“Susan Osborn is, quite simply, a superb instructor.”

Barry Qualls, professor emeritus and former vice president for undergraduate education, Rutgers University

If your child is struggling with college application essays or independent school application essays, having a hard time reaching a target score on the SAT or ACT, or needs to improve in-class writing and English language arts performance, you’ve come to the right place.

At The Writing Center of Princeton, Dr. Susan Osborn combines traditional, research-based methods with innovative instructional techniques to prepare your student for academic excellence and college admissions success. For over 15 years, Dr. Osborn has helped hundreds of students succeed in school and gain admission to America’s top colleges.

Dr. Osborn holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from Rutgers University in English Literature with Specialization in Composition and Rhetoric  as well as an A.B. from Vassar College in English.  Dr. Osborn has also completed Ed.D. coursework at University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

WCP works with students from all over the world via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, phone, and Google docs.

more about susan
Susan Osborn, Ph.D., a long-time English and writing professor at Rutgers University and an award-winning writer and educator, uses both her educational experience and her writing talent to help your child succeed in the college admissions process, earn top test scores, and advance critical thinking and writing skills. As such, she guides you and your child through all aspects of the college admissions process, test prep, and school writing as a tutor, adviser, and personal coach and consultant.

Susan approaches tutoring from a unique perspective. As a college application and independent school application tutor and counselor, she helps your child write application essays that showcase the many ways that your child is the ideal applicant for all the colleges and schools on your list. At the same time, she ensures that your child’s college application essays demonstrate how your child is different from and more attractive than all other applicants who have the same GPA and SAT and ACT scores. As a result, Susan’s students have gained admission to the most selective colleges and universities in the world including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Yale, University of Chicago, MIT, Cal Tech, University of Pennsylvania, NYU-Stern, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Dartmouth University, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, Vassar College, Swarthmore College, Washington University, University of Michigan Dental School, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

As an educator, Susan has received awards from Rutgers University and other scholarly institutions for her research into writing pedagogy, instructional design and delivery methods, and English literature, and her scholarly articles on writing and literature have been published in numerous academic journals. As a writer, she has published over 15 books of fiction and nonfiction, and over one hundred essays, articles, and reviews in The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Village Voice, and many others. Her last novel was praised as “a work of genius” and her recent scholarly book was acclaimed a “tour de force.” As a writer, she has been awarded residencies and grants from The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Brydcliffe, and Dorset Colony House. As a researcher for the New Jersey Center for Research on Writing, Susan worked extensively with Nancy Sommers, former Sosland Chair of Expository Writing at Harvard, to better understand the relationship between writing skills, self-esteem, and a child’s high school and college success. Susan is also a frequent speaker at academic and learning disability (LD) conferences.

Dr. Osborn also works extensively with international and ESL students and has tutored students who have recently arrived from or are living in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, and Amsterdam.


1.  Susan has devoted her entire career to teaching.

Unlike untrained college admissions consultants and writing tutors, Susan brings unparalleled experience, a wealth of expert resources, and personalized client support designed to maximize your child’s academic performance and college admissions chances to every tutoring relationship.

2. Susan knows that every child is uniquely intelligent.

Unlike less experienced college admissions consultants and writing tutors, Susan uses your child’s inherent strengths to address areas of need to ensure that your child succeeds in school, on tests, and gets into a top college.

3. Other tutors are not professional writers. Susan is.

As well as being a lifelong educator, Susan has authored over 15 books of fiction, scholarship, criticism, and general nonfiction. She brings a skill set like no other tutor to each tutoring relationship, and she uses all of her experience to make sure that your child achieves in-class excellence, earns top test scores, and is admitted to the top-ranked college on your list.

4. Susan has worked in admissions at one of the most elite colleges in the country, Vassar College.

Susan has been on the inside and she can tell you what goes on behind the scenes, what college admissions officers are looking for, and how you can take advantage of that knowledge to boost your child’s college admissions chances.

Dr. Osborn offers one-on-one instruction at The Writing Center of Princeton, in your home, or online via Skype. All lessons are customized to meet the unique needs of each student.

All instruction is conducted in a private, distraction-free environment.

Susan’s Publications

Elizabeth Bowen: New Critical Perspectives (Cork University Press)
Surviving the Wreck, novel (Henry Holt & Co; Econ Verlag, Berlin; iUniverse.com)
American Rustic Furniture (Crown)
The Book of Country Living (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
Cornerstone Collector’s Guide to Glass (Cornerstone Library)
Dial an Expert (McGraw-Hill)
Free Things for Teachers (Perigree)
Free (And Almost Free) Things for Teachers (Putnam)
The Great American Guide to Diet and Health (McGraw-Hill)
The Information Age Sourcebook (Random House)
Kitchen Antiques (Harper & Row)
Pine (Harper & Row)
Real Clothes (Morrow)
The Redhead’s Handbook (Penguin)
What’s in a Name? (Pocket Books)
Short Stories, Poems, Plays
Premiered at the Broom Street Theater, WI
Published in Exquisite Corpse, Kelsey Review, Orchid, and Paterson Literary Review
The Boston Globe
The Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune
Cleveland Plain Dealer
In These Times
Louisville Courier-Journal
New York Arts Weekly
The New York Times
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Princeton Packet
The San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Examiner
The Trenton Times
The Village Voice
Country Living
Garden Design
Kirkus Reviews
New Jersey Life
Publishers Weekly
Scholarly Publications
American Book Review
The American Scholar
Belles Lettres
The Irish Literary Supplement
Literature & History
Modern Fiction Studies
Rhetoric Review
Vassar Quarterly
Collected in The Sixties Without Apology (University of Minnesota Press) and Writer’s Craft, Teacher’s Art: Teaching What We Know (Boynton Cook/Heinemann)
Awards and Residences
Byrdcliffe (fiction)
Dorset Colony House (playwriting)
New Jersey State Council on the Arts (fiction)
Princeton Research Forum (scholarly research)
Rutgers University (scholarly research)
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (fiction)