A complete guide to writing an awesome personal statement.

From brainstorming your topic to polishing your final draft.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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

Get step-by-step guides to outlining and writing the personal statement.

Grow your ideas into a unique and powerful story of who you are.

 
 
 
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Learn how to bring in color and detail and make your essay shine.

Write your essay in less time and with less stress.

Learn what colleges are looking for and how to hit the mark.

Course Description

This online video course provides students with everything they need to write an amazing personal statement for college.

Whether you're  using the Common Application, Coalition Application, or applying to one of the hundreds of public state colleges or universities, this course will give you the tools to write an essay that demonstrates your core values and how you'll make meaningful contributions to the college campus.

With over a dozen video lessons and awesome sample essays, it's the most comprehensive course of its kind.

COURSE Overview

 
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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.

 

Ready to join me?

 

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 you write in this course will work for them all.

100%

GUARANTEED

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

 

3

ESSAY REVISIONS
from Prompt.com

Get three rounds of direct and detailed feedback from amazing and trained college essay specialists. (Optional. Additional fee of $40/revision)

1

GOAL

Craft an amazing personal statement.

 

If I hadn't taken this course, there is no way I would have a) found my topic b) started to write yet or c) completed a pretty darn solid draft. So thank you!!! This course seriously rocked!

-Ava, Student

HERE'S A SNEAK PEEK INSIDE

 
 
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Watch the videos whenever and where you want.

 


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

I didn't know how to write an essay at all, but by taking this course now I really know how to write one. It encouraged me to think about the challenges I've faced in my life and their impact on me. The first exercise made me to go and look at my Scrapbook and photos and this really made me happy. This course helped me in writing an essay while bringing my memories back, which made me realize that I'm capable of reaching my goals and I'm strong.

-Ana, Student 2017

I came into this course thinking I was a hopeless case because I didn't have any harrowing tales of struggle. I tried just being really braggy in my essay, but I found a real focus in my last paragraph, where I talked about a topic that meant a lot to me. I had originally thought I shouldn't talk about that topic because it was such a GOOD experience for me and I thought it would be too shallow. I learned that I could talk about what I loved as an essay topic if I could infuse it with my values.

-Jordan, Student (2017)

 
 
 
With the aid of Ethan’s constructive feedback, I have learnt a great deal about myself as a person and as a writer. The Application process is so much more than a number on a paper, it is a journey of self discovery. As I continue to embark on this journey, I will always be thankful for all that I have learned during my time working with Ethan.
— Salasha D, Student
 
 
Your mission to provide equitable access to the best courses on essays is what got me to where I am today, from the pay what you can system to my frequent talks with my Matchlighters counselor. You gave me the tools I needed to change my life. For that, my family, friends, and myself thank you for the bottom of our hearts.
— Ali, Harvard University, Class of 2021
 
 
“You de-stressed the essay writing process by making feel that we could relate to you. Rather than being stressed about writing my essay, I was excited for the sessions, and actually looked forward to finding my topic and then writing it. Thank you!
— Julianne W, Student
 

This course has truly changed my life. I now feel that I am prepared to tackle my Questbridge essays, supplemental essays, and any other college essays to ensure that I've tried my best and hardest for my future. After all that this course has provided me with, saying thank you feels inadequate, but still – thank you so much, Ethan. You have truly changed my life and my perspective on writing a personal statement.

-Amenna R, Student


 

I came into this course a bit grumpy that I had sacrificed all my week nights for college essay writing, but once I got into it I felt like I hit my groove, and, with your help and advice, really got inspired to write. 

-Ava, Student (2016)

The past week, was more of a journey than a tutorial for my personal statement. Before the course, I was looking outwards for inspiration. My week with Ethan taught me to find inspiration within myself, but best of all, he provided me the tools to put it on paper.

-Jonathan, Student (2017)

Thanks for the webinar. I have learned a lot since then. Getting to put my pen on writing my essays, just tears me up as I have to reconnect with my past, but I will get there. Thanks to Ethan and his team for leading us towards getting into college.

-Emily, Student (2018)

"I THINK THIS COURSE REALLY CHANGED MY LIFE."

-ANGELA G, STUDENT  


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 your 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 your 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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  • Ethan Workshops Student Essays and Gives Feedback
  • Analysis of Over a Dozen Real Student Personal Statements
  • Expert Feedback Including Comments and Notes for Revision on Google Docs

LESSON 5 - HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR 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 your 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 »


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Work at your own pace.

Watch the videos as many times as you want.

Learn what to write about and how to outline, structure and revise your essay . . .

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




 

Ethan takes you from "I dont know what to write about" . . .

. . . all the way to "this is the best essay I've ever written."

Watch and work from anywhere. You’ll have access to the videos for a year.

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"College Essay Guy is much like Batman or spider man. He is a super hero, with super powers. The power to write phenomenal college essays. To channel your own Ethan Sawyer you don't need to be some unattainable being; you simply need to learn, work, and unleash your own superhero in your writing. Through his lessons and courses Ethan helps you discover your own super powers.  It's the perfect storm of lessons and personal feedback. Overall it has been a pleasure to work with Ethan, and all his creative material is conducive for anyone to be the College Essay they wish to see in the world"

-Max K. (2017)


STUDENT VERSION
$47.00/month

or $297.00/year

Pay-What-You-Can Pricing Available

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]

YOU MAY BE WONDERING (FAQ)

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 Still can’t afford it?

As with all my courses and resources, I have some pay-what-you-can spots available for low-income students and 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.

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].