31 – It’s Not You, It’s Me: Writing Why College Supplements

One of the most common supplemental essay prompts colleges ask is the Why College prompt? These are often the most difficult essays to write because you want to be original, but not too original. In this episode, we talk about the importance of this essay, researching reasons to go to a school, structuring this essay in an anecdotal format, released essays from Tufts, and, finally, the worst mistake students make: talking only about the school and not about themselves as well. Michael tries to explain with a dating analogy; let’s see how that goes.

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Show Notes:

Released “Why Tufts” Essays

 

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

30 – Keep Fighting: Early Decisions Out

Early Decisions are out. If you got in, congrats! You are finally done! If you didn’t, I know it sucks, but it’s not over. There are so many other amazing schools out there, and I know you’ll get into one that you love.

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Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

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

26 – Touring Schools and Fly-Ins

Everyone tells students to tour schools, but we never know what to do on them. Now, as seniors start to get flown out by different schools, we talk about how to take advantage of your short time at the school by asking the right questions and talking to the right people. Then, Nhi and Michael share some of their personal experiences with touring schools and attending fly-in programs.

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Show Notes:

List of Schools with Fly-In Programs

SNL- The Poddys

 

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

20 – Don’t Forget: Your Checklist Other Application Items

Everyone knows that by November 1 and January 1, Common Applications need to be sent. What else? We share some other items that are often forgotten but are very important like a schedule, recommendation letters, test scores, transcripts, essays, scholarships, financial aid, and more.

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Show Notes:

October 2nd School Day ACT Cancelled

 

How to Send SAT Scores

How to Send ACT Scores

 

FAFSA

CSS Profile

 

 

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

18 – Beating Your Senior Year – Friends, Fun, and Some School… Maybe…

Senior year is going to be your hardest year of high school, but it can also be the best year. In this episode, we discuss how to schedule your senior year around college applications, scholarships, school, extracurriculars, and the inevitable senioritis. Stick around till the end and hear about how Dominic became the most infamous person at school.

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Show Notes:

Let us know if it looks like a Christmas tree in the comments below!

Learn About Rec Letters in Episode 17!

SAT/Subject Tests Dates

ACT Dates

QuestBridge

UT 40 Acres Scholarship

UNC Moorehead-Cain Scholarship

UVA Jefferson Scholarship

 

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

17 – Fantasy Recommendation Letter League w/ Veteran Educator Don Gonzalez

Teacher recommendation letters are your reward for being a brown noser for four years. Just kidding… Kinda… Joining us to talk about how to get good teacher recommendation letters and how to build strong relationships with instructors is a 20 year veteran of public schools. Don Gonzalez is a teacher and magnet coordinator at the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet in Dallas, TX. He was a key piece of Michael’s college applications, and now he joins the podcast to give his own advice. To hear more from Mr. Gonzalez, check out his podcast and blog at thejoecatholic.org.

Thanks to Don Gonzalez for coming on the podcast. Check out his other podcasting work here.

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Show Notes:

Great Rec Letter Article (Real Rec Letters)

Tips to Get a Standout Rec Letter

 

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

16 – Not Just Ivies – Building a College List

The first step in the college application is process is picking which college you want to apply to. Applicants should pick schools in three ranges – safety, target, and reach schools. The number of schools they apply to will differ based on the applicant and their level of confidence. Finally, Michael shares his list and advises Dominic and Nhi on their lists.

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Show Notes:

PrepScholar College List Article

Building Your College List

Top 10 Best College Search Tools

 

 

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

15 – Applying to International Schools from America – How and Why?

We aren’t just limited to schools in the United States. There are great schools internationally. We discuss the application processes for UK and Canadian schools as well as joint programs between American and international schools like Yale-NUS and NYU’s programs. Finally, we reflect on whether applying internationally is actually worth it.

Time Stamps –
UK Schools – 2:06
Canadian Schools – 15:48
Joint Programs – 21:08
Reflection – 28:53

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Best Test Prep Material:

Need help raising your test scores or don’t know where to start studying? Here’s our handpicked BEST test prep material that helped us earn 99th percentile scores!

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Show Notes:

British University Application Guide

Applying to UK Schools NYT Article

Cambridge Testing and Application Requirements

British Standardized Testing for International Applicants

Oxford Price and Financial Aid

Cambridge Price and Financial Aid

 

Standardized Testing for Canadian Schools

UToronto Admission Requirements

Canadian University Stats

Canadian University Rankings (don’t use this religiously, but it is a good basic guide)

 

Yale NUS Admissions

Yale NUS Price and Financial Aid

Columbia Sciences Po Admissions and Application Requirements

Columbia Sciences Po Price and Financial Aid

NYU Abu Dhabi Admissions and Application Requirements

NYU Abu Dhabi Price and Financial Aid

NYU Shanghai Admissions and Application Requirements

 

Applying Abroad Article

Additional Applying Abroad Article

 

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14 – Extracurricular Strategy – Picking and Pursuing Activities

Extracurricular activities are the backbone of any college application, especially to top-tier schools. Freshmen need to start early. Upperclassmen need to develop their interests with awards and leadership positions. Seniors need to stay calm and not randomly resume pad. We discuss the activities we wish we had done and the ones we wish we had quit. Finally, Michael becomes an amateur psychologist.


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Show Notes:

PrepScholar Spike Article

PrepScholar Value of Extracurricular Activities in Founder’s College Application

 

 

 

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

13 – How to Common App – 9 Parts, 3 Hosts, 1 Application

The Common App has many sections – demographic information, test scores, educational history, academic honors, extracurricular activities, the additional information section, the Common App essay, recommendation letters, supplemental essays, and a little bit of common confusion among stressed-out seniors.

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Show Notes:

Previous Common App episode with a focus on honors and extracurriculars

Common App

How to Get Common App Fee Waivers

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

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