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Brandywine Learning Center offers full service college counseling.


Choose from financial aid seminars, college resume and essay preparation, college list selection, application review and more.

College Essay Do's & Don'ts



Do focus on HOW you write about a topic.

Don't focus on finding the one 'perfect' essay topic.

Example – Student A writes about building an orphanage in a 3rd world country or about a summer internship in a senator’s office. Student B student writes about their summer job dressing as an animated Rita’s Water Ice Cup waving to cars passing by.  The student who recounts their experience in the most personally connected manner will receive the coveted acceptance letter.  

Do show vulnerability and your true self. Admissions officers want to hear YOU come through in your writing. Be comfortable showing failure and vulnerability. 

Don’t repeat the information already presented in another part of your application. Think about what you’re already submitting – e.g. transcripts, activity resume. 

Do identify all essays and supplemental writing that colleges on your list require (and mention as optional) to catch overlapping topics. (See below.) 

Don’t skip submitting optional writing opportunities offered by colleges. These can be deciding factors.  

Let’s say, for example, you choose to write about overcoming a shortcoming in your Common App essay, but later find that a top choice college requires additional writing describing how you overcame a personal challenge.  You will be faced with redoing your all-important Common App essay or submitting similar essays. Plan ahead to avoid wasting time and missing opportunities. 

The Main Message

Get organized. Focus on how you tell your story. Get assistance and feedback as needed. 

We are here to help -- be it for one hour of editing recommendations, or 5-6 hours to write a Common App essay from scratch.  We offer packages and hourly rates and accommodate on a first come, first served basis.  

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