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Not long ago, I was trying to put together my own college essays to send to elite universities and a strange thing happened. Out of the countless drafts I’d written and revised with the help of my tutor/editor, all of them disappointingly not me, it finally clicked. I produced the final draft of my Personal Statement in fifteen minutes and then aced every supplemental essay thereafter in like fashion. What with having weak SAT Math scores, it was my writing that ultimately delivered acceptance letters from Columbia, Brown and more.  

Zak Aldridge

Columbia University '19

And that turning point carried further. At the end of my first year at Columbia, an essay I wrote was selected among hundreds of submissions to be published in the Morningside Review, an annual journal published by the Columbia Undergraduate Writing Program. Later I had an opinion piece published in the Columbia Spectator and while volunteering with the Urban Justice Center, I helped write, design and edit a research and advocacy report that was submitted to the New York City Council in the wake of a high-publicity arrest. Since then I’ve edited the autobiography of an American hitchhiker and occasionally publish on my blog uncanny (but true) stories from Kathmandu. 

What makes a wonderful college essay is communicating your truth. What makes a wonderful life is living your truth. We guide our students to notice and set free the story they have to tell, granting them acceptance to the school of their choice and a bridge to the future of their dreams. 


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