College Essay Bootcamp

Write a stand-out college essay.

Competitive universities now base 50% of admissions on the application essays. That's why 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!

Find your topic & voice.

Colleges and universities look to your college essay 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.

Work with an expert.

Ivy essay expert Justin Taylor has helped many students craft WOW essays and get into their top choice schools. Our 4-day workshops (2 hours per day plus homework) help you start your essay and get to the final draft. They can be taken together or separately. Choose the 4-day workshop or private instruction.


Take Class with:

Justin T.

Armed with a Masters in dramatic literature from the Sorbonne (Paris) and an MFA in playwriting from Yale, Justin has helped hundreds of students boost their scores as a test prep tutor (SAT/ACT, SAT/AP French) and boost their admissions prospects as a college application consultant. He has taught writing at Yale University, Wesleyan University, the Sorbonne, in high schools and privately throughout New York City with all ages. He is also a professional meditation teacher and loves sharing meditation hacks to cruise through stress on test day (ask him about being the meditation teacher for Facebook).

4-Day Online Workshop

Explore. Brainstorm. Outline. Evaluate. Edit. Finalize.

$698 per student
  • 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.
  • 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.

Day 1: Learn

  • Who are admissions officers and what are they looking for?
  • What makes a WOW college essay?
  • What are the pillars of strong narrative and authentic voice?
  • In-session exercises to brainstorm and outline your WOW essay, so you can leave to start your first draft.

Day 2: Mock Admissions Committee

  • Share your first draft with the group and get collective feedback. What WOW elements do we find? What's next for this essay?
  • 1-on-1 feedback with Justin in breakout room.
  • Start your second draft.

Day 3: The WOW Draft

  • Learn to elevate story with scene, dialogue and sensory language, deepen impact with personal reflection and driving questions, and grab attention with active rather than passive voice.
  • 1-on-1 feedback on draft 2 with Justin in breakout room.
  • Start your third draft.

Day 4: Final Admissions Committee

  • Share your third draft with the group and get collective feedback.
  • Hone in on the wisdom and emotion in your story that make readers connect.
  • 1-on-1 feedback on draft 3 with Justin in breakout room.
  • Leave with an essay ready to submit or close to it.
  • Send your next draft to Justin for one last round of comments.

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

Frequently Asked Questions



"You did a great job helping my daughter craft an essay that captures who she is. Thanks again for your expertise."

"[My daughter's] essay is fantastic. I am so happy she was in this workshop! She went in a completely different direction with her essay and thank god for that. I am really impressed and I think it will stand out!"

"This workshop was the best boost my daughter needed. You helped her to understand what she was trying to convey. Thank you so much for inspiring her."

On the blog

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