Parents' Guide to the College Puzzle

Navigating the college admissions process and freshman year experience.


College Admissions and Essay Coaching

I assist students with their college admissions essays and the application process. Read on to learn how I can help yours.

IMG_0915Essay Coaching

The college admissions essay gives high school seniors the opportunity to share something significant or unique about themselves that can’t be found anywhere else on the application. It is a chance to show that they are more than just their grades and SAT/ACT scores.

A well-written, focused essay can launch a student onto the accepted list in an applicant pool where everyone has comparable grades, test scores, resumes and talents. It can even lead to scholarships. That’s why your senior needs an exceptional essay.

Common essay pitfalls include mixing too many ideas, not sharing enough information or ignoring the importance of even small experiences. Teenagers seem to find it easy to brag about themselves to friends and family, but often have a hard time zeroing in on what an admissions officer would find interesting. I’d like to help your student figure that out.

A professional editor and writer, I’ve interacted with admissions officers as a parent, through my work at a public college and in research for my blog. I know what colleges are looking for in the essay, and I can help your teenager put their best foot forward in theirs.

What I do:

  • Edit the CommonApp/Coalition essay using the student’s own words. I do not write essays.
  • Showcase what makes this applicant the right fit for a college.
  • Offer general consulting on choosing an essay topic, structuring the essay and preparing the essay for submission.
  • Edit short answer, supplemental essays.

How it works:

  • All work can be done via email, with consultations by phone, FaceTime or Skype, when necessary.
  • I charge a reasonable flat fee to edit a college admissions essay considered final.
  • Editing a draft or short answer essay, and any consulting work, is charged at an hourly rate.

My edited essays stand out One client was offered a 50 percent merit scholarship based solely on his essay. Another received a personal note from an admissions officer praising him for the way she learned so much about him through his essay.

If you are interested in my editing services, please email me at avbrady(at) (You know how it really works. This format is just to discourage spammers.)

IMG_0948Admissions Coaching

The process of applying to college today can seem as overwhelming to you as it does to your teenager. On top of that, motivating your high school senior to tackle their college applications sometimes feels like an impossible task.

After several years of providing essay coaching to high school seniors, I began assisting some of them with other aspects of the college application process. Now I help students successfully navigate this process, preparing them to apply and guiding them through submission.

I can facilitate:

  • Creating a high school resume
  • Reviewing and organizing materials needed to fill out applications
  • Pairing down the list of colleges
  • Focusing on a major
  • Determining whether to apply Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Admission
  • Setting up an application schedule
  • Picking a prompt/topic for admissions essays
  • Completing applications in progress by working one-on-one

Transferring colleges is very similar to applying to college for the first time. I assist freshmen and sophomores with their applications, as well.

How it works:

  • Services are provided in-person locally, otherwise via phone, FaceTime or Skype.
  • I charge a reasonable hourly rate.

To find out more about how I can help your teenager or transfer student with the admissions process, please email me at avbrady(at)

I look forward to working with you and your student.


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