62 – College Essay Writing and Common Mistakes with Sean and Michael

This week, we discussed a bit about the early college essay writing process with Sean.  As someone going through the process, Sean talks about the struggles and methods of coming up with ideas.  Then, we talk about school-specific essays and how to approach them.  Throughout the episode, we talk about common mistakes and cliche essays that many applicants use.

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Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

61 – Entrepreneurship in High School and College Applications with Teland of the Major Jobs Podcast

This week, I talk with Teland from the Major Jobs Podcast. As a fellow podcaster, we talk a little bit about how we both got started and why we do it. Then, we talk about what it’s like to do podcasting as a student: Teland as a high school student and me as a college student. Finally, we discuss Teland’s plans to leverage the podcast on his college admissions.

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Major Jobs Podcast

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

60 – Real Talk on Standardized Test and Test Prep with Kathryn Zheng

Test prep tutoring is very expensive and a lot of people don’t have those resources. This week, I’m joined by Kathryn Zheng, the founder of Sparky Prep. Sparky Prep is an online peer tutoring program where high school students tutor other high school students on the SAT, ACT, APs, and other academic subjects. I talk about why Kathryn started the organization, how it works, and what she thinks about the value of standardized tests.

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Sparky Prep

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

59 – Lessons from a Former Admissions Officer with Sean Cai

On Reddit, former admissions officer WilliamTheReader made some harsh accusations against his former bosses. On this episode, I talk with my friend Sean Cai about these accusations and how we as students should react. Among the topics discussed are how school treat private school applicants, low income students, and Asian American students.

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Reddit thread from WilliamTheReader

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

58 – If You Want To Be Different: Non-Traditional Colleges with Ashley Chen

College admissions is a great time to reflect on your future. That means that not everyone is suited for a traditional, 4-year education. On this episode, I’m joined by incoming Stanford freshman Ashley Chen to talk about alternatives to a traditional education from 2-year community colleges to service academies to colleges with just plain wacky admissions processes and educations (anyone up for cow manure and manual labor?).

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Make School – Great 2 Year Program w/ No Up-Front Cost

Deep Spring College

Olin College of Engineering

Alice Lloyd College – Free College

Berea College – Free College

Thiel Fellowship

Applying to Service Academies

Find a Community College

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

57 – Finding a Home and a College with Carolyne G.

Your college isn’t just a school; it’s also a home. On this episode, I talk to high school senior Carolyn G. on how she’s learning more about the soft-side of a school: its community, culture, and friendliness. We talk about what questions to ask, who to ask, and when to ask. Then, we finish up with some final tips on how to make the most out of a college visit.

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Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

56 – Computerized Admissions Officers: UT Austin’s Wacky Admissions System with Jeffrey Wang

Jeffrey Wang is the founder of the r/UTAustinAdmissions subreddit. Today, he joins the podcast to talk about UT has essentially computerized half of the admissions process. UT gives each applicant an Academic Index and a Personal Achievement Index. Jeffrey explains how UT calculates these scores and how it uses them to evaluate applications. Turn out that UT’s admissions process isn’t so holistic after all. Stay tuned till the end for the wackiest part – applicants are literally given a coordinate pair that is supposed to encompass their entire application and placed on a 2D Cartesian grid. Wack!

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FERPA

How to FERPA UT Austin

Academic Index Calculator

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

55 – Applying to Hogwarts/Schools in the UK with Ethan Summers

America isn’t the only place with great colleges. The United Kingdom has so many wells know schools like Oxford and Cambridge, but it’s also a completely different country, culture, and education system. On this episode, Imperial College student Ethan Summers walks us through the UK college admissions process and how college admissions in the UK are much more focused on academics and scores. We talk about some of the key differences between the UK and US education systems.

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UCAS

Interview Prep

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

54 – Stressing Out and the Harvard Lawsuit with Swathi

I know the stress must be building right now, but know that you are not alone. On this episode, I interview Swathi, a rising high school senior. We talk about how Swathi is trying to juggle all her extracurricular activities, academic commitments, and college applications. Swathi and I give some tips about productivity and scheduling. Then, we transition to talk about the Harvard lawsuit and some of the fairly damning information that’s been released about how Harvard treats Asian applicants.

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Episode 27: Type-A Productivity Episode

Calendar Zero

Harvard Lawsuit Asian Discrimination

Harvard Lawsuit as Right-Wing Attack on Affirmative Action

 

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53 – Montana to Maine: Alexandra Lin’s College Admissions Journey

Today I’m joined by Alexandra Lin, an incoming freshman at Bowdoin College. She grew up in rural Montana. On today’s episode, we talk about what it was like to grow up and go to school in a rural area and the importance of geographic diversity in college admissions. Then, we talk about prestige and how it might not be as important as everyone makes it out to be. Stay tuned till the end for some tea about frats at Columbia and a little food fight…

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Matriculate

Grinnell Hack by Bitcoin

Swarthmore Sexual Assault

Frat Sexual Assault Statistics

Columbia Frat Incident

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Read the transcript: