Reviews and Testimonials

Check out these reviews and testimonials of
The Art of Applying®
founded by Kaneisha Grayson
Will you be our next success story?

The first testimonials on this page are screenshots taken from the Exit Interview forms of our clients. Each client has an opportunity to write a testimonial about their experience and results from working with The Art of Applying®.

“I was very concerned I would not get into a top business school because of my GMAT score.”

South Asian American woman admitted to Harvard Business School with a 650 GMAT Score. Also admitted to NYU Stern with a one-year scholarship that covered tuition and fees for her first year

“I had read every single post on Kaneisha’s blog, and had applied to over 10 universities in the past. Yet none of it compared with a good consultant looking over my application.”

– Admitted to Columbia SIPA with a full scholarship (Lemann Interschool Graduate Fellowship). Also admitted to Hertie School of Governance and Erasmus University.

 “You knew what the school wanted and what I needed.”

– Admitted to Duke Fuqua

“Your guidance throughout the process was invaluable.”

– Admitted to policy schools of University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota with a full scholarship and graduate assistantship

“I felt like I was in great hands and I think the results are the best testimony.”

– Admitted to Landscape Architecture programs at Cornell, University of Virginia ($3000 scholarship), Ohio State ($5000 scholarship), Louisiana State ($5000 scholarship), Texas A&M ($20,000 scholarship + TA position), University of Arizona ($18,000 scholarship), UT Austin ($2000 scholarship), and UT Arlington

“Despite my low GPA, I was able to get into 5 out of 6 of my programs.”

– Admitted to policy schools at George Washington University ($24,000 scholarship), UT Austin, Texas A&M ($6000 scholarship), University of Denver, and Boston University ($16,000 scholarship) with a 3.11 GPA

“absolutely invaluable”

I wanted to write to share with you the great news that, last week, I was offered a place on the Masters of Public Policy at HKS. Moreover, I’ve also secured full tuition and living expenses funding. Over the moon doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction! I’m certain that it was the quality of my essays and the steps I took to strengthen my application upon your advice that made the difference. Your considered and thoughtful feedback was absolutely invaluable – my sincere thanks.

  • admitted with a full tuition fellowship (plus living expenses!) to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2017

 “that final magical touch”

Having attended a summer program and done school visits, I had an ample understanding of the program and the values that the school sought in students.  After finishing my first draft, I asked Kaneisha to look it over. Even with all my prior experience, she was able to drastically improve the way I communicated my story and effectively express my fit for the program. Because I had a strong grasp of the admissions process and my candidacy, I am even more confident to endorse Kaneisha as an excellent and enthusiastic coach that most certainly added value to my application. I highly recommend her especially to those who feel prepared about the admissions process, but want that final (magical) touch to their application. 

  • admitted to Harvard Business School MBA 2+2 Class of 2018; country: USA

“made the difference between good and great”

I have nothing but praise for Kaneisha and the work that she does. I had no experience applying to US grad schools and wanted to aim at the top. Kaneisha gave me advice on my formatting my resume that, I think, made the difference between good and great.

I was also quite confused about whether to retake the GRE (my scores were below average for top schools). Kaneisha’s solid advice to focus on my essays and consider retaking if I had the time meant that I was able to confidently channel my energy towards writing strong essays and stop second guessing my scores.

Through my experience I can say that she has a knack for taking an overall view of the applicant’s profile. This is instrumental in putting together the best possible application package. I got in to 5 of my 6 schools – including a full tuition fellowship at one. Thanks Kaneisha!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPA Class of 2017, Berkeley Goldman MPP, Chicago Harris MPP with a Dean’s Scholarship for full tuition ($44,000 each year), Georgetown MPP, and Brown MPA; country: Pakistan

“I’m really excited about my life.”

I just wanted to let you know I got offers from Harvard, Princeton and Fletcher School – I’m so excited about being able to study again and more so that it’s in the US. Harvard and Princeton offered full-scholarships too – at the moment I’m leaning towards Harvard for the strength of its energy programme, the ability to cross-register at MIT, and the fact that Boston seems much nicer than NJ! I really wanted to thank you for everything – for your time, advice and references – and without your support I don’t think I would have been able to do it. I will always be incredibly appreciative of all your help. I’m really excited about my life over the next few years and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as to how I find studying in the US vs UK and my future plans. Once again thank you and if you do ever visit Boston, please do let me know.

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2016 with a full fellowship, Princeton WWS with a full fellowship, and Fletcher School at Tufts; country: United Kingdom

“amazing adventure”

Hi Kaneisha,

I want to thank you very much for the excellent work that you and especially Sarah have done. I received the amazing news that I have been accepted to HKS Mid-Career Mason Program MPA.

You can’t imagine how thankful I am with God to make this happen and to have put our ways together in this amazing adventure.

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MC/MPA Class of 2016; country: US & Mexico

“You definitely have a gift!”

Hello Kaneisha,

Thank you for all of your help. I took the advice you provided below and read your blog religiously. Earlier this week I found out I was accepted to the MC MPA program at HKS. It was definitely a shock and I know you played a part in my acceptance.

Next up is trying to secure some funding so I am about to peruse your website for any golden nuggets of wisdom.

Thank you again! You definitely have a gift!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MC/MPA Class of 2016; country: US

“a MUST for anyone thinking about grad school”

Hi Kaneisha!

I didn’t get into HKS (my wild card anyway) but I did get into SAIS—my dream program for the last 4 years since I moved to DC as an intern and began stalking the place. My admission offer even came with fellowship funding for $5,000 a semester.

Even though I came to you late in the application process, you were still of so much help in the essay-writing process. Your blog is a MUST for anyone thinking about grad school. You were right, it truly is about the essays, our stories, and being able to convey those stories. As you remember, I come from a little known regional school with a GPA of 3.3 and GRE scores of 152Q 157V and 4.5W.

Now I truly believe that if anyone truly wants to work in public service, there’s a spot at a top-tier school for that person!

Again, thank you for all your help. I will continue to read your blog. I just love your writing and the openness in which you share your own experiences.

Thank you!

  • admitted to Johns Hopkins SAIS with a $10,000 per year scholarship; country: US

“inspired and encouraged me”

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your help with my applications. It’s been a really long journey, but I’m happy to announce that I’ve been accepted into the Harvard Kennedy School with a full tuition fellowship. Your personal experience and story as an “atypical” applicant inspired and encouraged me to actively pursue the dream of attending HKS. Your advice helped me to think beyond my test scores and work on crafting a deeply introspective and compelling story.  Your phenomenal editing skills were the icing on the cake and helped me to polish my thoughts and make my personal statement effective yet succinct. Thanks, again!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2016 with a full fellowship, Harvard Law School (from the waitlist!), and Georgetown Law School; country: US

 “I couldn’t be happier”

Dear Kaneisha, I have received an offer for admission to the Harvard Kennedy School. Thank you so much for your guidance throughout the admission process. Not only have you made my essays more compelling but you have also given me the confidence to prepare the best application I could ever put together. I learned a lot about the process through my various interactions with you and I couldn’t be happier to have requested your help!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School Mid-Career MPA (MC/MPA) Class of 2015; country: Algeria & US

 “absolutely invaluable”

Thanks Kaneisha! Lots to celebrate! Again, just wanted to express how grateful I am for your support. It was ABSOLUTELY invaluable. I will be encouraging all my friends to draw on your expertise in future months and years 🙂 I’m SO EXCITED about this next chapter. It’s all working out. And I’m relieved I can now afford it!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2016 with the Gleitsman Fellowship (full ride), Columbia SIPA, and London School of Economics; country: Australia

“a dream come true”

I wanted to thank you! I’ve gotten admitted to every school I applied to, including Harvard Kennedy School, and I’m super excited!!  I also got admitted to Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy, Columbia SIPA, Princeton WWS and UC Berkeley Goldman. Thanks so much, this is really a dream come true for me. 🙂

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2016 with the Presidential Public Service Fellowship, Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy (full ride), Columbia SIPA ($20,000+ per year), Princeton WWS (full tuition, health fees, and $16,000 stipend), UC Berkeley Goldman (full ride); total amount of fellowships awarded: $265,000 country: Mexico & Colombia

 “had my best interests at heart”

Working with Kaneisha was a real pleasure. She always knew what questions to ask to help me better express myself in my admissions essays. I truly believe she was instrumental in getting all the materials necessary for the applications at a level where I felt comfortable applying to my top schools. She was always very responsive and made me feel that she had my best interests at heart. She also went out of her way to give me advice outside the scope of my application and put me in contact with someone in my top choice school, which was incredibly helpful. I would recommend her for anyone who is applying to school or seeking career advice in general. I’m sure I will be contacting her in the future both personally and professionally.

  • admitted to Harvard Business School Class of 2016; country: Dominican Republic

“I credit my success to her help!”

As an international applicant unfamiliar with the steps involved in applying to grad school in the states, it was especially helpful working with Kaneisha! She guided me through the process, calmed my nerves, helped me translate my international credentials into their US equivalent and gave my essays the finishing touch! I credit my success to her help!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2016, Georgetown SFS, Berkeley Goldman, and NYU Wagner; country: Australia

“amazing with my essays”

WOW!  Kaneisha has been amazing with my essays. She is very thoughtful and helped me ensure that I filled my story with color. Thank you Kaneisha for your help. I got into HKS!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School MPP Class of 2016; country: Thailand

“personality and passion”

Kaneisha! Thanks for guiding me through the entire b-school application process from start to finish.  I was deciding between a few admissions consultants, but when I visited your website your personality and passion for your clients jumped off the page. After our initial consultation call, it was crystal clear that I had to work with you. And I was right…today I’m at Harvard Business and couldn’t be happier!

  • admitted to Harvard Business School Class of 2014

“thank you for encouraging me to take a chance”

Kaneisha! Good news … I’ve been awarded the Zuckerman fellowship (worth full tuition for a year, or $44,691, plus an additional $15,000 for living expenses, $3,000 for healthcare). Very happy, grateful, humbled and excited. Wanted to share with you the good news and thank you for encouraging me to take a chance. I never, honestly, would have ever, thought I would even come close to qualifying for that fellowship. (no joke). I hope you are doing well and rocking it as always.

  • awarded a full scholarship to Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2014

“very surprised and very thankful”

Hey, Kaneisha! Great news! I got the Gleitsman fellowship (worth full tuition for a year, or $44,691, plus an additional $1500). Very surprised and very thankful. Really appreciate all your help for this part of the journey.

  • awarded a full scholarship to Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2014

“fundamental for changing from a rejected letter…to an acceptance”

I wanted to thank you for your help in my application process for Harvard. Without a doubt your orientation in the essays and the strategy was fundamental for changing from a rejected letter last year to an acceptance letter this year.

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School Mid-Career MPA (MC/MPA) class of 2014; country: Mexico

“so damn lucky that I came across your website!”

I just wanted to let you know that I was accepted to three of the four programs I applied to!  Although I’m disappointed things didn’t work out at HKS, I was admitted to Columbia SIPA, Hopkins SAIS, and Georgetown SFS 🙂 Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all of your help through this process.  I can’t imagine putting together a successful application without you and feel SO damn lucky that I came across your website!

I want to sing your praises from the high heavens because you are the BEST!!

Mil gracias!

  • admitted to Columbia SIPA, Johns Hopkins SAIS, and Georgetown SFS; country: US & Costa Rica

“uplifting, enlightening experience”

I can’t remember if I told you this, but I was working with another coach previously. Long story short, it was not a positive or beneficial experience working with him. I’m so glad that I decided to seek out your help and work with you instead! It’s truly been a pleasure and an uplifting, enlightening experience working with you. I greatly appreciate your candor, professionalism, first-hand knowledge, and the personal investment that you took in my process. Thank you for helping me every step along the way, dealing with my perfectionist complex, and always being honest with me. I will definitely keep you updated on what happens, and I am confident that with your help I submitted the best application possible.

  • admitted to Johns Hopkins SAIS Class of 2016; country: US & Cambodia

“helped me boost my self-confidence”

Kaneisha! I got in to Booth! I just got the call today!! Thank you so much for your help in the whole process! You really helped me boost my self-confidence and then the feedback you gave me for my essays was so helpful in perfecting them! So much excitement!

  • admitted to University of Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2016; country: Sri Lanka & US

 “an edge in this competitive process”

I’m from Singapore, one of your many blog readers, and was following along your tips for applying to HKS. While I wasn’t able to take on some of your paying services, I was able to make the most out of the webinar and online resources you generously made freely available. As someone in the non-profit sector working on humanitarian issues, it was important that the graduate application process was as affordable as possible for me.

I applied for the MPP at HKS, MAID at American University’s School of International Service, and Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies. I unfortunately didn’t get into HKS, but was accepted into the other two programs. This includes a full-ride and fellowship to Notre Dame amounting to $126,000 over 2 years — I feel like I won the lottery! The freedom that comes with being unhindered by debt will afford me so many more opportunities in my next steps, and to go where the greatest need is. With a very small cohort each year, Kroc only accepts 10% of their applicants. It’s encouraging to have this kind of support, and I’m just so grateful for this divine providence. I also have to thank you for many good tips and suggestions you provided on CVs and statements which I’m certain helped give me that much more of an edge in this competitive process.

Again, know that you’re serving plenty more people than you think, and thanks for sharing your gifts with the rest of us! 🙂

  • admitted to Notre Dame Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies with a full ride and fellowship and American University’s School of International Service country: Singapore

 “changed my life”

Thank you so much for everything. You have definitely changed my life and my outlook on life.

  • admitted to University of Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2014 with $20,000 fellowship; country: China & US

 “kickass editing skills”

Got my first acceptance! I’m in at Georgetown Law!  Thank you for your kickass editing skills and for teaching me to leverage my story over the numbers.

  • accepted to Georgetown Law School Class of 2017; country: US

“accepted at Wharton’s MBA program”

Kaneisha, to keep you posted… I just got accepted at Wharton’s MBA program (potential joint program with HKS). So, thanks for all your support.

  • admitted to Wharton Class of 2014

 “you’re a lucky charm!”

Great news!! I just got into Ross and Tauber!!! Right after I sent you the email. I really think you’re a lucky charm!!

  • admitted to University of Michigan Ross School of Business Class of 2014

“I got in!”

I got in! Thanks so much for all your help, now working on the funding apps. Yay so exciting!

  • admitted to INSEAD MBA class of 2015; country: Zimbabwe

 “You really care about helping people.”

First of all I want to sincerely thank you for your help throughout the NYU Stern waitlist process. Like you said, the material represents me well, and I think I’ve put my best foot forward. More importantly though I want to thank you for your help, advice, and supportive attitude throughout my whole application process. Your support is truly genuine, and there is no doubt in my mind that you really care about helping people, and that it’s really important to you. I think you’re really good at it too. I think what truly sets you apart from “competitors” and other admissions consultants, is your genuine passion to empower people to reach their goals. Happy to be your friend and not just a client. Thanks.

  • admitted to Darden Class of 2014 and waitlisted at NYU Stern

“It all paid off in the end.”

Kaneisha, been a while — just wanted to let you know my final MBA destination has been determined….I’m heading to NYU Stern in the fall. It all paid off in the end, and I just wanted to thank you again.

  • admitted to NYU Stern Class of 2013

 “She was there every step of the way.”

I knew nothing about the MBA application process when I realised I wanted to get an MBA. I was feeling lost and needed someone to not only edit my essays, but to provide support and answer any questions/fears I might have. The service provided by most coaches I saw online put me off because they looked very impersonal…. Then I came across Kaneisha’s offer. It was exactly what I was looking for, wholesome and very personal. Working with Kaneisha gave me the confidence to tackle the daunting application process. She was there every step of the way, answering my emails, addressing fears I had, providing invaluable advice, and  motivating me in times when I was feeling discouraged. She never imposed her style, and my essays truly reflected who I am and what I wanted to convey, except they were clearer, more compelling and to the point.

  • admitted to London Business School Class of 2013 with a 2.7 undergraduate GPA

 “exemplary level of service”

I approached Kaneisha about her coaching services because I was struggling to write my personal statement for my top-choice graduate school.  I wanted someone to help me craft a compelling narrative about myself to make me a more competitive applicant. Kaneisha took the time to carefully assess my academic and professional goals to understand what I wanted out of graduate school. Kaneisha provided honest feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of my essay. She gave me insightful recommendations about which areas in my personal, academic and professional experiences upon which I should expound.  Her suggestions greatly improved the organization and clarity of my writing. Each round of editing helped me further refine my narrative. Having a demanding full-time job, she graciously worked within my time constraints and was very responsive to my inquiries. At the end of the process, I felt much more confident about my prospects for success. Kaneisha’s exemplary level of service by far surpassed what I had hoped to find in a coach.

  • admitted to SAIS at Johns Hopkins and SIPA at Columbia

 “honest and sincere”

I have grown a lot through working with Kaneisha.  The best thing about her reviewing methodology is that Kaneisha teaches her clients how to effectively communicate.  She goes beyond simply reviewing your essay for eloquence and challenges you to express your primary message.  Upon establishing that, she then shows you how to build on the message stylistically and creatively by telling relevant stories and giving concrete examples.  And Kaneisha is honest and sincere – not afraid to ask for a rewrite or major revision in order to help you arrive at that crucial point of clarity.  But her help pays off!  Not only have I learned how to better express my thoughts, but also I have more confidence in my writing abilities and have been able to help others in similar capacities.  This goes to show you that Kaneisha creates lasting change!

  • admitted to Harvard Kennedy School with TWO full scholarships (one from HKS, one outside of HKS)

 “She’s a gem!”

Kaneisha is an extremely talented and well trained editor. After working with her on my resume and cover letter I was awarded a prestigious Harvard Management Fellowship and paid position. I highly recommend her services to anyone looking for both a professional and personal experience. She literally transformed my resume and cover letter from ‘good enough’ to ‘standouts.’ She went above and beyond my expectations.

Kaneisha carefully considered my career goals and past experience to assist me in crafting the best resume and cover letter possible. The entire process was a highly collaborative effort and I’m very happy with the results. She reformatted both documents and made suggested changes to sentences allowing for better flow and understanding. She was in constant communication throughout the process and best of all; she was able to work within my application deadlines! She’s a gem!

  • a HKS Mid-Career MPA graduate who worked with me to land a postgraduate fellowship at Harvard