college essay writing and application

Writing Essays: Even the Best English Teachers Don’t Get Marketing

I pity the unfortunate high school student who hasn’t had at least one truly extraordinary English teacher. Maybe I see things this way because I’m a liberal arts devotee. To me, an English teacher can change a young person’s life by instilling a love of literature and an appreciation of the beauty of the language. They can even make grammar fun.

This leads to an important college admissions question. Should you ask your favorite English teacher to assist you with your college essays? If you do and they assent, you can be sure that your essays will be grammatically correct and they may even help you elevate your vocabulary. The teacher may help you build your case to support a thesis such as, “I am an ideal student for your college.”

The downside, and it’s a big one, is that your essays are not likely to appeal to the admissions officers at top-tier colleges. This is because they expect college essays to be intriguing, entertaining, and persuasive rather than erudite.

There’s a term that describes writing that is meant to be intriguing, entertaining and persuasive — marketing. Marketing itself is the act of selling something. It may be a product, service, idea, or person. When IvySelect assists you in gaining admission to top-tier colleges, we’re helping to sell you.

Guess what! Your English teacher prefers to have no association with the marketing trade or its skill set. That’s just fine, because your IvySelect college consultant is fluent in the esoteric language of marketing. This allows us, in good conscience, to write less-than-perfect sentences like the first one in this paragraph. But that sentence sounds like it might be part of a real conversation, doesn’t it?

Marketing copy, especially in a college essay, must be subtle. It’s not as bold and ingenuous as, say, advertising-speak (e.g., “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee!”) or as unfettered by restraints as blog-ese. There are rules in writing marketing copy and rules in writing essays, but they’re not the same rules that English teachers value. It’s okay to sin against grammatical orthodoxy to make a point or express an idea. When you write in the vernacular — the way people speak — your message will be easily understood, so the reader will have a few more seconds to absorb it.

Your English teacher won’t hurt your chances if you use them as an auxiliary resource, but we advise you to do so only if they offer. It’s a rare English teacher who can fulfill their many responsibilities and still have time to give student’s essays the attention they demand.

Many English teachers are talented writers, but few have the marketing savvy to advise on the singular style in which essays should be written. Even fewer are familiar with the different expectations of each top-tier college. Your IvySelect college admissions consultant brings both of these vital competencies to bear on your essays. We help you utilize a positioning strategy in your essays that reveals your passions, defines your distinctive traits, elevates your profile, and resonates with the other pieces of your application. Time, attention, and expertise are critical to the successful outcome of the essay writing process.


Your essays need to appeal to admissions officers twice over. First, you grab their attention with the topic and writing style. Then, your content must motivate them to advocate for your acceptance.


In relation to school-specific supplemental essays, our nuanced understanding of the college admissions process, in general, and of the specific attributes that are valued by and differentiate one top-tier college from another, set IvySelect consultants apart from your English teachers. With our expert knowledge base regarding elite colleges, we help you craft top-flight, school-specific essays that demonstrate your understanding of what each university offers you and how you are an excellent fit at that college. These essays can ultimately play a significant role in whether or not you are admitted to the college of your choice.


Unlike your English teacher, college essay writing is part of your IvySelect consultant’s specialty. This is our day job. We guide your college admissions marketing campaign to maximize your competitive stature to the Ivy League and other top-tier institutions that you have targeted. Among the many tasks within this marketing campaign is the development of essays that are perfectly suited to their purpose.

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