How Real Students Got Into Top Colleges By Writing Amazing Essays

Read the real admissions essays of ordinary students who got into Ivy League and Top-20 Schools.

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The #1 Resource for Writing Successful College Admissions Essays.
See the essays of real accepted students—not the prodigies, athletes, or legacy students.
  • Top Common App Essay Examples
  • Supplemental Essays for Top-20 Colleges
  • Outstanding University of California (UC) Essays
  • Creative Liberal Arts Essays
  • Unique STEM Essays
Happy Students

Any Student Can Learn to Write Outstanding College Essays

...that help them get accepted

Dear Parents of Applying Students,

We all know college admissions is getting more competitive every year.

Undergraduate Admission History

While essays alone don't get you into Harvard, not having your best essays possible is a guaranteed way to hurt your application's chances.

So how do regular students (non-legacy, non-athlete, etc.) receive a letter like this?

Yale Acceptance Letter

There's no secret formula, just hard work and the right strategy.

You simply must make all these factors as strong as possible:

  • Academics (GPA, Coursework, Test Scores)
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • And... Great Essays

This takes consistent effort throughout high school to achieve.

But It's Not Too Late...

While you're child might not be able to change their grades or activities, it's not too late to write outstanding essays.

If you're child is applying during Fall 2022 to undergraduate schools, their essays are their best chance to improve their application's odds.

If you're applying this year

I'll Show Your Teen How To Write Essays That Really Work

For many students, writing their application essays is confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating.

How do I know? Because I was one of those students myself.

But it doesn't have to be.

That's why I've created EssaysThatWorked: The Complete Collection.

With this book, your child will get...

Peace of Mind
Insight Into Admissions

See what’s worked in the past and understand what it takes to get accepted. Get insider’s info on college admissions.

Confidence in Applying

Help your child feel proud of their essays, knowing they are at the level of essays for top schools.

Save Time
Hours of Time Saved

Take out the guesswork of figuring out what makes great essays. Instead, see for yourself exactly what works.

College Opportunities
More College Opportunities

Get more college and scholarship opportunities by writing stand-out application essays. Boost your odds of success.

Trusted by students admitted to top schools

Yale University
University of Pennsylvania
Duke University
University of Chicago
UNC Chapel Hill
UC Berkeley

A Peek Inside The Book

A beautiful PDF containing over 200 essays that worked spread across 400+ pages.

This book contains everything your child will need to write successful college essays, distilled into organized, pleasant-to-read chapters.

Inspiration is highly underrated. And inspiring your student is easy with these fun, interesting essays.

Every essay in this book has a clever take, new perspective, or fascinating idea.

Because successful essays have to be just that: as unique as the student who writes them.

Don't just take my word for it...

Here's a fascinating example from a student at the University of Pennsylvania:

“A cow gave birth and I watched. Staring from the window of our stopped car, I experienced two beginnings that day: the small bovine life and my future.

Both emerged when I was only 10 years old and cruising along the twisting roads of rural Maryland. While my country-bound aunt and cousin were barely phased, the scene struck my young and sheltered eyes.

Along with a whirlwind of emotions, the unrestrained act of parturition triggered a feeling of warmth I will never forget.”

University of Pennsylvania

(From a Common App essay for UPenn)

You'll be able to read insightful essays like this one and 200+ more...

See what past students & parents have to say...

This book has helped dozens of students and parents feel more confident when applying to colleges. Here's several stories of student success. Will you be the next?

  • Wow! This book is an invaluable resource. My son found it really helpful when writing his essays. Now he's off to Dartmouth next year. Thanks Ryan!

    Diane M.
    Parent, Dartmouth Class of 2025
  • This book is an excellent resource for students who are preparing for college. It helped my daughter immensely when writing her essays and she was accepted to her top choice! We are very grateful to Ryan for creating such a helpful book.

    Mark K.
    Parent, Columbia University Class of 2025
  • I never thought I would enjoy reading college application essays, but it’s become a great way to learn while being inspired.

    Rohan G.
    Student, UCLA Class of 2025

Here's Exactly What You Will Get...

Over 400 pages of the absolutely best college admissions essay examples.

Including essays for Ivy League schools, private schools, public universities, and liberal arts colleges.

See the full list of chapters:

See all chapters in the book
  • Personal Statement Essays6
  • Prompt 1: Background, identity, interest, or talent7
  • Prompt 2: Lessons from obstacles34
  • Prompt 3: Questioning or challenging a belief or idea55
  • Prompt 5: Accomplishment, event, or realization60
  • Prompt 6: What makes you lose track of time85
  • Prompt 7: Share an essay on any topic of your choice99
  • Supplemental Essays112
  • Brown University113
  • Carnegie Mellon University120
  • Claremont McKenna College129
  • Columbia University131
  • Cornell University136
  • Dartmouth College141
  • Duke University145
  • Emerson College148
  • Emory University151
  • Georgetown University158
  • Ithaca College165
  • Indiana University167
  • Johns Hopkins University170
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology175
  • University of Michigan180
  • New York University217
  • Northwestern University220
  • Oberlin College232
  • Pomona College234
  • Princeton University238
  • Rice University243
  • Stanford University249
  • Tufts University262
  • Tulane University270
  • University of Notre Dame275
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill282
  • University of Pennsylvania296
  • University of Pittsburgh304
  • University of Southern California307
  • University of Virginia313
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison319
  • University of California Personal Insight Questions322
  • Prompt 1: Leadership experience323
  • Prompt 2: Creative side333
  • Prompt 3: Greatest talent or skill339
  • Prompt 4: Significant educational opportunity or barrier350
  • Prompt 5: Most significant challenge360
  • Prompt 6: Academic subject that inspires you371
  • Prompt 7: Making your school/community a better place380
  • Prompt 8: What makes you stand out?391

Instant Download: You Can Send the eBook To Your Student, Right Now!

This is the best book of college essay examples your student could possibly get their hands on.

These essay examples have been handpicked and curated for inspiration, lessons, and mistakes to avoid. Help your child start writing their own outstanding essays today!

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About EssaysThatWorked

EssaysThatWorked was founded in 2018 to help college students with writing their application essays.

We believe this: writing authentic, interesting essays is the most effective way any student can immediately make their application better.

Essay inspiration is one of the most powerful tools for helping students understand admissions essays.

Writing outstanding essays should come naturally.

Ryan Chiang

Ryan Chiang


Need Help or Have Questions? Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should use EssaysThatWorked: The Complete Collection?

This eBook is the perfect resource for any student applying to undergraduate colleges and writing their application essays.

Especially for top-50 ranked schools, applicants will need strong essays. For those ambitious students, we've made this eBook that their parents can buy as a handbook for writing outstanding application essays.

What types of essays are included?

This book contains:

  • Common App essays
  • University of California essays
  • Writing supplements (short answers, short questions, and short essays)

All the students who wrote essays were admitted to highly ranked colleges.

How does it work? How will I download it?

After entering your email, you’ll receive an email with a link that lets you instantly download the book as a PDF.