PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 7 | The Myths and Realities of the Ever-Elusive Full-Ride Athletic Scholarship

prepwell podcast Nov 10, 2019

Show Notes:

In this episode, I talk about the elusive "full-ride” athletic scholarship to college. Does it really exist? Who gets one? What are my kid's chances? Are all athletic scholarships created equal? What are the pros and cons of a scholarship? Is it even worth pursuing? Why does it seem that everyone knows someone who’s on a full-ride scholarship somewhere?

If you’re curious about college recruiting and scholarships, Operation Varsity Blues, fake athletic profiles, and the mythical full-ride scholarship, then stick around. I’ll address all of these issues and more during the show. I will cover how athletic scholarships work so that you and your child can make informed decisions - while it’s still early enough to matter. 

One of the big takeaways (spoiler alert), is that many parents (unknowingly) wait too long to realize that their child's dream of playing sports in college is unrealistic. And, unfortunately, by...

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Is it Worth Pursuing an Athletic Scholarship?

The Dream

Many young athletes today aspire to play Division I sports in college. This dream is fueled, in part, by the prospect of securing the ever-elusive "full-ride athletic scholarship".

The dream often originates as early as 3rd or 4th grade, when young athletes are shunted onto "elite" travel teams if they show above-average skill for their age. Unfortunately, once this train leaves the station - it's hard to get off.

For the next 4-6 years, most weekends and holidays are dedicated entirely to the sport - no matter the cost, travel, time, or energy required. And the beat goes on for years - with an unwavering devotion. Parents and children are equally afraid to step off the train for the fear of missing out.

Though rarely admitted in public, most parents mistakenly assume that their child is on a path to some type of athletic scholarship. They don't really know what this means exactly - and are afraid to ask too many presumptuous questions - but they sure hear a lot of chatter...

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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 6 | How Extracurriculars Turn a Ho-Hum Application into a Home Run Application

prepwell podcast Nov 03, 2019

Show Notes:

In this episode, I take you “inside” a check-in session with one of my private PrepWell students (we’ll refer to him as John). John, who is just beginning his junior year, has been enrolled in PrepWell Academy since freshman year and has positioned himself well for the college admissions process. He has a 4.5 GPA, takes challenging AP and Honors classes, plays a varsity sport, engages in student government, and scored well on his PSAT 10 in sophomore year. That’s the good news.

What’s the bad news? John has revealed that he aspires to attend a Top 10 colleges. This puts John in competition with some of the most motivated high school students in the country. As I audit his extracurricular activities, it becomes clear that his current path will not get it done. John is a bit surprised. He thinks he’s been doing everything right. What more can he do in the next 10-12 months to be competitive?

This episode...

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How to Audit Your Child's Extracurriculars

Before we get too far into the new school year, I encourage you to perform an extracurricular activity audit with your 8th, 9th, or 10th-grader. Sounds like a blast, right?

This will either reinforce that you're on the right path, or open your eyes to a world you never knew existed.

Extracurricular activities are a critical component in the college admissions process - especially for very or most-selective colleges (Top 75).

Admissions Screen #1

There are 3 primary factors that determine whether or not your child will pass through the first admissions screen:

  1. GPA
  2. Rigor of course work (number of AP, Honors, IB classes)
  3. SAT or ACT score

As you move up the selectivity scale, the holes in the screen get smaller and smaller.

Admissions Screen #2

Once your child gets through Admissions Screen #1, admissions officers will then review their extracurricular activities:

  • sports
  • clubs
  • theater
  • music
  • family support (child or elder care)
  • job
  • summer experiences
  • internships
  • shadowing
  • volunteer...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 5 | Tips & Strategies for Writing the College Essay

prepwell podcast Oct 26, 2019

Show Notes:

In this episode, I discuss how to start, structure, and finalize a winning college essay. We start with how to generate ideas (brainstorming, essence objects, timelines, factoids), how to decide on a format (narrative or montage), how to be memorable, how to bookend your essay, and how to keep tabs on grammar, syntax, craft, spelling, word count, alignment, and feedback. I provide two sample essays from my private PrepWellers that illustrate these principles. If you are in the middle of drafting your college essay, or you want a preview of what’s to come in the near future - give this episode a listen. 
 
Check out The College Essay Guy for great resources on writing your college essay. 
If you want to support the show, here are three immediate steps to take.  
  1. Subscribe to the podcast where ever you listen to podcasts
  2. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook
  3. Give us a review
  4. Share this episode with a friend
  5. Join...
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Will Mia Get into MIT?

 

As a college admissions counselor specializing in students with big ambitions (e.g. Ivy League, Military Service Academies/ROTC, Athletic scholarships), I have seen dreams realized, shattered, and everything in between.

Case Study

In this case study, I reveal what goes through an MIT college admissions officers' mind as they review Mia's application. What do they care about, what do they disregard, what jumps out, and what factors might seal the deal for her (for good or bad)?

Mia just finished her junior year at a big public high school in CA. She has a great GPA, killer SAT score, nearly perfect SAT Subject Test scores, and some impressive extracurricular activities.

Will this seemingly extraordinary application stand out?

Here are the summary findings for Mia:

Objective Academic Metrics:

Excellent.

  • SAT: 1520
  • GPA: 4.4
  • SAT Subject Tests: 800 and 790
  • AP Cal BC: 5
  • AP Physics: 4
  • Rigor of classes: very

Extracurriculars:

Very strong. A combination of academics, work, STEM camp,...

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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 4 | How Extracurricular Activities Impact the Strength of Your Child’s College Application

prepwell podcast Oct 20, 2019

Show Notes:

In today’s show, I discuss strategies and recommendations for Extracurricular Activities that take 2-3 years to plan and execute. They are not short-term gimmicks or shortcuts. Pack a lunch.
 
If you have a child in 11th or 12th grade, it may be too late to implement these strategies to full effect.
 
This podcast is primarily for conscientious parents who are trying to help their aspirational 8th, 9th and 10th graders do the right things now to help them be successful later (2 or 3 years from now) in the college admission process. Here’s what we’ll discuss:
 
Topic 1: What Activities are Considered “Extracurricular”?
 
Topic 2: How Most Families Approach Extracurricular Activities 
 
Topic 3: How Most Families Should Approach Extracurricular Activities
 
Topic 4: How Important are Extracurricular Activities in the Admissions Process
 
Topic 5: How Thinking...
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Will Rohan Get into USNA or ROTC?

 

As a college admissions counselor specializing in students with big ambitions (e.g. Ivy League, Military Service Academies/ROTC, Athletic scholarships), I have seen dreams realized, shattered, and everything in between.

Case Study

In this case study, I discuss whether Rohan has what it takes to get into the United States Naval Academy or win an ROTC scholarship. These insights can be applied to similar service academies (e.g. West Point, Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy).

Click these links to find out more about military service academies and ROTC scholarships.

Rohan just finished his junior year at a big public high school in MA. He hadn't thought much about applying to a service academy and didn't even know what ROTC was. No one ever introduced these two options to him. Now, as Rohan begins to prepare his college applications, he is struck by the amount of work required during the process.

Will Rohan be too late to submit a solid application?

Here are the summary...

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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 3 | 10 Life Skills Teens Must Learn During The College Admissions Process

prepwell podcast Oct 14, 2019

Show Notes:

One key insight I’ve learned after working with hundreds of families over the years, is that the particular “college" a student attends, isn’t nearly as important as the “skills" they learn during the college application process. 
 
The process is more important than the prize
 
Which begs the question, what are the critical skills that students need to learn to prepare for college - no matter where they go - Princeton or Passaic Polytech?  And how can I help them learn these lessons?
 
In this episode, I walk through all 10 Life Skills and explain why they will play such a critical role in your child’s future.
 
If you want to support the show, here are a few steps to take.  
  1. Subscribe to the podcast
  2. Share this episode with your friends
  3. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook
  4. Give us a review
  5. Join our mailing list
  6. Enroll your 9th or 10th grader in the program

...

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Will Erin Get Into Princeton?

 

As a college admissions counselor specializing in students with big ambitions (e.g. Ivy League, Military Service Academies/ROTC, Athletic scholarships), I have seen dreams realized, shattered, and everything in between.

Case Study

In this case study, I reveal what goes through a college admissions officer's mind as they review an application. What do they care about, what do they disregard, what jumps out, and what factors might seal the deal (for good or bad)?

In this blog, I review Erin's profile. Erin is a junior at a public high school in CA. She's an elite soccer player, near straight-A student, member of student government, and involved in community service.

Sound familiar?

Many parents of talented 9th and 10th-grade athletes tell me similar stories. They want to know their child's chances. 

Here's how the story goes:

Hi, Phil. I've heard you're the expert in helping kids get into highly-selective colleges by mentoring them early in their high school careers. Can I tell...

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