College Application Essay Writing, Mock Interviewing

College Application Essay Writing Workshop 

Click the following links to: 
College Application Workshop Link
2021 Congratulations Link
2019 College Admission Updates
Congratulations Link (2020)

The College Application Essay Writing Seminar

  • College application requirements and process overview 
  • Experienced senior counselors will be on site, conducting 1:1 reviewing, EA/ED strategy, school list selection, Application essays reviewing. See their bio and successful stories below
  • Workshop setting:
    • Real college applicants’ case studies
    • Sample Successful Essays Review
    • Weekly essay writings (common application essay and supplemental essays)
    • 5 Weeks’ long college application essay reviewing 
    • 1:1 review with both Counselors and English teachers
  • Importance of college essay writing
  • Writing skills, strategy and process in drafting, brainstorming, editing, completing
  • Application and essay samples review and analysis 
  • Common Application Form: review the activity list and prioritize it
  • Help, support, and enable you to best present YOU in the college application process 
  • A Must to Have Session for Seniors. Seats are limited, first come, first served. 
  • For NEW students, an interview is required (resume, activity list, transcript, standard test scores, SAT, PSAT, ACT, etc) 

College Admission Interviewing Training, College Application and Essay Workshop. The event is Invitation Only for registered students and those who go through the interview process. 

  • College Application Process and Overview
  • College Admission Data and Statistics 
  • Pre-College Preparation: Juniors’ Package includes students’ profile, resume, activity list, answers to counselor’s questions
  • Pre-College Preparation: parents’ roles and responsibilities, response to counselor’s questionnaire
  • College Essay Writing Process, Essay Reviewing
  • College Admission Interviewing Skills and Training (Mock Interviews)
  • College Selection List: matching/reaching/backup schools
  • College application timeline and work plan
  • College Essay Process: brainstorming, reflection, long and short essays
  • College Admission Results: Rejected, Wait Listed, Admitted. What do you do when you are on W.L. 
  • Overview of college application and process
    • Academic Enrichment Selection & Options
    • AP course selection, AP vs Grades
    • Leadership, Character, Communication
    • Importance of Standard tests (SAT/AP/ACT)
    • Planning and timeline for application
    • Summer Program and Internship Application
    • Recommendations, special talents, outstanding accomplishment
Congratulations Link (2020)

1. The Juniors’ Package, also called “Student’s Profile” for their college applications, is an important package students submit to their counselors. Counselors review the information in it and include it in their recommendation letters for the student.

Each school has different deadline. The TJ package is due by June/July, while Oakton, Langley, McLean, Centreville, and other high schools are due by September.

This workshop will have counselors and teachers guide, advise, and coach students on the following:

  • College Application Overview
  • College Application Updates and New Changes in 2018-2019
  • Juniors TO DO List:
    • How to successfully respond and complete school counselors’ request
    • How to effectively write the personal statement in the package
    • How long it will take and when it is due, why it is important
    • How to successfully obtain strong recommendation letters 
    • Why it is so important in the students’ college application process
    • 1:1 face to face discussion with senior counselor Ms. Laura: resume, activity list, grades, and juniors’ package response 

2. Essays – kicking off College Application Essays and Forms in the summer, and no later than in the Fall

It is time consuming to write an essay, and an important essay like Common Application Essay. We provided writing workshop over the summer for seniors to start brainstorming, drafting, and writing. By September, students could have the main common application essay and short supplemental essays (draft) done before school starts. Our students have successfully completed the drafts, and would start editing them in September and October. 

2. Activity list – building up a complete list for 8th – 12th grades *starting as early as 9th grade

Activity list / form is where students share ADDITIONAL and IMPORTANT information on extra curriculum, leadership, community service, special accomplishments, talents, or unique stories – WHO YOU ARE! Students are advised to take full advantage of completely filling the information.  

3. Admission Options: ED/EA/Rolling/RD

Read carefully on the binding and non-binding policies of each school you are applying for. Please seek advice from counselor if you are not sure about the policy. ED has great advantage of getting into the top schools you want to reach, but the early decision pool has a very strong pool of candidates. We could assist you in your decision. [email protected] could help and confirm your decision and selection.  

4. Academic Index: course selection, grades, standard tests, academic competition, achievement, special award/honor 

The challenge of the courses you select, the grades you achieve, the academic events you participate, competitions you win, research you conduct and complete, the papers you write and publish, all of which add extra value in your application and admission process.

5. High School Internship Application, College Job Application and Career Development  

College Admission Status 
—> Links to Congratulations Link (2020)
—>Link to 2019 College Admission Updates

Congratulations to our seniors (2020 who have been accepted to top schools, including Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, U.Penn, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, U.Chicago, Duke, U.Michigan, Purdue, UVA Jefferson Scholar, and many other great schools.

  • Brown (2)
  • Carnegie Mellon  (2) 
  • Columbia 
  • Cornell (2) 
  • Christopher Newport University
  • Duke 
  • Georgia Tech
  • Georgetown 
  • Johns Hopkins  (2)
  • Harvard
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Princeton
  • Penn State
  • U Chicago
  • U Penn
  • U Michigan
  • UVA (> 10)
  • Virginia Tech (multiple) 
  • Washington U. St. Louise
  • William and Mary (> 10)
  • Yale

Congratulations to our seniors (2020-2024 college freshmen)!!!???


Congratulations to our seniors who have been accepted to top schools, including Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Naval Academy, U.Penn, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, U.Chicago, U.Michigan, Purdue, UVA Echols Scholar, Rodman Scholar, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and many other great schools.

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University 
  • Cornell University 
  • Drexel University (Scholarship)
  • Duke University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard 
  • Loyola College (Scholarship)
  • Northeastern University
  • Michigan State University (Scholarship)
  • NYU Stern Business School 
  • Penn State (multiple students)
  • Princeton 
  • Purdue University (multiple)
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford
  • Vanderbilt University
  • US Naval Academy
  • U. of Chicago 
  • UVA (multiple students)
  • UVA Echols Scholar, UVA Rodman Scholar
  • U. of Michigan (multiple students)
  • U. of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
  • U. of Pennsylvania 
  • UCLA
  • UC Berkeley
  • UIUC
  • U. of Pittsburg (multiple students)
  • Virginia Tech (multiple students)
  • William & Mary (multiple students)
  • William & Mary James Monroe Scholar 
  • Yale
  • International Schools: University of Toronto, Beijing University, Dept. of Law)

Congratulations to our seniors who are 2019 college freshmen!!!???

7. College Admission Destination (2014 to 2018). The following list includes multiple offers received by our students. Congratulations!!! We are proud of your hard work and success.

  • Swarthmore College (1)
  • Stanford University (2)
  • U of Chicago (4)
  • Duke (4)
  • NYU (5)
  • Cornell (3)
  • Columbia (1)
  • CalTech (2)
  • Harvard (2)
  • Yale (2)
  • UVA (15)
  • Upenn (2)
  • Brown (1) 
  • MIT (1) 
  • Penn State Pre Medical Program (1)

Graduate School Admission: 

  • Harvard Graduate School of Education (1)
  • Harvard Graduate School of Law (1)
  • Harvard Graduate School of Public Health and Policy (1)
  • Johns Hopkins Graduate School of Public Health (1) 
  • Stanford MBA (1) 
  • Many students received scholarship: such as University of Maryland College Park, Virginia Tech, William & Mary. They all commented that the college essay workshop helped and supported them in the application process.

Senior Counselor:

Our senior counselor L. is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York University School of Law.  She worked as an Associate Director of the Office of Career Services at Georgetown University Law Center.  In addition to her six years at Georgetown, she has also worked as an attorney at a law firm in Philadelphia. Counselor L conducted alumni admissions interviews for the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as co-chair of the school’s Secondary School Committee in Montgomery County, MD.

She has been helping high school students navigate the college admissions process for more than 14 years. In the recent 8 years, her students were admitted to top schools, including: Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Georgetown, Tufts, UCLA, UVA, Wesleyan Univ., Bowdoin, Vassar, Wellesley College, U. of Pittsburg, U. of Michigan, Boston College, Notre Dame and other great schools. She has conducted college application and essay writing seminars at Oakton Academy since 2016.

Senior Counselor:

Another Senior Counselor N. graduated from Smith College with cum laude. She studied international relations and received Masters in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University. N. G. obtained J.D. from George Washington University of School of Law.
She counsels high school students and their parents on all aspects of the college application process, with a particular emphasis on the brainstorming, editing and reviewing of college essays. She has particular expertise in, and takes great joy in, working with students on the essay, personal statement and any required supplements. She can work with a student in the initial brainstorming process, finding an application topic, helping them write the best essay that the student can write to showcase their strongest, authentic self.

Essay Writing Teacher Ms. I. G. 

Ms. I graduated with greatest honor of summa cum laude from the English and Political Science Department. Ms. I. G. taught “Creative Writing” and “English Composition” courses at the English Department of George Mason University.

Ms. I published many poems and writings. Some of her accomplishments include: winner of Academy of American University & College Poetry Prize in 2008, awarded and judged by the poet Srikanth Reedy, who was a graduate from the Harvard English Literature department.

Ms. I has a JD as well as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. She worked as an attorney for Farris, Riley & Pitt Law Firm. She was also the recipient of an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, as well as a National Merit Semifinalist Award. 

She has been teaching college and high school writing,  which has included helping students with college applications and essays. Most recently, she helped one of her students successfully transfer from a local college to a top engineering school: Purdue University.  She also helped another student with average GPA applying for UVA and being accepted to UVA. The student and his parents are very grateful that Ms. I. G. helped their son with the challenging and complicated process. Ms. I’s individual attention, her talent in writing, her caring to each student, and especially her knowledge, skills, and strategy in helping students brainstorming, drafting, writing, and editing the essays, has gained her reputation and recognition from our parents and students.  

Essay Writing Teacher Ms. Jen 

Ms. Jenn has significant experience with college applications and college essays. She holds a Master’s in Teaching from Boston University, as well as a double major in English and Communication Sciences with a focus in Creative Writing from University of Connecticut.

Ms. Jen has been a high school educator for over 12 years and has taught AP English: AP Literature and AP Language classes, as well as dual-enrollment English and Honors English classes. She has led College Application workshops for HS Juniors and Seniors. Ms. Jen also created English curriculum for her entire High School district to implement that focused on the College Essay process. She has worked with students from all backgrounds in applying to some of the most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Yale, Northeastern, MIT, University of Chicago, UC Berkeley, NYU. She helped review college essays from students all across the United States, as well as Oakton Academy’s senior students.

Currently, Ms. Jen works for a higher education organization which partners with College Admissions Counselors. Her day work involves communication with admissions officers at universities and colleges throughout the United States and she applies her expertise and knowledge to her coaching and supporting in our students’ college essay review process.

Essay Writing Teacher 

Ms. H. brings to Oakton Academy more than 10 years of teaching experience in English.  She teaches at George Mason University “English Composition,” “Introduction to Literature,” and “Introduction to Creative Writing.” Her teaching experience also includes teaching at the GMU Writing Center, coaching college students and graduates in their internship application, graduate school application. In addition Ms. Holly taught at FCPS Robinson High School, Randolph-Macon Academy, Nysmith private school. She served as Director of the literary magazine and the Creative Writing Club at Nysmith.  

She has been working with students and supporting them in submitting writings for contests, publications, and for the Scholastic Writing competitions. Ms. Holly’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in various literary journals, such as The Northern Virginia Review, Foothill Poetry Journal, Outlook Springs, Bourgeon, and had a poem selected as a winner of the Bethesda Urban Partnership Prize.

Ms. H’s experience at both the grade school and college level puts her in a unique and favorable position to equip her students with the tools they need to succeed in schools and later in colleges. She brings into the essay writing a creative, dynamic, and student-centered approach to teaching.  

Essay Writing Teacher 

Mr. D has worked in academia for ten years, serving as a college English instructor, writing tutor, and academic advisor. He has his master’s degree in English. Mr. D. has assisted high school and college students with college and graduate school application essays, resumes, activity list, as well as dissertations and theses, writing projects, speeches, and presentations. His college writing center director commented him as “one of the most gifted writers, and the most patient essay writing tutor”. We are happy to have him join the Oakton Academy College Essay Reviewing Team. 


“I have no clue what I was doing for my personal statement. After the workshop, I have learned so many strategies, outlines, and tips to help me. In fact, I felt like I have learned so much from the teachers and my peers. I have come to appreciate the process. Ms. I.  has helped me see this as a journey and process: analyzing, brainstorming, and reflecting through high school and life. I can’t believe I completed 3 main common application essay topics, the application form, as well as a few short supplemental essays within 5 weeks. In addition, the counselors reviewed and talked to me frequently and provided individual advice and guidance. The session was extremely helpful, as teachers and the counselors identified the problems in my application immediately and it helped me quickly focus on the areas I need to improve.” – from a Senior who attended the July Workshop

College Application Workshop and Programs, please click the link for: College Application Workshop

For college application advice or application essay review, please register here: Registration or send emails to: [email protected]