72 – Gap Year or Zoom University

Michael and Gonzalez talk about the pros and cons of gap years. Michael thinks it’s always been an underrated option, but because of coronavirus, more and more people are thinking about taking one! We talk about what someone might learn on a gap year, why someone might take it, and how the calculus could be different if you come from a low income background.

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

Show Notes:

  • The fall semester may still be in some online format (4:25)
  • Orientation is undervalued (6:00)
  • Do a T-chart analysis on taking a gap year (8:10)
  • Some kids have to park themselves at a restaurant to get wifi (9:28)
  • Why take a gap year if you can easily persevere? (10:26)
  • Right now is the opportunity to work on those side projects (13:00)
  • Gap years can be a growth period for undisciplined students, and a rest period for stressed students (18:28)
  • Gonzalez’s oldest son needed a gap year to mature (19:38)
  • Parental concerns: if the kid takes a year off, will they go back to school? (21:38)
  • Most schools will let you request a gap year, while others play by ear (22:30)
  • Education is the key to opportunities (26:34)
  • A $40,000 job with a high school diploma, or delayed gratification with a college degree? (27:06)
  • Gonzalez made some side cash in college by starching guys’ shirts (29:40)
  • The untitled book (32:29)

 

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

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

71 – Q and A with Michael and Gonzalez

Today’s episode is a special Q and A with students from the Law Magnet – Michael’s old high school and where Gonzalez works as an administrator. We take questions from the high school seniors ranging from extracurriculars, to coronavirus, to essays, to how to pay for college. Tune in for some great questions that if you’re a high school student, you probably are thinking about as well!

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

Show Notes:

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

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

70 – Coronavirus and Your Applications

Coronavirus is here and I’m sure everything is crazy. School is virtual, all your extracurriculars are cancelled, and you’re stuck at home all the time! That being said, college admissions doesn’t stop, so today Sean and I talk about how coronavirus affects your applications. In particular, we focus on how you can continue your extracurricular activities or start new ones.

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Show Notes:

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

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

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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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 Vibe Mountain 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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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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Show Notes:

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
Follow us on social media:

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.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

Sponsors:

Listeners like YOU on Patreon!

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
Follow us on social media:

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.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

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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.