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College Essay Consulting

Let's do this.

Together, we'll work through my proven step-by-step approach to help you explore who you are, identify your most notable experiences and strengths, and then write the sort of memorable admissions essays that can help you stand out.

Because every student has a story.

What's yours?

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College Essay Consulting: Welcome


College Essay Consulting

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College Essay Consulting: Testimonials

Shane is a college essay guru.  He helped my daughter with her application essays and he was perfect for the job. He is knowledgeable about the college application process and how the essay should fit in. Even more importantly, he was wonderful at connecting with my daughter. We were impressed with his patience and empathy, which were key in helping her discover her story. We could not have been happier. If you have a high school student facing the dreaded college essay, or any kind of writing project, call Shane. — Pablo Decastro (UC Lab HS student parent)

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College Essay Consulting: Clients

Admissions Results

(a partial list)



Columbia U


George Washington



Michigan State






Santa Clara




U Chicago

U CO/Boulder


U MI/Ann Arbor

U Toronto

U WI/Madison



Listening comes first. I tailor my approach to suit each individual. Some students come to me early, in the spring or summer, for a complete months-long immersion in admissions essay writing. Other students come to me later, in the fall or winter, for some targeted feedback on a working draft just days or weeks before it's due. No matter where you are in your journey, I can help you showcase your best self while, at the same time, guiding you through my proven step-by-step process of discovery, feedback, and revision.*

Step One

We'll review what you already know about admissions essays and fill in any gaps.

Step Two

I'll use my journalistic skills to ask you questions about how you came to be who you are. Then, we'll do some structured brainstorming to further uncover your most intriguing stories and profound personal insights.**

Step Three

We'll engage in a series of outlines, freewrites, drafts, and focused revisions to help you find your voice, discover your most telling details, and produce the sorts of application essays that can make all the difference.

* Certain steps can be skipped to accommodate advanced writers or tight deadlines.** Many students worry that, if they haven't overcome some hardship, they won't have anything to write about. Rest assured, overcoming hardship is not a prerequisite for writing a great admissions essay.

College Essay Consulting: List


Because some students require more guidance and some require less, I’ve landed on a standard summertime rate of $195 per hour on an as-needed basis.

Later, in the fall and winter, to accommodate crunch-time demand, I’ve occasionally had to raise my rates for new clients who come to me after Labor Day. But for all my pre-existing summer clients, the rate is always the same, save for the sliding-scale rates I offer to clients in need. If you’d like to be considered for sliding-scale pricing, please send me a paragraph or two explaining your circumstances.

College Essay Consulting: About Me
College Essay Consulting: About Me

Calendar & Timing

Ideally, I like to have students begin regular weekly sessions with me in June so that, by the end of summer, they’ve completed (or nearly completed) their main personal essay and as many school-specific supplemental essays as possible.

For most students, it takes roughly 4-5 drafts and 12-15 hours worth of my editorial guidance to write, revise, and complete a polished 650-word admissions essay, though those numbers can vary depending on each student’s skills and work ethic.


As for school-specific supplemental essays, requirements vary, and so the time it takes to complete them largely depends on the list of schools each student applies to.

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