Tackling the College Essay

It's never too early to begin work on the college essay.For those students who are at the top of the high school foodchain (juniors and seniors), it’s time to start working on the college essay.

According to Ethan Sawyer, The College Essay Guy, “It’s never too soon to start working on your college essay.”

On #CampusChat, Ethan joined us to share some of his best advice about tackling the college essay.

He has been helping students tell their stories for more than ten years and is the author of College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admission Essay.

Ethan has reached thousands of students and counselors through his workshops and online courses and has become a nationally recognized college essay expert and sought-after speaker. Most of his work is based on screenwriting, which he studied during and after college.

Ethan Sawyer , The College Essay Guy

“Essays are like short films,” says Ethan.

We asked Ethan some pointed questions about the college essay and he was more than willing to give us some free, expert advice. The first few questions had to do with preparing for the essay. What about his favorite essay topic? His favorite: “My favorite prompt is ‘Describe the world you come from and how it’s shaped your dreams and aspirations’. Honestly, though, almost no essay topic is off limits. Any topic can be either cliché or genius—it’s all in the HOW.”

A quick look at Ethan’s website overwhelms you at the amount of “free” stuff he gives away. From a free one-hour guide to writing your personal statement to six amazing sample essays. After 10 years working with students crafting college essays, he has written a book: College Essay Essentials. “I believe this book has the most efficient college essay brainstorming exercise ever! I believe it’s the most thorough step-by-step essay guide out there.”

Working with a college essay coach

Working with a college essay coach could be one of the best decisions you make for your college-bound teen. “A private essay coach can lead to enormous personal growth for the student,” says Ethan. “It allows parents to not have to manage the essay-writing process. Students who work with private essay coaches very often become better writers.”

Ethan will tell you his passion is helping others fulfill their potential and he shared some essential links. If you like what you see, consider signing up for his online pay-what-you-can-course.

A step-by-step guide to help students with the essay: http://bit.ly/1TY2b5U

A brainstorm exercise—The Objects Exercise: http://bit.ly/1oysQC6

A brainstorm exercise—The Values Exercise: http://bit.ly/U5BONC

Writing the essay: http://bit.ly/216j7WN

The “why us” essay: http://bit.ly/1oyCoNd

How to write the Stanford “roommate” essay: http://bit.ly/1UdtIia

Creating a Great College List: http://bit.ly/1RWD0t5

A FREE one-hour guide to writing the personal statement: http://bit.ly/1OcqOcZ

Six amazing sample essays: http://bit.ly/1PgxCkw

A whole page of resources for parents: http://www.collegeessayguy.com/parents

8 ways to support your child through college admissions: http://bit.ly/1SVGZN0

6 qualities of a successful college parent: http://bit.ly/1TUilrO

Live online pay-what-you-can course: http://bit.ly/1TY2b5U