Billy Downing


UC Berkeley


University of San Francisco

Billy Downing is an education expert and author focused on the college admissions process, having coached and guided thousands of families around the globe for over a decade.

A seasoned pro in the ever-changing world of college admissions, Billy offers assured guidance through the sometimes bewildering maze of acceptance rates, “yield rates” and early versus regular admissions. By monitoring the latest trends and data, he empowers students and their parents with strategies, resolve and peace of mind as they tackle the challenge of finding the right-fit college or university and securing admission.Billy is the Founder of ESM Prep, a leading educational services firm in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He pioneered the student-specific “academic mentorship” model, which is used by his team of coaches and mentors for academic tutoring, college admissions consulting, and standardized-test preparation. His reputation as a straight-talking, caring and insightful mentor has fueled the growth of his company. Downing’s ability to inspire others and build consensus makes him a natural leader and has contributed to his success in building organizations and networks.

Downing’s book, College Greatness: A Family’s Guide to the Admissions Process, takes an insider’s look at college admissions and guides families through the process, step-by-step, from discovering the right school to crafting a unique student narrative that results in an acceptance letter.Along with his responsibilities at ESM, Downing is a trustee at Sacramento Country Day School. He has a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco, and lives in Sacramento with his wife and two young children.

Lisa Schultz


Certificate in College Counseling

Jude Morris

San Francisco State University

B.A. Philosophy and Classics

David Koss

Hobart College, Columbia University

B.S. Comparative Literature; B.A. Organizational Psychology

Katherine Pollock

Brown University

A.B. Middle East Studies

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