Introducing Story2: A Completely Different Approach to College Admissions Essays

colley admission essay Story2

In the world of college application essays, it’s hard to learn the rules of the road: there is lots of general material available–such as the new videos from Khan Academy—but students say that online advice and videos feel “cookie cutter” and they don’t know how to make it work for them.

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We built Story2 to change that.

Story2 is a free, interactive online toolkit that takes you through the entire essay writing process, from choosing a topic to shaping your idea into an essay draft.

Working with students on their college essays often looks like this: the student has been told, over and over, that the essay is really important. But the more advice the student receives, the more desperate they feel. Despite books, websites, and coaches, they worry that what they have written is not good enough. They fear that nothing they have done is important enough to write about in their college admissions essay. In their darkest moments, they ask if they themselves are good enough to even get into college. Any college.

The fears are unfounded. There are over 4000 US colleges and universities, and hundreds of high-quality online college courses for students who want to work and learn at the same time. There are, however, only 42 colleges that provide students’ full demonstrated financial need—and spaces at those colleges are at the highest demand. But if you build a list of target colleges based on your academic achievements and intellectual and professional aspirations, and you tell a story about who you are and what difference you will make in your college community, you will be admitted and receive financial aid at many of the colleges on your list. It’s not rocket science; it’s not mysterious; it’s a lot less stressful than it needs to be.

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We built Story2 to make the most stressful part of the process—your application and scholarship essays—manageable. The Story 2 toolkit is designed to change the way you think about the steps of the essay. It takes you through each step by exploring your options, brainstorming, and prompting you to write, move your text around, and decide on the best version. You actually write your essay through the interactive program. That’s much more than you get from a series of webinars, a set of checklists, or a short video. We show you how to take charge, get the work done—and we’ve designed Story 2 to make the process fun.

And it’s possible to complete in four hours! That’s barely one Saturday morning.

Story To College developed Story2 as part of the Kaplan EdTech accelerator, Powered by TechStars to teach students how to write college application essays in their own authentic voices, anytime, anywhere. Start your essay today.



Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO of Story To College and author of Write Out Loud, has taught over 12,000 students around the world–-from first-generation college students to the children of bankers and CEOs–-how to tell their stories and write essays that win admission and scholarships at selective colleges.

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