How to Answer the New UC Application Prompts: A 3-Day Online Course

Confused about how to answer the new UC application prompts?

Sept. 16-18, 2016


Ethan Sawyer is a nationally recognized college essay expert and sought-after speaker. Each year he helps thousands of students and counselors through online courses, workshops, articles, products, books, and one-on-one sessions with a small number of students. A graduate of Northwestern University, Ethan holds an MFA from UC Irvine and two certificates in counseling. He lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Veronica, and their amazing daughter, Zola. Learn more about Ethan »

How to Answer the New UC Application Prompts


Friday, September 16 - Sunday, September 18, 2016

In this three-day online course, you'll learn all you need to know to write your answers to the new University of California personal insight questions, while beginning the writing process in a safe, fun and expertly-moderated environment.

I'll bring you the inside scoop straight from UC admission reps, plus show you example essays for all eight prompts. PLUS: Each day, you'll get 30 min. to ask me (Ethan) anything you like during the Q&A session.


  1. How to find your four UC personal insight question topics
  2. How to know if your topics are good ones
  3. How to stand out when answering the UC prompts 
  4. What are UC admission officers really looking for? 
  5. What does a great UC application prompt look like?

AND: In the first session, I'll tell you the one thing you ABSOLUTELY MUST do before beginning your UC application.

Can't make one or any of the sessions?
Sign up anyway! I'll send you recordings of what you missed. 




Session 1 • Finding Your Four UC Application Topics
In this session I’ll show you:

  1. How to find four solid topics,
  2. How to make sure your topics are good ones, and
  3. How to make sure you don’t leave money on the table / make sure all the awesome parts of you are showing up on your UC application.

Homework: Find Your Four UC Application Topics


Session 2 • How to Stand Out on the UC Application Essays

First, I’ll show you how to structure your story, plus I’ll provide you with a step-by-step process for mapping it out—no matter what you’re writing about. Then, it’s time for you to write! 

I’ll be on call in the Virtual Classroom, standing by to answer your questions as they come up. During this time you’ll get access to eight pre-recorded videos with tips on how to address each prompt, plus examples with analysis. At 3pm, we’ll begin the last hour of the session where we’ll workshop your essays, live!

Homework: Complete drafts of your four personal insight questions.


Session 3 • Taking it to the Next Level: Advanced Writing Techniques & The Great College Essay Test (UC Version)

In this session I’ll first share some techniques past students have used to make their writing shining, shimmering, splendid (yeah, that’s an Aladdin reference). Then we’ll look at what it takes to write a GREAT personal insight question response so you can see how your essay stacks up before you work on finishing up your essay drafts. And, once more, I’ll be on call during this time in the Virtual Classroom, standing by to answer your questions as they come up.

As we close out the day, I’ll read your essays aloud so we can celebrate your hard work. Then I’ll give you some tips for what to do next and tips on how how to receive feedback.


The suggested rate is $199 for students and $349 for counselors, with a number of pay-what-you-can spots available. Just email to request a PWYC spot. 




More college essay help: 

Get My Free One-Hour Guide to How to Write a Personal Statement

Take My Complete How to Write a Personal Statement Video Course


The course has not just taught me about writing personal statements. It has taught me about who I am. From my life to my aspirations, this webinar series brought out details about me that I didn’t even know about myself.
— Daishi T. / Harvard University, Class of 2018
Ethan’s warm personal focus and positive attitude laid the foundation for a personally motivating and enriching journey. His creative resources, communication skills and unique ability to build an authentic rapport with his audience are among his many gifts. I felt like I was his only student! I came away from the experience with a new sense of confidence as both a counselor and essay mentor. He exceeded my expectations.
— Susan Samson, Independent Counselor
Ethan has honestly taught me more about being a good writer than I’ve learned in any classroom before or since.
— Lily G. / Stanford University, Class of 2020
For the first time in my eight years of college counseling, I feel like I am beginning to get a handle on how to assist my students with the essay writing process. This has been a weakness of mine and 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 Johnson, Private School Counselor
Ethan’s positive and creative way of approaching the entire college process makes writing personal statements an explorative experience where students are able to better understand themselves while trying to understand what colleges will best fit them.
— Achillias A. / Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Class of 2020