Margo Bartsch, founder since 2004 802-985-3770

Margo Bartsch founded College Essay Coach in 2004 to apply her marketing and brand development expertise in assisting students to develop exceptional college application essays and prepare for the SAT and ACT essay sections. Margo's writing philosophy is that the story must have a compelling theme and organizational structure, whether in marketing or in essay writing. People remember how a story makes them feel, even beyond what is said. This big idea differentiates the student (or brand) and connects with the reader (or consumer).The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled College Essay Coach as the lead story in the April 27, 2007 special issue of  Admissions and Financial Aid.   Margo works one-on-one with students either at her office at 181 Falls Road in Shelburne (next to Rustic Roots Cafe) or on conference calls with out-of-state students. 

Margo has worked with three U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidates for three consecutive years (2013-2016) with two becoming Semi-Finalists on their application materials.

For this current 2017-18 application season, the early acceptances are rolling in: American University (Washington School of Law), Auburn University, Boston College, Boston University (three- honors college, engineering, and communications), Brooklyn Law School (NY), Castleton University (honors), Case Western Reserve University, Clemson University (nursing), Colby College (Presidential Scholar), Colorado College, Dartmouth College, Duke University (Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship finalist), Elon University (two-- Presidential Scholarship and liberal arts), Emory University (three!!), Endicott College (Presidential Scholarship), Fordham University, Ithaca College (physical therapy, gerontology), Johns Hopkins University, McGill University- Canada (Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts and Science), Middlebury College (two!!), Northeastern University (two-- honors and D'amore-Mckim School of Business), Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, Paris, France), Providence College (business), Quinnipiac University (joint admissions into Physical Therapy plus Graduate Program), Rice University, Rutgers University, Seton Hall University (dual-degree in physical therapy), Stonehill College, Suffolk University (Dean's Scholarship), Tulane University (Stamps Scholarship Winner, Distinguished Scholar Award, Honors Program), Union College, United States Air Force Academy, University of Alabama (honors), University of Arizona (nursing), University of Chicago, University of Cinncinatti (joint B.S. biomedical engineering and M.D), University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Connecticut (honors), University of Georgia (equestrian recruit), University of Maryland-College Park (Honors College), University of Massachusetts--Amherst (business), University of Miami (President's Merit Scholarship, Singer Scholarship), University of New Hamphsire (agriculture/life sciences), University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill (Carolina Research Scholar, Chancellor's Science Scholar's Award), University of South Florida (honors),University of Toledo (joint B.S. engineering and M.D), University of Vermont (Green and Gold Scholars, Honors College, liberal arts, business, nursing), University of Virgina (Honors--Ecole Scholars Program), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Villanova University (business). . . . . . . . with $1.51 million in merit awards by mid-March. . . with much success to all!!!

For last year's 2016-17 application season, here is the list of college acceptances: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, American University, Baylor University, Boston College (business), Boston University (business), Champlain College (gaming division), Chapman University, Colby College, Cornell University, DePaul University in Chicago (business), Dickinson College, Drexel University (honors program: Accelerated BS in Business/Joint MBA), Elon University, George Washington University (Presidential Scholarship, Honors Program, Business Program), Haverford College, Hobart and William Smith College, James Madison University, Loyola Marymount University, McGill University (engineering, business, arts and sciences, school of art), Miami University (Miami of Ohio/Oxford, Ohio), Middlebury College, Northeastern University, Penn State University, Pepperdine University, Quinnipiac University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Roger Williams University, Sacred Heart University, Skidmore College, Smith College, St. Lawrence University, Syracuse University (business), University of Arizona, University of California-Irvine. University of Colorado at Boulder (business, liberal arts), University of Denver, University of Kentucky, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island (Centennial Scholarship Pharmacy, liberal arts), University of Richmond,University of Southern California, University of South Carolina, University of Vermont, Washington and Lee University  . . . . . . . . . . . .   by over $1 million in merit awards!!

For the previous 2015-16 applications, the college acceptances include:  American University (business), Bates College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, Castleton College, Colby College (Presidential Scholarship), Colgate University, Colorado College, Connecticut College, Cornell University (Hotel Management), Elon University, Furman University, George Washington University (business), Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Indiana University, Kenyon College, McGill University (business), Middlebury College, Northeastern University (Honors), Ohio State University, Providence College, Quinnipiac University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Roger Williams University, Skidmore College, Southern Nazarene University, St. Lawrence University, University of Vermont (Honors College), University of Virginia, Wesleyan University, and Williams College . . . . . . . . . . . .  with over $1 million in merit awards!!

Margo has extensive experience as both a marketing professional and as a college educator. Margo is a visiting professor at Middlebury College for the 2015 January Term (J-Term), where she developed the case-study project, "Creating Marketing Campaigns and Building Brand Awareness," for a local non-profit organization.   Middlebury students competed on teams with this global marketing challenge.  In addition, this is Margo's 14th year as an Adjunct Professor at Champlain College teaching in the Robert Stiller School of Business in Burlington, VT.  She teaches four classes:  Marketing (MKT-110), Advertising (MKT-230), Brand and Account Management (MKT-330), and Integrated Marketing Communications (MKT-440). In 2014, she was awarded the Champlain College Francine Page Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award. 

Margo's teaching method is to develop original case-studies to bring marketing concepts and client interaction to life in the classroom.  She has partnered with local Vermont companies including Vermont Vines on the River in Rockingham, Butch + Babe's Restaurant in Burlington's Old North End,Barrio Bakery and Pizza in the Old North End, Half Baked Frozen Pizza in Burlington, Fiddlehead Brewery in Shelburne, Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, in Burlington, and Folino's Pizza in Shelburne. In addition, Margo has helped to spearhead the Sarah Ramsey Strong Scholarship at Champlain College to award top marketing students the opportunity to pursue international study and internships abroad.

As a marketer, Margo's career spans 20 years in New York, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., and Vermont, including working with global corporations, small businesses, local businesses with a focus on social responsibility marketing, and with start-up entrepreneurs. Her corporate experience focuses on the technology industry and with international marketing campaigns.


Margo has held high-level positions, including Chief Marketing Officer at Iris Wireless text messaging in Greenwich, CT; Vice President of Marketing Communications, Advertising and Public Relations at Prodigy Internet in White Plains, NY; Senior Manager at MCI (prior to the merger with WorldCom) in Arlington, VA in international marketing and specialty brandsmarketing on the popular brands of Friends & Family Worldwide and the launch of 10-10-321, and at AT&T in Basking Ridge, NJ in international marketing on Reach Out World calling plan.

Currently, Margo provides marketing consulting services in the fields of: advertising, direct marketing, website design, brand development, strategic planning, international marketing, market research and analysis, product launch introductions, sales strategies, internal communications, executive presentations, and business plan development.  Also, Margo actively participates within the local community to encourage students to consider studying within the field of business and marketing.  Since 2012, she serves as a judging panelist for the Champlain Valley Union High School Graduation Challenge for students' year-end business presentations. Her comments highlight the potential to expand ideas from good to great!

Margo graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she earned her B.A. in economics and her M.S.J from the Medill School of Journalism with a concentration in international advertising. Margo was recognized as a Northwestern Luminary in January, 2008.  Margo has won national awards for her work in international advertising.  In 1995, she was awarded the Silver EFFIE for integrated advertising campaigns from the American Marketing Association (AMA) and an ECHO Leader Award from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Margo has worked in Japan and has extensive travel experience throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Margo resides with her husband and daughter in Shelburne, VT. Her office is conveniently located in Shelburne next to Rustic Roots Cafe. She can be reached at (802) 985-3770.

  •  Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  •  American University 
  •  Amherst College
  •  Auburn University
  •  Beloit College (Presidential Scholarship)
  •  Bentley University
  •  Boston College (Honors Program)
  •  Boston University (communications)
  •  Brown University (engineering, liberal arts)
  •  Bucknell University
  •  Carleton College
  •  Castleton University (honors)
  •  Case Western Reserve University (engineering, liberal arts)
  •  Castleton State College, VT
  •  Champlain College
  •  Chapman University (business)
  •  Clemson University (nursing)
  •  Colorado College
  •  Dartmouth College
  •  Denison University
  •  DePaul University-Chicago (business)
  •  Dickinson College
  •  Drexel University (Accelerarted BS Business/MBA, business administration, music production,film and video program, liberal arts)
  • Duke University 
  • Elon University (Presidential Scholarship, liberal arts)
  •  Endicott University
  •  Fairfield University
  •  Florida State University
  •  Fordham University (business, liberal arts)
  •  Franklin and Marshall College
  •  Georgetown University
  •  Georgia Institute of Technology
  •  Grinnell College (Trustee Scholarship)
  •  Harvard University
  •  Hofstra University
  •  Indiana University (Kelly School of Business, liberal arts)
  •  Ithaca College (liberal arts, business, physical therapy, gerontology)
  • Lehigh University (engineering)
  • Loyola Marymount University (business)
  • Loyola University- Chicago
  • Marymount Manhattan College 
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
  • McGill University (Montreal, Canada-- liberal arts, engineering, arts, business/commerce)
  • Miami University--Oxford, Ohio (Miami of Ohio)
  •  Middlebury College
  •  New York University (Stern)
  •  Northeastern University (Honor's College, Dean's Scholarship)
  •  Northwestern University (engineering)
  • North Carolina State University--Raleigh
  •  Oglethorpe University
  •  Ohio State University (Scholar's Program)
  •  Ohio Wesleyan University
  •  Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, Paris, France)
  •  Penn State University
  •  Pepperdine University, Lausanne, Switzerland
  •  Providence College
  •  Purdue University (engineering)
  •  Quinnipac University
  •  Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  •  Rhodes College
  •  Roger Williams University
  •  Rose-Hulman Institute of     Technology
  •  Rutgers University
  •  Saint Lawrence University
  •  Seattle University
  •  Seton Hall University
  •  Skidmore College
  •  Southern Nazarene University (SNU)
  •  St. Michael's College
  •  Stetson University
  •  Stonehill College
  •  Suffolk University
  •  Temple University
  •  Towson University 
  •  Tufts University (engineering)
  •  Tulane University (liberal arts, Distinguished Scholar Award, Honors Program, Stamps Scholarship full-ride)
  •  Union College
  •  United States Air Force Academy
  •  University of Alabama (honors)
  •  University of Arizona (business, liberal arts, nursing)
  • University of Charleston
  •  University of Chicago
  •  Univeristy of Cincinnati (joint B.S. biomedical engineering and M.D.)
  •  University of Colorado--Boulder
  •  University of Connecticut (honors college and liberal arts)
  •  University of Denver
  •  University of Georgia
  •  University of Kentucky
  •  University of King's College (Nova Scotia, Canada)
  •  University of Maryland-College Park (liberal arts, honors college)
  •  University of Massachusetts - Amherst (honors college, liberal arts, engineering)
  •  University of Miami (President's Scholarship, Singer Scholarship)
  •  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  •  University of New England (Maine)
  •  University of New Hampshire (liberal arts, engineering, animal science, agriculture/life science)
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  (Carolina Research Scholar, Chancellor's Scholars Science Scholarship)
  •  University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  •  University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pennsylvania (M&T Program with Wharton School of Business and engineering)
  •  University of Rhode Island (pharmacy-Centennial Scholarship, liberal arts)
  •  University of Richmond
  •  University of San Diego
  •  University of South Carolina
  •  University of South Florida (honors)
  •  University of Tampa
  •  University of Toledo (joint B.S. engineering and M.D. program)
  •  University of Vermont (Honors College, Engineering, Grossman School of Business, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Green and Gold Scholar)
  •  University of Virginia (liberal arts, Honors--Ecole scholars Program)
  •  University of Wisconsin-Madison
  •  Vanderbilt University
  •  Villanova University (business)
  •  Wake Forest University
  •  Washington and Lee University
  •  Washington University in St. Louis

  •  American University (liberal arts, Kogod School of Business, Law School)
  •  American University (law school)
  •  Arizona State University
  •  Babson College
  •  Bates College
  •  Baylor University
  •  Boston College (liberal arts, Carroll School of Management)
  •  Boston University (Presidential Scholarship, liberal arts, business/BBA, dental schoo, honors college, communications, engineering)
  •  Brooklyn Law School (NY)
  •  Carnegie Mellon University
  •  Champlain College
  •  Clemson University (engineering)
  •  Colby-Sawyer College
  •  Colby College (Presidential Scholar, liberal arts)
  •  College of Charleston, SC
  •  Colgate University
  •  Columbia University
  •  Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)
  • Connecticut College
  •  Cornell University (engineering, liberal arts, hotel management)
  •  Davidson College
  •  Dickinson College 
  •  Duke University (Reginaldo Hoard Memorial Scholarship finalist)
  •  Elon University
  •  Emory University
  •  Furman University
  •  Franklin Pierce University
  •  Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin College)
  •  Hamilton College
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University (liberal arts, business, Presidential Scholarship, Honors Program)
  • Gettysburg College
  • Haverford College
  • Hobart and William Smith College
  •  Indiana University--Bloomington (Kelley School of Business, liberal arts
  •  James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University (engineering, liberal arts)
  •  Kenyon College
  •  Lafayette College
  •  Lehigh College
  •  Macalaster College
  •  McGill University (Montreal, Canada, College of Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts and Science)
  •  Miami University-- Oxford (Miami of Ohio)
  •  Middlebury College
  •  New York University (Stern School of Business, dental school)
  •  Northeastern University (Honors Program, engineering and liberal arts, D'amore-Mckim School of Business)
  •  Ohio State University (nursing, business administration)
  •  Pepperdine University
  • Queen's University (Ontario, Canada)
  •  Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  •  Rice University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  •  Rollins College
  •  Sacred Heart University
  •  Savannah School of Art and  Design (SCAD)
  •  Seton Hall
  • Skidmore College (business administration, liberal arts)
  •  Smith College
  • St. Joseph's University
  • St. Lawrence University (Momentum Scholar)
  •  Syracuse University (engineering, liberal arts, business)
  • The New School (New York City)
  • Trinity College
  • United World College, Montezuma, New Mexico (International Baccalaureate)
  •  Union College
  •  University of Delaware
  •  University of California, Berkeley
  •  University of California, Irvine
  •  University  of California, Santa Cruz
  •  University of Colorado- Boulder (engineering, business administration, liberal arts)
  • University of Connecticut (honors) 
  • University of Iowa (business administration)
  •  University of New England (dental school)
  •  University of New Hampshire
  •  University of Oregon
  •  University of Richmond
  •  University of Rhode Island
  •  University of Rochester
  •  University of San Diego
  •  University of Southern California (BBA/Marshall School of Business, liberal arts)
  •  University of Vermont (Honors College, Nursing, Business, Liberal Arts, Agriculture Sciences)
  •  University of Viginia
  •  Villanova University
  •  Wake Forest University
  •  Warren Wilson College
  •  Wesleyan University
  •  Williams College


The Chronicle of Higher Education: Admissions and Student Aid, Washington, DC (April 27, 2007)

The Rise of the Essay Coach

"While applying to a master's degree in clinical psychology at Columbia University, the initial draft was to focus on the future, rather than the past. 'Margo helped me understand that you can't walk away from your experiences and who you are.' Ms. Bartsch starts out by getting her clients to talk about well-known brands like Kodak and Google. She wants to drive home the point that feelings about brands can be just as important as product quality. Then she relates those lessons to the application essay. Margo explains, 'In writing good stories about yourself, it's not about the four tires and the engine. It's about your experiences in life, and what you've learned from them. Admissions counselors want to hear how you feel.'" See full story at:

WalletHub , Conusmer Credit Card Newletter-- (February, 2018)

Ask The Experts column summary: All written and visual impages help to tell a brand story. Consumers (and college applicants) need to be aware that all their communication choices have impact.  This interview reminds us of the power of expression!

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT and The Citizen/Charlotte and Hinesburg, VT (2017)

College Admissions: Expect the Unexpected

"With April Break behind us and college decisions due by May 1 st , this is the time to reflect on the latest college admissions trends. For the past two years, the consistent theme is to “expect the unexpected.” With record number of applications and a commitment to campus diversity, there is an increased need for strategic planning. For example, Boston University boasted 53,000 applications last year and this season topped that number to 60,000. There are three trends in college admissions: increasing reliance on early applications, identifying students committed to the college, and seeking a diverse student body. The earlier families begin the college planning process, the better chance for students to find the right match with a range of college options..."

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (September 24, 2015)

The Citizen--Charlotte--Hinesburg, VT (September 24, 2015)

The New ACT and SAT Essays

" For ACT test takers this September, the new essay format and timing was completely different than prior years. Similar to the upcoming new SAT essay in March, 2016, the updated ACT and SAT essays aim to reflect the critical thinking that colleges demand from students. Standardized test essays allow colleges to evaluate how a student interprets a question, identifies a theme, and organizes evidence.

The optional essays require additional registration and extra payment to be evaluated and scored. Nearly all colleges require submitting the essay scores. The new ACT and SAT essays are longer and different than previous formats. There are four blank pages to write the response, compared to two pages from prior years. The timing has significantly increased: the ACT essay is 40 minutes (from 25 minutes) and the new SAT essay is 50 minutes (from 20 minutes).

The essay is structured to read a prompt, analyze three opinions, and write a compelling argument to support a theme. The student must present a theme or point of view based on the position they agree with the most. The essay is structured by either refuting or agreeing with the opinions depending on the theme's position. The student's evidence should highlight personal experience, historical significance, or current events that substantiate why or why not an opinion is valid.... "

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (January 28, 2015)

The Road To College:  Five Tips on How to Prepare

"The kick-off to college acceptances began last month with the early notifications for the 2014-15 college admissions season. In the 10 years since I created College Essay Coach, much has changed. My generation received a thick envelope with acceptance materials; now, high school students receive an email notification. Below are five tips to help guide you and your student through the college road ahead:

(First) To this day, one of the most important parts of a college application is the essay. The student's story, captured in their voice, can illustrate unique strengths, the ability to overcome challenges, and future interests. People remember more about how an essay makes them feel than what is literally said..... (Second) Another large component of the application process is standardized testing. Specifically, the SAT and ACT essay sections scored by two readers and reported on the college application. Having a solid structure and specific theme allows students to write a solid essay within a set time limit..... (Third) Once the applications are submitted, it is time to prepare for interviews with admissions officers and alumni. Practice your interview ahead of time, so that during the meeting you have no problem maintaining eye contact and discussing current topics. And keep in mind, there is a difference between merely answering a question and engaging in a conversation with a point of view and confidence... (Fourth) Throughout high school, the student should be thinking on how to be best prepared for college by taking challenging classes and being involved in leadership activities. Many colleges recognize exemplary, well rounded students by awarding merit scholarships and/or inviting them into honors programs... (Finally) Lastly, it's important to remember that even after being admitted to college, the planning process does not stop. It is essential to think ahead and to optimize the college experience when applying for job opportunities and graduate programs.  The college application process is a great opportunity to mesh the past and present with the future to achieve individual goals. .

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (March 13, 2014)

The Citizen--Charlotte--Hinesburg, VT (March 6, 2014)

College Road Trips:  Three Buzz Phrases

With February Break behind us and spring forging ahead, this is the season for college road trips.  Families who have visited colleges are noticing three buzz phrases on how colleges define their overall campus learning experience:  academic rigor, community service, and practical experience.  These three elements are also essential for high school students to show how they will be a good fit with the college campus.  Having a well-rounded high school experience can translate into how a student will become engaged in their college community.

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (Janaury 15, 2014)

The Citizen--Charlotte--Hinesburg, VT (January 15, 2014)

Pitching the Big Ideas

This is my tenth year of teaching at Champlain College, where there is the popular "Elevator Pitch" contest.  Students must give a 90-second "pitch" to an executive, known as "The Suit," as if they are riding together in a fictional elevator.  This contest simulates an interview in providing insight into the candidate.  How would your high school student respond to the quesiton, "What historical moment do you wish you had witnessed?" This is an actual college application quesiton that requires focus within a specific word count limit, similar to the elevator pitch reponse in a limited time frame.  Since creating College Essay Coach nine years ago, i have been working with students to develop this focused mindset with their writing.  By highlighting general themes in telling a story, the college applicant is able to respond to the question while sharing insights and motivations...."  See the full story at:

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (April 10, 2013)

The Citizen--Charlotte--Hinesburg, VT (April 10, 2013)

Record Applicaitons, Limited Good Paying Jobs

April 1st is not only April Fools Day, but also when high school seniors receive their college acceptance letters.  Once again there were record-breaking numbers of applicaitons with increased rejections for the limited amount of spaces.  Also, the U.S. Labor Department reported that college graduates earn more than those without a college degree, but in 2012, there were nearly 300,000 college graduates working at minimum wage jobs.  This demographic represents nearly 20% of minimum wage earners.  How can high school students beat this trend?  Start planning early by sampling a range of rigorous high school classes and acadmeic experiences to become exposed to furture careers of interest.  Getting a running start will help direct the student to academic disciplines to make the most of his or her college experience...."  See the full story at:

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (May 2012)

The Citizen-- Charlotte-Hinesburg, VT (May 2012)

The Charlotte News, Charlotte, VT (May 2012)

Record Applications... It's Never Too Early To Get Ready

"Last month, seniors received their college admissions letters and are deciding which college to attend in the fall.  Many were not admitted to their first choice.  My alma mater Northwestern University, where I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, reported its continued record-breaking trend:  more than 32,000 applications with only a 15% admissions rate.  These numbers reflect more than double the amount of applications from just five years ago and a decrease of acceptances from a nearly 30% admissions rate just three years agoI  In working with families these past eaight years, parents are alarmed at this statistic; yet, most choose to believe that their child will be one of the chosen few.  I prefer to look at this trend in its stark reality:  the vast majority of highly-qualified students are rejected from colleges they want to attend.   If you want your child to have a good chance of attending the college of their choice, you have to take active steps sooner rather than later to tilt the scale in your child's favor." See the full story at:

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (December 2011)

Last week's Republican debate in Iowa did not get much press coverage on issues or solutions; rather, the buzz was on Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet to Rick Perry. Although Romney would have won the bet (Perry was inaccurate), it did not matter. Romney's choice of ideas (a bet), language (a BIG bet), and his tone (over-confidence) all painted a picture that he was disconnected from the average American. This is the power of words: college essays have this potential." See the full story at:

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (March 2011)

Charlotte News, Charlotte, VT (March 2011)

College Road Trips: Four Buzzwords

"With February break behind us, and spring forging ahead, this is the season for college road trips. Families who have visited colleges have noticed four buzzwords that colleges are looking for: engagement, community service, global and rigor. Noticeably, athletics did not make the list. Thus, being well rounded is more important than ever." See the full story at: and at:

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT and The Charlotte News, Charlotte VT (2011)

Standardized Test Scores Affecting College Admissions

"Today there is more student loan debt than household credit card debt.  This October, 2011 figure reports that this year more than $1 trillion will be owned by students, while their job prospects continue to diminish.  Science and technology professions continue to grow, but our students are not necessarily prepared for those industries....  Regardless of the student's academic interests, it is important to start early with the college application process to make improvement on overall test scores.  The scores are a benchmark in evaluating the overall learning environment and in seeking out a range of schools that represent the student's capabililties and interests."

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (2009)

How SAT and ACT Scores Influence the College Application Process

"There are noticeable similarities between athletics and academics: effort, commitment, sportsmanship, and, of course, the score.  The score represents how well the athlete or student performed individually and against the competition.  The SAT and ACT scores are the national comparison of students as to how they rank against their peers. Each college has specific admissions requirements to create a similar level of competition within the classroom."

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (2009)

Everyone Loves a Good Story

"This year's Kentucky Derby contains a lesson for all students applying to college.  And it is not that a little luck will take you a long way.  Rather, it's that we all remember the story behind the horses, even if we don't remember who placed second or third . . .  Although the other horses had the scores to qualify for the race, few captured our imagination.  Admittedly, we rally behind those who are most interesting.  Similarly, strong college applicants will have sparked an interest in the Admissions Committee.  College application essays ignite that spark by highlighting stories that are distinctive to them."

Rice Memorial High School News, Burlington, VT (March 30, 2009)

Father Bernie's Weekly Review

"It is always reassuring to receive good news about Rice alumni, especially recent alumni who are now in college.  Margo Bartsch, an adjunct professor of marketing and advertising at Champlain College, has this to say about Rice: 'In working with Rice students as a college essay coach to prepare them for the writing portions of standardized tests and the college application essays, I have seen how the values of Rice provide a compass in how a student respects authority, makes decisions, accepts accountability for their choices, and engages within their local environment.  Consistently, Rice students not only learn their academic lessons, but they have a greater sense of purpose beyond the walls of the school.' She further states, 'I have seen how Rice students rise above their peers . . . they share how the values of Rice trickle into their academics, activities, and social responsibility.  Community is not something extra; it is part of the overall Rice experience.  Community is the compass that guides them.'"  See full story at:

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (2008)

Connecting Athletics to the College Application Process

"Most parents think that sports success will be rewarded with a much-coveted scholarship. However, the reality is that most athletes need more than just a good sports resume to bring home the gold (or thick envelope).  The skills an athlete learns are valuable, but the lessons they teach have staying power beyond the score on the field.  The college application essays are a chance to incorporate how athletic experiences define the student and can influence their success in college.  Athletics is a way to share the athlete's personal story -- even beyond the coveted sports scholarship."

Northwestern University Luminaries, Evanston, IL (January 10, 2008).

"As admissions to top colleges become more competitive, students are looking for ways to stand above the crowd in the admissions process. NU alum Margo Bartsch founded a company called College Essay Coach, which helps prospective students develop their personal essays for college admissions. 'There are many similarities between marketing oneself and marketing a product. It's all about the emotions that the brand's story evokes.'"

See full story at:


Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (2008)

Charlotte News, Charlotte, VT (2008)

Three Trends in the College Application Process

"This past April 2008, there were record numbers of applications to colleges . . . and rejections.  Princeton University is in a lawsuit where an applicant was rejected even after having perfect SAT scores and achieving the highest scores on the SAT-II tests and AP exams.  Princeton responded that it admitted only half of its applicants with perfect SATs.  'We treat each applicant differently . . . and seek to enroll classes that are diverse by a wide variety of measures.'  Thus, the three trends that impact the college application process include: (1) increasing usage of the Common Application; (2) increasing the wait list of candidates; and (3) fewer schools requiring the SAT.  These trends show that the college application process has become more than a dreaded chore.  It is the only chance for the student's story to come to life."

Shelburne News, Shelburne, VT (2007, 2008)

High School Juniors, Get Your Pencil's Ready … SAT Writing Section Opens the Exam

"The writing section is the first part of the test, and can boost the student's confidence for the remainder of the test or get the student off on the wrong foot. College applications help fill in the blanks of what scores, rankings and GPA do not tell. Margo says, 'As both a marketing professional and as a writer, there are similarities in developing great ad campaigns and memorable essays, where people remember how you make them 'feel,' instead of what is literally 'said.'"

Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, IL (November 23, 2007)

Want to Get into a Top College?

"'If you're thinking your younger child has a year or two to get with the program, guess again,' says Margo Bartsch, a Glenbrook South High School graduate and now an essay coach (living in Vermont) with a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, has a word of advice for students: Start thinking about getting into college during your sophomore year. 'Junior year is almost too late,' she says. 'By the time they get to crunch time for applications, it'll be much easier. It's a pretty big investment, where you should think of it more than two or three months ahead of time.'" See full story at:

"I just got accepted to Boston College and Emory School of Arts and Science and the xsford College! I really like the feeling of all these aceptances! I'm bracing myself for the rollercoaster!!"

Student, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Must be an amazing feeling for you as well!! You help make students' dreams come true!"

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"I am proud of him to be admitted to BU Engineering! And grateful to you! Have a great rest of the St. Patty's Day weekend!"

Parent, Allen D. Nease International Baccalaureate High School, Ponte Vedra, FL

"Friday night I found out that I got into McGill.  I was accepted to both the Bachelor of Commerce program and the Bachelor of Arts and Science. I will keep you posted as I hear from a lot of colleges in the next couple of weeks!"

Student, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you for being by our side through this process, Margo. You made it manageable and uplifting always. We greatly appreciate all you have done to support our daughter."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"I truly appreciate your valuable time and guidance helping me complete my law school essays. Happy 2018! So grateful!!."

Student, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

"The consensus over here is that you did a GREAT job! Thank you."

Parents/Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"HE GOT INTO U-CHICAGO!!!!!!!! You can add this to your list!  Thank you!!!!!"

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

PARENT:"SHE GOT INTO DARTMOUTH!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!  And thank you, again, for all your time, help and support this past year and a half.  My goodness, it is a long process!  She couldn't have done it without you, and neither could I. I will be forever grateful for your countless hours of email and face to face counsel and advice."

STUDENT:  "I wanted to say thank you so so so very much for helping me through this process. It has been a long journey, and I am so glad the work has paid off. Thank you for guiding and supporting me through this weird world of college admisisons.  Thank you for helping me with all of my essays.  i know that with each suggestion you gave, my essays  became better and better.  I really appreciate eveything that you have done for me, from my very first SAT, all the way to this acceptance!  THANK YOU, couldn't have done anythng without you!"

Parent/Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

BEFORE:  "Thanks for all the essay work and Middlebury interviewing tips and practice. She followed your areas of focus and found it very helpful."

AFTER:  "ACCEPTED!!!! She's going to Middlebury!!!!!"

JOY:  "I'm In!!!!'

Parent/Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you for your help, patience and guidance. It is greatly appreciated during this stressful but exciting time for our family."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"After all of this is over, I have to take you out to dinner to celebrate and thank you!!!!! You have been a tremendous friend and partner throughout this entire process!  We could NOT have gotten though this so "easily" without you!"

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"You are the best college angel ."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"It's awesome (junior year testing to determine future planning)-- You're a genius at this.  He's already in such a great place with this process."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I really appreciate all the help you gave me in the entire process and I couldn't have done it (University of Georgia, equestrian recruit) without you!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you for eveything! {Son's) quote: 'Margo and I make a good team!'"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you very very much for the email--so helpful and informative and grounding. So appreciate you."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"My interview went well!! The questions were very similar that we practiced, if not some of the same!  She was telling me about her experience at the end; it was very interesting!"

Student, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"THANK YOU for keeping nim on track and helping him tremenously with Common App essays/resume (activity sheet). For the  upcoming ACT, let's plan on one essay meeting next week with homework and online feebck."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I am so proud that all three of my children ended up with their top choice colleges at Middlebury, Colby, and St. Lawrence.... thank you!"

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT and Green Mountain Valley School, Waitsfield, VT

"Thank you Margo... we are in good hands with you at the helm."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you so much for the SAT essay help!!  I so appreciate your help and enthusiasm: it's contagious!!  I'm so happy you are in our lives!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"(INSTAGRAM SCREENSHOT)  He made it official last night!  Deposit is in !  Syracuse University class of 2021!!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"We are all excited about working with you! Great job on the overview."

Parent, Millburn Senior High School, Short Hills, NJ

"....wait for it....USC-- admitted!!  All in all, a great day, and a huge boost!  Congrats to you too!!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I'm sure my mom has let you know that I've commited to USC.  I wanted to thank you for all the work you did to help me through the admissions process. Thank you isn't enough for helping me get admitted to my first choice. I guess all the hours were worth it! Thanks again Margo!!!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

Student:  "After looking at all the options, I finally made my decision.  Next year I am going to attend George Washington!!  I'm super excited!  i just wanted to thank you for all your work, without you, GW would not have even been on my list.  My writing skills are much better, and I even got into the honors program thanks to your help!  I'd hate to see where I would have been!"

Student:  "Hey Margo! i just wanted to let you know that I was accepted to Boston University (undergraduate business) today! I'm very excited as I really like the school.  Thanks for all your help so far. Your idea to look there could not have turned out any better!"

Parent:  "Thanks again for the college advice as they were not on his intial radar.... we were talking at dinner last night on what a positive diferenece your care & involvement has made in this crazy process."

Student/Parent, Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, PA

"Thank you for taking the time to listen and answer my questions today.  I really appreciate your insight and am excited about the process and for my son.  I'm looking forward to the next steps."

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you for your wealth of knowledge and time Margo!  We greatly appreciate you!"

Parent and Student, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

She GOT INTO CORNELL!!  She received a video recording from the dean with the good news!!!  She will see what other choices come through for her, but it was so nice to receive this news now (ahead of the 4/1 notification date)!!"

Parent, St. Paul's School, Concord, NH

"Hey Margo, I loved the city! After going to admitted student day I fell in love.  The programs they offer are awesome! I met a couple of students that are already there and I hope to have some friends already if I choose to go there. I also really liked the teachers they had, as they all seemed to be very interesting and offer a multitude of approaches to reaching goals within the class. Thanks so much!"

Student, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you for all the GREAT information.  I so appreciate your time and commitment to helping our family through the process."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Just wanted you to say Thank You for helping her today on the ACT essay. She just loves working with you and each time comes home hopeful and inspired. So appreciate all the support and guidance you are giving her."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Once again....... We could not have navigated this process without your expertise, advice, guidance, help and friendship!! You are the best!! xoxo"

Parent,  Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Just on the road back from our final prep school visit.  I wanted to let you know that the admissions officer read the application and essays.  She "loved the essays." She especially loved the topic and his consistent theme.  She said he seems understated and would  be "a perfect fit."  So, thanks!  The theme defintely came across!"

Parent,  Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I'd just like to thank you for all of your help getting into college.  Before junior year, I was worried about the SAT's, ACT's and applying to college.  But you helped me to manage my time to do eveything early and do a good job with all of it! It has made my senior year much more manageable. Many other seniors in school are really stressed because they haven't finished their essays or Common Apps. But I don't have to worry because of you.  I've already been accepted into ACPHS with their highest scholarship. Thanks you so much for all your help!"

Student,  South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"I just heard my decision from Washington and Lee, and I got in!!! Thank you so much for all your hard work and help.  Happy holidays and keep in touch."

Student,  Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

"FYI... It's been 3 months now since I called you in a panic to help our son with his college journey.  My wife and I could not be happier with the progress you guys have made! Anytime I talk with other parents on their children's college search I talk about how much you have helped him (& us)... Thanks You!"

Parent, Christopher Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, PA

"With his first SAT, he said he never could have done the essay had he not met with you!  He felt he did well with the essay structure with lots of details.  We shall see how it went!!"

Parent,  Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you so much for your support & guidance with the college process.  You've made it easy & less stressful!  We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with you.  It's been an enjoyable & wonderful learning experience for both of my children. We wish you continued success with your students!"

Parent,  South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"On a broader level, more than just filling out applicaitons during this process, I think that my son has learned something more about writing and how to be creative in telling a story while indirectly speaking to a question and answering it.  His skills have certainly improved, and this is the greatest take away!  Great work on behalf of you both!!"

Parent,  Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I have to say that after last night, I really do believe in magic.  Never would I have expected the essay that you were able to extract from him.  I know he is a man of few words and a very linear thinker, so I am aware of the amount of effort it took to work that out of him.  And the bonus is that I love it!."

Parent,  Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I am drawn to your writing style on how the essays convey my brand.  My application is like a personal pitch similar to a business plan."

Student,  Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

WEEK 1: "Sounds like he is making progress...  his spirits are up and feels better about his chances of finding a great school!"

MONTH 1: "I just wanted you to know that your work with our son has made him much more confident in his story and brand. He made an outstanding key note speech last night. I could tell he used many of the ideas and suggestions you gave him, including a high degree of confidence, eye contact and a leadership presence that all the teachers and administrators mentioned.  Thanks for your continued investment in him!"

Parent, Christopher Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, PA

"Kudos to you, Margo.  You were instrucmental in her success.  Thank you so much for helping her find her confidence-- and teaching her how to navigae the tests, and so much besidesl!"

Parent, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, NM

"Wow! I'm in my kitchen in tears from his essay but incredibly proud of him!  Sounds great!"

Parent, Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, MA

"His essays sound great!  Thank you for helping him, he's making wonderful progress with his writing!"

Parent, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you for your incredible guidance in my testing and essays. You helped me achieve my dream with Skidmore!  Thank you so much!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Remember, as you enter the fray again, you are the very best."

Parent, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY

"I want you to know how much I appreciated all your support and guidance throughout my college application process.  You had a lot of faith in me and my ability to succeed.  I am thrilled to have been admitted to Cornell and cannot wait to attend.  Thank you for everything!"

Student, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA

"Could not have done it (Georgetown) without YOU and I tell eveyone that! Xo!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I just decided last week that I'm going to Connecticut College.  Definitely happy to finally be done with the process.  Thank you so much for helping me through all the prep school applications and the multiple rounds of college apps!! Really happy with the outcome with Conn!"

Student, Berkshire School, Sheffield, MA

"Finally some good news!!   He found out today that he got into Hamilton, Colgate and Colby!  Such relief.... he has some choices that he is happy to have!"

Parent, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA

"Another acceptance! I got into Williams today!!!!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you for all your help with both boys! Appears I can officially cross 'help with college decision making' off my parental To Do list."!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Hi Margo, Some good news for you: (1) I got into UVA!!! (2) I'm a Presidential Scholar candidate!  Very exciting overall!  I could not have done it without you!!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I've submitted my final applications, so I am officially done with applying to colleges!  Thank you so much for all your edits and your help this entire time.  I really appreciate it!"

Student, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA

"Margo, thank you to you for  your care, attention, and time.  You gave half your day for this deferral process because you care, and we appreciate it! We hope to gain a few additional choices for college. I hope you have great success with your clients this year."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you Margo for all your support this fall! You really helped my daughter feel secure through the process. Happy New Year!  PS: We will be in touch about my sophomore next fall."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Today she heard that she was accepted to Ohio State!  She is so excited-- I was happy for her-- it's quite a competitive year! Thank you so much for all your help with my kids and their college process! I'm grateful for all the help."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you so much for all your amazing tips about the new ACT essay, I would have been completely lost without them! I really do think you have "cracked" the new essay!"

Student, St. Paul's School, Concord, NH

"So happy to be accepted within 11 days of applying! It is a relief to know that I am actually going to college, and it's only November!"

Student, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"From what I can tell by reading the new ACT essay results, he received scores of 10 and 9 on each of the sections. A 10 is the top 1% and the 9 is the top 5% in the country.  We are very pleased and owe you a huge thanks!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"He loves meeting with you on the SAT/ACT essay prep.  Honestly, he keeps saying how helpful it is and how much he has learned-- so thank you!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"She was prepared and ready to hit send on Sunday (before the early deadline) and this was thanks entirely to you.  She is glad that she is working with you.  I also appreciate your support and your professionalism, Margo.  You have been a wonderful asset."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"His writing score for the September new ACT essay had each component an 11 or 12 (out of 12 possible points)...  working with you made a noticeable difference! Thanks!"

Parent, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"I sent in my early applications!  Thanks so much for your help.  I couldn't have done it without you. Thanks! "

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School,  Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you for recommending Lehigh to my daughter.  She LOVES the campus, classes, and has made great friends already.  Now I understand what you mean by finding the right 'fit' -- it really matters!"

Parent, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you for being there for our family on so many levels.  When I reflect back on your professional infuence for my 4 boys over these past 7 years, I can't help but smile and feel fortunate that our paths have crossed.  You have helped my boys position themselves for a variety of opportunities and helped them have the confidence to raise their bar!"

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, VT

"Great meeting today!!  You definitely gave us a plethora of information to mull over at the dinner table.  I am so happy that we chose to work with you.  I feel so much better knowing you are in our corner to help us over the next three years.  Three heads are better than one!!  Onward and upward!!"

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"Thank you for being an integral part of one of the most stressful, yet rewarding journeys I've ever been on.  It was incredibly helpful to have someone who really knows what they are doing to guide us through the process, and with so much enthusiasm too!...... I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out.  I can't thank you enough for all your help and I'm proud to be one of your 'kids'!"

Student, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA

"After more sending of transcripts, pulling together her portfolio, and driving them to Montreal, she heard Thursday morning that she had been accepted to Concordia and they gave her many credits to be her class year.  Well that was quite a process but we are finally over the hump.  Thank you for all your help!"

Parent, Transfer Student from Washington University, St. Louis, MO

"Good morning!  She was just accepted to Middlebury regular decision from 9,000 applicants. The letter said she had every reason to be proud because it was their most competitive year.  All thanks to your help!!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union School, Hinesburg, VT

"Guess what I just received.... "Congratulations on admissions to The University of Virginia! Your application is impressive and shows the strength not only in your academic work, but also in your personal life....."  You were right that revising the essays was worth it!  I feel so blessed!"

Student, Green Bay High School, Green Bay, WI

"Thank you so much for helping her with this process, it has been so good to have someone guide her and help her to figure things out.  We really appreciate you so much. Thanks!"

Parent, St. Paul's School, Concord, NH

"Penn was never on the list before we started working with you, and now he is admitted to the M&T Program for a joint degree from Wharton and engineering!  Thanks... he can not believe it!!"

Parent, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"Boston College class of 2019 Honors Program!!! Call you later. Celebrating now!!" (parent)

"Thank you so much Margo!! I am so happy as I could really see myself there! Thank you for all your incredible help.  I wouldn't be here without you!! :) " (student)

Parent/Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"All thanks to you she has her first choice at Grinnell.  We couldn't have done it without you.  She is excited, thrilled and relieved!!!  Thank you so very much for all your guidance. xo!"

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"Just wanted to let you know that I was accepted to Brown!!! Thanks you so much for all the help you've given me-- I definitely wouldn't be here without it!"

Student, Shelburne, VT

"Wonderful SAT and ACT essay prepl My daughter enjoyed her meetings with you and is forging ahead! Yay! U r a great coach. XO! "

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you so much for everything you have done for me! With your help, I realized that this process isn't as crazy and hectic as I thought. I've submitted all my Apps and it feels really good to be done!  The triangles we used throughout the wrtiting process has helped me to become a better writer in general.  I'm so fortunate to have had you as a coach for this process and I'm forever grateful! "

Student, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"My daughter asked me to send an extra big thank you to go along with mine.  You have been an amazing resource of wisdom and emotional support, Margo.  Thank you for being so wonderful throughout this process and finishing up the essays before the 11/1 deadline."

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"I just wanted to let you know that I submitted my abroad application.  I'll let you know what happens. Thank you very much for all your help!"

Student, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

"Thanks for your patience, support, and encouragement that propelled our son to the place he is today in terms of writing and college apps!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Our daughter showed us the writing process for the essay and was so amazed by it.  I don't remember learning that for essays when I was in high school or college.  She said it really helped her and you too, Margo.   She's really enjoying working with you and is learning so much in the process.  We greatly appreciate all your work. Thanks!"

Parent, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"We really liked both of his essays.  They were his voice, which is definitely the most important piece.  I also think he is very proud of them, which is great to see.  Thank you!"

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, Burlington, VT

"Thank you for all of your help in the college process.  From SAT and ACT help to assistance writing my Common App and the college essays, you helped me incredibly.  I hope to tell you about all of my great experiences at McGill. Thanks!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you so much for your wishes upon graduating high school!  I am so appreciative for all of your help throughout this journey.  You are amazing at what you do, and I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you.  XOXO."

Student, Boston University, Boston, MA

"It is nice to know we will be working with you again with our second child. Working with you was essental in helping our oldest be admitted to Harvard. I feel like you are now part of our family."

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, Burlington, VT

"I got into Boston College's Carroll School of Management as a transfer student!  I never gave up with trying to vie for this top school because you also believed in me a lot.  I used the same essay technique you taught me when I applied originally as a freshman.  I still can't believe I got in! :)  This experience was just too surreal, and I'm glad I was able to work under your guidance!"

Student, Transfer from Bentley University, Waltham, MA

"When I checked my original ACT scores for the April test they hadn't put the essay score up yet, so I just checked and guess what it was?! An 11 !!!  I'm SO happy!! Thanks Margo!!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thanks so much for an informative and inspirational overview yesterday.  I know that all of us were impacted by the wealth of information you shared.  Although our kids are only in seventh grade and a freshman, this will make a difference in how we view this summer as well as the early steps we willbe taking to ensure that they are prepared.  Thanks for doing this.  It is obvious why you have been successful.  So glad that we discovered you this year!"

Parents, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"(Her guidance counselor) asked for her to share her Comon App essay to have others read it to see how it SHOULD look.  Kudos to her and her awesome essay coach!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"You were correct.  He was accepted to Wake!  He got the folder yesterday.  He did very well.  I'll let you know where he decides to  go.  Nice running into you.  Thanks for all your support and pep talks.  Happy weekend!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I am in Davidson, and they wrote that they loved my essays!  Thank you! "

Student, Transfer from University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

"Thank you so much for the excellent brainstorming and editing for our son-- your neutral guidance was surely more than his dad or I could have done!!   You can add dental school to your list of success stories. He committed to BU a few weeks ago and is so thriled that this long intense process is closed!"

Parent, St. Lawrence University, Shelburne, VT

"I recently received a letter from the United States Department of Education informing me that I am one of seven Vermont students to be recognized as a semi-finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholarship! I am part of the 140 national students that were selected from 3,000 high school students.  Thank you for all your help with college application process and for working with me to finish the essays for the Presidential Scholarships!  It feels good to be done!"

Student, Home School, Burlington, VT

"Hey Margo! Middlebury has been such a blast, and I cannot thank you enought for helping me get in!!"

Student, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

"I think our planning meeting was fantastic, and as parents of a junior, we feel that we are at a good place to begin this process. We discused all the options with him as far as engaging experiences that will further enhance his applications, and he seems amenable. For me, the most daunting part of this is the organizations and narrowing down of schools, but I realize that you will keep us on track.  Thank you for your post meeting summary as well, it was very helpful in allowing us to see clearly what's ahead, and very useful to have links attached.  It's like you've done this before... just ten years of practice! Thank you!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Just submitted my last application!!!  Feels sooooo good!!!  Thanks you so much for all your help!  I will keep you posted with all the schools!!"

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"There is no way that we could have done this without you.  Helping our grandson gave him confidence as a writer to be wait-listed at Princeton for early decision. Thank you for all your help on the essays, the applicaitons, and the scholarship materials. We feel hopeful with his regular decision options. We are very glad that you are working with us. We hope to see you when we visit Burlington in the spring"

Grandparents, Home School/Burlington, VT, Morganton, NC

"Thank you SO very much for working with my son!!  Will keep you posted!   Fingers crossed for a good match!  Happy New Year to you al!!"

Parent, Berkshire School, Sheffield, MA

"You will be very pleased to know that I got into Harvard!  Thank you for helping me through this process!  I am glad that I got into the school and that all the extra "everythings" were worth it, such as the essay test prep, all the application essays, and interview practice.  I'm DONE!"

Student, Rice Memorial High School, Burlington, VT

Thanks to you, all three of my kids got into their first choice colleges: Bentley, Middlebury, and Endicott!  I let everyone know to work with you to make it happen!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Good news before Thanksgiving...  I just checked my application status and I got into Tulane!!!!!!! Now I can apply for the Honors Scholarship. Thanks!"

Student, The Holderness School, Plymouth, NH

"The transformation of her essay is great!  Most importantly, she likes how it came out.  You definitely got her on board with making it personal-- and the story reads really well.  We have a few more items to check off before we hit the Nov 1st deadline!  Will let youknow how it goes!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"(REFERRAL)   Hi, ...  Introducing ... Wonderful Margo!  My daughter is sending everything out tomorrow (two weeks early)! Scores are sent, applicaitons out, just a tweak or two on the activity listing and BAM! DONE!  Thank you SOOO much, Margo!  You're in good hands!"

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, Burlington, VT

"Thanks for ALL your help with both kids.  We couldn't have done it without your passion, dedication and knowledge of what you do !!!!  You are amazing!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"You are my second call after her grandparents.... we just checked her e-mail and received her first acceptance to Indiana University's Kelly School of Business!  Working with you these past years pulled it all together to hear within two weeks of submitting the application.  Thank you Margo.... We are all very excited!!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg VT

"Thank you for spearheading her many essay efforts for applications this summer.  She is entering this academic year with less stress than the average senior.   Your encouragement and interest have given her great confidence.   We'll keep you informed!"

Parent, Rice Memorial High School, Burlington, VT

"Thank you somuch for all your hel with the SAT and ACT essay prep this summer.   I'm sure/Iknow he'll benefit from all the work.  Ski season is approaching and without getting an earlystart, there would not be time. I'll be in touch to squeeze in a couple more sessions throughout the year.   This summer count us in for  working with you on all the essays.

Parent, Green Mountain Valley School, Waitsfield, VT

"Yes, it's been quite a ride.  Almost seems like a dream--  especially now w a happy outcome! USC will be an amazing opportunity, especially the Marshall School of Business! Thank u again Margo!!!!!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg VT

"I am absolutely thrilled about this opportunity, while receiving a full scholarship! I wanted to thank you for all your help and advice on my essays throughout the application process.  My interviewers commented on how much they enjoyed reading what I had to say!"

Future Student , United World College (International Baccallaureate), Montezuma, New Mexico

"Thank you, Margo.  I appreciate the very personal approach you take toward each client."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg VT

"Several students who applied to top schools (MIT, Columbia, etc...) did not get in, having to settle for MUCH lower schools. Parents keep saying this was a hard year to get into the good schools-- "unless you worked with Margo!" "

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"He was accepted to Boston University with a Presidential Scholarship of $20,000 each year.  His application clearly rose to the top with only 5% of applicants receiving this recognition!"

Parent, New York City, NY

"Good news that all his scores came up with this March SAT! Writing was up over 100 points.  Your teaching has been fantastic!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"(My son) was excited and pleased with all the componenets of his applicaiton!  His top collges were submitted on time earlier this evening (with no drama, stress, or grumbles!).  I was thrilled with your suggestion to create an academic-focused resume for the "Optional" special qualifications.  The comments from his instructors were extremely strong-- this inclusion was excellent, so concrete and convenient for readers of his application."

"All 3 campus visits went very smoothly.  He had a special appointment with administrators at each school and thus got to feel really good about his achievements and the process. He chose Drexel's film school!  (Mom) is excited about his decision and (Dad) felt this was the best program, so eveyone is feeling good about this big milestone.  All the extra brainstorming, resumes, and essays really paid off!!"

Parent, The Benjamin School, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

"It's been a long and tiring process, but I'm equally satisfied with our work output durinig this short week. My interview went well, actually better than expected.  I was able to show my ambition in my field, and the interview noted it and liked it.  Talking about all the essay questions and working with you helped with the interview: my most difficult experience, my strengths, and what I can add to the campus.The interview went quite smoothly, so I'm happy."

Student, St. Xavier School, Philippines

"I heard that this year you have 100% acceptance to Middlebury for early decision.  You can add (my son) to your list of five students accepted this year....unbelieveable!  And, the bonus is that Middlebury will allow him to play both sports.  He is THRILLED. Hey, you have to dream, and this guy makes his dreams come true!!  Not to worry about (my younger son)!  I'll need to sign him up for his college essays with you the summer of 2014!"

Parent, Green Mountain Valley School, Waitsfield, VT

"I wanted to let you know that a large envelope arrived in the mail yesterday from UMAss at Amherst.  As I handed it to (my son), he said, well, that is a good sign... and it was.  He has been accepted and he is thrilled. He is psyched and happy... and I had tears in my eyes when he opened the packet.  Thanks for all your help... we shall start the process again soon (with my next son)!" 

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Based-on this letter (attachment) I just received from Amherst, I no longer need to work on additional applications!  Thank you for steering us to ED (early decision).  I don't think I am going to sleep at all tonight!" 

Student, Dover, MA

"This year we're celebrating early with Middlebury!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"It is November 1st and we have officially sent all the applicaitons off, so it is out of our hands!  WHEW!  I will let you know as soon as we hear.  Thanks for all your help and support!  Your great information and guidance through standardized testing as well as essay coaching helped our family gain a much  better understanding of the climate of the college review process and how specific strengths fit into that.  It helped us look at colleges differently, make different decisions about what she wants from college, and be open to a variety of schools.  So, thank you, thank, you, thank you! "

Parent, Champlain Valley Union, High School, Hinesburg, VT

I'm so glad you worked with him early this summer to get all this together!    Right now he's just plugging the final pieces in..."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"We think it is truly very, very good.  It is really her langauge, and there is no sense of sort of a "canned" essay. It also ties together her interests with creativity, passion for learning, and compassion.I actually find it really touching and sweet.  I like the essay A LOT!!"

Parent, Cochester High School, Colchester, VT

"I have been telling people that the college application process is like doing your own taxes-- hire a professional and you'll get the biggest refund.  Hire Margo and you'll get your kid into a better college!  See u Sunday to finish the early essays!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I did some practice yesterday for the ACTessays (sorry I did not send it to you) and it was either that or a miracle from God that allowed me to finish before time was called and feel good about the essay I wrote.  Thank you for your help-- I  am confident that I will see a 10 or above."

Student, Holderness School, Plymouth, NH

"We are so lucky to have you in our lives!  Thank you so much for all your help.  I (we) look forward to the year ahead. XOXO"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Great work so far in getting my son organized, motivated and inspired!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Working this summer on the essays is such a sigh of relief!  I am so impressed!  It's terrific!  Unique!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"He just came home from the SAT and said that he felt so confident on the essay, which set the tone for the rest of the exam.  There is no replacement for you!"

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"And the winner is... Furman University!  I can't thank you enough for all you have done to make this process as stress free as possible."

Parent, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"I am e-mailing to tell you I GOT INTO WASHU!  So we don't have to meet after Christmas anymore. I just wanted to thank you so much for everything you did for me, I could not have done it without you!!  See you soon!"

Student, St. Paul's School, Concord, NH

"I just got my Colorado College acceptance letter in the mail!!! Best present I will get this year!  Thank you so much for working with me and enjoy the holidays!!"

Student, Champalin Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Just letting you know that I was accepted to Bucknell ED-II, and I couldn't be happier with the results!Thanks for all your help!  You made everything easier for me!"

Student, Mt. Mansfield Union High School, Jericho, VT

"Thanks for the progress report... you never cease to impress me.  Your prompt feedback gives me a sense of where he is with the SAT-ACT essay preparation and what others are feeling about his work.  Thank you for your input on our college roadtrip plans. The schedule is pretty full for this trip, but I am thinking he should also visit some others schools down that way on our next round. Thankfully we are getting to this earlier than later!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Great mtg!  U r great at what u do!!"

Parent, Holderness School, Plymouth, NH

"Congratulations for the successes you are experiencing in your business!!!  Your track record is remarkable, and I hope we are able to add our daughter to your list!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Guess What?! I just got accepted to Wake ED!  With all those essays, I could not have done it without you!"

Student, Rice Memorial High School, Burlington, VT

"Thank you for all your help!  Your guidance evey step of the way was invaluable and your "It's yours to win" attitude kept us all on-track, upbeat, and positive!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I read the essays, and I know it is my son."

Parent, Weston, MA

"You never told me how good it would feel to submit the earlies!"

Parent, Charlotte, VT

"Love the themes... it plays to his strengths!  We would be in trouble without you."

Parent, Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, Cambridge, MA

"Your writing process is a stroke of genius!  Your framing of his recent expriences and suggestions on how to mold them into a broader essay were great.  Introspection is not the hallmark of many 17 year olds.  Thank you for making him a better writer!"

Parent, Mt. Mansfield Union High School, Jericho, VT

"The math teacher already sent her recommendation-- the first one on the list!  What a sigh of relief to have completed all the essays this summer.  There is no way she could have worked on this during senior year with all the work she has.  Now, we're getting ready for the interview for Early Decision. Thanks!"

Parent, St. Paul's School, Concord, NH

"I am loving everything about Wake so far!  It is a wonderful place I can tell already, and I owe much gratitude to you for making my time here possible. I have never had so much work before in my life, but I know it is worth it. Thank you!"

Student, Wake Forest University, NC

"This really is more of a marketing challenge to fit all the pieces together in a memorable and compelling story. I know he will become a better writer by going through this process of theme and structure. Even his mock interview with you made him more confident and prepared on his campus tours."

Parent, Massachusetts Academy of Math and Sciences, Worcester, MA

"I wanted to let you know that I was accepted at Duke! I am going to visit the campus again on Blue Devil Days in April. Thanks for all your support."

Student, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"Well, I got my letter back from Brown, and I'm IN!!! And, best of all, the stress in gone. Completely. Gone. Thank you for all the work you put into the essays with me. I really appreciate it. I'm into college!"

Student, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA

"I have good news . . . today I got into Wake Forest, even earlier than the ED notification date! Thank you so much!"

Student, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"I continue to sing your praises around town!!

Parent, Westminster School, Simsbury, CT

"The deposit is in at UVM and he is THRILLED! We cannot thank you ENOUGH for helping him navigate these Class 5 rapids of the college application process."

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"I did overnights at lots of colleges, but Middlebury took the lead. I was accepted yesterday ! !  Thank you for all your help, I honestly couldn't have done it without you! Keep up the good work."

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you SOOO much for being part of the test-prep process--  your assistance, knowledge and presence has undoubtedly pushed and inspired my son to move forward.  You have given credibility to my years of nagging :-)!  Last night he put all his ACT stuff on the dining table, #2 pencils, sharpener, calculator, etc.... including a granola, walnut, chocolate mix in a plastic bag labeled "Brain Food" with a sharpie.   Lights out at 9:30 to prepare for his big test day tomorrow."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Wanted you to be the first to know that she sent her early decision application just minutes ago. It was very exciting; thank you for all of your help and patience! We are now looking forward to December 15."

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"Wow, Mom! She really knows her stuff!"

Student, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"You'll be the first for me to call . . . On my admissions letters, they handwrote 'Really enjoyed your essay!' I can't wait to go to Colgate.'"

Student, Madeira School, Mclean, VA

"Thanks so much. There is a reason you do what you do!!!! Amazing stuff there Margo!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you Margo! I do not know how I would handle this process without your help! Essays look great."

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"My daughter came home from the SAT telling me that she never could have done well on the writing section without your help."

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"Your college overview helped us plan how to best round out our daughter's activities in preparation for her junior year."

Parent, St. Paul's High School, Concord, NH

"What a great rally and a big feeling of relief to have it done."

PhD Candidate, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

"Thank you so very much for your help and guidance in this process.  From a parental perspective, your services were invaluable.  We will keep you posted!!!  Fingers crossed . . ."

"He just got into Vanderbilt ED2 (Early Decision 2), and we are thrilled! Thank you for all your help -- it really made a difference!"

Parent, Friends Central High School, Wynnewood, PA

"Thanks so much for all your help! I know it was incredibly productive! We are so proud of him for getting this all done."

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"Thank you for making the entire application process a wonderful experience!"

Parent, Mamaroneck High School, Larchmont, NY

"For early applications, he has received admits from all schools -- so far, no rejections or wait lists. The college counseling office is another story . . . what a disaster!  Thank goodness we were timely in working with you this summer and got a lot of his applications in way before the deadlines."

Parent, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Mount Hermon, MA

"You are great!  Thank you for all you did."

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"What a big relief to have finished everything this summer. My friends are totally freaking!"

Student, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"My time with you has really put a lot of my own talent and thoughts into a productive context.  I couldn't be more thankful."

Student, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"I just wanted to let you know that I got accepted early to Bentley!  Thank you very much for everything."

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thanks!  I never would have gotten this all done on my own."

Student, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Mount Hermon, MA

"It was a pleasure to work with you again on this daunting college essay process.  You had a way of inspiring my second son to reveal much of himself and do his best.  It is a great relief for both of us to have completed the process."

Returning Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"Thank you for all the valuable guidance, anxiety-free direction and concrete solutions in working with you."

Parent, Dickinson College

"Thank you so much for all of your help and support in making my college process the smoothest!  I couldn't have done it without you!"

Student, St. Lawrence University

"Thanks for wearing a few different "hats" while coaching with the essays. You were an essay coach/therapist/teacher/business woman and mother, which make the perfect fit."

Parent, Skidmore College

"It was how everything pulled together that made the difference in being accepted to Boston College."

Parent, The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, CT

"Thank you!! How wonderful to have worked with you—a great experience for all of us."

Parent, University of Vermont

"Thanks for your help, you saved me!"

Student, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"Applying early decision to Middlebury was definitely the way to go."

Parent, Carrabassett Valley Academy, Carrabassett Valley, ME

"Thanks—most importantly, he got an 11 out of 12 on the [SAT] essay! Awesome!"

Parent, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"I really appreciate your kindness. You have truly helped me throughout this college process."

Student, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

"You really came highly recommended, and now I know why."

Student, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT

"Words can not express how deep our gratitude is for all your great work! Not only did you help get him on track with the essays, but you inspired him by giving an insight into college life. Thank you!!"

Parent, Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT

"I know that the essays helped him through admissions. The competition is fierce and his SATs were so average. I wanted to be sure that the school knew he was serious. We are thrilled!"

Parent, Rice High School, Burlington, VT

"Thank you for working with the SAT essay. Your sessions were a tremendous help and gave him confidence during the writing piece. He could tell he was 'nailing it' and 'developing his points well.'"

Parent, St. Paul's High School, Concord, NH