Chris Bench

Assistant Director of Tutoring & Essay Services

Chris Bench, the Assistant Director of Tutoring and Essay, is a seasoned essay coach with a decade of experience. Holding an BA from Kenyon and an MA from UChicago, Chris's expertise shines through, particularly in the realm of commas, where his opinion is unwavering.


Chris Bench has known that words were his vocation since he first learned, bedtime-bound, that Horton’d heard a Who.

Chris earned his BA 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.

More about Chris


Chicago, IL

Area of Expertise

  • Selective/Highly-Selective Admissions
  • UChicago
  • First-Generation
  • BS/MD / Med School Direct Admit
  • UC System
  • Liberal Arts Colleges
  • Graduate Admissions

Additional Resources

Chris's Education and Certifications

  • AB in English - Kenyon College
  • Master's in English Language and Literature - University of Chicago

Videos from Chris

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