College Prep Counseling

9th - 11th Grade

Getting into college takes more than great essays. It takes some self-reflection, hard work, and lots of research. Setting up and sticking to a college preparation plan can be overwhelming. But it’s our belief that just a little bit of planning can turn a lot of unneeded stress into excitement for the college application journey.

Each year, my team and I work with handful of high school students to help them plan and prepare for college. Our goal is to help students feel inspired and confident as they move through high school and 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 (and sometimes longer) partnership.

By the end of your junior year, you will begin the college application process with a strong academic course load suited to your intended colleges, an extracurricular resume, and an overarching narrative that will help you reach your college admissions goals and confidently 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."

And here’s what another student emailed us in 2018:


Here’s how our process works:


Over the course of your first 2-3 sessions with us, 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. Here’s what you’ll cover:

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

  • Extracurricular Project Development - Develop an extracurricular project or expand an existing one that leverages your values, strengths and interests to have an impact on your local or global community. Whether you’re programming an app, interning at a local hospital, or volunteering or starting a non-profit organization, you’ll 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 for the upcoming summer.

  • Major and Career Exploration - Through an interest, aptitudes and career assessment, you’ll get some ideas for how to explore your academic interests and hone in on a few areas and potential majors.

  • College Discovery - Start to explore the thousands of college options that are available, plan visits, and begin some initial exploration around the types of colleges that are available.

  • Other topics of your choice. - Want to bounce some ideas off your counselor in your session? Want help setting some personal goals and someone to hold you accountable? You got it. We’ll help you develop a reading or study plan, manage your time more effectively, or get coaching on anything else in our remaining time together. Sign up for additional sessions as needed.


Through regular 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 senior year.

Here’s OUR recommended timeline:

10th Grade

Pre-work: Complete a few hours of pre-work as well as an interest, aptitudes and career assessment for our team to review before we meet for our first session.

Session #1, Fall: Suggested Topics- Review interest, aptitudes, and career assessment. Review academic status, course selection, and GPA management. Initial extracurricular involvement consulting and summer planning.

Session #2, Spring: Suggested Topics- Standardized testing planning and strategy, summer planning, extracurricular activity progress follow-up, and more.

11th Grade

Session #1, Fall: Academic status update, standardized testing strategy (SAT/ACT/SAT Subject tests), initial college exploration (fall college fairs, college visits, etc), extracurricular involvement, course selection, and more.

Session #2, Fall: College fit discussion, course selection and GPA management, summer planning, pre-college list building, discussion.

Session #3, Spring: Initial college list walk through and research review. Check-in on extracurricular involvement, summer planning, standardized testing plan, intended majors.

Session #4, Spring: College list research check-in and revision. Review extracurricular involvement, summer planning, standardized testing, and intended majors. Discuss early application strategy (if needed) and merit scholarships and financial aid applications.

12th Grade

The summer between junior year and senior year is the best time to complete the majority of the work on your college applications and essays.

Want to read more about how we work with students through the college essay and application process?

Meet Your 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 + Junior Year College pLanning Package - $3,200

Meet with your counselor over the course of your sophomore and junior year to develop and execute a college preparation strategy. Includes eight 60-90-minute sessions.

Junior year College Planning Package - $2,500

Meet with your counselor over the course of your junior year to develop and execute a college preparation strategy over the course of six 60-90 minute sessions to cover all of the above topics.

What’s included?

Each of the packages above include:

  • Course selection and GPA management

  • Standardized test planning and preparation strategy

  • Extracurricular involvement enhancement

  • Summer planning

  • College discovery and visit planning

  • Back end 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.)

Sessions last up to 90 minutes and cover all of the above. Students may enroll at half-year intervals for a pro-rated pricing.

Senior Year College Application & Essays PackageS

Want to learn more about how we help students through the college essay and application process?


So you cover all aspects of the college application process (not just essays)?
Yep! 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 help you prepare and put together the best application and essays to demonstrate your gifts, skills and values. Plus, you’ll learn a ton about yourself and (hopefully) have fun doing it.

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, college goals, 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.