Should I Ask For Help With My College Essay?

College EssayWhen it comes to writing your college essay, there’s a moment when you may wonder, “Should I ask for help?”  The likely answer to this question is a resounding YES!  Even the best of high school writers can benefit from another set of eyes and a dose of expertise providing feedback on the most important 650 words you will likely ever write.

But if the answer to this is a resounding YES, then the next obvious question is WHO?  Believe it or not, you are likely not short on options.  Of course, you will want to be strategic and calculated about why you ask for help.  The objective here is to write a compelling essay that addresses the prompt and captures the attention of admissions.

English Teachers

This is probably your most likely go-to for this kind of help.  English teachers are a great choice, especially when you need a special eye on grammar, syntax, spelling, and structure.  But there is a strong possibility their availability is limited.  Don’t forget, they are teaching English and you are not their only student.  Grading papers, managing assignments and conducting classes will come before editing non-essential essays.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones don’t expect to find yourself on their schedule.

Parents and Family

Parents have always played a key role in the college application process.  But, it can be a little tricky when you ask for help from your parents, especially if they serve as your only source for edit.  Your college essay is designed to focus deeply on teaching the reader more about the author.  It requires students to be vulnerable, often transparent, with subjects very close and dear to them.  This is actually a good thing because you want to be all these things for Admissions.  It’s when the subject matter is sensitive that it takes a different tone with a parent’s read.  It’s family, it’s close and when it’s both family and close it’s difficult to edit or critique.  Parents will sometimes fall into the trap of editing the essay as they would write it and neglect or overshadow the student’s voice.

Essay Specialists

The most ideal candidate for evaluating, editing and suggesting direction on your college essay is an Essay Specialist.  These individuals have a background in recognizing compelling essays for college admission.  Did you know there are people who are trained and work solely to improve college essays? It is not uncommon for a person such as this to combine this service with college planning.  And, on a broader scope, there are companies like Prompt who provide a service to students offering significant and valuable feedback on college essays and supplemental essays.  If you’re wondering if there is an Essay Specialist in your area, start by asking your local independent college consultant.


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