College Readiness Counseling

Getting into college takes more than great essays. Setting up and sticking to a college preparation plan can be overwhelming.

Each year, my team and I work with handful of high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors to help them plan and prepare for college. Our goal is to help students feel inspired and confident as they prepare for the college application process.

Students who work with us find that our process is more fun, effective, and life-changing.

You’ll work with one of my amazing and experienced college counselors to craft a college application game plan (and stick to it!) over a year-long partnership.

By the end of your junior year, you will start the college application process with an strong academic course load, extracurricular resume, and overarching narrative that will help you reach your college admissions goals and navigate the application process with more ease, purpose, and joy

Here's what one student shared in 2018:

"Working with the College Essay Guy team, I discovered who I am as a person, what I value, and how I specifically developed and express my values. Knowing who I am as a person was essential in genuinely presenting myself to college admissions representatives....I learned a lot about what I value as a person. I learned about my different qualities and characteristics that I have used in the past, and will continue to use in the future. I really enjoyed reflecting on specific experiences that led me to develop these value and working with the College Essay Guy team."

Here's how our process works:


You (the student) complete a few hours of pre-work that allows us to learn about who you are, what you are passionate about, and what you aim to get out of your high school and college career.

Don’t know where you want to study?
Don’t know what you want to study?

Don’t worry. We’ll be discovering all of that together.


Over the course of your first 2-3 sessions, you’ll develop a college preparation action plan that will help you maximize your high school experience and take advantage of all your school and community has to offer so that you feel confident as you tackle your college applications. Here’s what you’ll cover:

  • Academic Course Load and GPA - Develop a rigorous course schedule that allows you to explore your academic passions, challenges your abilities, and helps you make the most of your school’s academic offerings.

  • Standardized Testing - Craft a standardized testing timeline, get preparation resources or find a tutor, and develop a preparation plan to reach your goal score.

  • Extracurricular Project Development - Develop an extracurricular project that leverages your values, strengths and interests to have an impact on your local or global community. Stand out among your peers with a project that goes beyond school-sponsored activities and community service opportunities.

  • Summer Planning. - Explore summer programs, find research opportunities, plan a self-directed project, or get help finding internships. Summer is coming. Get excited.

  • College Discovery - Start to explore the thousands of college options that are available, plan visits, and begin some initial and exploration around the types of colleges that will be your home for four years of growth.

  • Whatever you’d like. - Have the above covered and want to bounce some ideas off your counselor in your session? Or maybe you want help setting some personal goals and someone to hold you accountable? You got it. We’ll help you develop a reading plan, manage your time more effectively, or anything else in our remaining time together.


Through regular follow-up monthly meetings throughout the year, you’ll meet with your counselor to stick to your plan (or adapt it if necessary!) as you work towards your college goals.

Meet Your College Counselors

Stacy Professional with Computer.JPG

Stacy began her career in education as an admissions officer Northeastern University and then Johns Hopkins University. She spent almost twelve years on the college side reading thousands of college applications, making admissions decisions, traveling the United States to recruit students, and more. Additionally, she has worked on the high school side as the Director of College Counseling at a private K-12 school in the Boulder-area of Colorado. Currently, she works as a independent college counselor guiding students through the college admissions process and volunteers for a few non-profit organizations to help more students gain access to college. 

Stacy also: 

  • Graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelors of Science in History and a Masters in College Student Development and Counseling.

  • Has 17+ years of college admissions experience in the college/university, secondary education, and independent college counseling arena.

  • Has read thousands of college admissions applications.

  • Continues to work with high school students from all over the world to help guide them through the college admissions process.

Hannah began her work in education at Whitman College where she conducted admissions interviews, led campus tours, and sat on the Board of Trustees Enrollment Committee. She went on to work in the admissions department at Beloit College, before returning to her alma mater to work in Residence Life. Most recently, she worked for three years in the college counseling office of a private school in Seattle.

Hannah also:

  • Graduated from Whitman College with Honors with a degree in Psychology.

  • Is earning her Masters in School Counseling at Seattle University (graduating June 2019).

  • Has helped hundreds of students through the college admissions process including college list guidance, interview preparation, and essay revision.

  • Has the unique experience of having worked on both the high school and college side of the admissions process.

Hannah also works as an essay specialist with College Essay Guy. 


Here are two things you should know about our team

1. More than 80% of the students we work with gain acceptance into one of their top choice schools, and 98% of those who have applied to the Top 50 schools have been accepted. 

2. But we don't base our success solely on our students' college acceptances.

Why? Because there are so many other things that our students have done well (GPA, SAT/ACT, Extracurriculars, Life) before meeting us that have prepared them to write a great personal statement. Instead:

We measure our success in other ways...

  • Each time a student tells us that working with us has made him a better thinker, writer, and problem-solver.

  • Each time a student tells us we've helped her gain confidence

  • Or when we receive a testimonial like this:

My time with the College Essay Guy Team has been nothing short of amazing and personal. They are dedicated to working with students on a 1 on 1 level and ensuring that they position themselves in the best light during the college process. I really found out a lot about myself and my interests, along with my strengths and weaknesses.

That's how we know we've made a real impact. And that's why we love our work.

But we also don’t mind bragging a little. And, because parents are sometimes curious, we’ve compiled a list of acceptances from the past few years:

Click here for 2016-2017 Acceptances and Testimonials

Click here for 2017-2018 Acceptances and Testimonials

more Testimonials:

“I cannot stress enough how much I recommend working with College Essay Guy. They took my experiences and helped me transform them into an application I was proud of which told a compelling story. With his help, I got into my dream school, and can't thank them enough!”

- Hattie B..

"Working with the College Essay Guy team, I discovered who I am as a person, what I value, and how I specifically developed and express my values. Knowing who I am as a person was essential in genuinely presenting myself to college admissions representatives. My essay coach, Mr. Simpson, met with me over Skype and was free to meet as much as I could keep up. He coached me on how to write my essays, but did it in a way where my voice was maintained. The best part about the College Essay Guy team is that I was constantly pushed to strive for even better essays. They do not want to just get you an essay, they help you present yourself in the best possible way you can...I learned a lot about what I value as a person. I learned about my different qualities and characteristics that I have used in the past, and will continue to use in the future. I really enjoyed reflecting on specific experiences that led me to develop these values... I enjoyed working with the College Essay Guy team."

- Kirk D.

I had a great experience with Ethan and the College Essay Guy team! They really listened to me and helped me to compile a complete and convincing application. I got into my dream school, thank you so much!"

- Aarav M.

Parent references available upon request. Just ask.

Packages and Pricing

Sophomore year counseling Package - $3,200

Meet with your counselor over the course of your sophomore year to develop and execute a college preparation strategy.

Junior year counseling Package - $3,800

Meet with your counselor over the course of your junior year to develop and execute a college preparation strategy.

Each of the packages cover:

  • Course selection and GPA management

  • Standardized testing planning and strategy

  • Extracurricular involvement consulting

  • Summer planning

  • College discovery

  • Backend time for your counselor for research, recommendations, and email correspondence

  • Other topics, as requested by the student. (Goal setting, time management planning, taco truck recommendations during your college visits.)

Notes: The above packages include eight 60-90 minute sessions over the course of a year to cover all of the above. Students may enroll at half-year intervals for a pro-rated pricing.

Bonus: Students that work with the CEG team on any of the above full-year packages receive a 10% discount on any College Essay + Application Year Package.

Senior Year + College Application Counseling Packages

Interested in getting help completing your college essays and applications? Ask us for more info!


Wait. So you cover all aspects of the college application process (not just essays)?
Yes. Though the company is called College Essay Guy (because that's what Ethan has become known for in the industry), we know college planning isn’t all about essays. We have a good deal of expertise (a combined 50+ years experience) counseling students through the entire process, as well as counselors on our team with experience working in college admissions offices. In short: we can do it all.

Where do sessions take place?
Online via Skype, email and Google docs.

Where have your students been accepted? 
All the Ivies, as well as many other amazing schools. See links at the top of this page for our most recent acceptances. It's important to note that our services are advisory in nature and we can't (of course) guarantee admission to a highly selective school. But we can put together the best application and essays to demonstrate your gifts, skills and values.

How do you assign counselors and coaches?

All of my coaches are highly experienced and experts at what they do. However, after reviewing each student's pre-work, I like to assign coaches based on each student's overall profile and writing style and abilities. 

What advice do you have as I begin the process?
We highly recommend developing a balanced college list. Most students, for example, fixate on 1 or 2 highly selective (usually Ivy-League) schools, but we find the students who are most happy with the process are those who helped develop a wide range (usually nine to ten schools) with around 3 reach, 4 maybe, and 3 likely.