College Essay and Application Coaching

At LGC, we assist high school seniors, college transfer students, and potential graduate students with the college/graduate school application and essay process.

Due to the high demand for these services, Laura George works directly with a limited number of students each year. Our two additional seasoned essay and application coaches, Jane Hoffman and Karen Ecanow, are also available to partner with students through the essay and application development process. Spots fill quickly; please contact us ​for more information.


Applying to college can be stressful for both students and parents. Laura, Jane, and Karen facilitate this process by meeting with students, getting to know them, and helping them to reflect upon their backgrounds and accomplishments and clearly articulate their interests and goals.

Through an organic process of guiding students through brainstorming exercises, the coaches collaborate with students to help them identify meaningful, personal topics for the main Common Application essay and school-specific supplemental essays.

The coaches then support students as they develop their initial essay drafts, revisions, and final product. Our coaches ensure that our students’ content conveys their central theme through their genuine voices so they produce mature, introspective essays that will help them get accepted to their target colleges.

We also offer assistance with initial college selection, completion of the Common Application (or Coalition or specific college applications), and college interview preparation.

We have worked with students from across the Chicago area and across the country, and 100% of our clients have achieved acceptance to at least one of their target schools.

The Essay Process

Start the process by scheduling a free initial 20-minute parent consultation ​so that we can discuss your child's unique needs and goals. We will then recommend a personalized plan of action.

The student experience involves meeting with Laura, Jane, or Karen either in person or via phone or Zoom to share their personal stories. Our coaches guide students through a supportive discussion process that encourages them to consider the characteristics and traits that describe them and identify the influences that have shaped the people they have become. They then dive deeper into these stories through a series of writing exercises in order to identify those that will make the best possible content for the various essays the students must write.

After selecting their topics, students will write their first drafts and submit those to their coach. From there, the coach guides students through an additional set of writing exercises to further flesh out and strengthen their content, as well as a reflection exercise that will help students identify revisions and additions they wish to make to their essays.

After these steps, the coach will offer high level thoughts and comments on the revised essay draft and recommend areas in which students can elaborate, revise, and/or condense in order to improve the essay.

Once content is solidified, coaches will work with students to augment the structure of the essays and propose necessary grammatical and/or punctuation edits. Throughout the process, coaches are dedicated to ensuring that a student’s genuine voice is maintained and his or her core theme is clearly reflected so that the students’ essays make the greatest impact on admissions committees.


The process of sending essays back and forth to perfect them varies in duration depending on the pace at which a student submits revisions as well as the number of supplemental essays a student has chosen to write in addition to the main Common Application essay. Typically, the entire process lasts one to three months. We advise beginning this process during the summer prior to senior year to ensure ample time to produce excellent essays.

Laura, Jane and Karen work with a limited number of students each application season to ensure that they provide unlimited access and undivided focus to each deserving student.

Freshman/Sophomore Year

  • Students enroll in classes that interest and appropriately challenge them
  • Explore personal, extracurricular, and service-related interests
  • While students may continue to pursue multiple interests, they should choose a few pursuits that genuinely interest them and “dive deep” into these activities, dedicating significant time and energy and seeking initial opportunities for leadership
  • Students begin to speak with their high school college counselors, parents, and other mentors about the size, location, environment, and academic strengths they are seeking in their ideal college
  • Families may wish to engage us for a one-hour college consult to discuss high school class selection and extracurricular focus and begin a broad evaluation of the types of colleges that appeal to their son or daughter so they can begin to make plans for visiting representative schools

Junior Year

  • Students continue to explore challenging coursework, maintain involvement in their chosen activities, and seek opportunities for leadership, whether formal (elected or appointed positions) or informal (mentoring, tutoring, etc.)
  • Continue to research colleges and begin to narrow down list of target schools
  • Ideally, students and parents visit target schools or attend information sessions that are held in their local area
  • Finalize a working list of target colleges and identify a program to which they intend to apply Early Decision if they have a strong desire to attend a particular school
  • During the summer prior to senior year, students meet with Laura, Jane, or Karen to discuss ideas for the Common App main essay and all supplemental essays for their target list of schools
  • After their initial kick-off meeting, students begin to write their essays drafts and send them to their coaches to begin the process of evaluation and collaboration on recommended revisions to content and editing

Senior Year

  • In the summer prior to senior year or right as school begins, students request letters of recommendation from teachers and other relevant mentors
  • Review and finalize all application essays and online application forms
  • Submit application(s) at least a few days in advance of published deadlines, preferably one to two weeks before these deadlines
  • Meet with their coach to discuss and implement waitlist strategies if necessary

Commencing the Process

LGC offers various essay coaching and application guidance packages. Please contact us ​for more information about our packages, the services included, and pricing.