PrepWell Podcast with Phil Black

PrepWell Podcast with Phil Black

The PrepWell Podcast helps parents prepare their children for the admissions process for highly-selective college programs like the Ivy League, military service academies (e.g. USNA and West Point), ROTC and athletic scholarships.... Show More

Episodes

February 21, 2021 19 min

Show Notes:

In this episode, I try to convince motivated (but wavering) students to take the SAT or ACT - despite the deluge of messages telling them otherwise.  The fact that most colleges are still "test-optional" has given many students a false notion that it doesn't matter if they take the test or not anymore. For students who want to be competitive, this is not the case.  Please listen to this episode if you are o...

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February 14, 2021 13 min
Show Notes:

In this episode, I discuss the ascendancy of AP classes and exams, and how to capitalize on their momentum. As more and more objective measures of student academic achievement get canceled, others are surging. Find out why AP classes and exams may be the last place to show your academic chops.

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:17 The growing challenge for college admissions

 

0:01:53 Bye, bye SAT/ACT requi...

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February 7, 2021 29 min

Show Notes:

In this episode, I walk through a new and updated Top 10 List of important factors that impact college admissions. This is not your standard list. For example, GPA and rigor of courses fall to #8 on the list. 

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:03:17 Drivers vs. passengers

 

0:05:00 Recruited athletes

 

0:10:05 SAT/ACT score

 

0:12:40 National or international renown

 

0:13:36 A coherent brand

 

0:14...

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January 31, 2021 21 min

Show Notes:

There are certain windows of opportunity that should not be missed. Learn the critical decision points and how to stay on track with them.

 

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:03:40 Fresh: Division I scholarships?

 

0:04:40 Fresh: Highly-selective schools?

 

0:05:20 Fresh: STEM or Humanities?

 

0:05:36 Soph: Significant leadership role?

 

0:08:36 Soph: Want to attend service academy?

 

0:09:10 Soph:...

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January 24, 2021 21 min
Show Notes: SAT Subject Tests and the "essay" section of SAT have both been canceled - indefinitely. Find out what this means for students. Who are the winners and losers? Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:01:30 SAT Subject Tests canceled   0:02:00 The good news   0:03:07 History of SAT Subject Tests   0:05:36 Who is harmed?   0:08:40 Who may benefit?   0:10:20 But then again...   0:11:15 Using tests to demonstrat...
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    In this episode, I cover more than just a standard list of summer activities. I use a real-world case study to demonstrate why some summer activities might be better than others for "Rick".   Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:02:34 Behind the scenes strategies   0:03:15 Case study: "Rick"   0:03:47 Rick's options   0:04:30 Option 1: Private Pilot's license   0:07:50 Option 2: Rick's friend gets h...
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    January 10, 2021 26 min

    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I walk through answers to FAQs from 2020. 

     

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:14 Should I worry about the SAT or ACT anymore?

     

    0:03:18 I got 1190 on my PSAT. What do I do now?

     

    0:06:03 I've been getting a lot of fancy invitations to leadership conferences. Should I go?

     

    0:08:00 I want to be an engineer. Any advice?

     

    0:09:22 Is there any stigma in moving my child to a diff...

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    January 3, 2021 12 min
    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I walk through the best ways to cope with the 3-month wait before students find out their college application results. 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:20 Applications are in. Now what? 

    0:02:37 Finding your flow 

    0:03:20 How to manage the emotional roller coaster

    0:03:34 Month 1: Aggressive optimism

    0:04:25 Month 2: Re-take control

    0:06:20 Month 3: Aggressive pessimism

    0:06:43 Harva...

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    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I walk through the factors that made this year's early admissions process one of the most difficult in years. Who got in, who got deferred, and who got denied?

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:20 What is early admissions? 

    0:04:00 Why was early admissions so competitive this year? 

    0:04:44 #1 More applicants 

    0:05:15 Optional SAT and ACT scores 

    0:06:40 Flight...

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    December 13, 2020 13 min

    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I lay out the steps (and options) for high school students who want to succeed in college and beyond. Step 1: Decide if you want to succeed. Step 2: Decide if you're willing to pay the price. Step 3: Decide if you want to pay now or later?

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:20 Do you want to be successful?

    0:02:30 When do you want to pay?

    0:03:23 Students who want to pay "now"

    ...

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    December 6, 2020 23 min
    Show Notes: In this episode, I lay out all the steps necessary to ensure that your child has a great college interview season. This episode is equally valuable for students who will soon have Zoom interviews for summer jobs, internships, or scholarship competitions. Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:04:00 Record your interview date (deconflict) 0:04:23 Confirm that you have the correct time (zone) 0:04:49 Research 0:05:24...
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    Show Notes:

    In today’s show, I discuss strategies and recommendations for Extracurricular Activities that take 2-3 years to plan and execute. They are not short-term gimmicks or shortcuts. Pack a lunch. 

    If you have a child in 11th or 12th grade, it may be too late to implement these strategies to full effect.

    This podcast is primarily for conscientious parents who are trying to help their aspirational 8th, 9th and 10t...

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    November 22, 2020 14 min
    Show Notes: In this episode, I discuss how the admissions process is changing right before our eyes and how "class selection" has become even more important than GPA or SAT/ACT scores.  How do you approach the class selection process to make sure you get it right? Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:01:19 Why is class selection so important?   0:03:05 The new #1 factor in college admissions (thanks to COVID)   0:04:4...
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    Show Notes: In this episode, I explore what parents should do when their child's D-1 athletic scholarship dreams are dashed. Who makes the decision? When should this decision be made? Is it different for boys and girls? How does the student-athlete recover?   Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:06:44 When should you know if your child has scholarship potential?   0:10:00 What if the answer is no?   0:15:45 Letters of Rec...
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    November 8, 2020 23 min
    Show Notes: The college admissions environment is changing before our eyes. In this episode, I update juniors on what to focus on right now. Please tune-in for a refresher on what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what to prioritize.   Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:01:52 Grades 0:04:15 Standardized tests 0:15:45 Letters of Recommendation 0:17:09 Signature Extracurricular Activity 0:20:05 Branding and Leadership Fol...
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    Show Notes: Filling out college applications is more than just writing essays and submitting test scores. It’s a process that teaches some of life’s most important lessons. In this episode, I cover the Top 5 Life Lessons Learned during this process.  Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:02:55 A life full of applications 0:05:45 How to Market Yourself 0:08:51 Early Preparation 0:10:30 Time Management 0:11:58 Concise Writing 0:1...
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    October 25, 2020 20 min
    Show Notes: In this episode, I go through 20 bad decisions that high-schoolers make and the consequences of such decisions. Make sure that you are not making similar mistakes.  Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:01:55 Letters of recommendation  0:02:25 When to study for SAT 0:03:00 Highlight videos for coaches 0:03:30 Leadership positions 0:03:58 College essays 0:04:36 Social media repost 0:05:16 Summer plans 0:05:46 No time...
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    October 18, 2020 20 min
    Show Notes: In today’s episode, I discuss ROTC scholarships. What are they? How do they work? How do they differ from service academies? Why should I care?  Here is what I discuss in this episode: 0:01:40 Let’s start with military service academies 0:02:10 Military Service Academies 0:04:35 What is ROTC? 0:07:00 What do ROTC scholarships cover? 0:09:15 More affordable 0:09:50 Serve your country 0:10:06 Part time commitment 0:10:36 ...
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    October 11, 2020 27 min

    Show Notes:

    Today’s episode is a review of the 3 most important things that students should focus on in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th-grades. To save time, fast forward to the grade that you care about most. 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:03:00 9th-graders

    0:08:05 10th-graders

    0:15:00 11th-graders

    0:21:00 12th-graders

    Follow us:

  • Enroll in PrepWell Academy
  • Follow on Instagram
  • Follow on Facebook
  • If you want to support t...

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    October 4, 2020 20 min

    Show Notes:

    Today’s episode is a compilation of answers to questions you have sent me by email, DM, phone, and voicemail. This format allows me to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time and gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge about the process. Keep those questions coming... 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:45 Do I need to worry about the SAT or ACT anymore?

    0:02:20 Need-based versus merit-bas...

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