"Hillside uses a completely individualized approach, encouraging the student to find a topic that has personal meaning. This made the writing less onerous because the topic was always authentic and relevant to who my daughter is as a young person and as a college applicant."

— Providence, RI


How Does the Course Work?

The Jumpstart begins with Hillside's Discovery steps
for collecting and opening promisingly distinct experiences and perspectives.

The Jumpstart Discovery - 2019.png

Course Details:


•Best Practices for Students and for Parents: Achieving the authentic and compelling college-application essay about which the student feels proud ownership is a matter of process — of paying attention to specific steps and productive practices. From our reflection on past clients’ efforts and successes, we share with each Jumpstart student a set of "best practices" for getting started — and a separate set for parents!

The Jumpstart Recap: Delivered in writing or by audio file following the first meeting, the Recap reinforces important emergent details, provides preliminary reflections on how the essay might be structured based on the discovered material, and reiterates the writing assignment for Jumpstart Session 2. Hillside shares the Recap with parents in order to encourage fruitful discussion on the home front.

Looking Ahead: All Discovery material and The Jumpstart Recap remain available online for reference, which can be especially helpful down the road when the applicant is determining writing plans for college-specific Supplement Essays.


Further writing guidance is available through Draft Feedback sessions or through E-Feedback support (schedule allowing).



Jumpstart Sign-up & Scheduling

Each student's Jumpstart is built around the scheduling of two one-hour sessions. The buttons below lead to coach calendars and to helpful scheduling guidelines for the course.