College Application Essay Support
Writing a personal statement on a specific question posed by a college or graduate school is indeed a challenging but essential part of the admissions process. We will meet with you to help you learn what college admissions officers expect, guide you through the essay writing process, and edit, proof your drafts into a polished product, and become a better writer. My services center on:

  • Meeting one-on-one or on Zoom with your son or daughter to hear about their experiences, skills, and interests
  • Presenting the Common Application “prompts” or questions they might answer and helping them understand what each question focuses on.
  • Helping them pick a question that matches their experiences and one that they feel best represents them and developing an outline.
  • Starting the process of writing drafts of the essay.
  • Giving positive reinforcement and encouragement to bring out their strengths and best efforts.
  • Editing their essay drafts and helping students learn to write and use grammar effectively, write more concisely, and use expressive language.
  • Monitoring their progress. Emailing you after each meeting to update you.

For more information on college essay help, go to my brochure, which can be downloaded.

College acceptances for 2024-2025: I am thrilled to hear what colleges my students have been accepted to. They include Boston College, the University of Delaware, the University of Vermont, Loyola, and Temple, Southern Methodist Univ in Dallas.

College freshmen for 2023-2024: One of my students has been accepted to Vassar! Congratulations Cece! Another is going to Syracuse University! Other acceptances include Boston University and NYU. 

Acceptances for 2021: So far, my students have been accepted at Bates; Colgate, Penn State; U. Mass, Isenberg School of Management, Villanova, Providence College, Bentley, University of Wisconsin Madison!

Here’s what Jamie from Newton said about her son Ben’s Common Application main essay this year (2020): “I highly recommend hiring Deb Berger for guiding you through the college essay process. She set up appointments with my son weekly to make sure he was on track. She followed up with him. She empowered him to write from the heart and do his best work. She helped edit his work in a gentle manner that allowed my son’s writing skills to shine through and build his confidence. She took a tremendous amount of pressure off of my son (and me!). Deb, thank you for your hard work and help with this process. You made it stress free and the results are fantastic!” Her son got into Bates!

This year (2020), I helped Faith from Wellesley. She’s finished with her essays! Here’s what her mom said: “I wanted to thank you tremendously for your support, assistance, and expertise. We are thrilled with the outcome of all three of Faiths essays and she is able to submit them to Villanova with pride.” Faith got into Villanova!

In 2019, I helped Ellen from Wellesley with her Common Application essay and supplements. She got into Cornell! “I wanted to email you and tell you that I got accepted to Cornell tonight!!! Thank you so much for all the help with my essays! I really enjoyed working with you!
Thanks again!”

Lynn, the parent of a Needham High School student who I worked with for college admittance in the 2019-2020 school year: “I initially contacted Debby because I was looking for someone to help our daughter get started on the Common App essay and keep her on track through a series of drafts. Debby and our daughter met in person once, shared drafts via email, and had regular phone calls to discuss ideas and revisions. The first final product, after a few days’ reflection, didn’t really seem to stand out. Debby agreed to revisit the essay with our daughter, who decided to approach her topic in a more interesting way by answering a different prompt. This resulted in a much better essay and a final product of which our daughter is really proud. We are grateful to Debby for helping our daughter develop her ideas over more than half a dozen drafts, as well as for all the positive feedback she offered throughout the process.”

Caroline from Arlington, MA who I worked with for college admittance in the 2018–2019 school year:” Debby helped me through the editing process of both early and regular applications. She was always prompt and helpful in her guiding suggestions on supplements and in giving deadlines to have drafts done by. Debby’s aid was also crucial in helping me formulate and develop my common app personal essay. I definitely recommend Debby’s services for those who feel like they need some help getting started with the writing process and/or fine-tuning essays!” She went to the University of Michigan.

Shelley Myers Buckley, mother of Elsie who got into UVM and St. Michael’s: “Elsie learned so much from you about writing. She continues to excel at it. She used her skills you taught her to write St Mike’s an additional essay about why she wants to go there and they gave her an additional scholarship to her merit scholarship. It was like winning the lottery!”
A Belmont parent whose son was accepted at BU, NU, and RPI for the 2019–2020 school year: “My son is a good writer. I know that but I also know that he agonizes over his writing trying to make it perfect.  I am unfortunately not a good writer. So, I knew that I couldn’t help him with his writing.  I, also, knew that he would have a lot of essays to write since he was applying to 9 schools. That is why I turned to Debra for help.  She was able to help with both things. She helped by reviewing his essays and by keeping him on track to finish the essays ahead of time. We were then able to enjoy the Christmas break without worrying about any essays.  I recommend her services and would use her services again”
Letizia Longo, Boston: “My daughter and I have had a great experience with Debra. She has been extremely helpful in keeping my daughter on track, her suggestions were always on point and very appropriate. My daughter really liked working with her on her main essay and supplements. Thank you Debra for all your work!” Her daughter got into every college she applied to and is currently in the process of making a decision about where to go.
Christy Curran, Needham, MA parent: “Debby was easy to work with and very flexible. My daughter really liked that Debby pushed her to write the best essay possible and helped make her writing come alive. Every word counts in these essays, and Debby made sure the essay was tight. She was also instrumental in brainstorming essay topics. We would highly recommend Debby and her services.” Her daughter got into Wesleyan University!
Lisa Astley-Sparke, Weston, MA parent: “Debra got the whole process off the ground very quickly. She pinpointed my son’s strengths and managed to collaborate in order to produce a great essay. All was complete by the time he started the admission process and it was completely stress-free! She is patient, gets the ‘teenager’ and works in a very clear, timely and concise fashion using face to face contact and media. Very impressed and will use her for my other two children as they reach the end of their junior year!” Her son got into Wheaton!
Liz Solar, Newton, MA parent: “From the start, Debra helped my son organize his thoughts, focus on his strengths, and write his essay early in the admissions process! Debra encouraged my son to tell his own unique story.   He reflected on who he was  — his personality and character — and not simply listing achievements and interests.  His voice came through in a compelling and engaging way.  He has been accepted to every school he applied to, and is wait-listed at one.” Her son went to Loyola University New Orleans.
Marla Hoffman, Newton, MA parent: “Debra Berger is truly an exceptional resource for parents and students. She is extremely talented and astute about her client’s needs. Her sincerity about the work that she does makes her just a pleasure to work with. I would most definitely utilize her excellent services again!” Her daughter got into University of Wisconsin-Madison

Here are recommendations from tutoring companies that have sent me clients:
Lisa-she works at the tutoring company and I helped her son: : “Thank you for everything! I am so happy to share our wonderful experience working with you!”
The director of the tutoring company: “Absolutely our pleasure to send our students your way.Thanks for taking such great care of them.”
The program director: “Debby, thank you for everything you do for the folks we guide to you.”
Managing director-operations and outreach:
“We are so happy to refer to you as we know our students have really enjoyed the help you have provided.”

Other colleges and universities that Debby’s students attended include: Wellesley College, Northeastern University, Clark University, Lewis and Clark University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Talks Debra Has Given On Writing College Essays: Weymouth, Mass. Public Library; Newton, Mass. Public Library; Mass. Youth Leadership Foundation (webinar); Youth Intensive Work Conference, U. of Mass. Boston; The Community Charter School of Cambridge; Sudbury Library; Wellesley Library; Newton Main Library; Cambridge, MA, Randolph, MA, Dover, MA, Brookline, MA

Colleges and universities accept students who can write well and use the English language effectively and their essays reflect this. As a result, the college application essay may determine if they are accepted to the college of their choice. Please email me at or call me at 617-584-5295 to set up a meeting and find out about costs.

Secondary School Essay Support
One highly competitive area is secondary school admissions. Today, students are required to write college admissions-like essays, which may present obstacles to younger applicants. I have successfully worked with these students, helping them develop their essays and guiding them gently through the process. This takes time and requires meetings with students and setting deadlines for their essay drafts. Start the process early by calling me at 617-584-5295.