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College admissions 2020-21 is characterized by surging applications from a shrinking pool of college-bound students.  What are we to make of the admissions process?   Listen in as Ginger Mayfield interviews Leigh Moore about the stressors sustained by the class of 2021--and their parents.  (Unedited transcript available.)
Episode #14 of the Real College Matters podcast Is heavy on the "real" and a little lighter on the "podcast"--an uncut, unfiltered conversation between Leigh and Bill Deresiewicz, the writer who has most influenced her college advising practice.In a departure from Bill's usual speaking venues--his most recent being with New York University--Bill gives generously of his time to talk with Leigh not only about his latest publication but also about the provocative essays and books which call into question our culture's troubling assumptions about higher education.A transcript Is provided but has not been edited for accuracy. (Link to new book) The Death of the Artist:  How Creators Are Struggling to Survive In the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech(Bill's website)Selected writings:Solitude and Leadership (text of speech given to West Point cadets In 2010)The Disadvantages of an Elite EducationOn Political Correctness Other books: A Jane Austen Education:  How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really MatterExcellent Sheep:  The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life
For our Thanksgiving week podcast, we were joined by Vanderbilt University sophomore Harrison Stuart.  Ginger and Leigh spoke with Harrison about a particular discipline he adopted during his senior year In high school.   What began as a well-intentioned set of tasks ultimately became transformational for Harrison and continues to impact his experiences. Enjoy! 
2020 has taken a lot from us, even if we have been able to dodge the Covid-19 virus itself.  College applicants and their parents often experience a loss of control over the admissions journey they had anticipated,  of which the inability to visit colleges Is just one example. Importantly, though, there are opportunities provided by the changes, elements within one's control.  Listen in as athletics specialist Katie Andersen joins Ginger Mayfield, Dana Strull, and Leigh Moore explore the best ways students and parents can exercise control throughout the admissions process.  Link to fast survey which triggers availability of college research resource listLink to expected family contribution (EFC) estimator
(Want to queue to a topic of choice?  Go to "chapters.") We hear a lot about honors programs at large public universities, but often not until the end of the application process.  What should a family look for when evaluating whether or not an honors program should be part of the student's college forecast?  Our guest on this episode Is John Willingham, author of Inside Honors: Ratings and Reviews of 40 Public University Honors Programs.  The fifth edition of Inside Honors, released In late September, is packed with enough data and meaningful insights that students and parents can make good, informed decisions.  John's scholarship In this area is unmatched, and we were thrilled to have him on the show. Check out his website, too!
Why do people send their kids to boarding schools?   Joining us as we pose this question are boarding school consultant Jane Shropshire and the admissions directors from two boarding schools in the southeast--Virginia Episcopal School (Lynchburg)  and McCallie School (Chattanooga).More info about:Jane Shropshire and her boarding school consulting servicesJustine ButtonJim DaughdrillMcCallie School Virginia Episcopal School Boarding school resourcesLots of boarding school facts and figuresEnrollment Management Association (independent school admissions information for school-side administrators)
As the saying goes, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Too often, we talk about achievement instead of education, knowledge instead of understanding, accomplishments instead of learning. Many thanks to Tracie Catlett, Head of School at Greensboro Day School (NC), for joining us as we tackle tough questions:  what Is a quality education?  What markers of a secondary curriculum are most meaningful?  Tracie's professional experiences, which include math teacher, academic dean, admissions director and head of school, equip her with a valuable perspective for the discussion.Note: The provided transcript has not been edited for accuracy.  More about Greensboro Day SchoolMore about Real College Matters
"Real college" consists not only the few years spent on a college campus but also the lifelong dividends reaped from the journey.  Families often seek out information about career outcomes, but rarely do we connect the dots to learn how a student grows into a professional.What can we learn about the level of service offered by a particular school's career center during the college search?  Leigh and Ryan turn to a pro for insights; listen in as they welcome Tom Brinkley to the podcast:  Tom serves as Executive Director of the highly-acclaimed Student Professional Development Center at Elon University.  The SPDC has flourished under Tom's decade of leadership and ranks consistently at or near the top of the list of undergraduate career service centers.  Tom has drawn on a long career In the business world himself to modernize and grow career services at Elon.  Accordingly, he offers a rare perspective as he describes how prospective students and parents can assess professional development centers at their colleges of interest.
Hello, faithful listeners!Listen in as Leigh, Dana, and Ryan depart from the usual format with a very casual, team-only discussion.   After a round of college trivia, we share our perspectives and debunk the most pervasive of the myths which tend to confuse students and families.Subject queue times available for this episode.  If not supported by your podcast app of choice, see the list after the links. Entire quiz from which Leigh drew questions for college trivia roundChart from Google Trends which shows spike in interest during admissions scandalEarly decision data vizLink to purchase full scholarship list mentioned In episode00:02:30 How are the seniors doing?00:07:10 College trivia round00:17:45 Myth 1:  The ability to pay doesn't matter in admissions.00:23:33 Myth 2:  My friend got a merit scholarship to Princeton.00:26:25 Myth 3:  Test scores aren't really optional, even when colleges say they are.00:29:40 Myth 4: Early Decision plans won't be significant this year.00:36:04 Dubious statement 5:  You can't get In If you don't apply.00:38:45  Bonus myth:  Apply to college now; seek scholarships later.
Ryan and Leigh welcomed Katie Andersen to the podcast today to address the growing number of questions faced by athletic recruits.Katie works with a number of our students at Real College Matters. A former soccer player for Duke University, Katie is a college advisor in southern California whose practice focuses on self-recruitment and overall fit.     Some of our questions:How can athletes Interpret the test-optional policies adopted by so many colleges for the class of 2021 and beyond?How do the decisions being made about the fall 2020 football season affect athletes In other sports?Which sports are most vulnerable to budget cuts?Most Importantly, how can we encourage students to be proactive agents of their own futures when answers are not yet In sight?More information about Katie's practice can be found at College Fit OC.  To learn about our Integrated approach at Real College Matters, click here.  Need help tracking changes to athletics programs?  Here's the site Katie referenced on the show.   
Rain or shine, recession or no recession, online or In person--everybody wants to know more about merit scholarships.  On today's episode, Wendy Nelson, founder of My Kid's College Choice and Merit Scholarship List, chats with us about her path through the college costs maze as a mom and the resources she developed In response.   An Important part of our mission at Real College Matters Is awareness--awareness about the many kinds of help available to families.  Wendy's two sites are among the most affordable resources for families who understand their child's need to Identify a good-fit merit scholarship.  Thank you, Wendy!  Note:  The columnist mentioned In the podcast Is Lee Bierer, an Independent counselor who Is also a regular columnist for the Charlotte Observer.  Apologies for blanking on Lee's last name!  She Is an admired colleague.As always, we Invite you to check out our site as well; we've added hourly services to our options!
(Taped April, 2020; released July 2020)From Phillips Exeter to Cushing, and a couple other schools in between, Dan Morrissey has spent over thirty years asking himself the question:  how can faculty members be effective advisors?  More about Dan MorrisseyMore about Cushing AcademyDan's recommendations:  BooksTeaching Clarity, Purpose and MotivationThe Advisory Toolkit - Wildwood School Appreciative Advising Being Adolescent: Conflict and Growth in the Teenage YearsPromoting Social and Emotional Learning Ready to Use Social Skills Lessons & Activities Grades 7-12What Smart Kids KnowSmart But Scattered TeensThe Worry Workbook for TeensThe Teenage BrainA More Beautiful QuestionCircle ForwardMeditation for Fidgety SkepticsA
About Ryan:Meet team member and essay advisor Ryan Perry.  Affectionately known as our millennial renaissance man, Ryan keeps the college counselors at RCM a little younger by offering a twenty-something perspective on all topics related to the college search.Ryan has worn a lot of hats in a quarter century—A graduate of both the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia, Ryan also is or has been:  collegiate soccer team captain, basketball player, runner, rabid Kentucky Wildcat fan, an actor, policy nerd,  filmmaker, and reader.   Most of all, he is a storyteller.  As such, he has become a trusted sounding board for many of our students when they tackle their personal statements.In this episode:In this particular episode, we touch on a bit of everything but focus most on Ryan’s role as transfer student.  Ryan managed not only to change schools successfully but to establish himself as a leader once at his new college.  Ryan provides insights for those who are considering a move as well as those who have already made the decision to transfer.  Beyond this episode:Resources:  More about Ryan and the other members of our teamTransferology and CollegeTransfer.netRegistration for 5/28/20 webinar for student athletesJoin our mailing list to learn more about upcoming essay and Common App workshopsPlease don't forget to subscribe to the podcast! 
OverviewLynn O'Shaughnessy, veteran financial reporter (LA Times, CBS Moneywatch, US News and World Report) sits down with Dana and Leigh to talk about college costs.  What is the first step for parents as they begin to forecast college expenses?  How can parents support their student as final college choices must be made during a time of quarantine and long-term financial uncertainty?  Welcome to the conversation! Links mentioned In the episodeLynn's post regarding Forbes ratings and overall financial stability of collegesTipsheet:  How to tell If your college Is going brokeOpportunities for parents to learn more:Want a deep dive into college costs?  Register for Lynn's College Costs Lab:  e-mail Lynn directly at this link.  Tell her you heard the podcast, and she will offer you a significant discount on her course.The Forbes financial health ratings Lynn referenced are among the data Leigh included on this dashboard.   Content shortcuts First step; formulas to know (5:26) Appealing financial aid awards, during the Covid-19 crisis or otherwise (14:02)Explaining the additional complication this year, the new rules around student recruiting (20:58)How can parents assess the long-term viability of an institution? (34:12)Are college businesses? (37:07)Gap years and the Class of 2021 (39:50)
Podcast introduction

Podcast introduction


Welcome to Real College Matters! This podcast aims to uncover the reality of collegiate admissions and all that takes place once you make your college choice. Join host Ryan Perry as he interviews RCM colleagues Dana Strull and Leigh Moore to learn about their education background and their vision for RCM.
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