COLLEGE ESSAY REVIEW SERVICES
With our guidance, you will craft essays that make an admissions impact
Writing a great college Admissions essay is challenging
We’ll help you stand out from the crowd.
HelloCollege’s full quality review goes beyond basic college essay proofreading. Our team of expert essay coaches, with a combined 80+ years of professional writing experience, begin by assessing an essay’s topic, treatment (how it’s written), content, structure, mechanics, and fact-checking. Subsequent college essay coaching sessions continue to guide students in shaping and polishing the essay, elevating it to its potential.
Essay Review Service Includes:
essay Service options
We offer a variety of hourly packages designed to usher you through essay season.
Work hand in hand with your essay coach to brainstorm, review and polish your essay. At each step, you will receive in-depth feedback to complete your essay.
Need more time? The 6 hour package is a great fit for a mid-risk list. You will focus on your personal statement essay and key supplemental essays.
Are you seeking highly selective schools? The 15 hour packages allows you a significant amount of coaching time to ensure every supplemental essay is on point.
What Families are Saying About
Our Essay Review Services
The essay workshops and my essay coach were extremely helpful in shaping my ideas into compelling essays. Through HelloCollege, I also made invaluable connections that helped me to create a unique “stand out” submission that I feel made a hugely positive impact on my application portfolio.
The essay assistance was truly invaluable. So far, he has been accepted into (and received significant financial aid offers from) the Engineering program at 4 schools, and we're waiting to hear from 2 more. My younger son will definitely be signing up!
HelloCollege was a huge help for my son to prepare a winning essay for the Common Application. Each step along the way, he strengthened the focus, content and quality of his essay.
How the Review Process Works
Choose a package based on the number or types of essays you need to complete
Meet one-on-one with your essay coach to fully vet your essay topic and develop a compelling story
Write and submit your first draft of your essay and submit it online
Within 72 hours, receive expert editorial guidance, review and edits
Continue revising your essay working hand in hand with your essay coach, submitting reviews and revisions
We review Many types of essays
HelloCollege helps you avoid uncertainty and stress by
following a strategic college essay assistance process.
Meet Our Essay Team
Founder and Managing Director
Despite the odds stacked against me, I find myself here today. My parents, survivors of World War II bombings and refugee camps, arrived in the United States with just $20, a single suitcase, and no knowledge of the English language. Their lack of formal education didn’t deter them from believing in the power of learning and its potential to create a better future for their five children.
I am Kevin Krebs, the founder of HelloCollege, the largest college planning company in the Midwest. My parents’ unwavering support, guidance, and strong work ethic empowered me to pursue my dreams. My father, a dedicated and no-nonsense bricklayer, served as a mentor through his actions. He woke up at 5:15 a.m. every day, never late, and never missed a day of work, even though he didn’t particularly enjoy his job. He approached his responsibilities with seriousness and determination, tackling every task with diligence. My mother, a kind-hearted lunchroom manager at a school for special needs children, passed away last summer at the age of 88. She encouraged me to set ambitious goals, reminded me to give my best effort each day, and provided unwavering support that boosted my self-confidence beyond measure.
My parents instilled in me the belief that I could achieve anything I dreamed of. I attended Hibbard Elementary, the most ethnically diverse grade school in Chicago, where students from over 50 countries, 90% of whom came from low-income households, gathered. Despite the overcrowded classrooms, I thrived as a strong student, fortunate to have exceptional teachers who cared deeply for their students and pushed me to reach my individual potential.
I successfully tested into Lane Tech High School, a renowned magnet school with over 4,600 students, known for its excellent academics and athletics. Surrounded by a group of motivated and aspirational friends, I set my sights on attending a Big Ten university and participating in sports. Before I knew it, we were seniors preparing for college. I earned a full scholarship to Northwestern University, where I played quarterback on the football team and pitched for the baseball team. Meanwhile, my friends pursued their education at prestigious institutions such as the University of Chicago, Northern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin, and CalArts.
Arriving in Evanston as a broke, first-generation college student could have been overwhelming, both socially and academically. However, it only fueled my focus and determination. The memory of my parents’ sacrifices and perseverance motivated me, especially during countless nights spent writing papers with tight deadlines or pulling all-nighters to study for finals.
Northwestern’s liberal arts curriculum and quarter system exposed me to a wide range of courses that expanded my worldview and honed my critical thinking skills. I had never worked so hard in my life, but I will forever be grateful to the incredible professors who shaped my future. As a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, I graduated with high hopes but without a job.
Despite my excellent grades, I found myself utterly clueless about how the real world, particularly the white-collar professional world, operated. My parents’ network consisted of plumbers, cleaning ladies, and carpenters, not investment bankers, Fortune 500 executives, or influential journalists. Like many unemployed college graduates, I turned to student loans and pursued a master’s degree, accumulating nearly $30,000 in debt.
A year later, I graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, expecting my dream job of anchoring ESPN’s SportsCenter to materialize. However, I found myself unemployed once again, burdened with a Sallie Mae student loan payment each month.
At the age of 25, I felt lost, drowning in debt, and overwhelmed with frustration. How did I end up here? Why had no guidance counselor, academic advisor, coach, or anyone else prepared me for the realities and uncertainties that awaited me?
Driven by these experiences, I founded HelloCollege with the intention of helping students and parents navigate the college path while raising awareness about the escalating costs of higher education. Over the past 20 years, my team and I have had the privilege of sharing our college planning and career readiness workshops, curriculum, and guidance with over 10,000 families.
Looking ahead, we aim to leverage our expertise to assist more than 250,000 students in successfully navigating the college admissions process. Join our movement and discover how students, just like you have gained admission to their dream colleges using our S.A.F.E. method. Together, we are on a mission to shape the next generation of scholars, ensuring they graduate within four years, free from overwhelming debt and equipped with a well-defined career plan.
I am filled with immense gratitude toward my late mother, Mrs. Ursula Krebs, and my 89-year-old father, Mr. Karl Krebs. Their unwavering belief in my potential has been the driving force behind my journey.
Director of Essay Services
Chris Bench has known that words were his vocation since he first learned, bedtime-bound, that Horton’d heard a Who.
Chris earned his AB in English from Kenyon College, writing poetry and combining his interests in systems theory and cognitive science with contemporary literature (wildly pretentious Honors Thesis title: Pynchon, Gaddis, and the Art of Artificial Life: Cybernetics, Nonlinearity, and the Recovery of Structure in the Discourse of the Novel), before spending the better part of a decade in the University of Chicago’s English Literature Ph.D. program, teaching courses (both there and at Roosevelt University) on writing, literary analysis, and American literature (wildly pretentious undergrad course title: Wayward Shots from the Western Canon: Alternative Aesthetics of the US West).
At UChicago, Chris realized his love of working with young people and, especially, his love of teaching writing. At the same time, he also worked a side gig as the UChicago Laboratory School’s in-house essay tutor, which allowed him to further deepen his love of writing instruction and to hone his editor’s craft.
When Chris left academia, that side gig quickly turned – as side gigs are wont to do – into his central pursuit, and Chris has spent the last 15 years aiding students with essays (and tutoring them for SATs and ACTs). Since joining HelloCollege in 2018, Chris has primarily served as an Essay Coach, helping students to transmute experience lived in the world into pixels glowing on a screen – and into admission to institutions ranging from community colleges to Ivy League universities. He now serves as HelloCollege’s Director of Essay Services.
When he isn’t ruthlessly pruning students’ superfluous modifiers, Chris enjoys cooking regional Mexican cuisine, binging kung fu films, and scrambling mountains. If you ask him about the time he was emergency choppered out of Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park, he will briefly feign embarrassment before detailing every bumbling step of his ill-fated adventure.
Will fell in love with the written word his junior year in high school, thanks to an English teacher named Mrs. Kelley. She exposed him to the magic of writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and especially John Steinbeck. Just like that, his future came into focus.
And while Will never became the next Steinbeck (darn!), he did go on to have a gratifying career in publishing as a writer and editor for everything from national magazines to websites. He even wrote a book of his own, Wrigley Blues: The Year the Cubs Played Hardball with the Curse (but Lost Anyway), published in 2004 by Taylor Trade. For the past several years, he also has worked as an essay coach at HelloCollege. His goal in this role is simple: to bring a little “Mrs. Kelley” to the game and help students down the path of fulfilling their passions and achieving their dreams.
Alisha worked in higher education for 12 years, having taught at Michigan State University and the University of South Florida. She is the author of 28 book chapters and research articles on diversity and inclusion, comparative and international education, and qualitative research methods. She has consulted for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and has led numerous independent and collaborative community-based research projects and service-learning study abroad programs in Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, England, and the United States. Working on multiple college campuses domestically and abroad has made Alisha appreciate the diversity of collegiate experiences available to students. As an essay coach and workshop facilitator, she enjoys mentoring students and families as they navigate the college application process and step towards their college and career goals.
Alisha received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy from Michigan State University with graduate specializations in International Development and African Studies. She also holds a M.A. in School Psychology from Michigan State University and a B.A. Honors degree from the University of Calgary. In her free time, Alisha enjoys yoga, golf, Broadway, and most of all spending time with her husband, two-year-old daughter, and dog Elphie (named after Elphaba from her favorite musical, Wicked).
Essay & Career Coach
Sara currently serves as an Essay Coach and Career Success Coach at HelloCollege. She has worked as a high school English teacher for the past 15 years, beginning her career at The Dwight School in New York City. Sara later taught at EF Education New York, an international boarding school, where she taught students from more than 49 different nations.
Sara is a graduate of The University of Notre Dame and holds an M.A. in English from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She has been published in The Washingtonian, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Chronogram. As an essay coach at HelloCollege, she is honored to be a witness to the students’ stories. Sara currently lives in Oak Park with her husband, son and Frankie (their terrier).
Andi graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics. She specialized in sociolinguistics, studying the wide variety of accents and dialects used by American English speakers in different regions and communities. Over one summer, she held a research assistant position for a project focusing on African American Vernacular English accents among speakers in an upstate New York community. Her approach to editing is informed by her background in linguistics; she values maintaining the unique voice and style of each student while also keeping each essay concise, clear, and appropriate to a collegiate setting.
Throughout her college years, Andi was a Student Visit Coordinator in the UChicago admissions office, helping parents and prospective students gain a better understanding of the application process. Working alongside admissions counselors gave her insight into the fine details that make college essays stand out. This role also ignited her passion for working with soon-to-be college students. Choosing a college to attend is a big decision, and she loves being able to support young adults so that they feel prepared and can focus on the excitement of having so many new possibilities ahead of them!
Andi has been living in Chicago since 2017, but she is originally from Los Angeles, California. She enjoys traveling in her spare time, and she makes it a point to try a few local specialties. Whether it’s a late-night pizza slice in New York City, gelato in Florence, or ahi poke in Honolulu, she loves trying out the classic flavors each location is famous for.
Andi has always liked to read, and her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy. Her current favorite book is Exhalation by Ted Chiang. She recommends it to anybody who will listen! It explores themes of time, technology, humanism, themes which Andi would like to consider in her own short-form creative writing projects.
Lara Ehrlich embraces and reexamines qualities that in women are often considered monstrous, like selfishness, desire, and ambition. She is the author of Animal Wife, a collection of stories about women’s transformations from girls into wives, mothers, and monsters. Animal Wife won Red Hen Press’s Fiction Award judged by Ann Hood and was published by the press in 2020. Lara teaches writing and has led workshops and panels at Bread Loaf Writers Workshop, Yale Writers Workshop, AWP, and Story Studio Chicago, among others. Lara is also the host of Writer Mother Monster, a conversation series devoted to dismantling the myth of “having it all” and offering writer-moms solidarity, support, and advice. She is also the founder and director of Thought Fox Writers Den, which builds community and supports writers of all levels with in-person and virtual classes, workshops, coaching, and more.
Nick grew up a New York City native in Midtown, Manhattan. He attended the Bronx High School of Science despite his affinity for reading and writing. Wanting a change of pace, he took his talents to the Green Mountain State to study English and European History at the University of Vermont. After receiving his BA, Nick worked a variety of odd jobs before the world shut down in 2020.
Having (too much) time to reflect on his past, present, and future, Nick ended up applying to the University of Aalborg for an MA in International Relations. He spent a year in Denmark before pivoting back to the U.S. to complete his graduate studies. There, he received an MA in the Humanities, with a focus on creative writing, from the University of Chicago.
Nick spent the next year with the national nonprofit SADD working to push high school and college students to action in community outreach, mental health awareness, LGBTQA+ inclusion and support, and safe driving practices, among other initiatives. The job saw him traveling throughout New York State, from New York City, to Syracuse, to Niagara Falls, and even Whitehall (best bigfoot festival in the country!).
Now a member of the HelloCollege team, Nick is excited to get started on the next round of college essays! Outside of work, he spends his time hiking, writing, and getting disappointed by the New York Knicks. He’s always down to talk about obscure moments in world history or his new favorite fiction.
Sana Rahman holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stony Brook University, both in English Literature.
Her main areas of study were African American literature, critical race theory, Marxist theory, and film studies. During her undergraduate studies, Sana worked as a Resident Assistant and would regularly edit and proofread essays for residents writing on a variety of topics. In her graduate studies, Sana found a passion for turning complex, and sometimes difficult to understand ideas into writing that was approachable and accessible for readers and scholars outside of tight academic circles.
After leaving the classroom setting, Sana has continued to keep in touch with literature by reading, annotating, and critiquing essays and novels of interest to her, typically in the science fiction and speculative fiction genres focusing on authors such as Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Ursula K. LeGuin. Sana also regularly writes narrative essays and poetry, and is now attempting to write her first novel-length project.
Currently settled in New York, Sana works as an Essay Editor/Coach for HelloCollege. It is her goal to use the skills she has developed in her academic career, with reference to writing, editing, proofreading, and researching, to help college applicants through the difficult task of making the captivating stories unique to them fit for the admissions process. Sana believes it is vital to take a creative approach to this segment of the application, and is eager to assist applicants in turning what could be a boring personal statement into a work of art to be proud of.
Sarah is a comedy writer with nearly a decade of experience working in scripted television content. She is a native of Upstate New York and a graduate of Boston University where she studied screenwriting despite her mother’s pleas for her to “get into computers.” As a Film & Television major, Sarah enrolled in a program that brought her to Los Angeles for her final semester where she interned on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and in the writers’ office on the final season of AMC’s Mad Men.
After graduating, Sarah began her career as a writer’s assistant and script coordinator on several animated productions before landing her first staff writing job on the Adult Swim comedy Lazor Wulf. As a first time writer, Sarah wrote the pilot episode of the series, and three of the ten total episodes that season. Since then, Sarah has written on over 100 episodes of television produced by Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, TBS, HBO Max, Amazon and Paramount+. She currently works as a freelance scriptwriter while developing and pitching her original material.
Sarah has studied sketch comedy and improv at multiple comedy schools in LA, and spent many years writing, producing and performing weekly comedy shows for (sometimes!) sold out audiences at The Pack Theater. She later became a teaching assistant and co-teacher for the theater’s popular sketch writing program. Sarah is excited to bring her experience in storytelling and appreciation for comedy to her position on the essay team at HelloCollege!
Other things to note: Sarah enjoys volunteering with rescue dogs, is suspiciously good at ping-pong and has an unironic obsession with Guy Fieri. She currently resides in the beautiful San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles with her bull terrier, Nikki Peanuts.
Steven Flores is a writer and educator based in Wisconsin, where he is currently an AOP Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Over the past decade, Steven has worked in higher education as a Teaching Assistant, English Advisor, Academic Writing Specialist, Director of Academics, and Director of the Milwaukee Office for a boutique college counseling company. In this latter role, he worked with approximately 100 students on 1,000+ essays for selective and highly selective colleges and universities. His deep love of learning motivates his passion for working with students as they plot out their futures in essay form.
Steven holds a BA in Philosophy and English (Iowa), an MA in Literature (UChicago), and an MFA in Fiction from the highly-selective University of Wisconsin-Madison Creative Writing. Steven’s fiction has been published in The Iowa Review and his book reviews have been published in the Harvard Review. He has received multiple fellowships in support of his novel-in-progress. Over the course of his writing career, Steven has been lucky enough to study with a number of internationally-renowned writers, including a Pulitzer-Prize winner. He brings his deep knowledge of narrative craft to each student, combining his writing experience with his deep knowledge of academia.
Outside of Hello College, Steven also works as a developmental editor for academic books and educational publications, and as a “book doctor” for aspiring novelists. In the summers, Steven teaches the Creative Writing Master Class at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. Away from the page, he enjoys swimming, cycling, yoga, traveling, and spending time with his fiance and their greyhound, Gigi.
Teresa Brickey, originally from St. Louis, MO, is a Chicago-based educator dedicated to helping students reach their full potential. She received her undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. There she studied English Writing and Global Studies, as well as received minors in Spanish and Intercultural Studies. During her undergraduate degree, she had the opportunity to study short-term in France and El Salvador. With the acceptance of the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship from the U.S. Department of Education, she studied Spanish in the summer of 2018 in Córdoba, Argentina. After graduating she worked at the University of Notre Dame in The Mission Center, working as a Program Coordinator with mission sites worldwide. Transitioning through the Pandemic, she began working as a High Spanish teacher in South Bend, IN. Eventually, in 2021 Brickey moved to Chicago and continued working in education, as a 10th-grade English teacher. Before moving into her graduate studies, she spent the summer of 2022 working as a Program Coordinator for a local YouthBuild program. As a first-gen low-income student, she realizes the need for educational equity and access for all. She believes that every student deserves the attention and care to access their full potential. Recently Brickey received her Master’s in Humanities: English Writing and Literature from the University of Chicago. She plans to continue her education journey, pursuing a doctorate in the coming years and eventually hopes to work in higher education. In her free time, you can find her doting on her three cats, reading in her hammock, or writing poetry
Mirav Bradshaw is a graduate of the University of Arizona and is currently seeking her Certificate in College Counseling through UCLA-Extension. She has had a long career in veterinary pharmaceutical sales and has received many professional awards including Key Account Manager of the Year. In addition to her sales and territory management responsibilities, Mirav was a member of the Marketing Review Committee and responsible for editing marketing and social media materials prior to going “live.” Some of these assignments included editing webinar and blog content written by the company veterinarians while other assignments included drafting company approved emails for the entire sales team.
Prior to her career in animal health, Mirav held positions in various industries including insurance, real estate and retail sales. The development and creation of her high-end baby and children’s online retail store, 2 Little Monkeys, was where she tapped into her creative talents. 2 Little Monkeys was launched in 2001 long before it was common to purchase everything online. In 2003, she won the highly sought after “Best of Phoenix” award for “Best Place to Buy a Baby Gift” and that same year her company was also featured in The Washington Post.
Mirav is a mother of two talented young adults who are recent graduates of Vanderbilt and USC School of Cinematic Arts. While supporting and guiding them through the college application process, she learned a great deal about the college admissions landscape including a deep dive into financial aid and most importantly, why the personal statement essay is so crucial.
A fun fact about Mirav is that she grew up in Israel on a small kibbutz (communal living) and completed third grade overseas before returning to the United States. Her first language was Hebrew.
Eleanor is a writer and communications professional with a doctorate in Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University. She has spent more than a decade working in university departments, non-profits, and arts administration. With a BA in Religious Studies and a Women and Gender Studies minor, two MAs in theatre history and criticism in addition to her doctoral degree, Eleanor is passionate about academic writing, and loves helping students find and hone their voice as writers. She has taught at Brooklyn College, Northwestern University, and Southern Illinois University, in addition to carceral settings, including Newton Correctional Facility in Newton, Iowa and Cook County Jail in Chicago, IL.
After graduating from Grinnell College, Eleanor moved to Brooklyn, NY where she spent four years working as a tutor for middle-grade students, among other jobs. It was during this time that Eleanor learned how to combine her passion for writing and language with the joys of collaborating with young people. She believes that learning how to write is another way of learning how to think. She is excited to work with HelloCollege students on this essential life skill. Originally from Glencoe, IL, Eleanor has lived in Albion, MI, Grinnell, IA, Brooklyn, NY, Chicago, IL, and now resides in Taos, NM with her husband André, six-year-old son Jean-Jacques, and pitbull Bubba. Eleanor trained as a classical singer for more than ten years. In addition, she loves collecting vinyl records and making music with her family. She is also working on a book project about stand-up comedy audio recordings: The Listening Avant-Garde: Sounds of Stand-Up (1960-2021).
Gina Twardosz has always felt safest in an academic space. As a first-generation student, she felt most at home in her school’s library, surrounded by endless knowledge. This hunger for learning and natural curiosity led her to pursue journalism in college. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN with a BFA in English Writing.
Gina has interned for both the Northwest Indiana Times and the South Bend Tribune; she won five collegiate press awards for investigative journalism while working at Notre Dame University’s student newspaper, the NDSMC Observer. As a student journalist, Gina investigated and reformed the tri-campus community’s mental health resources for students. She is passionate about making academic spaces safe and healthy for everyone.
Her love of storytelling led her to pursue her master’s in creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. While studying, she had the opportunity to teach two creative writing classes a year, and she fell in love with writing workshops and teaching students how to tell their own stories and share them with the world. Currently, she is working to transform the traditional style of writing workshops by making them more inclusive for students of color and LGBTQIA+ Students.
When not teaching, Gina is writing her memoir. She has had ten personal essays and poems published in magazines, literary journals, and zines. In 2022, Thimble Literary Magazine and Gotham’s The Razor nominated two of her pieces for the Pushcart Prize. She also hosts a monthly reading series called “Freshly Squeezed” that invites writers of color and LGBTQIA+ writers to perform their work for a crowd of Chicagoans.
She loves nothing more than to sit on the couch and watch a movie with her cat, Radar, who, despite being a black cat, is very scared of most horror movies. Radar’s favorite film is Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Elena Van Lare
Elena has enjoyed over 30 years of experience as a middle school and high school literature and writing teacher. She grew up in the Finger Lakes area of New York, where her very first high school job included tying grape vines for one of the iconic wineries in the area. She later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Old Dominion University in Virginia. However, her love of theater, acting, and writing led Elena to share her passion with others; she completed her teaching credential and Master’s degree in Education at Nazareth College of Rochester in New York.
As she embarked upon a career of inspiring teenagers to realize their own potential, she also met her husband, moved from New York to Los Angeles, and had two children. After returning to New York to be closer to family, Elena taught English at the high school and college level for Brockport High School and SUNY Brockport for eleven years. As their children entered middle school, Elena and her husband decided to show their children the world by accepting positions as international teachers, which led them through the next ten years of their lives. They enjoyed teaching at top-tier schools in Myanmar, Jordan, Thailand, and Singapore, while their children graduated high school with IB Diplomas in Southeast Asia.
Elena currently lives in New York City with her husband, her adult children nearby, and the newest addition to the family: Dachshund Sammy. When she’s not working, Elena loves watching the Food Network, Master Chef, and any other platform offering cooking competitions (she is a horrible cook, but loves to eat)! Elena is an Academic Dean and teaches full-time at Dwight Global, and she is truly excited to work with students at HelloCollege!
Why Choose Our Essay Services
"I love being part of the experienced and enthusiastic team of essay coaches and editors at HelloCollege. We all work together toward the same goal: guiding our students through the process of writing compelling, meaningful essays that will give them the best possible chance to get into their top choice colleges. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than when students have that “aha” moment; faces light up as they realize we’ve uncovered a winning topic they hadn’t even known was in them. At that point, I know an essay is afoot that will make all the difference on their application."-Will Wagner, Essay Coach