Services and Fees

You can find my list of fees by specialty area in this Excel document.

Generally on a sliding fee scale – with a deposit required by cash, check, credit card, PayPal or wire – I offer the following services for people at all educational levels:

Assistance with Essays, Personal Statements and Other Writing Samples

precocious urchin - a little princess

Need a seventh set of eyes to edit your Harvard application’s writing sample the night before the submission deadline? Overcome with writer’s block midway into your Fulbright and NSF personal statements? Unsure of how to spread the consumable truths about yourself across all of those University of Chicago essays, or of what essential truths you should present in the common application? I’m happy to work with you on essays, personal statements and other writing samples from the initial brainstorming of ideas through final draft edits.         FEE: Sliding fee scale with $80 per hour the average.

Standardized Test Preparation

karate kid

The tests for which I’m best equipped to tutor and otherwise prepare you are AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, Critical Reading and Writing on the SAT, and Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing on the GRE. I’ve historically performed well on quantitative reasoning exams – just not quite as well as I have on the more creative and verbal sections. However, I can share general study methods, prepare flashcards and, when possible, provide live and Skype support for virtually any exam in addition to more thorough preparation for the aforementioned exams.         FEE: Sliding fee scale with $80 per hour the average.

Brand Planning

life of pi 2

You don’t have to spend a summer volunteering as an underground midwife in Riyadh to gain admission to Berkeley, Oberlin and Yale. You don’t even have to know that Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital city to do that. However, you’ll probably be a much more confident and competitive admissions candidate if you’ve distinguished yourself with some activity that you enjoyed than you will if you play the old “well-rounded” card. So do you need help founding a $100 startup with the potential to thrive well beyond your high school years, or planning an overseas adventure that leaves you and the admissions committees certain that you’re destined for greatness? Maybe you’ve already accomplished something extraordinary and just don’t know how to articulate it as your brand? I can help you build or bring out aspects of your identity that will make your applications as wonderfully Unforgettable as that Nat King Cole song.                   FEE: Sliding fee scale with $100 per hour the average.


memoirs of a geisha

It’s important regardless of your age: Your parents needed to know the right people to get you into the elite preschool and elementary school, which you were expected to attend in order to be considered for admission to the city’s premier junior high. Then you needed that recommendation from Sondheim to be awarded the seat in Stuyvesant High School’s Fall 2015 class that would’ve gone to the girl who only managed to get one from Jason Robert Brown. Later, you knew you wouldn’t have been admitted to Julliard if Audra MacDonald hadn’t personally vouched for you. And you’ve heard that the Yale School of Drama considered rejecting you – until Meryl Streep raised an eyebrow on your behalf. Now you’re 39-years-old, fatigued by life on the stage and know it’s not too late to pursue a Masters in Dietetics; you’re just not sure that you know anybody qualified to provide a referral for that one anymore. Although I probably can’t arrange for you to meet Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the immediate future, I can make other introductions and teach you the skills you need to grow a diversified network so that no matter where you decide you want to go in life, you will have the social capital you need to get there.         FEE: Sliding fee scale with $90 per hour the average

Plan B Development

home alone

What will you do if you aren’t admitted to any of your top choices? You could sob into a pillow until your best friend cheers you up with an invitation to see Calvin Harris perform live. You could threaten to become your dream school’s worst nightmare with a discrimination law suit. You could flee the country to wade about the Blue Lagoon until a modern Viking arrives to tell you that you never needed Harvard since love was looking for you all this time in Iceland. Or, you could focus on your fine-tuned Plan B – which might prove even better than your Plan A. I enjoy working with people who are happily pursuing their dreams to make sure that they have a strong backup plan for hard times, and I also enjoy working with people who’ve realized that they were never on the right life path and are now desperate to take a new direction. Either way, the work starts with a frank conversation, and continues with an MS Word outline.          FEE: Sliding fee scale with $100 per hour the average.


addams family

If you’re applying to PhD programs, you probably know how critical it is that you identify The Powers That Be in your departments of choice, their current research interests (versus the ones listed on their CVs last year) and the nature of their relationships with other faculty asap. The last thing you want to do is propose a cooperative project in your application that soundly defies the departments’ intellectual and social orders. In specialized high school, undergraduate and vocational programs, you face the same risk. You could just ask current students for the inside scoop, but if your attempt at due diligence is misread as gossip or nosiness, you’ll find yourself in a politically fragile position in the department upon enrollment – if your application isn’t flatly rejected. Perhaps it’s best that I do the detective work for you? I’m a skilled and discreet researcher who, time and time again, has secured people the information they need to make the right moves.         FEE: Sliding fee scale with $90 per hour the average.


If you need assistance beyond what’s detailed on this page, I’m happy to discuss it with you. You can either call me at 773/719-2600 (between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM CST weekdays) or E-mail me at your convenience about it.

Many Thanks!

Ramon Robinson

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