The Better College Essay:
Fitting in
and Standing Out

By Dr. Elizabeth Stone

Written by Elizabeth A. Stone, Ph.D., Executive Director of Campanile, The Better College Essay: Fitting In and Standing Out is an indispensable guide to helping students write compelling college application essays. In The Better College Essay, Dr. Stone presents her strategies for helping students pen the best possible essays by prodding and encouraging them to dig deeply and think broadly.  Collections of samples essays written by students admitted to elite colleges abound, but Dr. Stone explores the actual process through which students –with the help of mentors–can craft essays that will help them gain admission t the schools best suited to their ambitions and academic strengths.   With before-and-after examples that show Dr. Stone’s insights and advice in action, The Better College Essay outlines the process for school counselors, independent consultants, teachers, parents, and other mentors to help students navigate this increasingly important part of the college admission process. Available now at, Barnes & Noble, and in San Francisco at Folio Books.  Dr. Stone was invited to read and sign books at the Brown University Book Store on September 3, 2015.


Reviews for The Better College Essay

This book is creatively constructed and invaluable, as it takes the terrifying and anxiety-provoking essay and explains its point, the types, and the mission and guides the process. I’ll use its lessons in my own writing.
— Mark H. Sklarow, CEO, Independent Educational Consultants Association
This book belongs in the library of every professional whose role is to help young people successfully navigate the increasingly daunting waters of college admission.
— Paul Wrubel, Ph.D., Former Principal, Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California
Stone has done a remarkable job of revealing what a highly experienced and skilled counselor does to subtly and professionally help students truly engage with this very important part of the application process. Her original intellectual formulations of the application writing process are refreshing and insightful. This is not just the same standard advice that is easily found on bookshelves or online about writing college essays. It is thoughtful and original and should have a place on every college counselor’s bookshelf.
— Steven Mercer, Ed.D. Founder, Mercer Educational Consulting
Elizabeth Stone has written an easy-to-follow book for college counselors to use to not only guide, but to push students beyond their comfort zones when writing.
— Cyndy McDonald, Founder, Higher Education Consultants Association
The Better College Essay is a resource that will prove invaluable for anyone wanting to help teenagers present themselves authentically and distinctively.
— Sally P. Springer, Associate Chancellor Emerita, University of California, Davis