- Step-by-step guidance for writing the personal statement.
- Introductions by Amy Jarich, Dean of Admissions at UC Berkeley, and Eric Furda, Dean of Admissions at Univ. of Pennsylvania.
- Sample essays followed by commentary and analysis.
Monday-Friday 12-4 p.m. (PST)
Admissions 101 – your profile
Before you can strategize ways to strengthen your application, you’ll need to know a little about how admissions officers review applications. Review occurs in two ways: 1) on the merits, 2) profile.
“On the merits” means that your application – GPA, test scores, personal statement, extracurriculars, and other application components – is compared to all applications in the pool. You can get a sense of where your application stands on the merits by comparing your academic info to the averages posted on a school’s admissions website.
In the majority of cases, the admissions decision is not based solely on the merits. Instead, it is based on how competitive the applicant is within his/her profile.“Profile” refers to background information that does not necessarily relate to academic achievement. For example, information about place of origin, academic interest, legacy, minority status, and nationality (to name a few) is included in an applicant’s profile. Understanding you profile is the first step toward understanding how to strengthen your application.
Your Admissions Essay – the most important part of your application?
The bulk of college and grad school applications consist of information that conveys relatively little about who you actually are. The courses you took, the grades you received, and your scores on standardized tests are important indicators of your academic and professional potential, but they convey very little about your character and personality. The admissions essay represents your primary opportunity to communicate a unique message to the admissions committee that goes beyond numbers and grades. In some cases, a stand-out admissions essay can compensate for deficiencies in an application, influencing admissions officers to admit someone who might not have been admitted on the strength of their academic achievements alone.
How Can Dear Admissions Strengthen Your Application Essay?
We understand how difficult it can be to write an application essay. Our mission is twofold:
- to help our clients write essays that stand apart from the crowd, increasing their chances of admission, and
- to relieve the stress and burden of applications, allowing our clients to perform at their best.
We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach. Every client brings a unique mix of qualities to the table; we enhance the strengths and help contextualize the weaknesses. If you are having trouble getting started, we’ll guide you through the brainstorming process and help you get some ideas on the table. If you have an idea for your essay, we’ll help you develop that idea until it matures into a compelling, distinctive statement. If you have a draft of your essay, we’ll provide constructive feedback regarding its strengths and weaknesses, pointing the way toward a stronger draft.
Short Essays, Résumé, Cover Letter, Addenda
Does your application require short essay responses, a résumé, or other written document? Are you planning to attach a separate statement (addendum) describing unique circumstances? We help you think strategically about how to balance different parts of your application. Our approach to admissions consulting is holistic and reflects our understanding that the strongest applications are more than the sum of their parts.
Why Dear Admissions?
- Results – Our clients have gone on to attend undergraduate and graduate programs at schools like Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and a range of other schools across the academic spectrum. We’ve worked with clients applying to small ivy-league programs, large state schools, and everything in-between. Transfer and international students are welcome.
- Our Team – Highly skilled word smiths with extensive admissions experience. All of our consultants have at least one degree from a highly selective university such as Yale, Cambridge, Harvard, or University of Pennsylvania. Many of our consultants have two or more degrees.
- Process – Dear Admissions is the only large admissions essay company to employ a two-tiered structure that ensures that every essay/edit/outline is reviewed by two consultants. This process was designed to reflect the review processes employed by many colleges and universities.
- Human Beings, Not Robots – We understand the stresses associated with applications. Our mission is to help and inspire, not to prey on the anxieties of applicants. Our approach is collaborative, rather than top-down, although we don’t hesitate to provide guidance and input when needed.