Ivy Caliber Essays - How to Write College Application Essays

Learn how to write the best (and fewest!) possible essays for your college applications. Win at college admissions!
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  • Lectures 17
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

College essays are the hardest part of the college application, and they are the one element that you can truly make a difference right up to the very end. Your grades are your grades, and your test scores are set, but your essays are all up to you!

With students applying to ever more colleges each year, students can find themselves on the hook to write dozens of essays. How do you make them stand out when you have so much to do? Ivy Caliber Essays will teach you how to organize your applications, brainstorm, outline, and write the fewest possible essays so you can focus on your most compelling stories and draft your best work.

Sarah Ballard, author of Accepted! A Monthly Guide to College Applications and Admissions to Any School and Founder of college coaching firm Alpha Academia, has crafted this course to teach students how to sell themselves to colleges through their essays.

Ivy Caliber Essays walks you through the process step-by-step:

  1. Organize Your Applications - Know how many essays you have to write and what questions they need to answer.
  2. Brainstorm Topics - Come up with a set of your best stories.
  3. Outline Across Applications - Match topics with essay prompts to ensure your strongest possible application packages with the fewest pieces to write.
  4. Past - Present - Future - Learn how to write what admissions officers want to read - link your past accomplishments with present activities and forecast future goals.
  5. The Personal Statement - Understand what schools are looking for on this standard open essay prompt.
  6. Specialized Prompts - Learn how to craft responses to the most peculiar and unique essay prompts.
  7. Short Answers - Pick the right topics to maximize your response and not give up an opportunity to shine.
  8. Edit and Polish - Walk through a method to ensure that your essays are free of distracting errors.
  9. Recycle - Evaluate whether you can tweak an already written essay for submission to a second application.
  10. When to Scrap - Realize when a draft just isn't working and why you need to start over from a blank slate.

Ivy Caliber Essays uses video sessions with embedded notes to walk through a complete process for writing all of your college (and scholarship!) applications. Links to outside resources and sample essays are included. Worksheets are available for download to supplement the lectures.

In short, Ivy Caliber Essays is everything you need to put your best foot forward on your college essays with the least possible pain.

What are the requirements?

  • Identify the schools you're likely to apply to.
  • Gather the essay and short answer prompts required by each school's application.
  • Try to start the summer before your senior year in high school to give yourself enough time to work through the process and reflect.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Organize their college applications and understand what essays they need to write.
  • Brainstorm a list of potential college essay topics.
  • Outline college essays to guide writing and minimize the number of essays needed.
  • Understand how to write about past accomplishments, current activities, and future aspirations in a single story.
  • Know the difference between personal statements, specialized prompt essays, and short answer responses.
  • Edit and polish college essays so they are free from errors.
  • Recycle an essay to work for multiple applications whenever possible.
  • Overcome writer's block or a bad draft.

Who is the target audience?

  • High school students and their parents will benefit from this step-by-step approach to college essay writing.
  • High school counselors can refresh their skills on how to help students craft their best possible college applications.
  • English teachers and writing coaches can learn a new method to minimize the number of essays needed so students can focus on their best writing.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to College Essay Writing
Section 2: Organizing the Plan of Attack - How Many Essays?
Organizing Your Essays - Examining the Prompts
Organizing Your Essays - Analyzing How Many Essays You Really Need to Write
Section 3: Brainstorming Essay Topics
Brainstorming - Where Do Good Topics Come From?

Use this video to work through a real-time brainstorming session. Get yourself two pads of post-it notes in two different colors and get ready from some quick scribbling!

Brainstorming - How Do You Know If You've Found a Good Topic?
Section 4: Outlining Across Your College Applications
Outlining Across Your College Applications
Section 5: Telling Your Story - Past/Present/Future
Essay Structure - Past Accomplishments/Present Activities/Future Aspirations
Sample Essays Using Past-Present-Future Model
Section 6: The Personal Statement
What is a Personal Statement?
Analyzing a Sample Personal Statement
Section 7: Specialized Essay Prompts
What to Do About Specialized Prompts?
Section 8: Short Answer Responses
Making a Short Answer Out of an Existing Essay
Starting from Scratch on a Short Answer Response
Section 9: Edit and Polish
How to Edit, Step-by-Step
Section 10: Recycling Essays
Can This Essay Be Recycled For Another Application?
Section 11: When An Essay Flops
When An Essay Draft Cannot Be Saved and How to Let It Go

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Instructor Biography

Alpha Academia harnesses expertise--advice and tools--to give its students everything they need to be successful at gaining admission to their best school.

Sarah Ballard founded Alpha Academia to make top college admissions advice accessible to all. The company launched its inaugural course, The Complete College Admissions Adventure in 2015 and just published its book, Accepted! A Monthly Guide to College Applications and Admission to Any School.

Sarah is a Georgetown University and Law Center alumna. After college, she was endorsed to compete for the Rhodes Scholarship and won the George Mitchell Scholarship. She has her Masters and her Juris Doctor. She was never rejected from a single school to which she applied. This includes the Ivy League, graduate school, and law school. She has also won more than $150,000 in competitive, merit scholarships. She has read and reviewed applications for the Mitchell and Fulbright scholarships and has volunteered to do admission interviews at the undergraduate level.

Sarah knows what it is like to navigate the applications process on her own and has assembled a suite of videos and tools that she wishes she had when she was applying--just for you!

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