Top 5 College Admission Essay Books

Crafting a compelling college admission essay is a critical aspect of the application process. The essay provides an opportunity for you to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations.

To help you excel in this crucial task, I have compiled a list of the top five college admission essay books available to help you succeed.

These resources offer valuable insights, expert advice, and sample essays from successful applicants to some of the most competitive universities in the U.S. Whether you’re seeking inspiration, ideas, or just practical tips, the following books will guide you toward creating a great essay that will captures the attention of admissions officers at all the top schools.
1.”50 Successful Stanford Application Essays: Write Your Way into the College of Your Choice” by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe
Link: Buy here on Amazon!
How to write Stanford Essays
Gain valuable insights into the application process at Stanford University with this collection of fifty successful essays. The book offers a diverse range of essay topics, writing styles, and approaches that have impressed admissions officers. By analyzing these exemplary essays, you’ll discover effective strategies to craft a compelling essay that aligns with Stanford’s values and showcases your unique perspective.
2. “50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays”
by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe
Link: Buy here on Amazon!
Successful Ivy League Essays
This book presents a compilation of fifty successful essays that helped students secure admission to Ivy League universities. With a focus on top-tier institutions, the essays offer valuable guidance and inspiration. By reading through this collection, you’ll gain insights into the qualities and characteristics that admissions officers at Ivy League schools seek in applicants’ essays, helping you craft a compelling narrative that stands out from the competition.
3. “50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice” by Staff of the Harvard Crimson
Link: Buy here on Amazon!
Harvard Application Essays
Drawing from the experiences of successful Harvard applicants, this book provides a wealth of valuable essay examples. These essays cover a wide range of topics and writing styles, offering inspiration and guidance for crafting a standout essay. By studying the successful strategies employed by previous applicants, you can gain insights into what Harvard admissions officers are seeking and effectively convey your own unique story.

4. “The Ivy League College Admissions Guidebook”
by Jillian Ivy

Link: Buy here on Amazon!
The Ivy League College Admissions Guidebook
Written by a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard graduate this comprehensive mini guidebook provides insider tips and expert advice specifically tailored to the Ivy League college admissions process. From essay writing strategies to tips on building a competitive profile, this book covers every aspect of the application journey. With a focus on Ivy League institutions, the guidebook offers valuable insights to help you navigate the complexities of admission requirements, boost your chances of acceptance, and present your best self to admissions committees.
5. “Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College” by The Princeton Review
Link: Buy here on Amazon!
Paying for College
And, even though it’s not about writing your essays, financing your college education is a crucial consideration. This comprehensive guidebook from The Princeton Review equips you with the necessary knowledge to navigate the financial aid process effectively. Learn about scholarships, grants, loans, and other strategies to maximize financial aid and make college more affordable. By understanding the financial landscape, you can better plan your educational journey and ensure that your college experience is financially manageable.

In conclusion, crafting a strong college admission essay is a vital component of your application process.

These top five college admission essay books provide invaluable guidance, insights, and examples to help you create a compelling and memorable essay that showcases your unique qualities. From understanding the expectations of Ivy League institutions to maximizing financial aid opportunities, these resources cover various aspects of the college admissions process.

Remember, the essay is your opportunity to let your voice shine and make a lasting impression on admissions officers.

Take advantage of these recommended books to gain inspiration, learn effective writing techniques, and gain a better understanding of what top colleges are looking for in applicants.

By investing time and effort into honing your essay writing skills, you can enhance your chances of securing admission to the college of your dreams. So, pick up these books, immerse yourself in the wisdom they offer, and embark on your journey to college success. Good luck!

[Want more help with your own college admissions essays? I’m a former Harvard interviewer and Harvard grad. Contact me today for a free consultation at

and get into the school of your dreams!]
Check out other helpful blog articles here:

  1. How to Get Into Harvard

  2. How to Get Into the Ivy League (Tips for Parents)