Admissionsmom is pretty much A2C’s saving grace. In a subreddit filled with hyper-competitive, hormonal, pressure-packed teens, AdmissionsMom offers heartfelt advice that separates itself from typical college banter. She read my main common app essay, something I didn’t totally feel comfortable sharing with peers, and helped me polish it off. She’s there for the freak outs, the dreams, the rejections, and the acceptances. She’s there for more than results. She’s there for you.
AdmissionsMom, You may not remember, but you read my common app about my eBay and gave me crucial advice to make my essay better, motivated me to do my subject tests (which I did ok on!), and now guided me through this. I know you hear it all the time, but I mean it — thank you!
Although most of the things I've put into this application will be useless next year, this process was still meaningful, and I really think you played a huge role in making that difference.
Remember when you sent me that list of big questions after you read my soccer essay? Those questions showed me who I am. It made me question my identity and what I want to do with my life. It was like you were guiding me through an existential crisis. That helped me with not only my college application, but just life in general. And with that help, I can now live my life with a little more clarity. So I want to thank you for that, and I want you to know that what you're doing is an incredible thing. You've actually inspired me to take part in changing the perspective of the college admissions process. I do what I can to spread your message throughout the subreddit. I'm helping my friends that I know on a personal level discover themselves through their essays the same way you did with me.
You also showed me what I'm capable of with my writing, and that I really enjoy it. Thank you for making this process meaningful and showing me what it’s actually all about.
Truly grateful for having randomly met you on reddit,
Iphsyko (Trinity U)
You’re seriously a shining beacon of hope in the middle of a burning landfill.You’re always explaining aspects of the admissions process to students and helping them overcome whatever stresses they’re dealing with. You really have an incredible devotion to the sub, truly a voice of kindness and understanding in the community that isn’t often seen on the internet. I can’t fairly point to any singular thread or comment that demonstrates this because it’s exemplified in literally everything you post. You give fantastic advice and feedback about college lists, essays, majors, etc. which are incredibly helpful to people (such as myself) who walked into junior/senior year having no idea where they want to go or how to even apply. (Haverford)
You were the single largest help for me with essays.
Admissionsmom was really very nice and willing to help me with my essay. The advice she gave and the edits she made were more than just grammar or syntax mistakes; they gave me a direction on how I should change my college essay.
Rarely do I see a person who is as selfless as AdmissionsMom. She brainstormed ideas, read multiple essays, proofread my work, and gave me emotional support without even knowing my name… She is as caring as a mother.
Thank you SO MUCH for everything you’ve done for us and everything you continue to do for thousands of applicants-- I’d never thought a random stranger would bring so much meaning and happiness to my life, and for that I am forever grateful and indebted to you.
Thank you for reading my essay and suggesting improvements, thank you for making me realize that it’s not about college as much as it is about finding myself and my true passion. Every single aspect of my application (my new essay and my supplement, my activities and my additional info) was directly influenced by your advice on the sub one way or another. (And I really mean this).
u/admissionsmom is a brilliant mentor and advisor to hundreds of prospective college students. She brings a personal and calming perspective and a professional tailored approach to the frenzied arms race of college admissions. Her expertise and understanding are especially valuable for students who feel stressed, overwhelmed, and lost (so, all of them) when they consider the daunting task of applying to college.
Scholar Grade--Independent Admissions Consultant
I just love our a2c mom and all her inspirational, encouraging, and helpful work to this community! There isn’t anyone better fit for the job!
Admissions mom has been a MASSIVE help throughout this process. Regardless of how many questions she gets asked, she always answers to the best of her ability. As a community, we are lucky to have her as someone who we can turn to for help no matter how small or big the matter is. We have benefited from her presence in the community.
Admissionsmom was there for me at a time when I needed support and reassurance from someone who could tell me I was doing the right thing, and I can't express in words how much better I felt-- not just about my application--but also about myself! She's been a tremendous source of information and help throughout the stressful admissions process, all the way from proofreading essays to giving me a regular dose of much-needed motivation — she's the (admissions)mom none of us deserve :D
Just wanted to thank you for your help a few months back with my essays! So far, I’ve gotten in to UT, UIUC, and Georgia Tech for CS and I’m confident that it was because of my essays. Thanks to your actions, I’ve been inspired to pass on the kindness by extending help to the juniors in my school who are all beginning to feel the college app jitters in an attempt to ease their worries away. Hope you continue doing what you do! (UT Austin, UIUC, Georgia Tech)
Admissionsmom has been nothing but a help in the college admissions process-- even pro bono, she provided quality advice with a smile.
I want to thank you for all the help that you provide on /r/ApplyingToCollege! I have been on this sub since last year and really appreciate the help and encouragement that you give to us. You probably forgotten, but you wrote a very thoughtful and supporting comment on a post that I made last year describing what I thought was an extremely devastating moment in my life.
When AdmissionsMom initially told us that finding the right school for my son was more a journey of self-discovery for him, rather than getting accepted into the “best” school, she made us stop and think. What journey could she possibly be referring to? Don’t we all just want our kids to get into the “best” schools. We soon learned exactly what she meant as she poked, prodded, and ruthlessly cajoled our son out of and away from his mundane and predictable essay approach and into a free-thinking, yet deliberate journey to help him figure out who he is and what that means to him. In doing so, it became clear to him what HE wanted, and most importantly, which schools best matched what HE wanted and needed most from a college. Albeit cliche, words cannot possibly describe our appreciation and gratitude for AdmissionsMom’s helping our son on his journey to becoming who he is and finding the right school for him in the process.
I just wanted to thank you for your help with my essay, on the day it was due no less. You had nothing but constructive criticism and helpful recommendations, which I hugely appreciated. I was just recently accepted to my ED dream school, Northeastern, and I know that you were a huge help in that. (Northeastern)
Carolyn Allison Caplan, aka Admissions Mom, was a phenomenal addition to my podcast. I enjoyed our conversation and could have spoken with her for hours. Anyone who has as much Reddit karma as she does is a treasure. She provided my listeners with great advice for high school extracurriculars and life.
I look forward to collaborating again with Carolyn!
From /u/Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
Basically your initial feedback was that my essay lacked self-reflection and was pretty cliche, and that I needed to convey a clearer message throughout the piece. I honestly didn’t really realize this until I read through your edits and realized that my essay was basically just a linear story with no real message, so I sat down and really thought about what I wanted the AO’s to learn about me. I ended up changing most of the essay and instead wrote about how this experience had made me realize my drive for the reason I wake up every day; honestly I didn’t even fully grasp it myself until I really thought about what you had told me. You also helped me realize what’s often boring to AO’s, like to me peering under a microscope to observe biological specimens is something that really gets me excited me, but for AO’s it is probably not. Honestly I am just most appreciative of how much you seem to truly care about us random online high school seniors. A lot of us can’t afford an actual admissions counselor and our parents/teachers usually don’t have much expertise with college admissions so having you is truly a lifesaver. You’ve really helped high schoolers like me figure out what kind of direction we should take in our personal reflections, allowing us to write better essays and more importantly discover a little more about who we truly are on the inside. It’s such an important revelation, not just for college admissions, but also for the rest of our lives, and I am so grateful that you are willing to give up your personal time just to help us fretful 17 year olds through this seemingly terrifying process. (Yale)
While I could say that admissions mom knows the process of applying to college like the back of her hand, it would be a disrespect to her to file her in the same category as any other admissions counselor.
While I could say that admissions mom tells it to you straight, and is extremely honest when you need it most (even if you don’t realize it), it would be a disservice to you to characterize her just as truthful as anyone else might be.
But what I will say about admissions mom is that she is, without a doubt, the most caring person I have met on the journey through the maze that are college applications. She always lent a listening ear, especially when I thought no one could possibly understand the weird, overly complex subtleties of this godforsaken process. She always gave advice, whether as simple as eating fish before standardized tests (“BRAIN FOOD!”, as she would put it) or as thoughtful as comparing different colleges, when location, price, culture, fit, academics and so many other factors had to be weighed. And of course, I’d be remiss to not point out that she does know the process like the back of her hand, and that she is very honest about what you should or should not expect. But if I had to use one word, it would without a second thought be “caring.”
Whether I was considering whether or not to retake a standardized test, or whether college A or B would be a better fit for me, admissions mom always cared, and she always helped. ;)
Thank you again for all the help you’ve been throughout this entire journey!! :) 🌟 it’s crazy to think that people (whether they’re in an admissions room or on reddit, like you!) have read my essays and liked them! (Columbia)
I would like to thank admissionsmom again, for giving me a boost of motivation when I was depressed and I posted on this subreddit. She also edited my essays just a few hours before the UC deadline, for which I will be forever grateful. AdmissionsMom, If it wasn’t for you..I would not have gotten into UofT CS. I never thought that anyone would reply to such a long post…you are one of the best mods ever. Thanks from the bottom of my heart :) (MIchigan State Honors, University of Toronto)
Admissionsmom has been extremely helpful on my college application journey. I didn’t get into college the first time around so had to take a gap year. And I always went to her for help, for even the tiniest of things like how often I should email an Admissions Officer. She was the most helpful in regards to the college essay. I received advice that my counselors had never told me before and by going through my essay and giving me honest feedback, she helped me make my application a true representation of who I am. I am super thankful for her and her willingness to effortlessly answer even the most stupid of my questions. As an international student, college admissions is even more difficult and I can truly say that one of the main reasons I got into college was because of her. (Bowdoin)
As a student from Indonesia, I had absolutely no idea about the admission process. Originally, my essays were overly formal, pretentious, and mostly just a bunch of thesaurus words jumbled together, but then AdmissionsMom taught me how to make my essays reflect who I am. And, I was accepted to my top choice: computer science at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign! This success is thanks to none other than u/admissionsmom. Throughout the stressful process of applying to various universities, I can confidently say that the help that I’ve received from her is the most significant.
AdmissionsMom is the best person that one could ever possibly ask for when it comes to reviewing essays. Whenever I requested her help, I would find numerous mistakes pointed out (100+ usually) with clear suggestions, advice, and even encouragement! Even when I asked for her help during Thanksgivings (in my defense, I was not aware it was Thanksgivings in the US due to time differences), she didn’t hesitate to help me! Without her, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have had such success in my application process. I’ll always remember her as a heroine who made my dreams come true. (Purdue Honors, UWisconsin - Madison)
You’ve basically been one of the most helpful people during both the application and waiting periods. I’ve listened to your advice whether it was general or personal from dealing with college rejections to writing my LOCI to emailing colleges about an important update (which I received some positive replies for from the colleges) to even adding books to my spring reading list. Your comments have taught me so much about the college process and I honestly couldn’t be any more thankful!