two things you should know about our team: 

1. More than 80% of the undergraduate students we work with gain acceptance into one of their top choice schools, and 98% of those students 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 (Undergraduate GPA,  scores, 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 writer
  • Each time a student tells us we've helped her gain confidence
  • Or when we receive a testimonial like this:
Ethan you are truly a unique soul, and the things you have taught me about life, the future, writing, communicating, and people are some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my whole life. I couldn’t have picked a better leader to guide me through my college application journey and my first semester of Senior year. If I could go back and change any aspect of my experience with you I would not change a single thing, and I mean that literally. I grew so much from this process with you, and I truly feel as though we have become friends. Today in class, our assignment was to write down our top 5 heroes, and you were on my list. Why? Because you have spent a majority of your life helping others discover what makes them special and different. You not only guide students through the application process, but help motivate us to become the leaders of tomorrow. You never judged me and are always optimistic. I admire your values Ethan, and I will always look up to you as a role model. Thank you for all of your help.

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 you are sometimes curious, we’ve compiled a list of some of our recent acceptances:

  • American University, Washington College of Law
  • American University, Graduate School of International Service
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cambridge University (England)
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Chapman University
  • University of Chicago, Graduate Program, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • College of Charleston
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Columbia University, Graduate Program, Middle Eastern Studies
  • Columbia University, Teacher’s College, Graduate Program, Psychology
  • Cornell University
  • Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgetown University, Graduate Program, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard College
  • Harvard University, Graduate Program, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Juniata College
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Northwestern University
  • Oberlin College
  • Occidental College
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Pratt Institute
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • University of Richmond
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Santa Clara
  • Scripps College
  • Seton Hall University
  • Seton Hall University School of Law
  • University of Southern California
  • Southern Methodist University
  • St. John’s University
  • St. Louis University School of Law
  • Stanford University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University School of Law
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Virginia
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Washington
  • College of William and Mary
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Yale University

...and dozens of other great institutions.

  • Through this process you have helped me shape my story and, in a way, it has been a healing process. You were an indispensable asset through my college application process. Thank you for loving what you do.
    — Adriana S.
  • I can’t say enough wonderful things about [Kim] and there is absolutely no way we could have gone through this process without [her team]. I’m telling everyone I know that they need to speak with you! I meant what I said — there is no way that we could have done this without you. I feel like our relationship with Tyler is better because of it and working with you has been a “safe” way for us to let Tyler take ownership. I think that he’s definitely matured through the process and he’s much more relaxed this school year.
    — Cathy, Parent
  • Working with you on college essays was an unforgettable experience. You taught me how to find myself in a whole new way and made me feel like my story mattered.
    — Zuleyma G.
  • Mr. Sawyer, it has been incredible working with you. Your expertise was immediately apparent from your knowledge of many universities, to your organized planning through online documents, and your meaningful insight that was personal, not just objective. You have taught me not only how to write powerful essays that catch the best colleges’ attention, but also cogent papers for all my future writing. You also helped me through some very tough times and you seemed to truly understand my struggles in a way that not many could. For all this, I sincerely thank you. You have done more for me than I could have imagined.
    — Grant K.
  • I just wanted to thank you for everything that you have done for me to help with the process of selecting a graduate program for health administration. All the help was very valuable and I wouldn’t have been able to select a program without your help.
    — Karen


Ethan Sawyer is an internationally recognized college essay expert and sought-after speaker.

Each year he helps thousands of students and counselors through his online courses, workshops, articles, books, and products. His book, College Essay Essentials, is currently the #1 best-selling book on college essays worldwide.

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.

Kim Snyder Mehta is a graduate school admissions expert with Know Your Options, LLC. Her specialty is helping students find a graduate program that matches their career and educational goals.

A Fairfax County, Virginia native, Kim received her Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and completed her J.D. at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. While honing her legal skills, she guided local high school students on the college application process while teaching with the Street Law Program. Kim is an active member of IECA, HECA and NACAC.

Personal Statement Only


Unlimited sessions with Ethan to brainstorm, write and revise your personal statement for one school. 

Personal Statements Only


Unlimited sessions with Ethan to brainstorm, write and revise your personal statement for five different schools. 

Personal Statements Only Package


Unlimited sessions with Ethan to brainstorm, write and revise your personal statement for ten different schools. 

•   •   •   •   •  


Once we’ve agreed to work together:

1. You (the student) complete 2-3 hours of pre-work that includes a Myers-Briggs personality assessment, plus brainstorming exercises for your personal statement. Once these are complete, you share them with me (Ethan) and then...

2. We meet as many times as needed, and I use 167 different tools to help you find your deepest story, the ideal structure, and details that will make it sing. This process can take days or weeks (depending on your timeline) and we won't rest until it's right.

Comprehensive Graduate School

(NOTE: Not currently offered. Please inquire if interested in comprehensive help.)


The Comprehensive Graduate School Package includes guidance on applications for up to 10 schools, including:

  • Discussions with student throughout the process
  • Educational and career goal discussion and guidance
  • Identification of a balanced list of schools with consideration given to institutional selectivity, educational and professional goals, student’s test scores and academic record, and financial parameters
  • Guidance and recommendations for topic selection, drafting, and revising required personal statements and supplemental writing
  • Advice on when to submit applications
  • Advice on standardized testing
  • Assistance in preparing a professional resume
  • Suggested strategies for organizing and managing the process
  • Advice on school visits and showing interest in each program
  • Advice/coaching on interview preparation
  • Advice on seeking recommendations when asked
  • Review of applications before submitting if requested
  • Discussions regarding financial and merit / institutional aid
  • Scholarship application support
  • Guidance and support until a final decision has been made

Fee Policy:  Unless already under a signed/dated letter of agreement with College Essay Guy LLC, fees as presented above are subject to change without prior notice.


•   •   •   •   •  


Once we’ve agreed to work together:

  1. You (the student) complete 2-3 hrs of pre-work that includes a college preferences questionnaire, a Myers-Briggs personality assessment, plus brainstorming exercises for personal statement, Resume and Additional Info section. Once these are complete, you share them with Kim, along with your transcript, test scores, and preliminary list of schools (if available).
  2. Kim reviews what you’ve sent and emails you to schedule an initial 90-minute session.
  3. In that initial session, Kim reviews your transcript to discuss any inconsistencies, reviews your resume to determine if you are presenting yourself in the best way possible, discusses your LSAT scores and needs (i.e. whether to retake or not, and when), recommendation letters (both academic and professional), strategy for the personal statement, and school preferences.
  4. Kim then gets to work developing your preliminary college list based on the information you’ve shared. Two to three days later she shares the preliminary list in a 30-minute follow-up Skype session, and provides you all the resources you’ll need to continue developing the list. Once that’s done
  5. You meet as many times as needed with Ethan to write the personal statement. During this time, Kim and Ethan  meet weekly to discuss your progress. Once your personal statement is in good shape:
  6. You meet with Kim to review all components to make any needed adjustments until you have total confidence before you click “submit.” Then you breathe a sigh of relief. Because it's done.



Can I see what it’s like to work with Ethan?
Sure. Here’s a 45-min private YouTube video in which Ethan gives 45 tips on their entire college application process and this 1-hr video is a great introduction to his style and process.

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

Do you write essays for students? 
No. The essays submitted will be the original work of the student. 

What if I (student) am not a good writer?
The process may take a bit longer. That’s okay with us.

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 schools) with around 3 reach, 3 maybe, and 3 likely.

Do you help students develop college lists?
We do! We work with Kim Snyder Mehta, an extremely experienced college list specialist and graduate school expert and the fee for this service is included in the comprehensive package above.

Can I meet Ethan to make sure we'll get along?
Absolutely. I (Ethan) am available for 15-min get-to-know-you Skype calls with those serious about working together one-on-one. You can email me directly at:

Scope of Services

A. College Essay Guy responsibilities include providing the services indicated in the selection option(s) above.

B. Parent and student responsibilities include:

  1. Disclosing in a timely manner all student’s academic and psychological history, including report cards, official score reports from standardized tests, and reports of any disciplinary actions 

  2. Maintaining regular communication with College Essay Guy Team (henceforth “CEG”) 

  3. Meeting CEG deadlines for submission of essays and completion of assigned tasks 

  4. Scheduling of and making college visits (if applicable) 

  5. Maintaining communication with the student’s high school counselor and following the requirements of the student’s high school guidance office 

  6. Sending official test scores to colleges 

  7. Securing academic and personal recommendations 

  8. Completing and sending applications (or waitlist/appeal statements) in a timely manner 

  9. Monitoring status of application and advising colleges of enrollment intentions 

  10. Writing for the application must be the student’s own original work

C. Payments

For your convenience, a three-payment option is available, with 1/3 due at the start of the process, 1/3 due one month later, and 1/3 due one month after that. If less than two months left before deadline, full payment is due one week before the final application deadline. 

PAYMENT MAY BE MADE VIA CHECK (preferred) made out to “College Essay Guy” and sent to: 

College Essay Guy LLC
4036 Goodwin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Payment also possible by direct bank transfer or PayPal, but client (you) will be responsible for fees.

D. Important Note

Since the services provided by CEG are advisory in nature and the final decision on selection of colleges rests with the student and family, it is understood that neither Ethan Sawyer nor any member of the CEG Team guarantees acceptance to any particular college. Fees are not accepted from institutions or programs for referral or placement of a client. The primary obligation of CEG is the welfare of the student.

Although we have had gratifying success, no guarantees are implied. Since the only person who can impact the college’s ultimate decision is the student, designated fees are payable whether or not the student gains acceptance to the college of choice.