Crafting Your WOW College Essay

- Stand-Out -
College Essays

Do you need to take your college essay to the next level? Are you finding it hard to even begin? We're here to help you get your essay done - and make your top college go WOW. Competitive universities now base 50% of admissions on what you write in application essays.

- WOW -
Find Your Topic & Voice

Colleges and universities look to your college essay, or personal statement(s), to learn what grades and tests can't show them: who you are as a person, student, and community member. They want to know what you Want most, to hear your Original voice, and to see your Wisdom (maturity), also known as your WOW.

- Expert -
Flexible Programs

Ivy essay expert Justin Taylor has helped many students craft WOW essays and get into their top choice schools (Georgetown, Yale, Boston College, Vanderbilt to name a few). Our two half-day workshops help you start your essay and get to the final draft. They can be taken together or separately. Choose the 2-day workshop or private instruction.

Step 1

explore, brainstorm, outline
  • Explore your WOW: Want, Original voice, Wisdom
  • Brainstorm, outline & write your first draft in class
  • One-on-one feedback from Justin during the class means you can start writing your 2nd draft right away
  • Learn about "citizen students" and why admissions officers are looking for them
  • Get familiar with the FOUR Dos & Don'ts of the college essay
  • Leave with a nearly finished essay!

Step 2

evaluate, edit, finish
  • Evaluate the WOW factors of your current draft
  • Dig out the wisdom and emotions in your story that make readers connect
  • Identify and/or clarify the driving question that you resolve by the end
  • Learn "active" vs. "passive" voice
  • Show don't tell: generate sensory language, write in scenes and use dialogue
  • Work with Justin one-on-one to create your final draft

Read a sample "before" and "after" essay:

Meet Justin Taylor


Justin is a college application expert with more than ten years experience helping students raise their admissions prospects. Yale, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Boston College, and NYU are some recent admits for happy students. He has taught writing at Yale University, Wesleyan University, the Sorbonne, in high schools and privately throughout New York City with all ages. 

Frequently Asked Questions

On the blog

Read Justin's recent article about what makes a great college essay...