Last Chance To Beat Accepted’s Price Increase!

Last day before prices go up!

REMINDER: Monday is your last chance to take advantage of’s current prices before we raise our prices.

Effective at 12:00 AM PT on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, Accepted will increase its prices on its editing and consulting services. editors have helped literally thousands of MBA, law, med, grad, and college applicants reach their higher education dreams.

Purchase Accepted’s essay editing or admissions consulting TODAY and take advantage of our current prices…before it’s too late!


Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

7 Signs An Experience Belongs In Your Application Essay

You have a lifetime of experiences. Which should you include in your application essays or personal statement? How do you choose?

The more of the seven signposts of significance that an experience has, the more it merits a place in your critical essay.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Download our free report: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School Application

Related Resources:

• Example to Exemplary [Free Guide]
• The 4 Must-Haves Of A Grad School Application
• Approaching The Diversity Essay Question

An Interview With Our Own: Judy Gruen

Check out Judy Gruen's bio page!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the staff. Next up is…Judy Gruen.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Judy: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and my undergrad degree is in English Lit from UC Berkeley. I always wanted to be a writer, and during my senior year became editor of a special interest newspaper at Berkeley. I worked for a few years in both university public relations and corporate public relations before heading to Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where I earned a master’s degree in 1986.

Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school/non-work book?

Judy: How can I limit myself to only one favorite non-school/work book? Impossible! Among my favorite books of all time are Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morningstar, and Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (as well as her short story collections).

Since I have focused much of my writing on humor, I also love books by Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry, S.J. Perlman, and P.J. Wodehouse. It seems that for humorists, it can help to have a name that begins with two initials.

Accepted: Can you talk about the road that led you to becoming an admissions consultant for Accepted? What jobs and experiences led you to this point?

Judy: Linda and I have been friends for nearly 30 years, which is hard to believe, since I’m only, well, never mind my age. I had published my first essays and opinion pieces in newspapers during college, and had several years of professional work in university PR and medical writing when Linda first approached me to see if I wanted to help her in her new editing business, which was growing fast. I was thrilled to say yes.

With the exception of taking off a few years to focus on my books, I’ve been with Linda and Accepted for 20 years. Linda’s a wonderful friend and a wonderful boss, and I have learned so much from my work with My journalism training and editing experience made me a natural for this work, as I understood the need to write tightly and with clarity. 

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Judy: I love helping hard-working, sincere applicants achieve their dreams of matriculating to a top grad school program. This is especially true when I’ve been working with a client for many weeks or even months, focusing on one application after another, working as a team, and I really get to know him or her and feel invested in his or her success. I also find it very satisfying to help clients clarify their ideas about what to write. In this process, they are really taking inventory of their career and personal progression. They usually find it surprisingly satisfying. And finally, when I get those excited emails weeks or months later announcing their acceptances, it makes my day. A few clients have kept up with me over the course of many years, letting me know where they are working. That’s just great.

Accepted: How has your association with AIGAC influenced your consulting?

Judy: Anyone can call himself or herself a consultant, so AIGAC membership ensures a high level of professionalism in this field. I have gone to 4 of the annual AIGAC conferences, visiting many of the top schools, including Yale, NYU Stern, Harvard, MIT, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, and others. Meeting other consultants, grad school admissions officers and some of the teaching staff to hear what’s new and exciting in both the individual programs and trends in grad school admissions allows me to demonstrate to my clients that I’m on top of changes in the field.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Judy: These are not original, but they are true so they bear repeating:

1. Be authentic: Even if you’re from an overrepresented applicant group, only you have lived your life and developed your perspectives and insights.

2. Be open minded to considering programs not instantly on your list of dream schools: There are dozens of outstanding programs; don’t be “star struck” by a school’s name or even ranking. Look to curriculum, location, personality, and other aspects that could make that program an ideal fit for you.

3. Plan ahead! We are all seeing more applicants coming to us with a deadline in two or three days with essays that still need major help. This is a serious process that deserves your full attention. Start as early as you can, to avoid discovering that the process of writing a couple of focused essays was tougher than you anticipated.

Accepted: And last but not least, please tell us about the numerous books and articles you’ve written, and how your passion for writing plays into your career?

Judy: In addition to co-authoring MBA Admissions for Smarties with Linda, I have written 3 award-winning humor books, most recently, Till We Eat Again: A Second Helping.

I really don’t know how many essays and articles I’ve had published; it must be more than 1,000. I am especially proud to have had 2 op-eds published over the last year and a half in the Wall Street Journal, and my work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and dozens of other media outlets. I’ve had my humor anthologized in 10 books, and my most recent book is being produced into a live musical by TroupeAmerica sometime in 2016.

I am also currently writing a memoir about a spiritual journey, but I am infusing it with as much humor as possible. I also maintain a blog, Mirth & Meaning, on my own site,

My passion for writing and editing infuses all my work. I place a high value on keeping my clients’ voices authentic while helping them add clarity and detail where appropriate. I believe that my love for the written word makes me a better consultant at, and I hope my clients agree!

Learn more about Judy and how she can help you get accepted!

View our catalog of admission services!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary [Free Guide]
• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• Graduate School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services

Price Increase Ahead!

Price increase ahead! Shop now & save!

We just wanted to give you a head’s up that we’ll be increasing our prices September 1.

So what does this mean for you? It means that you’ve got until Monday, August 31, 2015 to lock in a service at the current, low rate. Browse our catalog of services today to get an early start on your applications and to take advantage of our pre-increase rates!

When you sign up for an Accepted service, you’ll receive the following advantages:

• Move forward with your applications. Starting ASAP on your grad school or college applications means less stress, less rushing, and fewer careless mistakes. The early bird gets the worm!

• Work with an eagle-eyed essay critic and mentor. Accepted consultants are experienced wordsmiths with a passion for the art of writing. They won’t write your essays for you, but with their guidance you will present yourself at your best.

• Access years of professional experience. Our admissions consultants have years of  admissions consulting experience that will give you wide-ranging perspective and new insights into the application process – from choosing where to apply to building a strong application strategy to advising you on scholarships and how to pay for school. And your consultant will apply that knowledge and insight to your specific situation.

• Get convenience, confidence, and peace of mind. Our editors work hard to accommodate your busy schedule. Your consultant will return your essay drafts within two business-days of submission, and your calls and emails as soon as possible. By taking the proactive step of engaging Accepted to help make your college or graduate school dreams a reality, you’ll receive a healthy boost of confidence and the peace of mind that you are putting your best face forward.

It always helps to have a pro on your side – purchase an service on or before Monday, August 31, 2015 at 11:59 PM PT, get the help you need on your applications, and take advantage of our pre-increase prices!

New Call-to-action

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

So These Two Grad School Applicants Walk Into A Bar . . .

Learn the 5 fatal flaws to avoid in your grad school application

If used right, humor can help you stand out from your competitors in an unexpected way.

This might be a great opening line for a comedy night at a university student center, but can you use humor in a graduate school application essay? Should you even try?

The answer is . . . maybe. If you can use humor effectively, it will help you stand out from your competitors in an unexpected way.  (“Oh, is she the one who joked about her first time playing jazz in a live audience?”, an adcom member might ask while reviewing the season’s applicants.)  Humor can make us appear more human and relatable, especially with the most popular form of humor: the gently self-deprecating remark. For example, “My single New Year’s resolution this year is to buy a new bathroom scale, and, perhaps, one day, use it.” Or, “I discovered that I had a textbook case of ‘Congenital Fraidy Cat Syndrome.’  I knew it: my expanding medical knowledge was slowly killing me.”

This kind of humor reveals a writer’s vulnerabilities, making her sympathetic. However, as a grad school applicant, your goal is to show yourself as a focused, qualified, intelligent, and capable individual. If you lack the confidence to show that vulnerability, or the confidence to try to get a laugh, do not try. It is far more important to speak with your authentic voice. But if you have a track record of getting laughs among friends, don’t be afraid to use humor — judiciously — in a personal essay.

Here are a few examples of how – and how not – to use humor:

Good: “In all my travels, I had never before sipped anything called Toadstool Brew. After I was finished, I hoped never to have to sip it again.” This works because it is gently self-deprecating; you are poking fun at your own lack of appreciation for an exotic tea.

Not good: “In all my travels, I had never seen a more bizarre-looking individual. My first thought was, ‘This guy could get a gig on a reality TV show in the States.’” This doesn’t work because poking fun at someone else looks petty.

Never force humor into your writing. Use it when it feels natural, and perhaps try it out on another reader first. Adcom members will surely appreciate a laughter break while reading through all those serious essays!

From Example to Exemplary - Download your guide today!

Judy Gruen By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• From Example to Exemplary [Free Guide]
Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays?
• How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions