"I'm so glad I found you!!"
The CEG Parent Community
Your Home For Exceptional College Planning Support
Supportive. Engaging. Expert-led.
Informative and interactive weekly sessions
Learn practical steps to maximize your teen's admission chances
A detailed monthly college counseling calendar
Get reminders of important deadlines right when you need them
Gain valuable insights from experts in the admission field
Access to expert college counseling advice
Connect with our veteran counselors during regular office hours
Cohort of dedicated parents
Expand your knowledge and gain valuable insight as a member of a thriving community
Stay empowered, energized and moving forward
Past & Upcoming Sessions:
10 Myths About Highly Selective College Admissions
Standardized Testing Demystified
Simplifying the Complex Financial Aid Process
What is 'Demonstrated Interest' and 15 Ways to Demonstrate Interest in the College Process
How to Decide Whether To Apply Early Action or Early Decision
Four Different Application Types to Keep in Mind
Insider Tips for College Visits and Interviews
Tips for Crafting an Uncommon Common Application
College Planning Starts Now!
How to Write an Outstanding Personal Statement: A Private Conversation with the College Essay Guy, Ethan Sawyer
Meaningful Ways to Spend the Summer
Practical tips for raising confident and independent teens, w/ admissions expert from Franklin and Marshall College
What is Holistic Admissions with a college admissions expert from Wesleyan University
Ask Me Anything Sessions w/ Ethan, college admissions experts, and college admissions officers
Lots more! Recordings of past sessions are available.
The college process is a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
We've dedicated our entire careers to helping parents and students navigate the college admission process.
And for us, this is about more than college. It's an important time for reflection and growth.
Last year, we helped 695 students find their college homes.
We'll help you with:
Curriculum & Extracurricular Planning
Financial Aid & College Affordability
Smart College List-Building
Curriculum & Standardized Testing
Effective resources & systems
Purpose & Mindset and much more!
Everything you need in one place.
The college application process can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be.
We live, breathe, and love this process and are excited to support you. Join the group and say hello.
Join a dynamic community of fellow parents to collaborate and support one another.
Join a dynamic community of fellow parents to collaborate and support one another.
The College Essay Guy team will be there to answer application and essay questions, host live events, and keep you up to date on college admissions trends.
Our Core Values
We're nice to each other.
We're good vibes.
We help each other out and share openly and willingly.
We remember to take a moment to breathe, reflect and keep moving forward.
We're real with ourselves and with each other.
We remain curious and open.
We think outside the box.
We support one another.
We're better together.
We promote a community of equity, inclusion and acceptance.
Who Are Our Resident College Admission Experts?
These folks are in the group on a regular basis answering your questions.
Tom Campbell (he/him)
Tom offers extensive experience in highly selective admissions and college counseling. Before joining College Essay Guy as our inaugural Community Manager, he worked as a College Counselor at Lakeside School (WA) and an Assistant Dean/Director of Admissions at Pomona College and the College of the Holy Cross.
After graduating from Holy Cross (BA, Architectural Studies and History), Tom completed a year of postgraduate service through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest (an AmeriCorps affiliate). He was placed at a family services program called CAPA (Childbirth and Parenting Assistance), which bolstered his passions for equity, mentorship and confidence-boosting (and taught him a lot about the parallels between toddler and teenage angst)! Upon his return to Holy Cross as an Admissions Officer, Tom continued to find ways he could live out his values, playing an active role in leading the school’s diversity fly-in programs and LGBTQ+ Staff Mentor Program.
At Pomona, Tom was a member of the team that restructured the application review process to account for test-optional admissions. He has spent four summers working as a faculty member at College Horizons, an organization that mentors and guides Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students through the college process. He was also nominated to join the Board of Directors for the Northeast Consortium Bridging Access to College (an organization that works to increase college access to low-income and first-generation students) and has presented and engaged with various higher education professional organizations, including the National Association of College Admissions Counseling, the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools, and the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling.
The son of an inner city schoolteacher and the director of a nonprofit that runs tuition-free schools in Haiti, Tom has long recognized the transformative power of education. He credits his own Catholic and Jesuit education for further opening his eyes to the privileges unjustly afforded to me through systemic racism and for shaping his own social justice consciousness. He hopes to bring expertise, energy and empathy to the CEG Parent Community— and some alliteration, assonance, and amusement along the way!
Ask Tom about: highly selective admissions, test-optional admissions, small liberal arts colleges, resources for underrepresented students, the LGBTQ+ college experience, college affordability, interview preparation and relating to Gen Z (or at least trying to).
Ethan Sawyer (he/him)
Ethan has been eating/sleeping/breathing college essays for most of his waking hours since 2003. He is an internationally recognized college essay and admissions expert and the author of the Amazon bestsellers College Essay Essentials and College Admission Essentials. Each year he and his team reach more than one million students and counselors through the College Essay Guy blog, online pay-what-you-can courses, workshops, books, and one-on-one work.
Receiving his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Performance Studies, an MFA in Acting from UC Irvine, and two counseling certificates, Ethan’s educational experiences, reading, and training have informed his deep interest in storytelling as a vehicle for personal development and growth, which in turn inspired Ethan to start College Essay Guy.
Raised in Spain, Ecuador, and Colombia, Ethan is dedicated to serving diverse communities. With a passion for access and equity, Ethan has provided quality resources for students, families and professional communities alike. Through his work he has supported, advised and counseled thousands of students through the complicated college search and application process, all while staying true to his core values of providing ease, purpose and joy in the process.
Ask Ethan about: writing outstanding college essays, first generation to college students, the University of California personal insight questions, effective methods for college list building, applying to theater programs, snacks, and games.
Morgan Phillips (she/her)
Morgan has spent her entire career in the college admissions/college counseling field. Recognized as a ‘Counselor That Changes Lives’ (2021) by the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) organization, Morgan embraces the CTCL approach of dedication to college counseling practices that promote “a college search that focuses on the individual student and finding a college that will cultivate the student's lifelong love of learning.”
In the past 20+ years, Morgan was an application reader (8 years), oversaw admission to an AACSB accredited Business School, and supported domestic and international students through the admissions process at two independent day and boarding schools. She has helped students reach a full range of goals: applying to highly selective colleges, finding and following niche academic interests, and figuring out how to broaden (or balance) a college list!
One of Morgan’s favorite elements of college counseling is dispelling myths and misconceptions about pursuing higher education. Morgan’s college counseling approach combines deep care for her students with a competitive athletic mindset (which she now mostly channels through family game nights…though she sometimes lets her spunky 8-year-old daughter win. Sometimes.) She is a self-proclaimed Caamper (if you know, you know), a northern transplant in Chapel Hill, and is usually dreaming about her next visit to the ocean.
J Cole (he/him)
J is a college counseling expert, speaker, and author. He has worked in public and independent schools around the globe for two decades, counseling thousands of students - including his own seven children!
J believes that a college degree can be transformative, and that there is a school out there for every student (even if they don’t always see that for themselves).
Throughout his career he has designed and conducted college information sessions, workshops, panel discussions, college fairs, and campus tours. J authored a college planning guide titled, Get ‘Em Out, Help Your Teen Discover A Successful Path To College to be a resource for students and their family.
J has lived in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and visited over thirty countries - but nowhere fills his cup like the DMV (not the Dept of Motor Vehicles… it’s what the cool kids call the District of Columbia, Maryland, and VIrginia). While living in Jordan he learned the Arabic word “tamam” which means “ok, alright” to reassure his students and families.
J prays every day (and not just for the Georgetown’s men’s basketball team to win), loves going for walks outdoors in nature, and devouring large quantities of butter pecan ice cream.