Virtual Common App Essay Writing Camps are THE way to help your Class of 2021 student get ahead.

By Paige Chapman-Layland, Manager of Client Planning and College Liftoff’s Writing Center


I can’t believe our Common App essay camps are halfway through.  After a year of planning, it feels strange to be on the downward slope.

common app essay
Here’s what our Common App Essay Campers have to say about their experience!

Initially planned as in-person camps, we  were worried about how virtual camp might work instead.  Well, the results are in…we are ah-mazed at what our campers manage to accomplish in just 3 days.  A blank page to a solid 2nd draft? Yes, please!

The three days in camp are dedicated to learning strong pre-writing skills, becoming a better editor, and developing a thoughtful first draft. We dedicate a lot of time to finding each student’s unique voice. That happens in the group work we do, and in the daily individual sessions with a writing center advisor.

By the end of camp, students are 90 percent finished with this extremely important piece of writing. The writing center advisors continue to work with attendees, through additional rounds of revision, workshopping the piece virtually, or in additional  individual sessions, until the writer feels ready to call it…DONE!

We’ve checked in with all of our attendees, both before and after camp, to see what they think.  I’m happy to report that 90 percent of the attendees feel very or extremely confident about the quality of their common app essay, and a full 98 percent felt that the work we did during camp helped them become better writers overall.

But don’t just take it from us. We solicited anonymous advice from the campers, and here are some of their comments:

  • Get ready, it’s long but it’s worth it.

  • Do the Pre-writing! It helps tremendously

  • Take all the comments given to you and use them to make your essay better

  • Just write something down–even if it isn’t that good–because there is always someone there to help discuss how to improve it!

  • Make sure to take notes and pay attention as much as possible!!!

  • Be open to suggestions but also make sure to understand why they give you the comments they are giving you.

  • Think about what are big things or events in your life before you come.

  • Pay attention to the quality feedback that is provided by the writing center as it was very helpful.

  • It’s worth it and they do their best to help you, not criticize you.

  • I would say it may be boring but at the end it is completely worth it. I would have never been able to create an essay like this for my common app.  

  • Go into this without being set on one topic to write about.

If you know a Class’21 student who needs to write their Common App essay, send them our way. College Liftoff’s Writing Center advisors are passionate about developing quality writing, and they’d love to help your student get a jump start on application season.

Register for one of our upcoming virtual Common App Essay Writing Camps here or here!