The Crunch: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between The Crunch and the College Readiness Packages?

A: The Crunch is designed to be a condensed version of the services offered in our College Readiness Packages–a “taster,” if you will. We have taken our tried-and-true College Readiness process (an individually tailored timeline that will typically take place over the course of several weeks) and condensed it into two separate four-day camps.

The primary difference between The Crunch and the CR Package is time and the final products the student will receive upon completing either process:

  • With the CR Package, a student has the time and assistance required to complete all three (3) ApplyTexas essays, the Common App essay, a designed activities résumé, and any additional, supplemental essays or materials for the college applications the student has chosen to fill out.
  • With The Crunch, the student will finish the camp with at least one (1) draft of a required ApplyTexas essay OR the Common App essay, and a completed activities résumé. Depending on the student’s diligence, they could potentially leave with two (2) or more separate essay drafts!

With the CR Package, a student has the time and freedom to develop all of their essays and résumé with multiple reviews of their work by the College Readiness office team, and the opportunity to further revise their essays under the direction of their College Readiness consultant. This process helps to ensure that the final draft of an essay any student submits with their college applications is the strongest version possible.

With The Crunch, a student will be able to receive the same type of hands-on direction from College Readiness consultants, but only for the duration of the camp. They will also receive a single review and suggested revisions on their essays, as opposed to the multiple reviews and revisions allotted in the College Readiness package.

Another feature that is included in the CR Packages is a designed résumé. Once a Readiness+ or Readiness student’s résumé has been finalized, the College Readiness office team creates a unique PDF file and inserts personalized digital graphics to make a student’s résumé pop off the page! The Crunch participants will have the opportunity to purchase a designed résumé at the end of the camp, but it is otherwise not included.

A feature not included in either of our sessions of The Crunch is our Mock Admissions Committee Review. As a part of the Readiness+ CR Package, the final draft of a student’s essay is read and evaluated by a Mock Admissions Committee. This as an extra step toward ensuring that a student’s essay follows any and all guidelines, and that the student answers topic questions thoroughly and effectively. (The Mock Admissions Committee option is not included in Readiness CR Packages, but Readiness clients have the option to purchase committee reviews for individual essays.)

Q: Wait – essays, plural?

A: The amount of writing that goes into a college application can sometimes take a student (and parents) by surprise. The ApplyTexas Application has three regular essay topics, a Special Circumstances essay option, and a fourth essay that is frequently required by art, engineering, or nursing programs. Different universities and colleges using the ApplyTexas Application will require different essays within the application.

The Common App only requires one essay, and students have seven different topics from which to choose. However, most of the universities and colleges that use the Common App will also require an additional essay or smaller “supplemental” essays (typically anywhere between two-hundred and five-hundred words) on a topic of the university or college’s choosing. These “extra” essays, though not as long, can be as demanding or difficult as the full six-hundred and fifty word essay.

While The Crunch will not cover supplemental essays or material in depth, clients who have purchased a CR Package will receive the benefit of the same level of assistance (and the same number of office reviews and revisions) in working on all supplemental essay material. We will discuss popular supplement prompts and brainstorm topics during The Crunch.

Attending The Crunch can go a long way towards familiarizing a student with both the required number of essays and the essay-writing process in general!

Q: Will I need to bring anything with me?

A: Yes! The number one thing you absolutely will need for this camp is YOUR LAPTOP (and charger!) and YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR OWN LUNCH. Other items that will help you to get the most out of your experience include:

  • Any sports, award, or club documentation.
  • Test scores and your unofficial high school transcript.
  • A completed résumé worksheet (if you have one).
  • A list of any and all activities you have participated in since the start of your freshman year.

If you do not have access to a personal laptop, please let us know at least two weeks prior to camp so that we can make the necessary arrangements for you.

Q: Is it okay if I already have an idea for an essay ahead of time?

A: Definitely! We highly encourage you to have already looked at the ApplyTexas and Common App essay topics before the first day of camp. In fact, it is better to have at least two or three different ideas in response to different essay topic questions, so don’t be afraid to show up with a whole list of potential essays or any first drafts you’ve already written!