With the Essay Academy, you don't have to be a great writer to write great college essays.

The Essay Academy is an all-in-one college essay program, with a comprehensive video curriculum, essay examples, Q&As with former top-15 admissions officers, and a private community to help you on your application journey. 

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"This program saved me. The videos and essay examples were next-level. Alex & his team changed how I saw my application strategy. This program was the reason I got into Georgetown, hands down. 10/10. Thank youuuu."

Lily S., Georgetown University '26

We've helped thousands of students get into schools like these.

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Across 12,582 college applications we've reviewed, the essays defined the successful ones.

Essays are the biggest barriers separating even highly competitive students from breaking out of the "sea of sameness" and standing out in the admissions process.

The Essay Academy bundles together a comprehensive instructional curriculum, dozens of example essays, live Q&A with former admissions officers, and an exclusive community where you can get all your questions answered.

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The Essay Academy is the best college essay program I've seen in 20+ years of working in admissions. Alex built the perfect
balance of deep curriculum and personal support. The essays this program turns out are amazing. If there are spots left, sign up.

Irena Smith, PhD., Strategy Advisor at McNeil Admissions

The Essay Academy was built to help you produce college essays that stand out and increase your chances of getting in.

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"The example essays were insane."

The example essays were insane, maybe the best part of the course for me and probably worth it all on its own. The program gave me a million good data points and comparisons for me to use as I wrote my essays. It taught me how to write a college essay. 

Jessica F., Vanderbilt Admit ('22)

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"Everything about essays in one place."

I was spending way more time trying to track down information about how to write the essays than I was writing! Probably spent 100 hours procrastinating on reddit and random blogs. The program laid out everything I needed to know about the essays in one place. It got me writing.

Tim P., University of Texas, Austin Admit ('22)

The Essay Academy helps you write essays that make (not break) your application.

Here's how you'll use the Essay Academy to demystify the college essays and start writing your own amazing essays.

Join our private Essay Academy community...

Your first step? Accepting an invitation to a private, small-group Essay Academy community we've created to guide you through the process. There you'll find resources, places to ask questions, and a community of like-minded students also beginning their application journey. 

Part
1

Delve into our comprehensive video curriculum...

We created the most comprehensive college essay curriculum available, and it's all yours. We're talking 16+ hours of studio-recorded material focused on the Common Application, Supplemental Essays, and the UC Essays. And—35k words of supporting written content that we haven't published anywhere else. 

Each section of the course comes with dozens of example essays drawn from successful applicants. We dissect every strategy to learn from, every mistake to avoid, and show you how to use it in your own essays. 

Part
2

Participate in webinars and Q&A sessions with former admissions officers...

Twice a month, we host exclusive webinars covering dozens of topics related to college admissions in our private Essay Academy community. 

We also invite current and former admissions officers from schools like Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Stanford to speak. This is your chance to ask them anything about the inner workings of an elite admissions office. 

Part
3

Submit the best essays you can write! 

After everything, you're ready to hit go with some essays you can be proud of. Still need more feedback? You can always set up a follow-up appointment with one of our admissions pros. 

Pat yourself on the back for writing some amazing college essays. 🎉🎉🎉

Part
4
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"The program covered everything."

The program covered everything. Alex went over Common App, every big type of supplemental, and the UC essays. Great examples for everything. So helpful.

Cara S., USC Admit ('22)

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"Totally transformed my essays."

Working with actual former admissions officers and getting essay draft reviews = best part. They totally transformed all my essays in the sessions we spent together.

Albert T., University of Vermont Admit ('22)

Worked 2
Essay examples that deliver

Understand what a winning college essay looks like--and how to write your own.

The only essay program by former admissions officers and professional writers.

Here's what's actually inside the Essay Academy program

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"Example essays were the best part."

Really good. Example essays were the best part. Alex gets essays on such a deep level. It was amazing to have so many to study from.

Damon D., UC Berkeley Admit ('22)

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"Curriculum + community were so helpful."

The curriculum + community + time with the team and Q&A was so helpful. Head and shoulders better than the other course I tried. 

Alexa G., Duke Admit ('22)

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Build your essay strategy

Our strategy framework will help you craft essays that fit together and stand out.

Build an application strategy that helps you stand out.

Who is the Essay Academy for?

We built our program for students who care about their college applications deeply but who lack clarity about the college essays—and yet who understand how important they are in the process and know that admissions to selective schools often depends on writing great essays.

The program is for you if...

  • You’re preparing to apply to college or you’ve already started the process, and feeling daunted as you stare down the mountain of essays you’ll need to write.
  • You struggle to write in a personal tone and find yourself gravitating to stories that feel overdone, boring, or impersonal.
  • You don’t understand the conventions of college essays and need help navigating their unwritten rules.
  • You’re tired of browsing through forums and half-completed blog posts to piece together an idea of how to approach the writing process.
  • Your writing may be OK, but you have a hard time seeing the “bigger picture” of your application and narrative strategy

You aren't a fit if...

  • You aren’t actively applying to colleges this year—e.g., you are currently a first-year or sophomore in high school.
  • You’re only looking for help with things like school list-building or extracurricular crafting
  • You want to work in a one-on-one setting with a college consultant who can personally guide you through the entire writing process.

If you fall into this group, our private consultants can personally guide you through your admissions journey.

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"Super responsive to small detail questions."

Just being able to ask questions in the community made it worth it. Alex and his team were super responsive to questions and went out of the way to compose thoughtful responses to the smallest-detail questions I had about my essays.

Aurora C., Georgetown Admit ('22)

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"Worth every cent."

I couldn’t afford a consultant, so I gave this a try. I was really lucky to get into the beta because it ended up changing EVERYTHING for my essays. The Essay Academy was worth every cent. I wouldn’t have gotten into Cornell without this. Thank you guys!!!

Ryan F., Cornell Admit ('22)

The Essay Academy helps you craft unforgettable essays quickly

DIY Private Consultant Essay Academy
Cost 100+ hours of your time spent hunting down unreliable answers. Up to $25,000 for high-quality, comprehensive support. $1,700 for the only help you'll need all year.
Format A thousand random blog posts, Reddit threads, and open Chrome tabs. Low-quality phone calls or the cafe at the local Barnes & Nobles. Complete cinematic course, a private Discord community, and webinars with former-T15 admissions officers.
Flexibility You're free to Google late into the night, every night... Support happens hourly and on the consultant's time. Personalize your progress and access the course whenever works for you. Go at your own pace.
Essay Guidance Anecdotal advice and no clear sense of what works. Often hit-or-miss frameworks for writing so-so essays. Consultants are not always skilled writers. A consistent approach to writing great college essays designed for everyone. Created by professional writing coaches and former admissions officers.
See Pricing

 

Essay Academy Program

$315 per month for 6 months

Write your best college essays. The program includes:

8 months’ curriculum access: Comprehensive video curriculum with 25+ pages of workbooks, 20+ exercises, 16+ hours of video lessons on personal statements, supplemental essays, and UC essays. Plus—35k words of unpublished written content. 
45+ example essays: The best selection of annotated example essays for all essay types.
6 months of live workshops: Deep-dive webinars covering key parts of the admissions and essay process.
Exclusive private community: A private cohort of students—your family and support network throughout the process.
Essay Academy Program

$1700

Write your best college essays. The program includes:

8 months’ curriculum access: Comprehensive video curriculum with 25+ pages of workbooks, 20+ exercises, 16+ hours of video lessons on personal statements, supplemental essays, and UC essays. Plus—35k words of unpublished written content. 
45+ example essays: The best selection of annotated example essays for all essay types.
6 months of live workshops: Deep-dive webinars covering key parts of the admissions and essay process.
Exclusive private community: A private cohort of students—your family and support network throughout the process.

Essay Academy FAQs

What's included in the Essay Academy?

The Essay Academy is a digital course designed to get you through the college essay gauntlet. It includes 15+ hours of cinematic video content, 50+ example essays from real applications, and 30+ pages of workbooks and resources to help you through the process. It's also based around 35k+ words of written curriculum never before published by our team.

When you sign up, you also get invited to a private community where we host webinars covering other admissions topics and Q&A sessions with former T15 admissions officers. 

The course is divided into five sections: strategy, the Common App Personal Essay, Supplemental Essays, UC Essays, and revision and writing. 

There's something here for everyone. The Essay Academy is the one-stop you need to make to craft some spectacular essays. 

What example essays do you have?

We've built an epic bank of 40+ example essays covering every major essay genre. Our essay examples are drawn from real applications and extensively discussed by Alex McNeil in detailed video walkthroughs. We also review example essays in the webinars offered through our private community. We feel that essay examples are the best place to learn from. 

Do I have to complete the whole course?

Nope. You can go at your own pace and watch whatever content is most compelling to you. There are several "universal" sections that you should complete--these are where we share our strategic framework.But otherwise, you can dip into the Common App section, then pop over to learn about Why Us supplementals, then graze through our sections on drafting and revising before heading over to the community to catch a Q&A session. It's all up to you.  

We provide a variety of "pathways"—program syllabuses that you can use to help steer a custom course through the Essay Academy.

Can you tell me more about the private community?

The private community is hosted on Discord, and it's the main headquarters for your application journey. It's moderated by our team, including two former admissions officers. The community is kept small. There are opportunities to talk with other students, and we use the community to run our webinars and Q&A sessions. 

Speaking of webinars, here's what we have lined up: 

  • How to build a good college list.
  • How to plan your ED / EA choices.
  • Passion projects and making the most of your ECs with the time you have left.
  • Inside the admissions office: academic scores, competition, personal ratings, and more.
  • How to get great letters of recommendation.
  • How to use the additional information section of the Common App.
  • How to write an extracurricular section that pops.
  • Writing a great letter of continued interest. 
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"Balanced my personal essay and supplementals."

I didn’t have a narrative strategy before I started the Essay Academy. I was just kind of writing whatever. The program helped me lock in a strategy for all my essays. They showed me how to talk about my different extracurriculars in a way that balanced out across my personal essay and supplementals.

Vargas D., University of Chicago Admit ('22)

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"Answered every question I had."

It was the community for me. Alex and his team answered every question we had. The live streams were super good, I formed a little writing group and we supported each other through everything. It honestly felt like a family by the time we were done lol.

Qian J., Harvard Admit ('22)