Why are the personal statement and supplementary essays the most important part of the college-application process?

Simply put: the college essays are the longest, best lever you can pull to move the admissions needle in your favor. They’re your big chance to show — and for the college admissions committees to understand — who you are, what makes you tick, and what you will bring to campus. They’re your opportunity to transcend impersonal grades and test scores, to build an emotional bond with admissions officers. They’re like the closing statement in a trial — the moment when you make your final sell on why you should be accepted. The college essays are the make-or-break moment of your application, and, with The Yes Pile’s help, you can be sure you make it. Skeptical? Check out our “Yestimonials” from past students and their parents here.

How does The Yes Pile’s college-essay coaching work?

The Yes Pile is the one-stop shop for all things college-essay related. We walk you through a series of steps to turn your thoughts and experiences into meaningful college essays that will stay in the minds of admissions officers past decision day. So how does this happen? First, you will meet with a Yes Pile coach and just talk, allowing your coach to get a good sense of you — your stories, your hobbies, your strengths, your quirks. Using this information, the coach will help you brainstorm ideas for your personal statement and supplementary essays. Then, with the coach’s guidance, you will take pen to paper — or fingers to keyboard! — and begin writing. Cut down and polish your essays with the help of the coach’s keen editor’s eye, and you’ve finished!

What should I expect?

Expect to end up with college essays that you are proud of and that embody you as a person and an applicant.

How long does the essay-writing process take?

Time varies depending on how many applications you plan to submit, but plan on setting aside a few months, so that you can work with us at a calm pace. In general, you focus on each hourly session, and we’ll keep our eye on the overall trajectory of the work to ensure you have all your essays done in time.

What’s the difference between The Yes Pile’s Standard and Light services?

The difference is in the number of hours of coaching included. The Yes Pile’s Standard service typically yields a personal statement and supplementary essays for 8–10 schools. The Yes Pile’s Light service typically yields a personal statement and supplementary essays for 1–3 schools.

Will you be writing the essays for me? Are you an editing service?

It’s your name on the application when you click “Submit,” so the essays will be your work — the product of your efforts with us. Where does The Yes Pile come in? We shepherd you through all phases of the process for your personal statement and supplementary essays, building each essay with you from the ground up. Your coach will bring out your most significant stories and ideas, help identify the ones that will work best for the specific prompts, and navigate you through the waters of structuring, writing, and editing the essays so that they ring loudly with your strongest voice and leave a lasting impression with admissions committees.

How often will I have my coaching sessions?

We recommend (and most students opt for) one to three sessions a week, with each session lasting an hour. But the frequency is up to you! The Yes Pile’s coaches are committed to working with you as often as you’d like in order to ensure you love the essays you submit.

When should I begin with you?

The earlier, the better. We recommend starting late spring of junior year. Many students also choose to begin in the early summer between junior and senior years. The bottom line is that the earlier you start, the more relaxed our pace can be. And the more we can get done before you go back to school for senior year, the happier you’ll be!

Will I need to do work on my own in between sessions?

No, you won’t. The college-application process is stressful enough, and you have a busy life. So we want you to be able to compartmentalize your college-essay writing — to think about it only during your coaching sessions and to spend the rest of your time on all the other activities in your life. You’ll be more relaxed, and your completed essays will be better, as the result!

With so many other types of tutors and coaches to consider, why will choosing The Yes Pile benefit me the most?

College essays are probably unlike anything you’ve ever written before. You must somehow manage to answer the prompt and provide a vibrant picture of who you are and how you will fit on campus, all within the 650-word limit for your personal statement and varying but firm word limits for your supplementary essays. And while you may be coming in as a novice, no one understands just how to write perfect college essays better than The Yes Pile. It’s all we do, and we’re pretty darn good at it. Check out our “Yestimonials” for confirmation.

Who will coach me?

One of our experienced coaches who are experts in the art of the college essay.

How many essays will I have to write?

You’ll have to write a personal statement, which will go out to all the schools you apply to, plus (for most schools) anywhere from one to six supplementary essays per school.

Will I be able to use any of my essays for multiple schools?

Reusing essays is a delicate matter, because admissions officers can sniff out a formulaic, sloppily recycled essay from a mile away, and they hate it when applicants try to cut corners and sneak one past them. Fortunately, The Yes Pile coaches specialize in detecting when it’s appropriate for you to take college essays you’ve already written and to customize them for other schools’ applications, ultimately slicing the overall time you’ll spend writing college essays.

Do I need to come to you with drafts of my essays before we start the coaching process?

No! Simply come ready to tell your stories. We will help you with the rest.

What if I’m not a good writer?

The Yes Pile promises that we will not only help you create well-written final essays in your best, strongest voice but also teach you some things about writing in the process — skills that will help you in college and beyond. Check out what this Yes Pile student had to say:

Doug helped me refine my broad, vague, scattered ideas into coherent themes. By the time we were done, I was amazed at how my stories had transformed into cohesive, succinct, powerful essays. Through this holistic process, Doug made me a much better writer and taught me skills that I constantly find myself applying to everything I write.

Jamie, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Does The Yes Pile do application-essay coaching for anything other than college?

Yes! The Yes Pile has successfully coached students into acceptances from Ivy League graduate schools, as well as Rhodes and other prestigious scholarships.

Are there other resources you’d recommend on the topic of college-application essays?

Yes! We’re partial to these articles that Douglas, The Yes Pile’s founder, wrote for The Huffington Post:


What makes The Yes Pile the gold standard in application-essay coaching?

We could spend all day telling you everything we think makes us great, but it may sound more believable coming from our past clients. Check out our “Yestimonials” here to see why other people believe we are the best.

What does your service cost?

Prices vary. Contact info@theyespile.net to find out the plan that meets your needs.

Are you able to take me on as a client?

To ensure we are fully dedicated to each of our clients, we are careful not to bite off more than we can chew. Space is limited, so secure your spot by e-mailing info@theyespile.net right now!

How do I get started?

It’s simple! Shoot us an e-mail at info@theyespile.net, and we’ll talk you through the rest.