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How to Apply to College

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Part 1

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How to Write a Personal Statement

25+

VIDEO LESSONS

Watch the lessons on your own time.

15+

Sample essays

Read inspiring sample essays and learn why they work so well.

620+

colleges

...use the Common App and the Personal Statement to help your students apply to them all

100%

GUARANTEED

If you're not completely satisfied with the course, get a full refund within 30 days.

 

1

GOAL

Help your students craft an amazing personal statement.


Course description

This online video course provides counselors with everything they need to help their student write an amazing personal statement for college.

With over 10 hours of content, including Q&A sessions with me (College Essay Guy), it's the most comprehensive course of its kind. 

HERE'S A SNEAK PEEK INSIDE

COURSE SYLLABUS

Module 1 - Brainstorming
Module 2 - How to Structure Each of the Four Essay Types
Module 3 - How to Revise Your Essay
Module 4 - Ethan Gives Feedback on Real Essays
Module 5 - How to Make Sure Your Essay is Doing Its Job
Module 6 - How to Bring an Essay to Life With Details and Color
Bonus Modules - Advanced Techniques

Detailed syllabus below.

 


What's the difference between the student and counselor version of the courses?

There's a big difference between writing something awesome yourself (as a student) and helping someone else write something awesome (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.

Here are just a few of the questions I answer on the counselor version:

  • What do I do when a student shows up to an initial one-on-one essay session with an essay draft? With no essay draft? 
  • What's the line between supporting and enabling a student (i.e. how much help is too much)?
  • What are my core counseling values and are they actually aligned with the way I'm leading my sessions with my students?
 
 

“THE BEST WORKSHOP I’VE BEEN TO IN 35 YEARS IN THE PROFESSION.”


-B. Goleman, Independent Counselor


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

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 (2016)
 

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 (2016)

 
 
My favourite part [of the workshop] was outlining the essay. I also liked all the PDF’s and recorded sessions so I could listen on my own and repeat parts as needed.

— Colleen Reed, Counselor
 
 
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
 
 
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

This webinar 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 webinar!

-Chelsea, Independent Counselor 2016

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


Ready To Join Me?

 
 

COURSE OVERVIEW

LESSON 1 - Brainstorming

 

  • How to Develop a Menu of Essay Topics in About 15 Minutes
  • A 5-Minute Exercise for Discovering What Matters to You Most
  • The Five Brainstorming Exercises I Use With My Private One-on-One Students
  • 106 Ways to Find an Essay Topic
 how to apply to college

LESSON 2 - HOW TO STRUCTURE THE ESSAY

 how to apply for college
  • The Only Two Structures Needed to Write an Essay
  • The Four Types of Personal Statements
  • How Most American Films Are Structured (and How to Use it to Write an Essay)
  • How to End an Essay If You Have No Idea What You Want to Do in the Future
  • A List of Challenges Students Should Consider Including in the Application
  • A Step-by-Step Outline for an Essay About Overcoming Challenges
  • What to Do If You Haven't Experienced Challenges and Don't Know What Your Future Looks Like
  • The Difference Between a Boring Essay and a Stand-Out Essay

LESSON 3 - HOW TO REVISE A COLLEGE ESSAY

 

  • Three Questions to Ask Before Revising Your First Draft
  • Which Sentences Are (Probably) the Most Important to Revise First
  • Case Study: A Sample First Draft, My Actual Feedback, and How the Final Draft Turned Out
 how to apply for college

LESSON 4 - Ethan gives feedback on real essays

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  • Two Eighty Minute Sessions
  • Analysis of Over a Dozen Real Student Personal Statements
  • Expert Feedback Including Comments and Notes for Revision on a Google Doc

LESSON 5 - HOW TO MAKE SURE AN ESSAY IS DOING ITS JOB

 

  • Three Questions to Ask That Can Bring More Values (and Information) Into an Essay
  • How to Know If the Essay Is Insightful
  • Three Ways to Show Vulnerability in an Essay
  • Tips for Writing a Well-Crafted Essay
  • How, Whom and When to Ask for Feedback
 how to apply for college

LESSON 6 - HOW TO BRING AN ESSAY TO LIFE

 how to apply to college

 

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

LESSON 7 - HOW TO TAKE AN ESSAY TO THE NEXT LEVEL

 

  • Advanced Technique 1: How to Use Setup and Payoff to Build Suspense in an Essay
  • Advanced Technique 2: How to Bring More Authenticity to an Essay
  • Advanced Technique 3: Techniques for Turning a Difficult Experience into Something Beautiful
  • Advanced Technique 4: How to Create an Ending That’s Surprising but Inevitable
  • Advanced Technique 5: Four Qualities of an Amazing Essay
 how to apply for college

THE COURSE WORKBOOK INCLUDES

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A BRAINSTORMING ACTIVITY WORKBOOK
(IN PRINTABLE PDF or Google doc)

  • The Five Brainstorming Exercises I Use With My Private One-on-One Students
  • How to Develop a Menu of Essay Topics in About 15 Minutes
  • A 5-Minute Exercise for Discovering What Matters to You Most

15+ Awesome Sample Essays (With live analysis by me)

PLUS, THESE BONUS resources:

  • A List of Potential Topics if Writing the Challenges Essay
  • Revising the Essay: A Five-Step Guide
  • An Accountability Agreement (for Working With A Partner)

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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, two counseling certificates, is certified in Myers-Briggs and hypnotherapy. He lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Veronica, and their amazing daughter, Zola.

Learn more about Ethan »


"You are Amazing!"

-Erika Badalyan, counselor

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Work at your own pace.

Watch the videos as many times as you want.

Learn to help students find the perfect topic and how to outline, structure and revise thier essay . . .

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




 
 
 

Your students will finish the course with a compelling and memorable personal statement.

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 life.

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Ready to join me?

COUNSELOR VERSION

$597

Counselor Pricing Pay-What-You-Can Available Below

 

 
 

"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 register 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
pay-what-you-can.

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 button below and request a Pay-What-You-Can spot.

Got a question?

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

 
 

Want to help your students finish the entire Common Application?

Take the How to Write your college application + supplemental essays course.
 

Learn how to help students write killer supplemental essays, craft an awesome activities list, and create a compelling application. Read sample essays activities lists and successful college applications.

Lesson 1 - How Inspired Brainstorming Can Lead to an Inspired Application
Lesson 2- How to Create an Inspired Application in Half the Time

Lesson 3 - The Activities List, Additional Info, and 'Why Us?' Essay 
Lesson 4 - The Extracurricular Essay
Lesson 5 - Specific Supplemental Essays
Lesson 6 - Short Answers + More Specific Supplemental Essays
Lesson 7 How to Make Sure an Application Is Doing Its Job
Bonus Lessons - The Rest of the College Application (7+ Bonus Lessons)


YOU MAY BE WONDERING (FAQ)

What if I Still can’t afford it?

As with all my webinars and resources, I have some pay-what-you-can spots available for 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.

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: [email protected].