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.
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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

214: Resources for LGBTQ+ Students from Campus Pride

10/7/2019
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Campus Pride is THE go-to resource for LGBTQ students and their families and my guest on this episode, civil rights champion Shane Windmeyer, is the one to thank for its very existence. On this episode we discuss: How Shane get involved in this work in the first placeHow is the college search process for LGBTQ+ students?What are some great questions to ask when visiting campuses?Common mistakes students make in the processHow can LGBTQ students find scholarships?Should students come out in...

Duration:00:31:50

213. Self-Directed Learning (Why You Can Quit HS & Be Okay)

10/2/2019
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This is the second of two episodes on homeschooling and self-directed learning. My guest is writer, speaker, and fellow podcaster Blake Boles, whose work invites students and families to re-evaluate the traditional schooling model--are the typical high school and college experiences really the best ways to spend your time? On this episode we discuss: Can you (really) quit high school and not totally ruin your life?Why is this the best time ever for self-directed learning?How can we all be...

Duration:00:54:10

212: Advice for Homeschooling Students

9/23/2019
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This is the first of two episodes on homeschooling and self-directed learning, something that as the father of a four year-old I am way into. My guest is Becca Orlowski, a teacher and consultant with more than two decades of experience in the independent homeschooling world. On this episode we talk about: What are some common homeschooling myths? Is it true, for example, that homeschooling is “too much work” for any parent in their right minds?Are colleges biased towards homeschoolers…...

Duration:00:48:04

211: Financial Aid Tips for International Students (and Their Counselors)

9/16/2019
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This is the last episode in a three-part series on paying for college. My guest is Joan Liu, a college counselor who has a giant heart to go with her giant brain. In this episode she draws on her years of experience helping international students who need financial aid in order to attend college in the US. We cover a range of topics that will apply to both students and counselors, including: How is the application process different for students who need full financial aid?For counselors,...

Duration:00:40:57

210: The Being Not-Rich Guide

9/6/2019
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This is episode two in a three-part series on paying for college. My guest for this episode is Lauren Schandevel, a 4th year Public Policy student at the University of Michigan and creator of the “Being Not-Rich” Guide--more on that shortly. On this episode we discuss: Where did the inspiration for the “Being Not-Rich” Guide come from?In what ways are higher ed institutions unsympathetic to the needs of low-income students, and how can this widen the gap between them and their wealthier...

Duration:00:22:47

209: Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream

9/2/2019
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My guest for this first episode is Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. On this episode we discuss: Why has paying for college become such a problem? Which students are most impacted by needs insecurity and why don’t students tell their stories of struggle?How is the current financial aid system broken, and what are some solutions?How can...

Duration:00:27:34

208: Resources for First-Generation Students (and Their Counselors)

8/26/2019
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On this episode, which is part 3 of 3 in my series on access and equity in the college admissions process, I sit down with their Chief Strategy Officer of Strive for College, Matt Rubinoff, who for years has been advocating for first-generation and low-income students. We discuss, among other things: What’s so special about being first anyway?Why first-generation students should take a “What’s in it for me?” approachResources for first-generation students and their counselors, including...

Duration:00:23:53

207: 17 Things to Do Before Going to College

5/27/2019
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Hi friends! This is the first time on the podcast that I discuss the “what comes next” of the college admissions process--and who better to do it than Harlan Cohen, author of the NY Times bestseller, The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College--a book I’ve had on my bookshelf for many years. On this podcast Harlan offers so much great advice from: A simple exercise to help set you up for a great freshman yearHow to find your people on campusWhether or not you...

Duration:00:49:02

206: 30 Ways to Center Equity And Justice Today w/ Marie Bigham

2/11/2019
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For this episode, which is Part 2 of 3 on my series on access and equity, I interview Marie Bigham of ACCEPT. Marie and I jam on 30 practical ways that you can increase your participation in equity and justice in the world of college admissions and beyond. Whether you’re a parent, student, counselor, or admissions rep, you’ll find something for you. Marie Bigham is the founder of ACCEPT: Admissions Community Cultivating Equity and Peace Today, a social media-based action group for the...

Duration:00:41:04

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 Links: The excel sheet of universities sorted by financial aid generosity (international students)How to sort an excel sheet by...

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