PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 11 | Everything you Need to Know About College Affordability

prepwell podcast Dec 08, 2019

In this episode, I break down the financial terminology and buzzwords surrounding college affordability. Unlike most generic overviews, however, I explain how these terms actually affect our lives. How much will college actually cost? At what income level does need-based aid disappear? And other difficult questions...

Show Notes:

In this episode, I advise parents on what they need to know about paying for college - before it’s too late. If parents put their heads in the proverbial sand until junior or senior year of high school, their financial flexibility may be severely limited. Listen to this podcast to orient yourself to the timing, relevance, and potential risks associated with today’s college costs and what you can do about them.

In this Episode:

0:00:51 Why is it hard to get straight answers from parents about financial aid?
0:02:00 What matters when it comes to paying for college?
0:03:15 The importance of early planning 
0:03:23 A...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 10 | What to Expect of Your Freshman

prepwell podcast Dec 01, 2019

This podcast explores the life and times of freshmen in high school today. What are they up to? What's going through their minds? How motivated are they? How motivated should they be? Are we expecting too much or too little? How do we guide our freshman so that they start off on the right foot?

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. Join our mailing list
  5. Enroll your 9th or 10th grader in the program

What I discuss in this episode:

0:01:37 What is life like for today’s high school freshman?
0:02:14 The importance of peer groups
0:03:02 Why do freshmen do dumb things?
0:03:30 What do we want from our freshman?
0:04:14 How to avoid the big 4 life-altering mistakes
0:05:10 How do we get teens to think about the future?
0:05:24 How to build great habits (e.g....
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 9 | Phil Black Answers Most Popular FAQs

prepwell podcast Nov 24, 2019

In this episode, I answer a ton of popular FAQs from parents, students, and PrepWellers. Check out the timeline below and see if any of these questions pique your interest.
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 our mailing list
  6. Enroll your 9th or 10th grader in the program

Here are the questions I answer in this episode:

0:01:03 Do I have to take SAT Subject Tests?
0:03:01 Do colleges care if I take the SAT or ACT?
0:03:11 Is it true that Ivy League schools do not give merit scholarships?
0:03:49 How many times is too many for taking the SAT?
0:04:48 Is it possible to get a full-ride scholarship in baseball?
0:06:00 How many colleges should I apply to?
0:06:46 Is it better to get an A in a non-weighted class or a B in a weighted...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 8 | Should I Seek College Admissions Advice for my Freshman or Sophomore?

prepwell podcast Nov 17, 2019

Show Notes:

Should you look for someone to help your freshman or sophomore with the college admissions process? If so, whom might that be, what might that person bring to the table, when should you start, how much should it cost, what should you expect, and what role should your child play (if any) in this decision? 
 
Questions to consider:
  1. Has your child ever been coached in a sport?
  2. Has your child ever had an instructor for a musical instrument?
  3. Has your child ever had a tutor to help with school work?
  4. Have you ever hired a plumber?
  5. Have you ever used an accountant?
  6. Have you ever engaged a lawyer? 
 
Options (assuming you agree that early engagement is important):
  1. Put your child in charge of their own preparation
  2. You take control of your child’s preparation 
  3. Pay an advisor for a 1-time assessment
  4. Enroll in PrepWell Academy
If you want to support the show, here are three immediate steps to take.  
  1. ...
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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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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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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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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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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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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 2 | Why Highly-Selective Colleges Seem To Prefer Specialists vs. Well-Rounded Students

prepwell podcast Oct 06, 2019


Show Notes:

Why is it that today, many highly-selective colleges seem to be more interested in students who are specialists, experts, or angular versus those who are generalists, jacks-of-all-trades, or well-rounded? 

Because 30 years ago, it used to be the opposite. 

Back in the day, highly-selective schools were impressed by the proverbial “well-rounded student” who seemed capable of doing just about anything - sports, academics, guitar, community service, work.

And the "specialists" were thought to be more on the fringe, narrowly focused, or maybe didn’t have a broad enough base of curiosity to take advantage of a liberal arts education. 

Well, the tides have turned.

In this episode, we explore the implications of this trend and how your child might fit (or not fit) into this new landscape.

Is your child a generalist or specialist? If they’re still undecided, should you give them a nudge one way or the other? Or stay out...

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