Work With Me!

As the founder of The College Essay Captain, my mission is to empower teens to confidently tell their personal stories to admissions teams. I work with competitive college applicants who want to make sure the essay portion of their applications are the best they can be. 

All my coaching packages include my digital course, College Essay Playbook, with how-to videos on college essay writing, so teens have access to research-backed formulas and strategies and a thorough review of model essays to support them as they write. 

Additionally each coaching package comes with a series of strategy sessions. A strategy session is a 45-minute, 1:1 results-driven coaching session with me, The College Essay Captain founder, Jaclyn Corley.

I use my signature methodology to coach applicants to find ease, inspiration, and clarity as they write their best college application essays.  

I currently offer an 8-session (Signature Package), 5-session (Silver Package), and a 3-session (Basic Package). 

What to Expect

Each strategy session is personalized to teach applicants how to write essays that truly capture their personality, enhance their applications, and stand out from the sea of other applicants. 

Before our sessions, applicants will be responsible for reviewing certain videos in College Essay Playbook to support their learning, and they will add their ideas, drafts, and questions to a shared Google Doc. 

Before our coaching session, I read through their drafts, ideas, and questions and provide written feedback, which we will review during the session. This allows me to direct my coaching to meet the individual needs of the applicant and prevents a "cold-read" of essays on the call. 

During the call, I help applicants plan college application essays, listen to their ideas, answer questions, and give them insights into how to best tailor their essays for their audience.  

We collaborate on a shared GoogleDoc, which allows us both access to view, edit, and comment on his or her essays in real-time as though we are in the same room. This helps applicants stay organized during the process as well. 

Strategy sessions also may be used for other writing components of the college application process including activity lists, resumes, and scholarship essays. 

Book a Discovery Call with Jaclyn Corley, Founder of The College Essay Captain 

What Are Your Methods?  

My approach teaches applicants research-backed mindset shifts and writing strategies that work to get them from point A to point B in less time and with less stress. 

I've spent 6 years and counting figuring out how to help teens get out of their own way during the application process. 

There's so much pressure and there's so much competition that it can block applicants from feeling safe being authentic in their writing. 

Yet, what makes teens stand out is their authenticity. 

I help applicants bring that forward. 

When I coach, I ask pointed questions and listen for the stories within their stories, the ones that will make admissions officers genuinely connect with them that they may otherwise miss. 

I help them uncover their thinking and writing "blindspots" that are getting in the way. 

I teach them how to think of things slightly differently so that they have "a-ha" moments that will help them find "the topic," and "the angle," so that their stories flow easily and naturally from them. 

My strategies are formulaic, which makes them simple and easy to understand and implement.  

This approach is particularly helpful for applicants who consider themselves to be better at math/science or who have solid analytical writing abilities, and perhaps struggle with the creative component of college essays.  

Applicants learn valuable life-long writing skills and mindfulness strategies to take with them to college and beyond.

These strategies work great for scholarship essays as well, which can help you cover the cost of investment in college.  

My signature methodology is currently featured on, which signs up over 700,000 students per year for college fairs.  

The Benefits of Mindset and Writing Strategy Coaching for College Applicants


Applicants feel safe to share stories from their lives that truly represent them to admissions teams. 


Applicants learn the approach I use to uncover the stories that they feel inspired to write. 


Clients are frequently impressed by their own abilites and growth and go on to apply for scholarships. 


Teens share their personal stories in the style and voice only they can write. 


Applicants grow in ability to focus, to be mindful, and to enjoy the process. 


Teens who work with me consistently get into their dream schools.

Why Invest in Coaching? 

According to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), 61% of universities listed application essays as "of considerable" or "of moderate" importance to their decision-making process.  

Yet, applicants have never learned to write them. When added on top of regular school work, commitments, and responsibilities, they can easily feel overwhelming to write. 

Being overwhelmed is the quickest way to turn off creativity.  

Applying to college is new, there are high stakes, and there's so much pressure to do everything "right"--especially when writing essays.  

And, there's not enough guidance in school.  

So, teens turn to their parents, who also have never learned to write them. 

In my experience, applicants and their families have many misconceptions about college application essays that translates to sub-par essays, which add to the stress. 

That's where I come in. 

My system makes writing so much easier and less-stressful. 

My approach is specific to each client's needs, so whether you want to feel completely supported or you just need someone to guide you in the right direction, I will give you what you need to feel successful. 

My packages are designed to fully support applicants, so they can apply with confidence. 

Program FAQs

What's the time frame to use strategy sessions?

Strategy sessions can be scheduled at times that fit with an applicant's schedule and desire for consistency.

If an applicant prefers a weekly session at a specific time for accountability, they can schedule sessions in advance.

If an applicant prefers an "as needed" schedule, we can do that as well. Applicants may decide to use two sessions one week and then take a two week break--it's what makes sense within your teen's schedule. 

What if my teen has a strategy session she didn't use?  

Strategy sessions may also be used for scholarship essays, resumes, activity lists, or writing competitions. 

I've had clients feel inspired to enter writing competitions or apply for competitive scholarships after learning my strategies after application season had ended. 

Strategy sessions will not go to waste. 

When's a good time to start? 

The summer before senior year is an ideal time to start planning and writing college application essays. 

Some students take the summer off and start in the fall of senior year. It depends on what works best for your family.

Keep in mind that in order to keep the integrity of my program and fully commit myself to the clients in my program, I am limited in the number of families I can work with during application season. 

What if my family can't make this commitment but still wants our teen to learn your approach?

I've developed a digital course, which is a 4-module mindset and writing strategy guide released over 4-weeks. 

Your teen can learn my strategies without the individual coaching. There is a live Q & A at the end of the program. 

Learn more about College Essay Playbook and how it can help your family here.  


Book a Discovery Call with Jaclyn Corley, Founder of The College Essay Captain to discuss which option is best for your needs. Package options are below. 


8-Session Signature Coaching Package

>>8 -Coaching sessions for college esssays, scholarship essays, and/or activity lists/resumes

>>Full review of essays with comments before each session  

>>Email support in between sessions for questions

>>Full access to College Essay Playbook digital course for video support+ bonus bundle 


5-Session Signature Coaching Package

>>5 -Coaching sessions for college esssays, scholarship essays, and/or activity lists/resumes

>>Full review of essays with comments before each session  

>>Email support in between sessions for questions

>>Full access to College Essay Playbook digital course for video support+ bonus bundle 


3-Session Silver Coaching Package

>> 3 Coaching Sessions for college esssays, scholarship essays, and/or activity lists/resumes

>>Full review of essays with comments before each session 

>>Email support in between sessions 

>>Full access to College Essay Playbook digital course for video support+ bonus bundle 


Writing my college essays was probably the thing with which I struggled the most through my high school experience. I kept on changing my topic and being a math-science person, I had a lot of trouble getting my thoughts on paper.  

When Ms. Corley started helping the essay process suddenly became significantly easier. With her assistance, I found the perfect topic, which was very easy for me to write about and express myself with. She helped me revise and improve my drafts and helped me understand how to make yourself sound impressive without coming off as arrogant. I learned the cliche things to avoid in essays and how to make my personal essay stick out from a pile of hundreds if not thousands of essays sitting on an admission officer's desk.  

I just officially enrolled at Columbia University, the school that was sitting on top of my list of potential options. I know that without her help, my chances of getting into a top university like Columbia would have been significantly lower, and I probably would be writing this testimonial enrolled at a university that wasn't my top option.  

Thank you, Ms. Corley, for helping me improve my writing abilities and assisting me in getting to attend my dream college that will give me the education I want and need to be very successful for many years to come.  

Matthew R. Columbia University  

As I entered college application season, I had very little experience with personal essays and narratives- the kind of writing that college essay questions often ask. I knew that I was excited about the schools I was applying to, but I needed help communicating that passion in a way that will stand out from other applications. 

Ms. Corley worked with me from refining essay topics to polishing my word choices. I never would have thought I would truly find my writing "voice" by answering "Why this school?" questions, but my writing is definitely much stronger now than it would have been without her guidance. 

Last fall, I was unsure if I could get into my top college program relying on my academic record alone, but with Ms. Corley's help on making my essays memorable, it was possible.

Angie K. Boston University 

Anyone who has gone through the application process knows, applying to college is incredibly stressful. When I began the process of applying to college, I had no idea how I would be able to write one essay that completely embodied who I was both as a student and as an individual. 

However, with Ms. Corley’s help this experience went from a struggle to a success. I had always known how to write, but I didn’t know how to write in a way that used "showing" instead of "telling." With the help of The College Essay Captain, I was able to turn a boring essay into a story that captivated my reader.  

Before I worked with Ms. Corley, I was unsure if grades alone would be enough to get me into my top choice of universities. After working with Ms. Corley, I am proud to say that in the fall I will be attending my number one choice, the University of Michigan.

I honestly believe that my dream would not have become a reality if it weren’t for Ms. Corley. The College Essay Captain is an excellent resource that will help anyone turn his or her academic dreams into reality.  

Zack P. University of Michigan

I had the unique opportunity to work with Ms. Corley on crafting my college admissions essay, undoubtably one of the most important documents I have had to write in my life. Ms. Corley helped me analyze the questions being posed and think critically to come up with a game plan for responding to the question.  

By taking a holistic approach to the essay writing process, Ms. Corley guided me in the right direction while allowing me to steer the ship. The result was incredible, and I write this recommendation from my dorm room at the college of my choice. I would recommend working with The College Essay Captain if you are looking for someone who will help you push your boundaries and reach your goals.  

Max K. Drexel University 

I've wanted to get into a certain honors program in the CUNY college system since I entered high school and heard of its prestige and all the bonuses it offers. The only problem: it's incredibly difficult to get into, and I was fighting with many scholars in my grade for a seat in the program. While our ACT scores were the same, those I was up against had higher grades and took an extra AP course, so they had the advantage over me.  

The only thing that made the difference between me getting the seat was my college essays. Ms. Corley worked with me relentlessly to help me get my two essays done until they were absolutely perfect. Now I'm in the college program of my dreams.  

Yasmine B. Macaulay Honors at City College  

Why The College Essay Captain?

I think language is the most powerful tool we have as it gives us endless possibilities to create our experience of life. 

The stories we tell ourselves shape our, it's important to choose stories that empower us.  

As a high school English teacher and college guidance team member, I wanted to find a way allievate my students' stress and self-depricating "I'm overwhelmed; I can't do this," self-talk. 

When I coached my students on how to change their focus in any given moment, and the results in their ability to produce outstanding work increased tenfold. 

I spent 6 years researching how to best coach college applicants. I studied hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming to understand how the subconscious mind works to provide applicants with "mind-hacks." 

I'm also a trained crisis-hotline counselor, so I know how to effectively navigate conversations from a state of stress to one of resourcefulness.  

In 2016, I was invited to deliver a speech called "How Language Shapes Our Destiny," to an international community of inspirational speakers, which was hosted by TED-x event coordinator, Yahli Rashi. 

I detailed how I changed my own life story from a teacher still living comfortably in her hometown to inspirational speaker, adventurer, and entrepreneur who packed her bags, sold her home, and moved across the country to follow her dream to help others follow theirs.  

If you want someone who will add a dose of enthusiasm added to your college application process, who will help you learn to listen to your intuition, and who will guide you to feel confident when you hit submit, then I'm the right consultant for you!  

Find out how I can help your family succeed this application season!