Tips for Parents
Tips for working with a college essay coach
By Lucy Ewing
Essay coaches can help streamline and focus the process of creating essays for college applications.
If your family decides to go this route and retains a coach, it’s appropriate for your student to take the lead the rest of the way. Here are some tips your student can follow for a productive and positive experience.
- DO plan ahead, at least one month from submission deadlines
- DON’T expect last-minute “saves”
- DO consider the best meeting location
- DON’T invite distractions or interference from well-meaning supporters
- DO come prepared with prompts from schools and a schedule of deadlines
- DON’T waste ten minutes of the session retrieving information from college websites
- DO keep an open mind about what you might write about
- DON’T come with a finished essay unless you’re open to a complete rewrite
- DO remember that you want to reveal the unique side of you
- DON’T use your personal essay as a duplicate resume
- DO take responsibility for the process
- DON’T expect the coach to be your voice (or typist)
- DO approach the meetings as an opportunity to grow as a writer
- DON’T interrupt or rush the coach in a quest to get it down and done
- DO expect at least three meetings: brainstorming/quick writes; first draft review; final draft review/planning for supplemental pieces
- DON’T expect to have extra pieces reviewed, back and forth via email, at no fee (the same goes for 15-minute debriefs with parents in the hallway)
- DO give the coach a courtesy update email, call, or thank-you note upon your college decision
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