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Help Your Child Get Started Early on the College Essay

A few years ago, I got a call from Deb, a normally calm and even-keeled mom I know from yoga class. She said she was fit to be tied; she wanted out of the college essay coaching job she’d given herself in an effort to help her daughter apply to college.

Deb thought she could handle the job alone! But that didn’t work out so well.

Soon after they began the essay process, Deb’s daughter began pushing back, creating a lot of tension inside their home. Car rides and family meals were unpleasant. By the time Deb called me, she was at wit’s end.

“I always felt confident that I could help my kids with their schoolwork, but when it came to the college essays, there was just too much emotion involved,” Deb said. “I knew my daughter needed guidance, but I could not be the one to give it to her.”

You don’t have to feel like Deb during your child’s journey to college. You can avoid some of the stress if you start the process early! The first step is understanding what the college essay is all about; it may not be what you think it is, either.

A successful college application essay experience has very little to do with actually writing an essay.

All your child needs to write an effective application essay is an environment that allows them to succeed. They need a process, plus a schedule and plan – the stuff that actually works!

We gave Deb’s daughter a schedule, and a step-by-step process to get the essay done effectively, long before the first big deadline on Nov. 1. We provided her with simple tasks that made the writing process more manageable than it was while working with her mom. 

While Deb spent a lot of time at odds with her daughter over the topic and the essay flow, she did not give her daughter what she really needed to make sure the college essay experience would be easier.

But that’s because she did not know she was making things worse for her daughter. 

I know you want to help your child, too. You’ve got their back. Who else would go over the moon and back for your child? I can help you do that! 

I’ll show you how to get your child started on the process and give tips for guiding them with minimal stress during a 60-minute webinar with Applerouth: Time to Start Thinking About College Essays! Find Out How to Get Your Child Started.

We’ll talk about what you need to do to enjoy a peaceful dinner with your family during application season:

  • Process, schedule, plan
  • Understand what the essay is, and what colleges really want
  • How to help your child reflect

Join me on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. E.T.

I’ll answer as many of your questions about the college essay as I can during the time we have together. And I’ll give you something free, just for showing up.

The process helped Deb. She let out a huge sigh when she saw me after her daughter finished the essay. She was calm, just like she used to be. 

 “My daughter seemed to gain more and more confidence as she went through the process,” Deb told me. “Thankfully the tension created in the house due to the dreaded application essay process was no longer present. It was a relief for me knowing that we had a timeline, and it would be completed without me having to pressure her to meet deadlines.”

I was able to take some of the pressure off of Deb. Her daughter’s essay was perfect, written in her own words and in her own voice; she was happy with it. And she got into her first-choice school.

Don’t you want a little peace of mind and a happy kid?

Sign up for the webinar here.

Our Gift to You!

Success on the essay begins at home. Learn how to support your child with their college essay without taking over in our book for parents, How to Write an Effective College Application Essay: The Inside Scoop for Parents. It’s yours FREE for a limited time only.

How to Write an Effective College Application Essay is a simple, straightforward guide offering insight from our decades of experience as writers and writing teachers; it provides tips so you can prepare your child to respond to any college application essay question. In the book, we clarify the mixed messages that confuse parents and students, to help families like yours make sense out of the noise surrounding the essay.


Kim Lifton, a national expert on the college essay, is President and Founder of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communication company specializing in college admission and grad school application essay writing and professional training. She leads a team of writers and teachers who understand the writing process inside and out. She practices what she preaches and is doing her own professional development: a memoir writing workshop.


Applerouth is a trusted test prep and tutoring resource. We combine the science of learning with a thoughtful, student-focused approach to help our clients succeed. Call or email us today at 866-789-PREP (7737) or info@applerouth.com.