Tag Archives: selecting the right college

Charlotte Smarty Pants Conversation with Charlotte Klaar on College Admissions

Here’s an interesting and interactive conversation I had earlier this year with Jennifer Plym and Charlotte Smarty Pants logo Cheryl Taylor of Charlotte Smarty Pants about College Admissions.

In this podcast we discuss when families should start thinking about college.  I advise that parents start thinking about college – or some other form of post-high school education when their students are in middle school.  They should think about how they’re going to pay for college, and create a college mindset for their student.

By high school, have a plan, let your child stretch academically.  If a student has a facility in math, let her take an AP math class.  If it doesn’t work out, then she can step back.

Our conversation emphasized that every year in high school it important.  College Admissions officers are looking for trends.  They want to see that a kid is improving each year, and that they are challenging themselves with increasingly difficult courses.

I also give advice on PSAT tests – they should be a guide for students to identify areas where they need more help and work.  Although there are about 1,000 colleges that are truly test-optional (including Wake Forest), students should take both the ACT and SAT tests.  Some students do better on one or the other, and that’s the one they should submit.

We also discuss finding a college that’s a good fit, and how kids views of college size, how far they want to be from home, etc. change as they go through high school.

It’s well worth the time to listen to, and if you have questions, contact me at [email protected]!

Insightful podcasts about getting into and choosing the right college

I’ve started podcasting! This article contains important information on college admissions planning in high school from interviews with the Podcast Business News Network’s Jill Nicolini. Read on or skip to the podcasts at the bottom.

I suggest that parents of ninth-graders get together with their students at the beginning of their freshman year to put together a four-year plan leading up to applying for and getting admission to a college that’s a good fit and match (see below). For example, the student could start out with a few honors classes and then take AP courses.  Colleges want students who have challenged themselves with a rigorous curriculum.

There’s nothing worse than graduating with a 4.0 but no challenging classes.  Colleges ask “Where was the rigor, the intellectual curiosity?” Colleges also want students who have tried different things and are well-rounded.  Let your kids explore, that’s how they learn.

At the same time, admissions officers are looking for in-depth experiences.  Showing commitment to a cause or organization is important. They’re also looking for volunteer service.  If a student only does the minimum required number of hours, the college will assume you just wanted to graduate!

Another topic I talk about in my interviews are  the importance of Fit and Match:

  • Will the student like other students there?
  • Will he like the campus and surroundings? Is your student more comfortable in a containedSummer college prep campus with lots of open spaces, or one that’s large and crowded in a city? Close to the beach or the mountains?
  •  How about activities outside the classroom?  This includes more than sports – there’s drama, debate, Model U.N., Beta Club Community service, and more.
  • Also consider the weather.  A northern campus that’s pleasant in summer may be freezing cold in winter!

Also, have a frank discussion about what your family can afford.  There’s nothing worse than discovering after the first year that you really can’t afford your student’s dream college!

Another important consideration – if your student has exceptional talent, private schools who really want him or her have the dollars to provide financial aid. Public schools, while less expensive on the surface, do not have the same amount of financial aid! 

Here’s my May 27 interview.

Here’s my June 3 interview.