In over 60 guided lessons and Q&A sessions, I'll walk you through brainstorming your essay topics, analyze example essays that work, and give you the tools to outline, draft, and revise essays that tell your unique story.



Get the most effective brainstorming activities I've ever used and read dozens of inspiring sample essays with get detailed analysis on why they do such an awesome job.

2 + 2

2 courses in 2 weeks

Write an amazing personal statement in week one.  Finish the rest of your application and supplemental essays in week two.



Take the class. Read the guide. Do the exercises. If you're not completely satisfied, I'll send you a full refund within 30 days. 



Get feedback on your essays from trained and experienced essay specialists. (Optional)



...use the Common App. I cover the essays and application requirements for hundreds of colleges.


What is it?

It’s a live two-week online course designed to give students everything they need to complete their college application. I lead live Q&A sessions after each session where I answer important questions about the essay-writing process and give feedback on essays.

Are you a counselor? Check out my live counselor version here.

When is it?

June 16th - 30th

Week 2
How to Create an Amazing College Application

Week 1  (June 16th - 22nd)
How to Write an Amazing Personal statement

June 16 - How to Find a Personal Statement Topic + Q&A
June  18- How to Structure the Essay + Q&A
June  20 - How to Revise Your Essay in 5 Steps + How to Make Sure Your Essay is Doing Its Job + Q&A
June  22 - How to Bring Your Essay to Life + Q&A
Bonus Lessons - Advanced Screenwriting Techniques + Q&A

(Full course syllabus below.)

June 24 - How to Create an Inspired Application in Half the Time + Q&A
June 26 - Activities List, Additional Info, and 'Why Us?' Essay + Q&A
June 28 - The Extracurricular Essay + Other Supplemental Essays + Q&A
June 30 How to Make Sure Your Application Is Doing Its Job + More Supplemental Essays + Q&A
Bonus Lessons - 

  • The Short Answers Required By Many Highly Selective Schools + Q&A
  • The Rest of the College Application + Q&A

(Full course syllabus below.)


Can't make some (or any) of the live dates?




What makes this COURSE special?

I'll walk you through the entire process from brainstorming topics and drafting outlines for your main personal statement, to figuring out how to map out your entire application strategy, including your activities list and supplemental essay topics so you represent yourself as clearly and authentically as possible. 

Also, I think you’ll find the course:

  • inspiring: you'll start with analyzing your core values, then discuss how to present them across your application in a way that inspires.
  • efficient: you’ll learn a TON in a short period of time. (Think drinking water from a fire hose)
  • practical: you’ll get a step-by-step map for each part of the application.
  • comprehensive: you won’t find this depth and range of essays covered anywhere else.

Where is it?

Online! Tune in from the comfort of your own anywhere.


What's included?

Here's A VIDEO preview

61+ RECORDED video lessons

Lessons + Q&A sessions guided by Ethan Sawyer, featuring real students, example essays, and step-by-step guidance through the writing process


A downloadable PDF  that includes all the exercises and instructions you need to write great essays.


Get three rounds of direct feedback from amazing and trained college essay specialists. 


If you're not satisfied, I'll send you a full refund  up to 30 days after your purchase.

LIVE q&A + Essay Review Sessions

Ask any question you want. I'll even be reviewing and giving live feedback on a few student essays


What should I write about? How do I structure my essay? Is anything off-limits? How do I make my essay, like, deep?

work at your own pace

Can't join me live? No worries. You'll have unlimited access to all videos, recordings of Q&A sessions, and resources so you can start, pause and write whenever is convenient for you.


How to Create an Amazing College Application

Week 2 (June 23rd - 30th)

How to Write an Amazing Personal statement

Week 1 (June 16th - 22nd)

Module 0 - How Inspired Brainstorming Can Lead to an Inspired Application

  • Brainstorming: Essential exercises to set you up for an amazing application
  • How to plan your essay writing and saves dozens of hours
  • The Essay Tracker: How to manage all of your essays in one simple spreadsheet

Module 1 - How to Create an Amazing Application and Write Supplemental Essays in Half the Time

  • The Super Essay: How to write an essay that answers multiple prompts
  • A sample super essay with analysis
  • The best brainstorming activity for writing your extracurricular essay
  • Three sample applications that do an awesome job

Module 2 - The Activities List, Additional Information Section, and “Why Us?” Essay

2.1 - How to Create a Great Activities List

  • How to Create an Amazing Activities & Awards List
  • The Difference Between a Very Good Activities List and an Amazing One
  • How to Up-Level Your Activities and Awards List in Three Steps

2.2 - How to Write the Additional Information Section

  • What You Should and Shouldn't Include (& How this Section Could Make the Difference in Your Application)
  • Three Sample Additional Information Sections That Do a Great Job

2.3 - The ‘Why Us?’ Essay

  • A Guide to the Why Us Essay
  • Three Amazing ‘Why Us?’ Essay Examples With Analysis
  • How to Re-Use Your Why Us Essay (And How Not To)
  • Answers to the following frequently asked questions:

Module 3 - The Extracurricular Essay

  • The Difference Between a Regular and a “Super” Extracurricular Essay
  • Eight Mistakes Students Make on Their Extracurricular Essays--and How to Avoid Them
  • How to Write an Amazing Narrative Extracurricular Essay: The Elon Musk Exercise
  • How to Write an Amazing Montage Extracurricular Essay: The UC Exercise

Module 4 - School-Specific Supplemental Essays

  • How to Write The "Community" Essay
  • How to Write the 150-Word Extracurricular Essay
  • How to Write the "Create Your Own Class" Essay
  • How to Write the Quotation Essay
  • How to Write the Stanford Essays

Module 5 - Short Answers & More Supplemental Essays

  • How to Make Your Short Answers Awesome: 11 Dos and Don’ts
  • How to Answer the “Where Have You Lived” Essay
  • The "Why Major?" Essay

Module 6 - How to Make Sure Your Application Is Doing Its Job

  • What the Actual Job of Your Application Is
  • How to Make Sure All the Best Parts of You Have Ended Up in Your Application

Bonus VIDEO LESSONS - The Rest of the College Application

  • 18 Tips for Creating a Great Video
  • How to Create a Great College List
  • How to Get Great Teacher Recommendations
  • Do interviews matter? If so, how do I prepare?
  • How to Turn Your Common App Activities List into an Awesome Resume
  • Demonstrated Interest: A Brief and Practical How-To Guide

Module 1 - How to Find Your Essay Topic

  • Five essential brainstorming exercises I use to help students find their best topic

Module 2 - How to Structure Your Essay

  • The Four Types of College Essays
  • The Only Two Structures You Need to Write Your Essay
  • How to Write Each of the Four Types of Essays

Module 3 - How to Revise Your College Essay

  • Revising the First Draft
  • Revising Drafts 2 - 50
  • I Provide Feedback on Sample Essays


  • The Great College Essay Test
  • How to Get Great Feedback (and From Whom)
  • I Provide Feedback on Sample Essays

Module 5 - How to Bring Your Essay to Life

  • How to Grab the Reader’s Attention
  • One Great Way to Demonstrate Your Intelligence
  • How to Brag without Seeming Like You’re Bragging
  • How to Make an Essay, Like, Deep
  • How to End an Essay in a Powerful Way

Bonus VIDEO Modules: How to Take Your Essay to the Next Level

  • Advanced Technique 1: Setup and Payoff
  • Advanced Technique 2: Verisimilitude
  • Advanced Technique 3: Turn Something Dark into Something Beautiful
  • Advanced Technique 4: Blow the Reader’s Mind by Using The Sixth Sense Ending (a.k.a. Create an Ending That’s Surprising, but Inevitable)
  • Advanced Technique 5: Make It New
  • Ethan Gives Feedback on Real Essays: Session 1
  • Ethan Gives Feedback on Real Essays: Session 2

Here's what a few people have said:

"I think this course really changed my life."

-Angela G, Student  

You de-stressed the essay writing process by making me feel that I could relate to you. Rather than being stressed about writing my essay, I was excited for the sessions, and actually looked forward to finding my topic and then writing it. You are extremely knowledgeable and passionate, and it definitely shows. I am very appreciative. THANK YOU!!
— Julianne W, Student
Your mission to provide equitable access to the best courses on essays is what got me to where I am today, from the pay what you can system to my frequent talks with my Matchlighters counselor. You gave me the tools I needed to change my life. For that, my family, friends, and myself thank you for the bottom of our hearts.
— Ali, Harvard University, Class of 2021
You’re an amazing teacher, and I can feel the passion you have for us. I really appreciate all the work you’ve done for us. Thanks to you, I’ve been able to say what I’ve wanted to say about my life and show how it has impacted me. That’s something that I’ve struggled to do in the past. So from the bottom of my heart, I just want to say thank you!
— Jordan H, Student

This course has truly changed my life. I now feel that I am prepared to tackle my Questbridge essays, supplemental essays, and any other college essays to ensure that I've tried my best and hardest for my future. After all that this course has provided me with, saying thank you feels inadequate, but still – thank you so much, Ethan. You have truly changed my life and my perspective on writing a personal statement.

-Amenna R, Student

College Essay Guy is much like Batman or Spiderman. He is a superhero, with super powers. The power to help students write phenomenal college essays. That is not Ethan's only power however. The more you listen to him, his webinars and courses, the more you realize he is not Iron Man, he's Tony Stark. He's not Superman, he's Clark Kent. To channel your own Ethan Sawyer, you don't need to be some unattainable being; you simply need to learn, work, and unleash your own superhero in your writing. Through his lessons and courses, Ethan helps you discover your own super powers. All his creative material is conducive for anyone to be the College Essay Guy they wish to see in the world.

-Max, Student (2017)

I came into this webinar a bit grumpy that I had sacrificed all my week nights for college essay writing, but once I got into it I felt like I hit my groove, and, with your help and advice, really got inspired to write. If I hadn't taken this course, there is no way I would have a) found my topic b) started to write yet or c) completed a pretty darn solid draft. So thank you!!! This webinar seriously rocked!

-Ava, Student (2016)



Who is College Essay Guy?

Ethan Sawyer is a nationally recognized college essay expert and sought-after speaker. Each year he helps thousands of students and counselors through his online courses, workshops, articles, products, and books, and works privately with a small number of students. A graduate of Northwestern University, Ethan holds an MFA from UC Irvine and two counseling certificates. He lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Veronica, and their amazing daughter, Zola.

Learn more about Ethan »

"From tearing apart my essays multiple times over the one-week bootcamp, to helping me find value in the UC Essay everyone told me not to submit (the spongebob memes and tacos one if you recall), to truly helping transform my personal statement into something that is ME, I'm immensely grateful."

-Ali, Harvard University, Class of 2021


Work at your own pace.

Watch the videos as many times as you want.

Learn what to write about and how to outline, structure and revise your essay . . .

. . . and best of all, how to bring your essay to life.


Students finish the course with a compelling and memorable personal statement.

Parents and counselors get all the tools they need to help their students through the writing process.

Watch and work from anywhere. You’ll have access to the videos for a year.


Ready to join?

How to Write an Amazing Personal statement


How to create an amazing college application


Want to take both courses?

$594 $497



Counselors: Want to register all of your students at a deeply discounted rate?

Are you a high school counselor or school administrator? Click below to inquire about partnering with me and enrolling a group of students at a discounted rate.

Are you an administrator at your school district? Click below to inquire about partnering with me and enrolling a group of students at a discounted rate.

Yes, it's actually

Access is really important for me. In fact, it’s at the heart of most everything I do, and it’s why so many resources on my site are free. 
Can’t afford the suggested price? Just click on the orange "pay-what-you-can" button above and you'll receive a coupon for the amount you can afford. Yes, really.

How to create an amazing college application

How to Write an Amazing Personal statement

Got a question?

Our FAQ page has you covered. Or if you can't find the answer there, shoot us an email: [email protected]