For many college-bound high school seniors, the holiday season can be challenging, as students wait to hear whether they will be admitted to their first-choice early decision and early action colleges. If a school only accepts 10-20% of applicants who apply ED, it follows that 80-90% need to have a back-up plan and apply elsewhere. This year, some students delayed applying ED and EA because they weren’t able to visit schools due to Covid-19. Either way, instead of sitting around stressing out, it’s crunch time — or it should be.
With six weeks from the regular decision college application deadlines in early January, the pressure’s on for a polished essay. The Common Application personal statement has taken on newfound importance with other factors holding less weight due to the Covid-19 disruption, such as high school classes being graded pass/fail, many colleges adopting “test-optional” policies, and some sports programs and other extracurricular activities on pause. This time of year students procrastinate or tinker with their essay for weeks — akin to driving in circles. The good news is essay writing doesn’t need to be an overwhelming ordeal. Enter A Bloc of Writers — the Greenwich, Connecticut-based writing firm and trio of essay experts — and their affordable tutoring service, Essay Rx. Their team is like a GPS, guiding students toward their destination and ensuring they arrive on time.
Founder Michele Turk is the mother of both a college freshman and junior. She gets it. In fact, she purposely chose “We take the Stress out of College Admissions!” as her company’s tagline to reassure frazzled families (and a lot of families are frazzled this year!). Michele has worked as a professional writer and editor for the past two decades, having published news articles and features for many consumer magazines and websites before becoming a college consultant (she is an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association). She also worked as an adjunct professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University. She knows good writing. Michele and her team, including professional writers and educators Daisy Florin and Jennifer Deinard, coach teens on the nuts and bolts of strong writing, and specifically, storytelling, the essence of a good essay.
“If you rushed to finish your essays in the waning days and even hours before the mid-night deadline on November 1, Essay Rx can provide reassurance for future applications. After they’ve been deferred or rejected, some students have a wake-up call that their parents or best friend may not know how to write a strong college application essay,” said Turk. “As regular decision application deadlines quickly approach, students need quick, professional advice on their college essays,” she said. “That’s where Essay Rx comes in…we diffuse anxiety, provide spot-on feedback, and help students hone their essays to be on point and on time.”
Though Essay Rx is a timely remedy for unfinished essays, A Bloc of Writers also assists students at any step in the college application process. Should students be stumped on a topic, the tutors work in tandem with the teen, mining their background to distill a compelling story. In January, A Bloc of Writers will offer an affordable online writing class designed to teach underclassmen how to write a winning essay.
“Our take on what makes a good essay topic is often very different from what students think. The goal is to deliver an authentic essay, strong enough to move their application from the maybe pile to the accepted pile,” continued Turk.
The tutoring staff also highlights hallmark pitfalls to avoid, like waiting until the last minute to start writing, skipping revisions, writing an autobiography or resume-like list of achievements, tackling the school-specific supplemental essays without enough knowledge of the college or program, asking the wrong person for help, or going it alone. With A Bloc of Writers, there’s no need to.
A Bloc of Writers is a Greenwich-based writing, editing and tutoring company. They specialize in helping students write impressive college application essays. What sets them apart is that their essay tutors are all experienced, professional writers, editors, and teachers. For more information, visit www.ablocofwriters.com.