Join the College Essay Community

You work hard to support your students. But where do you go for the best college essay advice and resources? Join our College Essay Community, a warm, welcoming space where you can connect with your colleagues (and Wow) to find college essay solutions, get the best resources, engage, discuss, and learn.

Timely Topics

The first week of each month, we announce a timely topic, post reflection questions, and share Wow’s resources. At the end of the month, we host a meeting on Zoom to share best practices, reflect, and improve. All meetings are recorded and posted the next day.

Exclusive Insights

Our resource library is open 24-7! Explore common issues like tricky essay prompts, worried parents, brainstorming ideas, supplemental essays, running a group workshop, and reviewing drafts quickly and efficiently.

Meaningful Connections

Chat, learn, and connect with colleagues who get it. Access our member directory; find what you need in the resource library; ask or answer a question in the forum; attend a monthly meeting; watch a recording. Your level of involvement is entirely up to you.

Community Is a Judgement-Free Zone

Our business is full of chat boards, social media groups, and webinars. Some of the info is useful. But sadly, much of it is either out of context or downright inaccurate.

The College Essay Community is full of extraordinary resources you won’t find anywhere else. We created it as a judgement-free zone for everyone who works with students applying to college because you told us you needed better, and more.

We’ve spent more than a decade training professionals and teaching students how to write effective college essays. We’ve listened to your concerns and provided countless resources to help you succeed. 

We're pulling out all stops to build this Community. Together.

12-month Membership Includes:

  • Resources, tips, and conversation
  • Essay coaching strategies
  • Writing exercises for your students
  • Monthly webinars (live & recorded)
  • Resource library
  • Member directory
  • Discussion forum
  • 24-7 access

Are you ready to join us?

Just $400 for 12 Full Months

(That breaks down to just $33 a month!)

Share Ideas. Solve Problems. Dig Deeper.

In the College Essay Community, we do a lot more than facilitate discussions. We share ideas, solve problems, and dig into best practices together.

Ready to make an investment in your essay coaching practice? Just $400 for 12 Full Months

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

Our approach is unique. Our philosophy is eye-opening. We’ve helped hundreds of professionals like you improve their college essay coaching practices.

Barbara Rifkind

Arise Advising
New York, NY

“The community is a place for people who are serious about essay coaching. Wow and the Community are in my college essay tool kit.”

Sharon Vann

School Counselor
Denton, TX

“I value the professional development. As a counselor who works with a lot of students, it is so good to engage with people who work one-on-one.”

Liz Gessner

Freelance Writer and Editor
Brooklyn, NY

“It feels good to talk openly, strategize, and share information. It helps knowing that other people face similar challenges.”

Alison Merzel

AHM Advising
Columbus, OH

“There aren’t many places to connect with people who do this work. Connecting with Community is invaluable.”

Kerry Lynch

College Edge
Dartmouth, Ma

“The conversations are fresh and the resource library is current. My questions always get answered.”

Sara Bittner

LAUNCH Education Advisors

“I know I am always getting up-to-date information because Wow is in contact with real admissions people all the time.”

What Are You Waiting For?

You and your students deserve to work together smoothly, with less stress, and better results. What are you waiting for?

Just $400 for 12 Full Months

A College Essay Toolkit

The way Barbara Rifkind sees it, the first thing new IECs worry about when launching a solo practice is finding clients. After that, they wonder, “How am I going to coach college essays?” >

For Barbara, an IEC from New York City, the essay has always been the most challenging; Community has become her go-to essay coaching resource.

After completing Wow’s College Essay Experience training, Barbara joined Community to engage with others and get accurate, helpful resources. Her goal is to improve her own college essay coaching process. In Community, she contributes and engages in discussions with like-minded professionals; it’s the first time she’s had a place where she felt comfortable engaging with others.

What would she say to another new consultant who needs guidance on college essay coaching?

“Community gets you over one of the two big hurdles — the college essay. It is a dependable and consistent place for people who are serious about essay coaching.”

She appreciates connecting with other IECs, new and experienced, who value Wow’s approach and ethical practice that “privileges the student, rather than their own perspective.” She also loves the resource library, which includes information for writing supplements, parsing prompts, completing activities lists, and running group workshops.

“Wow and the Community are in my college essay tool kit.”

I learn from the others

With a little help from her colleagues in Community, Sharon Vann has mastered the art of the follow-up question for brainstorming college essay ideas with her students.

She credits her enhanced brainstorming technique to discussions with other professionals and Wow’s many resources shared with the Community.

“I learn from the others,” said Sharon, who for years had been the sole college advisor at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. “I value the professional development. As a counselor who works with a lot of students in a school, I have found it so good to engage with people who work one-on-one.”

Community has been a guaranteed way for Sharon to meet others who are doing the same type of work on college admissions and essays. In fact, she rarely misses a monthly meeting; she clears her calendar so she can attend each session without interruption.

“I was a better counselor this year and definitely better with essays.”

Sharon’s learned so much: understanding students do not need to be unique in their college essays; realizing students should not try so hard to fit their stories into a template; knowing students need to focus on what they want colleges to know, rather than what they think colleges want to know.

A place to strategize and share Information

Community is a great standalone program for Liz Gessner, a freelance writer and editor who has been supporting students writing college application essays for fifteen years.

Although Liz is not a counselor, educator, or college admissions person, she joined Community to connect with others doing similar work, as well as to stay current on issues affecting college admissions. She loves the live meetings (even if she does more listening than talking) and watches recordings when she is unable to attend.

“It feels good to be able to talk openly, to strategize, and to share information,” Liz said. “It helps knowing that other people doing this work face the same or similar challenges.”

Liz found a Community discussion about parsing the Common App’s newest prompt, the gratitude prompt, particularly useful. It was a lively discussion, one she would never been able to have without the other participants..

“While appreciating that the prompt affords students an opportunity to focus on something positive that happened to them, the discussion underscored the fact that each prompt contains several questions and our work as advisors is to make sure our students understand what is being asked of them and to write an essay that answers all parts of the prompt they choose.”

Before Liz joined Community, she did not have many others to talk with about this work. She is delighted with her membership and appreciates having access to this professional network.

“Since college essay coaching is not the only thing I do, the monthly check-ins keep me connected to the bigger conversation,” she said. “The Community is a valuable resource for keeping up with what’s going on in the world of college admissions.”

Meaningful Connections

Alison Merzel loved the camaraderie among her colleagues while working in graduate admissions at the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. But that sense of community was noticeably absent when Alison ventured out on her own as in IEC in 2019; she missed having colleagues nearby to chat, or bounce ideas off of, and get support.

“It can be very isolating as a single person in a practice without other colleagues. Sometimes I feel like I work on an island as a solo practitioner.” Alison said. “College Essay Community is an incredible, supportive community of pros helping each other.”

For Alison, the College Essay Community fills that gap. One of Community’s first members, she signed up after completing her CEE training and has remained an active participant. For that, she is incredibly grateful.

She loves sharing ideas and hearing others’ ideas. Alison enjoys the monthly meetings, asking questions, and using our resource library.

“I have such a thirst for knowledge and information sharing. Being able to connect with Susan and Kim, as well as other people who do this work, is invaluable,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of places to connect with other people who do this work.”

A Confidence Boost

Kerry Lynch is well on her way to becoming a college essay expert. After completing Wow’s College Essay Experience training, she began honing her essay coaching skills in Community; she has a knack for asking questions that are spot on.

In fact, if Kerry has a question about college essays, she knows she’ll find her answer in Community: whether during a monthly meeting, in the resource library, or in the discussion forum, where she provides valuable insight month after month.

“The conversations are fresh, and the resource library is current,” she says. “Every month, there are questions I have, or questions that emerge while listening to the conversation. My questions always get answered.”

When Susan asked the Community for best tips for writing the Why This College? essay inside the forum, Kerry was the first member to respond:

“This is hard work for students because often they cannot fully articulate why they want a particular major or school. I always remind students that they have to go deep into the website and spend some time reflecting on their visit if they had one, and that works well.”

Kerry is especially interested in what’s on other people’s minds. She prefers to learn in Community, which is respectful, professional, and facilitated by Wow, rather than in a Facebook group, which is not managed and can be a waste of her time.

“I know this is valuable information,” she says. “I don’t have time to go into groups online to try and ascertain what is valuable and what is not. I know this is a space where I can continue to learn, so I can make the college essay easier for my students. Community helps give me confidence to work with students and talk to parents.”

A resource for essay coaching insight

Community is a safe place for Sara Bittner to reflect and think critically about how and why she makes decisions about essay coaching with her students; she is always looking for ways to learn and share what she knows with others.

“If I am stumped by a student on an essay, I make note of it and try to get to the discussion that month so I can get help. I really like getting a more diverse set of feedback. Everyone has ideas about how they handle situations.”

Recently, Sara requested guidance from the Community while struggling to help a student with ADHD select and stick with just one college essay topic.

“My student kept going off onto tangents; she had hundreds of ideas and could not focus,” Sara recalled. “I had to figure out a way to sort through it and help her focus.”

She got what she needed from the collective hive mind. The professionals in Community shared tips and ideas, which gave Sara insight into how others handle students with ADHD. And that was exactly what she needed.

“I get something out of every meeting I attend,” Sara said. “I am an extrovert – it helps having an informed group to bounce ideas off of.”

Sara is also a big fan of Wow’s writing exercises and tip sheets, available any time from the resource library. She calls them “excellent, accurate, and not formulaic.” While she prefers in-person monthly meetings, the time difference (she lives in the Netherlands) often makes attendance impossible. If she misses a meeting, she listens to the recording.

“I know I am always getting up-to-date information because Wow is in contact with real admissions people all the time,” she said. “There was a great discussion on the Covid prompt after it came out, and that was helpful to advise my students. We talked about what it meant, and how to explain it to our students; I used that information to advise my students, too.”