For 5 years, I have researched and observed the patterns of "essays that worked" for college admissions.

What I found were that there were recognizable thought patterns and strategies of the applicants who were getting acceptance letters from their #1 choice schools. 

The "perfect college applicant" persona is exhausting for most teens, and it prevents them from sharing authentically with admissions teams. 

They write from a place of worry instead of a place of freedom, creativity, and enjoyment.

That's where I come in!

I've created a system of coaching teens to take ownership their mindsets, so that they can powerfully take on college application essays with ease, flow, and (dare I say it) fun!

My Mission

I want to debunk the myth that writing application essays needs to be confusing, overwhelming, "too much work," tedious, or [insert negative word here]. 

I believe that it is important for teens to learn that their mindset and focus can drastically improve their lives.

When your teen creates the story that application essays are hard, she lives into that story.

I'd like to  present them differently.

These essays are an opportunity for teens to reflect and learn to how to confidently and authentically share their personal stories in a captivating way. 

What better time to ask, "Who am I?" than before your teen makes a decision that shapes her future.

My vision is for students to feel empowered and confident when they hit submit.

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Jaclyn Corley, Founder

About Me

Hey! I'm Jackie, the founder of The College Essay Captain.

I'm a storytelling specialist and mindset coach!

I'm fascinated by how our use of language shapes our reality. I believe that if we want to have better experiences, we need to tell ourselves better stories. 

I graduated with an Honors B.A. in English Literature & Rhetoric from the State University of New York at Binghamton where I won the Alfred Bendixon Prize for my thesis (it had a really long, fancy title).

After I received my M.S.T in Teaching English from Fordham University in New York City, I landed my first teaching job teaching 11th and 12th grade! My late nights spent figuring out how to help my students get into college paid off: I quickly became the "college essay guru," and a position was created for me as College Essay Advisor. 

I taught for 4 years before starting The College Essay Captain in memory of my mom, Carol. After my mom passed, I decided to change my own narrative. I traded certainty and significance for variety and growth. I resigned from my job, sold my childhood home, and packed my bags to travel and to move across the country to California to be an entrepreneur.  

Before I left, I was invited to deliver a speech for an international community of inspirational speakers called "iinspire," hosted by former TEDx coordinator, Yahli Rashi. My talk, titled "How Language Shapes Our Destiny," detailed how changing how I spoke to myself transformed my life. 

In addition to coaching college and career applicants, I'm currently writing a personal development book for teens. 


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“I know that without her help, my chances of getting into a top university like Columbia would have been significantly lower.”
— Matthew R., Columbia University