Lilly: a College Essay Success Story

How the Vested Academics Team helped a student find her voice and draft unique college essays

How It All Started

As a high school senior, Lilly was excited when September finally arrived. With aspirations of becoming a biochemist, she had spent a lot of time developing a solid list of colleges, many of which she intended on applying to via Early Action. It seemed like everything was in order.

One day, Lilly came home from school in tears. Her mother calmed her down and, after a long talk, got to the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, Lilly had learned that her college applications required not only a main essay but also multiple supplemental essays. Additionally, her Early Action deadlines were right around the corner, giving Lilly little time to put everything together.

With no writing background of her own, Lily’s mother knew she wouldn’t be able to help. Having read the college essay her daughter drafted in her English class, she felt her daughter was a good enough writer—after all, she consistently received As on her research papers. In fact, she saw the writing component of the application process as a formality, believing that schools valued grades and test scores above everything else.

After several emails to Lily’s school counselor confirmed she would need to write additional supplements, her mother took action. That’s when she reached out to Vested Academics.

Parent Perspective

  • Assumed guidance department had essays covered
  • Didn’t have a writing background
  • Felt essay wasn’t an important part of the application

Lilly’s Perspective

  • Earned a good grade on her assigned college essay in English class
  • Did not know that college apps required supplemental essays, too
  • Worried about missing Early Action Deadline

How the Vested Academics Team Helped Lilly and Her Mother

College Essay Coaching—Working one-on-one with a Vested Academics essay coach, Lilly read several successful college admissions essays and quickly decided her piece needed revising. Her essay coach taught her about the importance of tone, encouraging her to substitute the academic voice she used in her main essay for something more natural.

Organization & Deadlines—Lilly’s essay coach helped her create a manageable writing schedule, complete with deadlines for each school. Regular sessions with her coach kept her on track.

Supplemental Essays—By creating simple outlines, Lilly and her essay coach emphasized her various strengths and accomplishments without being repetitive. This approach made her main essay unique and brought something new to each of her supplemental essays.

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The Result

Although Lilly came to our team in rough shape, she quickly got up to speed. With a lot of organization, hard work, and one-on-one support, Lilly wrapped up her last supplement with two days to spare. Her mother instantly saw the difference in the quality of her daughter’s application and could tell Lilly felt proud of the work she had produced.

A few months later, her essay coach received an interesting text. Lilly had shared a video of her mother sobbing happy tears at the kitchen table and a simple, two-line message:

“We got into all 10 schools!

In Her Own Words

“It was definitely the most stressed out I have ever been. But after our first meeting she had everything organized. I knew what I had to do and when to do it. Plus, she taught me how to say what I wanted to say without sounding so formal, more like a real person and not like I was responding to a DBQ.”

High School Senior

Next Steps

At Vested Academics, our professional college planning consultants and essay coaches help students draft creative, unique essays that resonate with admissions committees. Contact Our Team to learn more.

Attend our classes and events on this topic. From webinars to in-person events, guest speakers to professional instruction, our events calendar is filled with outstanding resources for parents and students alike. Go to the Events Calendar.

With nearly twenty years of experience as an educator, Jennifer Chase has developed a natural ability to meet individual students at their level, helping them find confidence while working toward their goals.

More about Jen C.

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