First, the bad news: Many students with great GPAs, class ranks, and test scores—stats that would have made them a lock at many colleges only a few years ago—are being passed over as admission rates across the board have hit an all-time low. This year, Harvard University admitted a record 5.79 percent of applicants and even at so-called “safety schools,” most students aren’t getting in.

Great. Just great. What can you do about it?

After a career of earning grades, excelling at extracurricular activities, and building important relationships (you know, with those teachers and others who are writing your recommendations), the essay is the one component of your application over which you still have complete control. The essay is not the most important element of a college or grad-school app—but for an excellent student competing against a wave of excellent students, it can certainly be the difference maker.

A great essay is not a trick, and it’s not rocket science (unless that’s a topic near and dear to you about which you wish to write). The best way to “stand out” is not by trying to shock and awe, but by communicating the truest sense of who you are. Only you, out of thousands of applicants, can be you, and only you can write from your perspective. But it’s okay to have a little help.


THE VITAL WORD will work with you to  jumpstart, touch up, or totally transform your essay to best showcase the real you.


Let VW help you...


...find your spark. Whether you are staring at a blank page (or screen) or have a list of potential topics a mile long, VW can guide you through a productive process of brainstorming and critical-thinking to discover the most compelling concept for your essay.


...find your voice. The application will show admissions officers what you do, but the essay is your best chance to tell them who you are. VW can work with you to find the right words for you.


...shape and streamline your essay. A few hundred words is hardly adequate to capture the essence of your experience, let alone all your hopes and dreams! VW can help you craft your writing—from grammar and style, to organization and flow, to tailoring and tone—to create the most concise and convincing essay possible.


avoid mistakes. Above all, even the simplest error can undermine everything else your essay is intended to achieve. With VW, you know it will be done right; the final, proofread product will be polished and make you proud.


"Victor really helped me refine my essay. With his help, I was able to make the step from a good piece of writing to a great one."

— Charlie Wolock
    Harvard University, Class of 2015