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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. Its curriculum was created by former top-15 admissions officers. This is your one-stop on your application journey.

"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

Essay Academy students have gotten into schools like...

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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 with dozens of example essays and a clear, step-by-step process to take you through your applications.

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., Former Stanford Admissions Officer

"The example essays were insane."

The example essays were insane, maybe the best part of the program 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. They taught me how to write my college essays in 3 days. 

Jessica F., Vanderbilt Admit ('22)

"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)

Craft essays that hit admissions officers like a bolt of lightning

"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)

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


Build your essay strategy

Our strategy framework will help you craft essays that fit together and 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 start thinking about a topic for a personal essay.
  • 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.

"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 comprehensive support. Hit or miss quality. $60/mo 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 curriculum designed by former-T15 admissions officers. Dozens of resources.
Timeline You're free to Google late into the night, every night... Support happens hourly and on the consultant's time. A consistent approach to writing great college essays designed for everyone. Created by professional writing coaches and former admissions officers.
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.
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Ready to write? Secure one of the Essay Academy spots now.

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 to get value?

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. 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.

"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)