In his four years at Marks Education, Hugh McIntosh has helped a wide range of students gain acceptance to best-fit colleges, from specialized engineering programs to majors in the performing arts. Before joining the Marks Team, Hugh worked as an English teacher and student advisor at independent schools St. Albans and Georgetown Day, as well as Northwestern and George Washington University.

Having taught writing at a variety of levels, Hugh has a special interest in helping college applicants find their voice through the college essay-drafting process. His approach from brainstorming to final revision revolves around the idea that writing college essays—though a daunting task—can be enjoyable. Hugh also tracks and shares data with the team on arts programs of all sorts, as well as gap year planning.

Hugh has had an interesting career path, which has included being both a flea market manager and a professional drummer in a touring rock band. A native of Texas, he loves barbeque and enjoys slow-cooking on his offset smoker. On his days off, he looks forward to playing with his kids and finding time to read and write (ideally while something is smoldering on the grill). Hugh’s first book, a study of popular novel-reading in America, was released by the University of Virginia Press in fall 2018.

Hugh is an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). He is available to work with students virtually and in-person at the Bethesda, MD, Washington, DC, and McLean, VA offices of Marks Education.


  • St. Albans School
  • Fordham University, BA in English
  • Northwestern University, PhD in English


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I had an excellent experience working with Marks Education. Being a recruited athlete, I had a particularly rushed and unique timeline towards the end of the process but my counselor, Hugh McIntosh, was fully invested and made himself available multiple times per day in addition to reviewing my essays and application online many times. I am so grateful for all of their help throughout the entire process and thrilled to be going to my top choice college next year.


Working with Hugh was incredibly helpful. I went into the essay process intimated by the vast number of essays and worried that I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Hugh broke the process down so that writing countless essays seemed simple. He was also really helpful in the brainstorming process. With regards to the writing process, Hugh always offered constructive and insightful criticism that helped me write essays that I was really proud of. Most importantly all of his advice worked and I got into my first choice college!


The team at Mark’s Education was very helpful to my college application process. The advice of counselors like Nina Marks and Ian Perez was important for picking the right high school classes, managing my standardized testing schedule, and minimizing the stress of my senior year. An essay adviser, Hugh, worked with me to refine broad ideas to concise and strong personal statements and supplemental questions. The fall of senior year is inevitably a difficult time, but Mark’s Education made it clear and painless.