The College Essay Guy Podcast: A Practical Guide to College Admissions-logo

The College Essay Guy Podcast: A Practical Guide to College Admissions

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Practical, up-to-date interviews with experts in college admissions, financial aid, personal statements, test prep and more. Ethan Sawyer (aka College Essay Guy), interviews deans of admission, financial aid experts, and veterans of the admissions field to extract, then distill their advice into practical steps for students and those guiding them through the process. From creating an awesome college list to appealing a financial aid letter, Ethan skips the general advice and gets right to the action items, all in an effort to bring more ease, joy and purpose into the college admissions process.

Practical, up-to-date interviews with experts in college admissions, financial aid, personal statements, test prep and more. Ethan Sawyer (aka College Essay Guy), interviews deans of admission, financial aid experts, and veterans of the admissions field to extract, then distill their advice into practical steps for students and those guiding them through the process. From creating an awesome college list to appealing a financial aid letter, Ethan skips the general advice and gets right to the action items, all in an effort to bring more ease, joy and purpose into the college admissions process.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

Practical, up-to-date interviews with experts in college admissions, financial aid, personal statements, test prep and more. Ethan Sawyer (aka College Essay Guy), interviews deans of admission, financial aid experts, and veterans of the admissions field to extract, then distill their advice into practical steps for students and those guiding them through the process. From creating an awesome college list to appealing a financial aid letter, Ethan skips the general advice and gets right to the action items, all in an effort to bring more ease, joy and purpose into the college admissions process.

Language:

English


Episodes

205: That One Time a University Revoked More Than 60 Full Scholarships (And What You Can Do About It)

12/10/2018
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This episode is part one of three on access and equity in the college counseling community. Today we meet Joan Liu, a counselor at a high school in Southeast Asia, who has been working on the front lines of access and equity issues during her career. When over 60 Nepali students suddenly lost their full-tuition scholarships in April of last year, Joan decided to do something about it. That story--and what happened next--is what we discuss on this podcast. This story was picked up by the...

Duration:00:22:04

204: What You Need to Know About Standardized Tests and Mistakes to Avoid

5/10/2018
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In this episode you’ll hear Adam’s take on: What’s a “good” score?How much do SAT scores matter?Do students even need standardized tests?When should students take the test?What’s the difference between the SAT and the ACT?Do students need the optional essay?The most important things to know about subject testsA few words about the PSATImportant notes for students with learning differencesHow students should define success in college admissions testing

Duration:00:49:05

203: 10 Ways Parents Can Support Their Students Through The College Application Process

5/9/2018
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On this podcast we discuss: Why (and how) to limit the amount of time you spend talking about college When the best time to start talking about college is The three most stressful parts of college admissions for students--and how to mitigate that stress What Lisa is most and least proud of as a parent when it came to helping her own kids through the college application process

Duration:00:41:09

202: 25 Practical Ways to Reduce Testing Anxiety

4/5/2018
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On this episode we discuss, among other things: How common testing anxiety is (you may be surprised)How anxiety functions in the bodyStrategies for changing how you think about anxiety #reframingSome ways you can understand and adjust self-talkWhat cognitive rehearsal is and how it can helpA brief intro to the emotional freedom techniqueHow regulating your breathing can help

Duration:00:47:24

201: Test Optional Admissions 101: What, Why, Where, Who?

4/4/2018
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On this episode we discuss: Are standardized tests evil?What are some other standardized test myths that people tend to believe?To what extent does the SAT or ACT measure what students need to know in college?Important statistics from “Crossing the Finish Line,” a book that outlines the research around how well standardized test scores predict actual student performance in life and in college.What is the difference between “test optional” and “test flexible”?If students don’t submit...

Duration:00:36:35

124: College Interview Tips and Strategies

12/28/2017
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This episode is an interview… on interviews! Monica James--whom you may’ve heard previously on the podcast in the episode on Demonstrated Interest--absolutely crushes it in this interview, offering more practical advice than you’ll find in most weekend workshops on this topic. And it’s no wonder: for years she’s been teaching people (and in particular high school students) how to give great interviews. We cover, among other things: Why do colleges give interviews?Can a bad interview...

Duration:01:02:12

123: Should You Apply Early Decision or Regular Decision? (And the Chart That Can Help You Decide)

12/4/2017
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Should you apply Early Decision or not? Is there a statistical advantage to applying early or not? When making this decision, it might help to know what the regular decision acceptance rate is for a school and what the Early Decision acceptance rate for a school is and then compare those numbers. That’s the first thing we cover on this episode. After that we discuss: Why did they choose the metrics they chose (i.e. why do these numbers matter)?What are some of the dangers of interpreting...

Duration:00:48:12

122: Which Schools Are the Most Generous With Financial Aid? (International Version)

12/4/2017
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On this episode I talk with Jennie about: Why she created the chart in the first placeShe explains why your student doesn’t have to be incredible in order to get merit aidHow much students’ ability to pay matters in admissionsHow to use the chart, including how Jennie walks students through a consultationWhy students might decline to ask for merit-based aid

Duration:00:43:29

121: Which Schools Are the Most Generous With Financial Aid? (US Version)

12/4/2017
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On this episode Jeff and I discuss this rad resource on which schools are most generous with financial aid and after he shares with us his story, we discuss: Three huge myths that students and parents have about financially planning for collegeWhy parents should ignore the school’s sticker priceWhich schools meet 100% of demonstrated need (and what that means)A tool for figuring out how much money schools offerWhat Jeff believes is the biggest problem with the financial aid processWhy Jeff...

Duration:00:43:07

120: College List Hacking: Better Fit, Less Time, More Fun

12/4/2017
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On this episode I interview Anne Wager, who used to work for many years in data and technology but made the transition to counseling and, as she puts it, “out of desperation”, developed a set of cards that she uses with students to help them identify, not just their preferences for what they’re looking for in a college, but what she called “deeper preferences”. We’ll explore what she means by deeper preferences, explain why they’re important, talk about common mistakes that students make...

Duration:00:47:27

119: How to Improve Your Personal Statement in 20 Minutes

12/4/2017
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This episode represents part four of four in my epic mini-series with Tutor Ted and in this one I share what steps to take to turn your essay from “just okay” to “great.” Specifically, though, I share: What I believe the qualities of a great college essay areAn example essay that demonstrates those four qualitiesA step-by-step process for bringing more of each of those qualities into your essayLots of examples for all the qualities I discussEven (get this) a step-by-step process for how to...

Duration:00:34:24

118: Who is the College Essay Guy?

12/4/2017
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This is part three of my four-part series with Ted Dorsey (aka Tutor Ted). On the last two episodes I interviewed Ted, while on this episode (and on the next one), Ted turns the tables on and interviews me. On this episode Ted just wanted to give folks a chance to get to know me better, so we discussed: How I ended up as the College Essay Guy (Spoiler: that wasn’t the plan)What applying to college was like for meHow I learned the importance of asking good questionsWhy I never tell students...

Duration:00:27:47

117: How to Improve Your ACT Score By 2 Points in 20 Minutes

9/18/2017
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I’ve handed the reins over to my guest Ted Dorsey (AKA Tutor Ted), who has scored perfectly on the SAT, ACT, and PSAT, and let him do the podcast, where he’s going to offer up clear steps to improving your ACT score--in less time than it takes to bake a potato. He’ll dish up tips on how to use your calculator during the ACT, the importance of math vocabulary, why you need to be selective in your focus in the science section, and why writing a lot for the writing test can help. Even more tips...

Duration:00:22:06

116: Who is Tutor Ted? (and Resources for Brainstorming a Personal Statement)

6/27/2017
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Ted Dorsey, aka Tutor Ted, scored perfectly on the ACT, SAT, and PSAT. Oh, and on the SAT Subject Tests in Literature and Math Level 2. A graduate of Princeton and UCLA, Ted founded the test prep company Tutor Ted to help students around the world prepare for their college entrance tests. He and his team have authored five test prep books, including "Tutor Ted’s Guide to the ACT" and "Tutor Ted’s ACT Practice Tests." In 2017, Tutor Ted launched an online ACT prep course at...

Duration:00:44:01

115: Quick & Dirty College List Builder & The Myth of Fit

6/26/2017
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This is part 2 of 2 of podcast episodes recorded last month in Eastern China. I met with Mark Moody, a friend of mine and a fantastic counselor with a ton of experience and some cool opinions you may not have heard before. During our chat we cover: His “Quick and Dirty List Builder,” a document he put together to help students and counselors find their best-fit schools in much less timeWe talk about Early Decision (also known as ED) and yield and why many schools like it when students apply...

Duration:00:29:56

114: Free College Application Tools That Students (and Counselors!) Should Know About

6/12/2017
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If you know me, or if you’ve listened to the podcast before you know what a resource junkie I am… the same can be said, I think, for my guest on this episode, Shaun McElroy. Shaun is the publisher of two blogs: www.internationalcounselor.org which focuses on all things college admissions and which, I do believe, is one of the oldest continuously running blog on college admission (started in 2003) and www.strengthsmining.com focuses on applying research and principles of positive psychology...

Duration:01:10:36

113: Debunking the Myth of the Starving Artist

6/6/2017
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In this episode we'll discuss:

Duration:00:57:10

112: How to Listen (And Why)

5/25/2017
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On this episode we discuss how Urban Confessional started, what Ben has learned about listening over the years, how these lessons have impacted his relationships and even what it was like doing free listening at last year’s Republican and Democratic National Conventions. At the end he offers a great resource called the “Practice Partner Guide,” with some great practical tips for how to listen. It’s wonderful stuff from a wonderful human, as you’ll soon see, and the applications include, then...

Duration:00:42:03

111: Using the Secrets of Screenwriting to Write Your College Essay

5/21/2017
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In this podcast, I’ll dive into: The story behind how I started connecting screenwriting and the college essay in the first place.Two exercises that I love to use to generate some great content for the essay.Two structures that I think can work for just about any essay.Four types of college essaysWhat I believe the end of an essay should do.And so much more! Enjoy.

Duration:00:46:57

110: How to Create a Great College List (Part 2)

5/12/2017
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Ted’s book has been a go-to reference for me (and many other counselors) in our work with students and I loved getting a chance to go behind the scenes and hearing how the sausage is made. We discuss, among other things: Why did the Fiske Guide happen in the first place?How does Ted avoid sounding generally positive about all schools?How the Fiske Guide ratings systems differs from that of US News and World ReportWho actually writes all 882 pages of the Fiske GuideThe best approach for...

Duration:01:00:34