found you earlier. We wasted so much time and effort since the summer. I have a 9th grader and I know who to turn to for help now. Thank you, J! I will be in touch."
–L.K., Essay Guidance Program parent
"L, I CANT BELIEVE IT! We are done with all of the essays! It is my birthday today and I couldn’t have gotten a better birthday present. Thank you so much for responding soooo quickly and helping me in this process. I have learned a lot from you and you are an excellent and kind teacher. I don't think anyone else on this planet could have done a better job than you did. Thanks again!"
–F.H., Essay Guidance Program student
"As we are nearing the end of this application process, only Colgate and Michigan applications left, I can not thank you enough for all of your assistance, advice and support. I would like to highlight the support piece as I think both P and I derived significant comfort from having an outside, very experienced advisor to turn to. Your edits and advice have been invaluable. I can not tell you how happy P was each time she saw an email from you that said 'if you accept these edits, the essay is ready to go.' Immediately I would hear about it!! From a very depressed state, with your help, P is almost through a very long, daunting process, and is feeling much better. Although it’s not over yet…. a million thanks. I hope you will still be advising when my son R gets to this process (he’s in 10th grade now). Thank you again!"
–N.M., Essay Guidance Program parent
"H’s expertise and ability to improve my writing was so beneficial! She elevated my essays and helped bring out my own creativity and voice. H went above and beyond to be responsive and helpful. She always responded in a timely manner, and her feedback was generous and constructive. I thought this program was great; I wasn't able to attend the regular Boot Camp and found this to be an excellent alternative that worked with my schedule. I highly recommend Top Tier Admissions! The work I did with H definitely elevated my essays beyond what I would've been capable of on my own. Knowing I had an expert there to help, and wasn't doing this on my own, also greatly reduced my stress levels. I will be forever grateful to H for all of her assistance. It was truly a pleasure working with her, and you're lucky to have someone with her level of expertise on your staff. Thank you for matching me with her."
- P.C., Essay Guidance Program student, Duke
"I recently received my decisions for UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Harvard, and I was accepted to all three schools!! Thank you so much for your help last winter; you not only guided me through my applications but also made things much less stressful!"
–P.T., Essay Guidance Program student
"S is planning to join USC for Aerospace Engineering! I am personally very happy for her and want to thank you once again for all your help and support. It was simply invaluable. Wishing you the very best."
–N.B., parent of Essay Guidance Program student, USC
"A got into Brown! Thank you  so much for your patience and persistence with him!" –A.P., Essay Guidance Program parent
Brown, Class of 2022
"My Essay Guidance Program was AMAZING! I was able to drastically improve my Stanford application in a matter of 5 hours!" –B.G., Essay Guidance Program student
"I wanted to let you know that my journey through the college application process has officially come to an end. I was accepted to Duke in the ED round! I can't thank you enough for all your guidance and support in the process. It has truly been a privilege working with you. The feedback you gave me was so generous and helped me to elevate my essays beyond what I thought was possible. Ironically, in the end, all I needed was my personal statement and my 150-word 'why' for Duke, but I'm so glad I was prepared for the regular decision round. Thank you again for everything!" – S.Y., Essay Guidance Program student
"Just wanted to pass along that B got into Stanford, Harvard, CalTech and University of Washington (her safety school).  Only school she didn’t get in to (that she applied to) was MIT.  So, yesterday she happily accepted into Stanford. We couldn’t be happier, as both our girls are now attending Stanford.  And, both got there with Top Tier’s help.  We don’t have any more kids to usher through your program but we’ll be sure and recommend you to anyone we come across!"
Essay Guidance Program parent
"I WAS ACCEPTED TO HARVARD!!!!!!!  Thank you so so so much!  ***I know this is so melodramatic*** BUT from the moment I read your first edits I knew my essays were going to be magic.  You are sharp and smart and the best wordsmith I've ever met.  I feel like I learned so much about writing and editing just by sending drafts back and forth with you!  Thank you again so much, you quite literally changed my life." – Essay Guidance Program student, Harvard
"Just got a decision from UPenn. ACCEPTED!!!! 🙂 Still can’t believe it. Thank you so much for all the help you’ve given. Really appreciate it." – Essay Guidance Program student, U Penn
“I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated your approach to essay guidance; you always consulted me about changes and allowed me to decide whether to make edits as per your suggestions. As someone who's generally very independent, I found it easy and rewarding to work with you because you allowed me to write the entire essay and maintain my voice/style while still using your suggestions on what a college essay should look like.” --X.O., Essay Guidance Program student
"My college results are in and I've been accepted early to Stanford and regular to Princeton, Yale and UT Austin's Engineering Honors Program with a full-ride scholarship! Thanks for all the support!" –C.R., Essay Guidance Program student
“I got into Stern at NYU and Wharton at Penn! I am beyond excited and grateful. Thank you so much for all you've done to help me throughout this whole process. I'm really happy it worked out the way it did!” – S.F., Essay Guidance Program/Common App 911 Program student
"I believe working with M. for great essays is one of the best decisions I have ever made. He is awesome. Thank you so much." -C.P., Essay Guidance Student
"T. has decided on Vanderbilt. We are so thankful for M. I think his support was key in T. getting her scholarship!" --Y.R., Essay Guidance Program parent
"I was accepted to Dartmouth today! . . . Thank you for your help --this has been a wild ride!" --U.O., Essay Guidance Program student
"Thank you so much for all of your help! I am very happy with what I was able to produce!" --U.R., Essay Guidance Program student
"I sincerely want to thank you for all the help and guidance you have given E. during the application process. I really appreciate your input and help!" -- R.S., Essay Guidance Program parent
"Thank you again for forcing me to let go of my initially-prized hospital volunteering main essay to write the more unique biology-oriented essay...I was originally really stuck on that one but writing the new ones were so worth it." - N.C., Essay Guidance student