"Wait, what? Jimmy got into Berkeley? Are you serious? My son has the same GPA and SAT scores - maybe even better. He took just as many weighted classes as Jimmy. Why didn't my son get in? They both have the same profile."
This is one of the most common questions I hear from the PrepWell community and from random people around the water cooler, lacrosse field, and locker room.
I'd like to shed some light on this question by comparing three students that I counseled privately this year in my Private Mentoring program.
[FYI: I run a program where I work closely with a handful of PrepWell Academy students who opt to move from the online program to a full-service program in junior year].
There are several factors at play here (e.g. extracurriculars, leadership, letters of recommendation, demonstrated interest, major preference, parental involvement, etc.)
However, I believe the biggest difference-maker is when a student begins to pay attention to the college admissions process.
Student A crushed it. He ran the table. He was admitted everywhere - reach, match, and safety schools. When did he start learning from PrepWell Academy? Freshman year.
Student B nabbed his first-choice reach school (Cornell), missed on some other reaches, and got in everywhere else. When did he start learning from PrepWell Academy? Sophomore year.
Student C had a tough time with his reaches, got a little love from his match schools, and got into his safeties. When did he start learning from PrepWell Academy? End of Junior year.
Outcomes like these don't happen by accident, mistake, or luck. They are determined, in large part, by when a student begins to receive the guidance, advice, and strategies to win this game.
Of course, the most successful students also execute on the advice, but if they never get the advice to begin with - they have little chance.
I believe the results above are directly related to when these students began to take the process seriously.
If you want to equip your child with the tools they need to succeed in the college admissions process, get them to pay attention sooner rather than later.
If you'd like me to take on that role, enroll in PrepWell Academy before your child's junior year.
If you'd like to take on the role of chief mentor, strategist, and admissions expert yourself - go for it! I wish you luck and would be happy to help you along the way.
Author: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank, etc.
PrepWell Academy is an online mentoring program that immerses teens in a variety of experiences and opportunities. In doing so, it helps them find and pursue their passions in a way that will not only make them extremely compelling college applicants, but also young adults who are well equipped to face life's future challenges. Black's specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League admissions, and student-athletes.