A comprehensive video course for counselors on guiding students through creating an amazing college application.

This online video course offers counselors a values-based approach on guiding their students to producing not only a stand-out Common App, activities list, and additional information section, but also the supplemental essays that most selective schools require.

It includes all the resources you and your students need to tackle the application, and I’ll show you my process for counseling students through the college application and supplemental essays.


Discover what matters to your students, brainstorm essay topics, and get inspired to write.


Get step-by-step guides to helping students outline and write almost every required supplemental essay.


Get students to demonstrate intellectual vitality.


Craft an activities list that shows impact.


Present a complete picture of who your students are and what drives them.


Stay organized and manage essay drafts with a whole suite of resources.


What's the difference between the Student and Counselor version?

There's a big difference between creating an awesome college application (as a student) and guiding someone else through this process (as a counselor).  With this in mind, the counselor version includes content geared specifically to counselors that answers frequently asked questions and provides solutions to common struggles that counselors face.

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Module 1 - How to Create an Inspired Application in Half the Time
Module 2 - The Activities List, Additional Info, and "Why Us?'"Essay
Module 3 - The Extracurricular Essay
Module 4 - Specific Supplemental Essays
Module 5 - Short Answers + More Supplemental Essays
Module 6  How to Make Sure an Application Is Doing Its Job
Bonus Modules - The Rest of the College Application

Detailed course syllabus below.

how to apply for college
Ethan you are so approachable and fun to listen to. You care deeply about your work and the students. You are an inspiration.
— Susan, Counselor
how to apply for college
For the first time in my eight years of college counseling, I am beginning to get a handle on how to assist my students with the essay writing process. I am extremely grateful to be given tools that I can both relate to and apply with my students. I will listen to Ethan present every time I am given the opportunity — he is that good!!!
— Valerie J, Private School Counselor
how to apply for college
I’ve done a lot of courses, and this was the best so far. The PDFs are great, as are the links. I’m printing all of it and will make a binder for reference.
— Jann Russell, Counselor




You'll develop a big picture strategy,  help students brainstorm essay ideas, analyze applications that worked, and get all the tools for creating a compelling application.



Read great example activities list descriptions and dozens of inspiring example essays that do an awesome job, plus a few awesome sample college applications.



Activities in the workbook help students brainstorm topics and outline essays for the most commonly asked supplemental essay questions.



We'll cover the most common supplemental essay topics required by hundreds of colleges, including those quirky essay topics required by the most highly selective colleges.



Help students create an amazing application.

Here's what a few people have said about this course:


“This course provides much of what it took me 38 years to gain through firsthand experience in the business. Taking it will help anyone looking to hone an important part of their college counseling skills with the goal of truly helping students.”

- Dawn B. Independent Consultant

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“Whether you're new to college essay coaching or a seasoned professional, everyone can learn something from Ethan's course. As a participant, I gained so much insight into the more subtle aspects of coaching and how to really hear what students are saying -- and, even more important, what they may NOT be saying. The course is definitely worth the time and financial investment.”

- Julia B. Independent Consultant

This course gave me a fresh approach for how to structure student sessions. From brainstorming to revising a first draft, the tools and resources made available during this course were invaluable to me! It's exciting to be able to put these new techniques in action in order to help my students write the best personal statements possible. In addition, the opportunity to write my own personal statement was not only wonderfully cathartic, but it helped me connect more to the struggles my students often experience while writing. Thank you so much for a fabulous course!

-Chelsea, Independent Counselor

THANK YOU! You are a wonderful teacher and your love for college essay writing is so apparent. You helped many of us connect with & write our deepest stories and for that I am very grateful. I'm really excited about the new tools I have to help my students write their essays. I loved this course so so much! :)

-Bekkah, High School Counselor

As a counselor I appreciate how I can replicate (or try really hard to replicate) your sessions because you’ve outlined and scripted it all. We need scripts until we embed practices and make them our own.
Ethan, you are so completely thorough; I love that!

-Sunita Takhar, Counselor

I signed up to take Ethan's course to learn some specific strategies in helping my students write better essays and hopefully, enjoy the process along the way. I learned amazing strategies PLUS so much more! The questions that Ethan asked us, as his students writing essays for our college applications, were invaluable in looking deep within ourselves and putting ourselves "out there" on paper, to speak from our truest selves and share our deepest stories. Ethan has a very special talent in teaching from his heart and it was apparent in every step of his class. I am grateful I had the opportunity to participate!

-Heidi, Counselor

Ready to join me?

What To Expect:

Lesson 1: How to help students Create an Inspired Application and Supplemental Essays in Half the Time

  • Sample Application: How Doing a Thorough Job on the Brainstorming Activities Can Set Up a Great Application

  • A Relatively Quick and Totally Free Way to Figure Out Which Essay Topics Overlap

  • The Overlapping Game (or) How Doubling--or Tripling, or Quadrupling!--Essays for Multiple Prompts Can Yield a “Super Essay”

  • A Sample Super Essay

  • How to Write a Super Essay

Lesson 2: The Activities & Awards List, Additional Information Section, The "Why Us" Essay

  • 5 Tips for the Activities & Awards List

  • The Difference Between an Amazing Activities and Awards List and a Really Good One

  • Activities You May Not Have Considered Including—But That Count!

  • “Stretching the Truth” on the Activities List: A Cautionary Tale

  • How to Up-Level the Activities and Awards List in Three Steps

  • What One Should (and Shouldn’t) Include in the Add’l Info Section

  • How an Add’l Info Section Can Make the Difference in the Application

  • The Complete Guide to the "Why us" Essay

  • 3 Great "Why Us" Essays You've Never Read and Why They're Awesome

Lesson 3: The Extracurricular Essay

  • The Difference Between a Regular and a “Super” Extracurricular Essay

  • Eight Mistakes Students Make on Their Extracurricular Essays

  • A Three-Step Process to Show Students How to Avoid All Those Mistakes

  • Helping Students Write an Amazing Narrative Extracurricular Essay

  • Helping Students Write an Amazing Montage Extracurricular Essay

  • How to Apply These Approaches to Almost Any Supplemental Essay

  • Helping Students Write a Great "Community" Essay

  • Three Great Sample “Community” Essays

Lesson 4: The supplemental Essays

  • Helping Students Write the Stanford “Idea or experience that makes you excited about learning” Essay

  • Helping Students Write the Stanford “Roommate” Essay

  • Helping Students Write the Stanford “What's meaningful to you and why?” Essay

  • Helping Students Write the "Create Your Own Class" Essay

  • Four Tips for the Quotation Essay

  • Helping Students Write the "Diversity" Essay

  • Helping Students Write the "Why X Major" Essay

  • And more!

Lesson 5: Short Answers & More Supplemental Essays

  • Six Techniques for Helping Students Write the 150-Word Extracurricular Essay

  • Three More 150-Word Extracurricular Essays I Love, and Why

  • The High-Flyer Method: How to Write a Next-Level 150-Word Extracurricular Essay If Your Students Have a Perfect GPA, Test Scores, Ridiculous Extracurriculars and Have Nothing to Prove

  • How to Make the Short Answers Awesome

  • A Stanford-Worthy Set of Short Answers And What Makes Them So

  • A Creative Take on the “Where Have You Lived” Essay

  • How to Have Your Students Nail the The "Diversity" Essay

  • Coming August 2018: The U Chicago Extended Essay (as soon as prompts are released!)

Lesson 6: How to Make Sure Your STudent's Application Is Doing Its Job

  • Content is So 🔥 I Can't Even Describe it Here

Bonus Modules: The Rest of the Application

  • 18 Tips for Creating a Great Video

  • How to Create a Great College List

  • How to Get Great Teacher Recommendations

  • How to Guide Students Through the College Interview

  • Demonstrated Interest: A Brief and Practical How-To Guide

  • How to Turn the Common App Activities List into an Awesome Resume

Q&A Sessions: Ask Me Anything You Want

  • Get answers to a wide range of questions from the general to the specific, including

    • What timeline do you use when working with students?

    • Who should be accountable for which parts of the application? Who should be responsible? And what's the difference?

    • My student's "Why Us" essay still isn't quite "there" yet. What would you suggest?

    • What if someone else is giving a student that I strongly disagree with? What should I do?

    • Dozens more.

  • Plus, I give feedback on everything to Activities Lists to several in-progress "Why us" essays.


The COURSE Workbook Includes

Plus: 36 Sample Essays and 3 full sample applications

  • (3) Successful Sample Applications

  • (4) Great “Extracurricular” Essays

  • (2) Great Community Service Essays

  • (2) Great “Community” Essays

  • (2) Great “Intellectual Idea” Essays

  • (2) Great “Roommate” Essays

  • (2) Great “What Matters” Essays

  • (2) Great “Quotation” Essays

  • (2) Great “Create Your Own Class” Essays

  • (4) Great U of Chicago Extended Essays

  • (8) Great 150-Word Extracurricular Essays

  • (3) Great Sets of Short Answers

  • (3) Great “How I Spent My Summer” Examples


  • College Essay Guy’s Complete Guide to the “Why us” Essay (20 pages)

  • College Essay Guy’s Epic Activities Verbs List

A Dozen Brainstorming Activities, including:

  • My Favorite Supplemental Essay Brainstorming Exercises

    • Everything I Want Colleges to Know About Me

    • The Feelings and Needs Exercise

    • The Best Extracurricular Brainstorming Exercise

    • The Elon Musk Exercise

    • The “Why us” Research Chart

  • How to Develop a Preliminary College List

  • How to Organize All Your Essay Topics For Free

  • List of Potential “Super” Topics from Past Students

  • How to Write an Awesome Activities List

  • Activities You May Not Have Considered Including—But That Count!

  • How to Write the Additional Info Section


-B. Goleman, Independent Counselor

Meet Your

Each year I help thousands of students and counselors around the world through my online courses, workshops, articles, blog posts and books. I also work privately with a small number of students each year.

In this online course, I distill the best and most effective resources I have ever found.  I’ll personally walk you through how I guide students from "I feel totally lost" to "I feel like I've submitted my the best application I can."


Pay in Full

College Application Course


25+ Video Lessons

45 Page Course Workbook

30 Sample Essays

Recorded Q&A Sessions

Dozens of Sample Applications

Designed Specifically for Counselors

Payment Plan

3 monthly payments of


25+ Video Lessons

45 Page Course Workbook

30 Sample Essays

Recorded Q&A Sessions

Dozens of Sample Applications

Designed Specifically for Counselors



Access is really important to 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. 

Do you work for a CBO with minimal budget? Public high-school counselor with few resources for professional development?
Click on the orange button below and request a Pay-What-You-Can spot.

"Listen to the Essay Guy! He has practical, useful tools for all college bound students to stand out among the crowd"

-Suzanne, Counselor

Want to help your students finish their entire main personal statement, too?

TAKE THE How to write a personal statement COURSE.

Take my most comprehensive course to help students write the main personal statement. Help them find the right topic, get step-by-step guides to structuring their essay, and get tips on how to bring their essay to life.

Module 1 - How to Find an Essay Topic
Module 2 - How to Structure the Four Types of Essays
Module 3 - How to Revise an Essay in 5 Steps
Module 4 - How to Make Sure the Essay is Doing Its Job
Module 5 - How to Bring an Essay to Life
Bonus Modules - Advanced Screenwriting Techniques

Got a Question?


+What if I Still can’t afford it?

As with all my courses and resources, I have some pay-what-you-can spots available for high school counselors that work with low-income students or have little to no budget for professional development resources at their school. Just click the orange button above.

+Can I use your materials with my students?

Absolutely! All that we ask is that you leave the logo and website on the materials. You can find more information here.

+What if I hate the course? Can I get a refund?

Sure! If you purchased and completed the course, ebook, product, or service within 30 days and feel that it did not help you, then you can receive a 100% guaranteed, no-questions-asked refund.

+What if I have another question?

My FAQ page has you covered. Or, if you can't find the answer there, shoot an email to my team: help@collegeessayguy.com.