College Essay Coaching

It's your time to shine!

College application essays are a golden opportunity

to let them see the real you.

Scroll down to see

how I can help.


  • One-on-one coaching from the earliest stages of brainstorming through final drafts

  • Individualized instruction based on each student's needs and skill level

  • Strategic advice on Do's and Don'ts

  • Editorial review of all essays prior to submission

  • Fractional hourly billing; only pay for time worked

  • No minimum time commitments

  • Available worldwide; all sessions conducted online

Also available to help with scholarship application essays, activity lists and statements of continuing interest for waitlisted applicants. 

References available upon request. 

Please be aware that while I do occasionally work as a ghost writer for adult clients, I will never write an essay for a student. If this is your interest, please contact someone else. I coach, students write.

You should also know one thing: ghost-written college essays never work.


Many admissions directors have told me they know instantly when an essay is not the work of the student. I know instantly too, when parents write for their kids.


If you want a good result, let me help your child produce his/her best work. It's the right thing to do, the right lesson to teach, and the best way to avoid rejection. 


"Having our son Aidan work with Mike was the single best investment we made during our entire college application process. Mike has a unique ability to coach - push - inspire in a way that connected with our teenager in a very positive way. The result was a true reflection of our son that was now alive on paper for others to experience.  Unconditionally recommended!"

PJ & Samara, Johns Creek, GA  

My Process


Before we even begin, we'll talk -- or you'll talk. I'll listen.


The goal is for you to present your authentic, three-dimensional, unvarnished self in a way that college admissions people can understand, appreciate, respect and perhaps even love.


Before you can do that, you need to see yourself clearly, and honestly. The things you care about the most are the things you will write about the best. First, I'll help you get there with some exercises developed by the best minds in the business (and me too).


Then, on to the writing. 


My process is based on a few steps that I have used in my own writing to break the hypnotic inertia of the blank page:


Visualization helps reduce stress and build confidence. We naturally think in images before we find words for them. All stories start that way, often unconsciously. We'll do it deliberately, using description and detail to focus your thinking before you write a word.


I'll show you how story form can seize the reader's attention and hold it. We'll use structure as a base on which to build creativity and confidence. Your ideas will gain strength and impact once you know how to organize them. 


Ann Lamott calls them "sh*tty first drafts." All good writers use them to free up their voice and silence their inner editor. Think of it as sketching a rough storyboard with words, letting your thoughts flow without judgment or interference. 


In the previous step, you got something on the page. You might not even think it qualifies as a first draft. But it does. Nothing good is ever written in the first round -- so we won't even try. It's in the rewriting that you will bring your words and images into sharp focus.


After you've polished it (again) and I've reviewed it (again), you'll share it with your counselors, family, maybe even friends... But before you do, you will decide what is sacred.


Opinions matter, but you matter more. Protect that.  

Once you decide on the value of the feedback, rewrite again.  

Using this process, you will produce effective essays for college applications, scholarship entries, or even day-to-day school assignments.

It is my hope that these lessons will also help you throughout the rest of your life as a writer, and as a person with a unique voice in this world.


We'll work through a series of exercises to help you zero in on your best essay topics.


Before you write, you'll tell your story out loud. Hearing it helps you decide if it works.

rough drafts

Good writing never happens on the first try. We'll hone your prose until it shines.

weekly chats

Weekly FaceTime calls keep you on track, and greatly reduce your deadline stress later on.



For a free consultation or simply to discuss your student's needs, please send me a quick note with your name, email and best way to reach you. I work with clients all over the US and abroad.

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Copyright 2020 by Mike Demilio