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

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 SAT0:03:00 Highlight videos for coaches0:03:30 Leadership positions0:03:58 College essays0:04:36 Social media repost0:05:16 Summer plans0:05:46 No time0:06:22 SA...
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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 academies0:02:10 Military Service Academies0:04:35 What is ROTC?0:07:00 What do ROTC scholarships cover?0:09:15 More affordable0:09:50 Serve your country0:10:06 Part time commitment0:10:36 Leadership...
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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:

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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-based finan...

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    Show Notes:

    Many teenagers wake up at the end of 11th grade, wondering why they are not prepared for the college admissions process. In this episode, I teach teenagers: (1) how to avoid this fate, (2) why it’s important to start early, and (3) how to maintain their motivation - even during COVID-19.

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:02:05 What “things” can we control? 

    0:03:30 How small changes affect long-term goals

    0:03:55 The...

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    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I discuss how a trend toward test-optional and test-blind policies will affect the college admissions process - this year and for years to come. Important for families with 8th - 12th graders.   

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:02:10 Dealing with more test-optional/test-blind colleges 

    0:02:40 How colleges used to evaluate students

    0:03:45 How colleges evaluate students now

    0:05:00 The Big 2

    0:05:45 ...

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    September 13, 2020 24 min

    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I help 9 - 12th graders figure out what to prioritize in this ever-changing landscape of college admissions. Do they even bother studying for the SAT/ACT, should they double-down on sports, does it matter if they don’t have the perfect schedule?

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:03:45 9th-graders

    0:09:26 10th-graders

    0:15:25 11th-graders

    0:18:45 12th-graders

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  • Enroll in PrepWell Academy
  • Follow o...
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    Show Notes:

    Impact of the recent ruling prohibiting UC schools from considering SAT and ACT scores in this year's application process.  

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:12 Shift to test-optional admissions

    0:03:54 Shift to test-blind admissions

    0:05:00 Unintended consequences

    0:06:30 Will applications double to 400,000?

    0:07:00 What’s left to evaluate?

    0:07:40 Only one lever left to pull (PIQs) 

    0:08:57 How will readers dif...

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    August 30, 2020 22 min

    Show Notes:

    In this episode, I review the Top 7 habits that high-schoolers should adopt to become standout students, college applicants, and successful professionals someday. This episode is best for 6th-12th graders and their parents. 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:02:38 What is a habit?

    0:06:00 How long does it take to develop a habit?

    0:07:55 Habit #7: Taking notes

    0:10:45 Habit #6: Managing your own calendar

    0:12:30 Habit ...

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    August 23, 2020 10 min

    Show Notes:

    In this 10-minute episode, I discuss how COVID has amplified the need for timely and regular advice about the college admissions process. For students who are schooling at home, what’s their plan for getting college admissions advice?

    This episode is specifically geared toward parents of freshman and sophomores who are not yet enrolled in PrepWell Academy.  Where are you getting your information from? Is it consistent? Ac...

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    August 16, 2020 25 min

    Show Notes:

    In today’s show, I walk through exactly how I coach “college essay-writing” to my private and online PrepWellers. If you are a rising senior, and are struggling with starting (or finishing) your college essay, give this episode a listen.

    If you’re younger and want to get a head start of the art of essay-writing (smart idea), tune-in and get an early read. If you are a parent, trying to figure out how to guide your child t...

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    August 9, 2020 20 min

    Show Notes:

    In most of my podcasts, I do deep dives into one or two topics. Today, I’m bringing back the rapid-fire FAQ format. I’ll give you my quick-takes on some of the most common questions that I get every day as a college admissions advisor. 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:07 Should I still bother taking the SAT or ACT?

    0:01:40 Do colleges prefer SAT or ACT?

    0:02:20 Should I take the SAT and the ACT?

    0:02:44 Which tes...

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    August 2, 2020 17 min

    Show Notes:

    We are halfway through one of the most unusual summers that teenagers will experience for the next 50 years. Two months at home - without much responsibility (in most cases). In this episode, I speak directly to every teenager, student, PrepWeller, and prospective PrepWeller. I ask them to reflect on what they’ve accomplished during the month of July. I prompt them to make a plan for August. I challenge them to decide wh...

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    July 26, 2020 22 min

    Show Notes:

    At the end of March, PrepWell Academy closed registration to the Class of 2022 (rising juniors). In our eyes, June 1st marks the point of no return. Either you care about college admissions - or you don’t. If you do, the end of sophomore year is the last time that you have a chance to enroll in PrepWell Academy.

    Because of the COVID shutdown and our multiple airings on Shark Tank, this year happened to be a giant year for...

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    Today, we’re talking about how to approach the SAT and/or ACT - the two standardized tests that most colleges will use to assess your child’s readiness for college.

    This is a very important topic. As with most things related to college admissions, students and parents should get involved far sooner than they think - if they want to do well.

    That’s the entire point of this podcast, and PrepWell Academy - to give you the early head’s -...

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    July 12, 2020 7 min

    Show Notes:

    In today's episode, I provide advice to parents who are trying to help their child stay on top of academics over the summer (even if just a little bit) - and students who want to stay on top academics (even just a little bit) - especially when they find themselves overwhelmed, due to travel, or COVID, or other circumstances - or, they’re just paralyzed by too many options. 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:...

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    July 5, 2020 16 min

    Show Notes:

    Researching colleges at the right time and with the appropriate intensity is an important part of the college admission process. The sooner your child (and you) begin to follow a plan - the better. Especially for students with “specialty aspirations”. In this episode, I walk you through how, when, and why you should begin your research. 

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:13 What is a specialty aspiration?

    0:02:15...

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    June 28, 2020 21 min

    Show Notes:

    Several years ago, I created a 1-page worksheet that laid out the 7 categories that determine how well a student will be prepared for the college admissions process. In this podcast, I walk through this worksheet and discuss how it reveals your child’s competitiveness.

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:06:00 How to use this worksheet

    0:06:55 Objective Academic Measures (Big 3)

    0:10:50 Extracurricular Activities

    0:13:3...

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    June 21, 2020 23 min

    Show Notes:

    I speak with a lot of parents who struggle over the decision to send their children to public or private high schools. Their struggle is well-founded. There are many factors to consider in this important decision. 

    This episode is also valuable to parents who already have children in high school because it uncovers insights based on the type of high school your child attends (private or public).

    Here is what I discuss in t...

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    June 14, 2020 27 min

    Show Notes:

    Okay, we all survived a very odd school year. Now what? In this episode, I discuss the priorities and winning mindset of rising 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders as they plunge into an uncertain summer.

    Here is what I discuss in this episode:

    0:01:40 Where we started

    0:03:10 Why the summer is so important

    0:03:45 What do we do now?

    0:04:57 What should rising 9th-graders focus on?

    0:12:00 What should rising 10th-graders focus o...

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