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News Article

Cyber Science
June 28,1999
by Wan Li Zhu

A Helpful Innovation

The college process can be one of confusion and desperation. Fortunately, writing college application essays just got a lot less daunting. An innovative service offered by, a New York City based company founded by Vedant K. Mimani and Arte Merritt in January 1998, evaluates college application essays for a reasonable fee ($99). The word "reasonable" is used because employs an incredible group of experts to review essays, including former admissions officers and qualified alumni/graduates of such top schools as Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Columbia, and others. But worry not, even if you decide not spend that $99, has a plethora of free services, such as online advice, sample essays, and interactive brainstorming worksheets. Although there are many SAT study books and even college essay guides widely available, truly stands out as a high-quality service that can directly increase a student's chances at admission to a competitive college.

To satisfy your curiosities further, Cyber Science has conducted an interview with the Founder/CEO of Vedant K. Mimani. Here is how it went:

1) How would you describe's mission?'s mission is
1. to be the single best, application essay evaluators
2. to be the leading authority on the essay section, by virtue of its staff members being experts and insiders (former admissions officers, college counselors, professors, alumni, students, etc.)
3. to be an integral part of the admissions process by conveying to the public the importance of the essay portion when applying to college, mba, law, med, or grad school
4. to make a useful and interactive web site.

2) How many student essay entries do you receive per month?

Our growth has been positively explosive. We continue to grow at an exponential rate. Initially, we received about 20-30 essays a month, and now we are anticipating receiving in the thousands per month.

3) How long does it take to review an essay and what are your criteria for doing so?

A reader spends about 1 1/2 hours evaluating an essay. Please refer to the sample essay that we have sent you for more details about our actual product.

4) What are some of the common mistakes students make in their college essays?

Often students misuse or miss the point of the application essay. They get caught up in answering the essay question and trying to come up with the perfect response. What exactly do admissions officers want to know when they ask you to write the college essay? No matter what the essay question, they are asking about you. They are asking what is really important to you, who you are, and how did you arrive where you are. Every essay topic asks you to tell a story which helps the committee to know you better. You need not cover every detail or aspect of your life; just a piece of philosophy or a moment of your experience will do.

Some students also use the essay to drop names, or to remind the reader that their parents are alumni of the college, or to rationalize a low grade or a low test score or a lost election. Some students use the essay to tell a little about everything that they think the college should know about them. These are all mistakes. Remember the purpose of the application essay is to give depth and credibility to the person described in the application. The best essays shine with the personality of the writer. Make the admissions committee want to meet you after reading your essay.

We also include the Essay Turnoff List.

Careless mistakes: Do you care about the essay? Then correct all your typos, misspelled words and incorrect grammar

Trite Phrases: Most admission officers are near nausea with applicants "who want to help people." Think of something that's unique to you.

Too slick: An essay that reads like it was churned out by a p.r. firm will fall flat. Be genuine. Let the real you shine through.

Cynicism: Colleges want bright, active people-not wet blanket. A positive approach to life-and to the essay will score points.

Life Histories: Make sure your essay has a point. An endless stream of phrases like "then I did this, and then I did this..." is sleep inducing and doesn't say anything meaningful about you.

Too Long: More is not better. The colleges want a concise, well-reasoned essay. Try not to exceed the amount of space allotted for each essay.

The Thesaurus Syndrome: Don't overutilize ostentatiously pretentious language to delineate subject matter you are attempting to address. Big words aren't impressive; a clear, direct style is.

5) What practical advice would you give student beginning to write their college essays?

1. Get started early. Start working on your essays in the summer.
2. Visit our web site ( Within the world of the application essay, we really do provide you with everything. The application kits that we are introducing July 1, are the best products by far available in the market today.

6) Do you get any feedbacks as to how your users' writing level improves? If so, how dramatic is the change?

Yes. We frequently receive second and third essays for review after the student sees our evaluation. When a student does this, we know that we are really helping our customers.

7) What do you get out of offerings the services of

We are building a very successful business. We are the best at what we do. And we are helping people. Knowing this is very satisfying.

8) What are your aspirations for the future?

Who knows? To have a big family.