69 – Your Extracurricular Strategy

Extracurricular activities are essential to any compelling college application. In this episode, we talk about 3 different types of students: students who don’t have any extracurriculars, students who have too many extracurriculars, and students that got into college on the strengths of their extracurriculars. Then, we talk a little about how schools, administrators, and teachers can do a better job of counseling students.

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Gao Admissions – Test Prep Tutoring and College Counseling from Your Host Michael Gao

Show Notes:

ECs are the best way to get involved in subjects that isn’t covered in school (such as political science) (7:30)

Do ECs but don’t let your grades suffer, find a good balance. Your ECs are a vehicle for college admissions (14:30)

Make sure your ECS relate to your overall “story” (22:00)

The best way to evaluate your ECs is to be in it for 2+ years with growth (member to president). it’s not quantity but dedication throughout your time (31:00)

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

Thanks to Slaking_97 for the Intro and Outro Music licensed under CC BY 3.0.

68 – Podcast Relaunch: Why College Admissions Sucks and How to Fix It

We are re-launching the podcast with a new co-host: Don Gonzalez. You’ve heard from Gonzalez on a previous episode on teacher recommendation letters. Now, he’ll be bringing his perspective as a veteran teacher and administrator to the podcast. This way, we hope to talk about the college application process with a broader perspective. In the episode, we talk about what we hope to talk about in future episodes: how the college admissions process is unfair, how public high schools often fail students, and how to fix it.

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Gao Admissions – Test Prep Tutoring and College Counseling from Your Host Michael Gao

Show Notes:

How to get good teacher rec letters

Massive college endowments

 

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

 

67 – Handling Deferrals from Early Decision

Early Decision decisions can bring a lot of joy, a lot of despair, or a lot of indecision. If you received a deferral, that can often mean the latter. In this episode, Michael and Sean talk about what a deferral means and some common myths. Then, we talk about the options a deferred applicant has to get into the school during Regular Decision.

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

 

66 – How to ask teachers for Letters of Recommendation – From teachers themselves

This short episode, Sean interviews high school teachers about approaching teachers for letters of rec and the writing process.  We also dispel some of the myths associated with letters of rec, and advise how underclassmen could build relationships with these teachers leading up to the letters of recommendation.


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Show Notes:

Link to first teacher’s website here.
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65 – Chance Me Profile Reviews with Admissions Counselor u/ScholarGrade, Part Two

This episode, Sean and Michael are joined by u/Scholargrade, a prominent college admissions counselor active in the r/chanceme and r/ApplyingToCollege subreddit. In Part Two of this session, we talk about 2 more case studies, and talk about whether their college list suits them. We thoroughly review their application qualities and clarify some of the myths that the general populace has when viewing college admissions to US universities.

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Show Notes:

An Introspection worksheet to brainstorm essay topics from u/ScholarGrade
u/ScholarGrade’s Better College Apps company, here
Google Docs of the Case Profiles
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64 – Chance Me Profile Reviews with Admissions Counselor u/ScholarGrade

This episode, Sean and Michael are joined by u/Scholargrade, a prominent college admissions counselor active in the r/chanceme and r/ApplyingToCollege subreddit. In Part One of this session, we talk about 4 different student case studies, and talk about whether their college list suits them. We thoroughly review their application qualities and clarify some of the myths that the general populace has when viewing college admissions to US universities.

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Show Notes:

An Introspection worksheet to brainstorm essay topics from u/ScholarGrade
u/ScholarGrade’s Better College Apps company, here
Google Docs of the Case Profiles
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63 – AdmissionsMom: Mindful College Admissions, Her Book, Her App, and More

Michael interviews AdmissionsMom, queen of the Reddit r/applyingtocollege community, capping off a summer of interviews with the community. In this episode, AdmissionsMom and Michael talk about mindful college admissions and how it can help craft a reflective college application and make the process less stressful. Then, we talk about her new book about moderating the subreddit and her new app that helps students be mindful about their college tours.

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Show Notes:

More AdmissionsMom here

ApplyingtoCollege Subreddit

AdmissionsMom’s Book “Hey AdmissionsMom: Real Talk from Reddit”

CollegeVizzy – a new approach to college visits

 

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

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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Show Notes:

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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Show Notes:

Sparky Prep

 

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