Billy Downing

Helping families gain admission to universities since 1999

Billy Downing is an expert in the college admissions process, having coached families around the world. He helps both students and parents understand how they can most effectively navigate the college admissions process and gain admission to the right-fit college.

Learn more about his work below.

Educational services used by students, families, and corporations throughout the world

Founded by Billy in 1999, ESM’s unique method of tailoring its services to meet college applicant needs allows it to understand the strengths, goals, and unique qualities of its clients in order to achieve desired academic and life objectives. With insightful, structured, and timely guidance, ESM coaches help students gain admission to the most competitive universities in the world.

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College Greatness: A Family's Guide to the Admissions Process

The book takes an insider's look at the college admissions process and guides families through it, step by step. With detailed case-studies and examples, the book focuses on how students and parents can find the "right-fit" school.

It draws on Billy's methods by sharing anecdotes about his experiences with different students, and how any college applicant can learn and apply important lessons.

Buy the book on Amazon

Launch Academy

Launch Academy is part college prep camp, part leadership / entrepreneurship workshop, and part personal development experience.

The residential summer camp provides students with the tools necessary to be successful in finding and gaining admissions to the right-fit college and creating a path to achieve their life and career goals. Guest lectures, workshops, and peer-driven exercises round out the week’s activities.

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“Awesome mentorship and test prep tutoring! No other organization takes the same holistic approach.”

— Justin Hunter

Billy provides some tips for families

Student Case Study

Theo Christopulos

Theo was one of many inspiring students we worked with last year. He worked hard to raise his test scores, find the right-fit college, and develop truly special essays. We are proud of Theo and wish him all the best at UC Berkeley.

Student Case Study

Hunter and Claire

Hunter and Claire are twins and two of our amazing students from the class of 2018. They devoted themselves to doing well in school, on their SAT's, and in their extracurricular experiences, and that led them to submitting some very strong applications. We wish them all the best as they embark upon their journeys at Reed College and the University of Oregon next year!

Billy provides some tips for families

“ESM helped make a daunting process fun and stress-free”

— Jennifer Jones

“I love ESM’s philosophy about helping the student find the place where they will be happiest, rather than trying to get into a school that has a “name”

— Charlene Li

Billy explains college counseling

Student Case Study

Clay Stevens

Clay is one of those students who likes to defy the odds. At Del Campo, he took a rigorous course load, improved his ACT composite score by 4 points, and stepped up to a leadership role with Kids Helping Kids. The result was an Early Decision acceptance at his top choice school. We couldn't be more proud of Clay and his dedication to helping others.

Student Case Study

Camille Larsen

There are very few students who work harder than Camille Larsen. The moment we met her, we knew she'd be an ESM student for life. Camille
committed to long hours of studying, wrote great essays that told her unique story, and submitted a compelling application. No wonder that the University of Virginia saw what we saw – a tremendous, passionate, and dedicated student ready to take on the world.

Billy explains why he started ESM Prep.

"My son had to believe in himself enough to be motivated and put in the hard work to improve his grades and excel on his ACT exam.  You helped him with that confidence in a way that I could not.

– A.B., Irvine CA

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