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Common App Essay

Summer Support for Fall Applications

Each class registration includes:

  • 8 hours of live instruction across four weekly 2-hour classes
  • 2 individual one-hour working sessions with your instructor*
  • Guidance through the writing process from blank page to refined draft
  • Written instructor feedback on up to two drafts
  • A recording of each class available to review whenever needed
  • A maximum class size of 10 students
  • A 10% discount on additional 1-on-1 essay writing support

Students are asked to complete a pre-class assignment and 3-4 hours of writing homework each week.

In four sessions, classes cover the following topics:

  • Focus on a key piece of your application: the Common App Personal Essay
  • Discover a topic that keeps you motivated
  • Use the Common App essay prompts to your advantage
  • Draft and revise your essay to appeal to your readers
  • Find your authentic voice
  • Develop a reliable process so that you can finish the job
*Students may opt for a group-only version of the class. See below.
If you are working with an independent college counselor, we recommend you discuss essay writing support with them before enrolling.


Customized Tutoring Package


6 hours of online 1-on-1 tutoring
Tutors can help with the Common App essay and/or supplemental essays


Small Group Workshop +
2 Individual Sessions


5 weeks
8 hours of group instruction
2 hours of individual help from your class instructor


Small Group Workshop Only
(No Individual Sessions)


4 weeks
8 hours of group instruction

Nothing makes us happier than helping our students reach their goals.

The instructor was the best part 100%. I got excited to come to the class every Saturday morning at 7am because of him. The questions he asked always made it feel like a community, and I really feel 10x more prepared because of him.

Compass Classes Student11th Grader at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences

The course was exactly what we were hoping for. Our instructors were enthusiastic, friendly, and always open to questions.

Parent of an 11th GraderNewbury Park High School

I deeply appreciate the passion for teaching and kind patience that both of my instructors demonstrated throughout the sessions. Each teacher was engaging and attentive.

Alanu U.11th Grader at Dwight Global Online School

We are so pleased with our experience with Compass. The tutors are very professional, always on time and really helped our daughter. The results were even better than we had hoped for.

Denise W.Mother of Makena, 11th Grader at Flintridge Prep


6 hours of Online Tutoring


After a phone call with a dedicated Compass program director, we will match you with a tutor whose teaching style and expertise suits your needs. The online lessons are scheduled with the tutor at your convenience. Essay tutoring hours can be used for any other AP or Academic subject, but cannot be used for SAT or ACT test prep.

Purchase of the Common App & Supplemental Essays Package locks in a discounted rate of $210/hr for any additional college application essay writing tutoring. Packages are non-transferable.



Small Group Workshop + 2 Individual Sessions


Sundays at 1pm Pacific | 4pm Eastern

Classes Begin: 7/14
Class Time: 1-3pm PT | 4-6pm ET
Class Schedule: 4 consecutive Sundays: 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, & 8/4
Individual Sessions: See FAQ below for more details.

Registration has closed. 


Small Group Workshop Only (No Individual Sessions)


Sundays at 1pm Pacific | 4pm Eastern

Classes Begin: 7/14
Class Time: 1-3pm PT | 4-6pm ET
Class Schedule: 4 consecutive Sundays: 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, & 8/4

Registration has closed. 

Need a boost before your final SAT or ACT sitting?

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will I leave the class with an essay ready to submit to schools?

If you’ve attended all the sessions and done your work in between meetings, we expect you to have a refined draft of your essay that you’ll be proud to share. The essay will have a clear structure and reflect your personalized response to the prompt you’re addressing. We recommend that you plan for some additional time for final notes from trusted sources and a polish.

Who are the instructors?

Our writing instructors are a specialized subset of our broader tutor pool. These are our most experienced essay teachers who thrive in an online, interactive group format.

Will I get individual feedback on my writing?

Yes! Any time before the last class, you can submit one draft for written feedback from the instructor. At the last class, you can submit a draft for final feedback, which you will receive within one week of the end of the program.

How do the two individual sessions work?

At the start of the program, we’ll provide you with a selection of times to meet with your instructor. These may be distributed throughout the week. 

All individual sessions occur before the last day of class. Sessions are scheduled between the first and second class and between the third and fourth class.

Once you have scheduled your two sessions, you may not be able to reschedule them, so please make sure you select a day and time that will work for you. 

The individual sessions are optional. You can take the class and receive written feedback without this element. See options above.

What happens in the individual sessions?

Your instructor will meet you where you are! Think of this time like office hours—you schedule an hour to discuss your writing with your class instructor.

Generally the first individual session focuses on reviewing your list of ideas and first draft and making a specific plan for structural revisions and/or introductions and conclusions.

The second individual session tends to focus on developing your draft and making a plan for paragraph and sentence-level revisions.

What if I need more individualized attention and help?

This class is designed to be a jumping off point. It’s often a good idea to get further feedback from the people who know you best, including teachers, counselors, and tutors.

Some students follow up a class with one-on-one tutoring support. Our tutors can help refine and polish your Common App Personal Essay and supplemental essays.

What if I’m working with an independent counselor?

We strongly encourage you to discuss your writing with your counselor who is in the best position to be able to help you be strategic about your writing choices given your college list. This class and one-on-one essay writing tutoring are primarily intended for students who are not working with an independent counselor. 

Does this class cover the supplemental essays?

This class does not directly cover the supplemental essays because each student’s list of schools and the requirements of those schools varies. However, much of the guidance students receive will apply to their writing process for supplemental essays.

For more direct assistance with supplemental essays, we recommend working with your counselors or a Compass one-on-one tutor.

What about Chat GPT and AI?

We believe that the best feedback on your writing comes from people. Our instructors may discuss a range of tools that you can use in your writing process, but we caution against relying on AI, despite the hype, when human subjectivity and emotional response is available to you in the form of instructor feedback. At the end of the day, it’s people you need to convince, not computers trained on large language sets.

If I have a conflict for one of my classes, can I attend a different section?

Students are only able to attend the class section they are registered for. However, classes are recorded and are available to all registered students for viewing and instructors can be contacted during Study Hall sessions to answer questions.

Will there be homework?

Yes, crafting a successful personal essay requires thinking and writing outside of the scheduled group meeting times. Students are asked  to complete a pre-class assignment and 3-4 hours of writing homework each week. 

We recommend setting aside an hour or two several times a week, rather than trying to do all of your writing in one sitting.

If the section that I want to attend is full, will there be a waitlist?

Yes, please fill out this form or contact us at We’ll alert you if and when space becomes available or another section is opened for enrollment.

Do you offer financial aid?

Yes, we have some limited scholarship funds available. Please contact us at for more information if you qualify for financial aid.

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