Learn how to write your personal statement for the Common Application using our pay-what-you-can comprehensive online courses, blog posts, podcast episodes, and more.

Online Courses and guides:

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The Free Guide to Writing the Personal Statement

Kick things off with the two greatest brainstorming exercises ever, learn about options for structuring a personal statements + example outlines, check out some amazing example personal statements, and get on your way to writing your own killer personal statement for university applications.

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How to Write a personal statement

A comprehensive video course for students.

A seven-part online course designed to gives students and counselors everything they need to figure out (or help someone else figure out) how to write a personal statement for the Common App. Watch the Q&A sessions after each session where I answer important questions about the personal statement-writing process and give feedback on essays to real high school seniors and junior like you. (Pay-What-You-Can spots available - see page for more details)

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Ready to get productive? Write solid college essays in a week AND get them reviewed by our team.

What’s included?

The fast-track version of our How to Write a Personal Statement course

The fast-track version of our How to Write the College Application & Supplemental Essays course

A detailed review of your college essays & application from our team

Resources From the CEG blog:

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100 Brave and interesting questions

100 deep questions to ask yourself, your writing partner, or anyone really. What’s the toughest decision you made today? What’s the toughest decision you made this year? What’s the toughest decision you ever made? What have you forgotten? And 96 more...

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4 Qualities of an Amazing College Essay

I wasn't expecting that. I couldn't believe the ending. I feel like this person is just like me.   This article offers four clear elements of an amazing personal statement for college by showing how two real sample personal statements express them.

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The Great College Essay Test

Here’s my test for what makes a (not good, but) great college essay. Learn the four components that I look for in each and every college essay and how to add them to your own.

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35+ Best College Essay Tips from College Application Experts

We reached out to some of my favorite college admissions experts—some current and former admissions officers—and asked one question: WHAT’S your favorite piece of advice about writing a college essay?


How To Start a College Essay: 9 Surefire Techniques

In anything you do, there’s a very special and pivotal moment when you Do The Darn Thing (DTDT for short). It’s when you get off the couch, stop binging Netflix, and take action.


How to Make Your Personal Statement Introduction Attention-Grabbing

Personal statements that start with intrigue are about a million times more likely to get read.


How to End a College Essay

Providing insight into your thesis by answering “Why is my thesis important?” can be the difference between a so-so essay and a "yay" essay. After years of hearing my students ask, “How do I do that?” I came up with four ways to write a strong college essay conclusion.


How To Write About Yourself: Great Tips For Personal Writing That Won't Sound Awkward

To help you hone your writing chops and prepare for your personal essay, here are four of the best ways to learn how to write about yourself.


How To Sound Smart In Your Personal Statement

Discover 3 ways to sound intelligent in your personal statement (even though that shouldn’t be your primary focus!).


How to Brag in Your College Essay (Without Sounding Annoying)

A personal statement is all about you. So how do you write about your accomplishments without sounding like you’re bragging? Spoiler: it’s all about the values.


How to Add More Vulnerability To Your Personal Statement

Vulnerability is at the heart of what I do. And it’s at the heart of a great college essay. What is vulnerability, and how do you use it to tell a great story?


Should I Come Out in My Personal Statement? (And If So, How)?

Broaching a sensitive topic in your college essay requires finesse. I’ve consulted dozens of experts to find out the best way to come out in your college essay (spoiler: there are many ways).

Want to take a peak at my step-by-step video course?

Grab a trial of the personal statement course here..

Personal Statement

Sample Essays



Twelve College Essay Examples That Worked

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Personal Statement Examples From Successful College Applications


The Best Common Application Essay Examples 



Why You Don’t Have to Write about Trauma in Your College Essay to Stand Out—and What You Can Do Instead


  1. Sample College Essays. Free Download. Easy to Edit and Print

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  2. How to Write Your College Essay as Quickly as Possible

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  3. Secrets For Writing Your College Admissions Essay

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  4. How to Write a Killer College Essay

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  6. How To Write A College Essay

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  6. College Application Advice


  1. 10 Great Essay Writing Tips

    Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses.

  2. Mastering the Art of Persuasive Writing in Your Admission Essay

    When it comes to applying for college or university, one of the most crucial components is the admission essay. This piece of writing allows you to showcase your personality, experiences, and goals to the admissions committee.

  3. 15 Tips to Help You Write a Stellar Essay

    Essay-writing can be easier than you might think if you have a grasp of the basics and a willingness to engage with the subject matter. Here are 15 top tips for writing a stellar essay.

  4. How to Write a College Essay Step-by-Step

    But, of course, I'd say that—I'm the College Essay Guy. The personal statement is likely to be 500-650 words long (so about a page) and many of

  5. Why This College Essay Guide + Examples

    The purpose of the “Why us?” or “Why this college” essay is to demonstrate—through specific details and examples—why you're a great match

  6. How To Start a College Essay: 9 Effective Techniques

    College essays have their own special brand of DTDT. Knowing how to begin a college essay is daunting. It can be hard to write an engaging

  7. Learn How to Write Great Supplemental College Essays

    Write supplemental essays for hundreds of the most competitive colleges. Follow our step-by-step guides and read our supplemental essay examples that work.

  8. How to Write a Personal Statement (Tips + Essay Examples)

    This ultimate guide covers everything you'll need to brainstorm, outline, and write an outstanding personal statement for college

  9. How to Format a College Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    At College Essay Guy, we too like good stories well told. The problem is that sometimes students have really good stories … that just aren't

  10. 27 Outstanding College Essay Examples From Top Universities 2023

    Check out these outstanding college essay examples. Learn how to write your personal statement and supplemental essays for college

  11. College Essay Guy

    College Essay Guy - Personal statement and college essay tips, guides, resources, consulting, and webinars for students, parents and counselors.

  12. How to Write the College Application + Supplemental Essays

    A step-by-step course for students for creating a stand-out college application and writing great supplemental essays. We'll walk you through our values-based

  13. Guide

    I think there are two basic structural approaches every student can use to write their college essays: Montage Structure and Narrative Structure. We'll explore

  14. Personal Statement Tips for College and University Applications

    College Essay Guy 2015-2023.