The College Essay Guy Podcast

After hours spent interviewing some of the most brilliant minds in the college admissions world, I’m excited to bring you the College Essay Guy podcast. 

What is it? Practical, up-to-date interviews with experts in college admissions, financial aid, personal statements, test prep and more. I interview deans of admission, financial aid experts, and veterans of the admissions field to extract, then distill their advice into practical steps for students and those guiding them through the process. From creating an awesome college list to appealing a financial aid letter, I skip the general advice and get right to the action items, all in an effort to bring more ease, joy and purpose into the college admissions process.

Latest Podcasts


What others have said about the podcast: 


"This is quite possibly the most helpful podcast I have ever listened to. I've only listened to about two and a half and already college and applying to college seems way less scary. I am certainly making my parents listen to these as well as we embark on the college process!"


"Really can't express enough how life-changing your podcast has been for my students as we've driven throughout the east cost visiting schools the past 2 weeks... We've been listening to you the whole time; critically thinking about college choice and gearing up for the fall."

-Sam, College Counselor

"I am applying to top schools as a veteran. I never thought these schools would be an option, let alone college admissions officers starting to seek me out for being a qualified veteran candidate for their undergrad admissions to fulfill their veteran quotas. The whole process is very strange transition, the interviews are different from anything I've been able to prepare for, and despite my GPA, test scores, and advanced military experience I can't shake this feeling of impostor syndrome...Your resources have been a huge help. I've been addicted to your podcast, and I wish I found out about you earlier. I just wanted to let you know that your work probably helps more populations than you initially sought out for."

-Jeff, Student

I was thrilled when I learned that Ethan would be doing a podcast. I love how Ethan is always finding new ways to strengthen the counseling community and share his knowledge and expertise not only with students, but to anyone interested in learning more about admissions. Thank you Ethan!!
— Kathryn, April 2017
Ethan has done it again! His advice and guides are vital for students, counselors, and consultants alike to navigate writing a great essay and being more informed about the college admissions process. I cannot recommend him highly enough and am excited to see what else he has in store on his podcast. Highly recommended!
— Sandy, June 2017
Over the last few days I have binge listened to many of your College Essay Guy Podcasts. My daughters are at a school that has no college advising, and our area/state has limited private resources. I appreciate the info you have shared and am feeling more empowered to assist my daughter in this process.
— -Lynn, Parent 2018

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Search episodes by topic using specific terms like "financial aid" or "college list"



ALL podcast EPISODES + SHow notes

101: Life As an Undocumented Student at Harvard - Daishi Tanaka, Class of 2020

102: How to Advocate for Undocumented Students
- Dr. Aliza Gilbert, Counselors that Change Lives recipient

103: How to Appeal a Financial Aid Award Letter - Jodi Okun, Founder of College Financial Aid Advisors

104: How to Plan a Fulfilling and Productive Summer - Jill Tipograph, Summer planning expert and Founder of Everything Summer

105: How to Lead a Life-Changing Essay Workshop - Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy

106: Colleges That Change Lives: Great Schools You May Not (Yet!) Know About  - Maria Furtado, Executive Director of Colleges That Change Lives

107: What I've Learned from Reading Over 10,000 College Essays - Parke Muth, 28 years in the office of Admissions at the University of Virginia

108: Demonstrated Interest: How to Build Authentic Relationships with Colleges (and Why It's a Good Idea) - Monica James, founder of Competitive Edge

109: How to Figure Out Which School is Right for You -  Steven Antonoff, College List Expert

110: How to Find and Research Great Colleges: The Fiske Guide - Ted Fiske, author of the Fiske Guide

111: Using the Secrets of Screenwriting to Write Your College Essay - Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy

112: How to Listen (and Why) - Benjamin Mathes, founder of Urban Confessional

113: Debunking the Myth of the Starving Artist - Laura Young, director of enrollment management at the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture

114: Free College Application Tools That Students (and Counselors!) Should Know About - Shaun McElroy, College Counselor at Shanghai American School and publisher of two blogs

115: Quick & Dirty College List Builder & The Myth of Fit - Mark Moody, high school college counselor

116: Who is Tutor Ted? (and Resources for Brainstorming a Personal Statement) - Ted Dorsey (AKA Tutor Ted), founder of ACT, SAT, PSAT test prep company

117: How to Improve Your ACT Score By 2 Points in 20 Minutes - Ted Dorsey (AKA Tutor Ted), founder of ACT, SAT, PSAT test prep company

118: Who is the College Essay Guy? - Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy

119: How to Improve Your Personal Statement in 20 Minutes - Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy

120: College List Hacking: Better Fit, Less Time, More Fun - Anne Wager, creator of the Corsava Cards

121: Which Schools Are the Most Generous With Financial Aid? (US Version) - Jeff Levy, financial aid expert

122: Which Schools Are the Most Generous With Financial Aid? (International Version) - Jennie Kent, international financial aid expert

123: Should You Apply Early Decision or Regular Decision? (And the Chart That Can Help You Decide) - Jennie Kent and Jeff Levy

124: College Interview Tips and Strategies - Monica James, founder of Competitive Edge

201: Test Optional Admissions 101: What, Why, Where, Who? - Bob Schaeffer, the Public Education Director of FairTest: the national Center for Fair & Open Testing

202: 25 Ways to Reduce Testing Anxiety - Jed Applerouth,  PhD in Educational Psychology and founder of Applerouth Tutoring

203: 10 Ways Parents Can Support Their Students Through The College Application Process - Lisa Heffernan, Founder of Grown and Flown

204: What You Need to Know About Standardized Tests and Mistakes to Avoid - Adam Ingersoll,  Founder of CompassPrep

205: That One Time a University Revoked More Than 60 Full Scholarships (And What You Can Do About It) - Joan Liu, Everest Ed Fund.

206: 30 Ways to Center Equity And Justice Today - Marie Bigham, ACCEPT

206: 30 Ways to Center Equity And Justice Today - Marie Bigham, ACCEPT

207: 17 Things to do Before Going to College - Harlan Cohen, Best First Year

208: Resources for First-Generation Students (and Their Counselors) - Matt Rubinoff, Strive For College

209: Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream - Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab

210: The Being Not-Rich Guide - Lauren Schandevel

211: Financial Aid Tips for International Students (and Their Counselors) - Joan Liu

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