College Admissions and Essay-Writing Resources
You can find more resources, including current-year prompts, a link to my resume template, an editing checklist, a college application information planner and more on my Downloads page.
On-Demand Essay Courses
College Essay Guy
Use code JULIA10 to get 10% off of many of the College Essay Guy courses. These are generally on-demand video courses, although the College Essay Guy team hosts live versions periodically throughout the year.
- How to Write a Personal Statement — This is a live and on-demand video course on writing an outstanding college personal statement.
- How to Write the College Application and Supplemental Essays
- Advanced Personal Statement Course for Students — CEG’s online video course provides students with everything they need to help take their college essay to the next level.
- UC Personal Insight Question Course
- How to Build a Balanced College List
My Favorite Books
These are all great books that have helped me and my students learn more about writing great college essays and understand all the different parts of the college application process.
- College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay (Ethan Sawyer)
- College Admission Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Showing Colleges Who You Are and What Matters to You (Ethan Sawyer)
- Escape Essay Hell!: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Narrative College Application Essays (Janine W. Robinson)
- How to Write an Effective College Application Essay: The Inside Scoop for Students (Kim Lifton and Susan Knoppow)
- Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania (Frank Bruni)
- The Best 388 Colleges, 2023: In-Depth Profiles & Ranking Lists to Help Find the Right College For You (Robert Franek)
- Fiske Real College Essays That Work (Edward B. Fiske)
- The Fiske Guide to Colleges
- The Ultimate Scholarship Book: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes
- Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide (Renee Lopez)
- How To Win College Scholarships (Monica Matthews)
- Be Committed. Get Admitted! 7 Steps to College Admission Success (Dr. Cynthia Colon)
Online Essay-Writing Resources
- Nailing Your Personal Statement Topic in 60 Minutes. My downloadable (Google Docs) brainstorming packet offers some of my top brainstorming activities to help students come up with unique, personal essay topics. An optional add-on purchase gives you my feedback on the completed brainstorming along with a 5-minute Loom video with my ideas on what topics to consider.
- An Essay Coach's Guide to Self-Editing Your Admission Essay. (PDF download) This downloadable ebook will walk you through all the common mistakes you might be making in your essays, help you revise your essay, and make you confident to press SUBMIT.
- An Essay Coach's Guide to Self-Editing Your Admission Essay. (Print version) This hard-copy book will walk you through all the common mistakes you might be making in your essays, help you revise your essay, and make you confident to press SUBMIT.
- The College Essay Guy. Ethan Sawyer has a ton of great, free resources for every part of the college process.
- College Application Hub (free) — CEG's best support for all aspects of the college application process.
- How to Write a Personal Statement (Tips + Essay Examples) (free) — In this blog post, the CEG team describes what differentiates the personal statement from other college essays and what function it serves in your college application. They also share what qualities can help a personal statement stand out, how to find a stronger topic, how to set yourself up for an easier writing process, and even share some essay examples.
- How to Write a College Essay: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide (free) — CEG’s penultimate step-by-step (free) guide to writing a personal statement.
- CEG Supplemental Essay Guides (free) — Absolutely my one-stop-shop for getting guidance on how to write many schools’ supplemental essays. Bonus: You might see my face at the end of some of the blogs.
- College Essay Advisors. They have some helpful YouTube tutorials, and many of their blogs cover how to address essay topics for particular colleges and universities.
- CollegeVine. This site also has really helpful Essay Guides for the top 100 schools that really help students write their supplemental essays. Their blog is also very informative.
- “How to Write a College Essay,” from U.S. News and World Report
- “College Essay Topics” by Topics Mill