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Margo Bartsch, Founder

Margo Bartsch founded College Essay Coach in 2004 to apply her marketing and brand development expertise to assist students in developing exceptional essays and application strategies for college admissions (undergraduate and graduate), transferring colleges, and applying to prep school. She works with students to develop the college list, prepare for the ACT essay section and test prep, create the activities/honors resume (within the Common App requirements), and practice admissions and alumni interviewing.

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Margo's Story

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). Writing is a life skill that can be fun-- even with word count limits and character count requirements (without spaces!). 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 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 been an adjunct professor in business at Champlain College and has taught a January Term in Economics at Middlebury College. At Champlain College, she won the Francine Paige Excellence in Teaching award. 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 is a contributing writer for The Charlotte News in the Education section in Charlotte, VT highlighting college admissions trends. 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. All questions are good questions!

Margo resides with her husband and daughter in Shelburne, VT. Margo can be reached by phone at (802) 985-3770 or by email to


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