We are happy to announce that student registration is open for 826 Boston’s virtual College Essay Boot Camp 2020! You can register here.

Dates: Saturday, October 24 and Saturday, November 7
Times: 10 AM-12 PM and 2-4 PM
Location: Zoom!

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started writing, if you have a first draft, or you have a final draft—all students are welcome and will be paired 1-on-1 with a trained writing tutor. Registration is first-come/first serve, so sign up for a slot here!

If you have any questions, please contact jess@826boston.org.


About College Essay Boot Camp

The college essay is arguably one of the most important pieces of writing our students will ever produce in their lives, but many students are trying to chart a course to college on their own. College Essay Boot Camp can be the critical support students need.

Some stats about past College Essay Boot Camp participants:

  • 60% of students who attended had parents who were born outside of the United States;
  • 45% of students reported that they would be the first in their families to attend college;
  • 48% of students had not started their essays prior to College Essay Boot Camp…
  • and 70% of students left College Essay Boot Camp with a 1st, 2nd, or final draft in hand.

“Thank you, 826 Boston, for your amazing work with our college-bound students. Your programs truly make a difference.” – Josette Teneus, mother and guidance counselor, Charlestown High School

“To be honest, I came here with no ideas, no topic, nothing. I am so grateful to be a participant in this program. I overcame a lot.” – Former student participant

No matter where you are in the writing process, our On Demand College Essay Support videos are available now to help you tell your story. Whether you’re brainstorming, drafting, or are ready to begin revising, join 826 Boston’s Will Marshall on an exploration of those all-important 650 words, all on your own time!

Lesson 1: Intro to the College Essay

To learn more about the “genre” of the personal statement, start here! This introductory lesson explores what colleges are really looking for when they read your essay, debunks some common myths and misconceptions, and breaks down some stellar sample essays that have been successful in the past.

Lesson 2: The Prompts

So, what do I write about? Choosing the right topic can be one of the most important—and challenging!—parts of the college essay writing process. In this lesson, Will takes a deep dive into each of the 7 Common Application prompts and provides tools for making the most of the word limit and telling your story most effectively.

Lesson 3: Outlining and Drafting

Once you’ve chosen a topic and decided on a Common App prompt, it’s time to start drafting! In the final lesson of our virtual college essay series, Will explains key organizational tools such as the Kernel Essay outlining model, closely examines a final sample essay, and shares drafting tips to strengthen your story.

Corresponding slide decks, sample essays, and fillable PDF worksheets are available here.

826 Boston’s College Essay Academies introduce students to the ins and outs of the Common App and the components of a strong college essay, all with the support of a trained tutor. At the end of the day, students leave with a complete first draft of their personal statement.

If you’d like to volunteer at an event this summer, contact our volunteer team. College Essay Academy sessions will be held inside at 826 Boston’s center and Boston Public Schools in late August/early September.

In 2017, 826 Boston piloted College Essay Boot Camp on the road, a new way for college seniors to work with tutors on what could be their most important piece of writing to date.

We hosted mini-events at Babson CollegeHubspotMorgan Stanley, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Combined, we helped students write 196 college essays.

If you would like to get your company on the 2017 road trip, please contact our volunteer team by email to get started.