In Season 1, admissions expert Arun Ponnusamy explores the "universal truths" of college admissions, demolishing the most stubborn myths, lies, and misconceptions along the way. Arun is a former admissions officer at the University of Chicago, Caltech, and UCLA, and is currently Chief Academic Officer at Collegewise. Subscribe for sound advice from the wisest (and nerdiest) bunch of college counselors in the country.
Do colleges reserve spots for valedictorians? Is it harder to get a job with a humanities degree? Will a letter of recommendation from Oprah get you into Stanford? In the Season 1 finale, we take a hammer to some of the most stubborn (and ridiculous) myths, lies and misconceptions about college admissions, as told to us by the Collegewise counselors doing this work every day.
Collegewise founder Kevin McMullin is back to discuss the fundamentals of leadership as it relates to college applications. Find out why being elected class president won’t impress admissions officers, why some of the most compelling stories of high school leadership come from students who aren’t formally in charge of anything, why some of the best opportunities to lead lie within your own passions and community, and how a kid named David Husslebee made a name for himself with a set identical Hawaiian shirts.
This week we take a deep dive into college costs. We explain why the sticker price (the one colleges put on the website) is usually not what you pay. We discuss how to decide if a college is a good financial fit, what makes any particular college a “good value," and the invisible forces at work on how we think about which colleges are “worth it.” Our guest is Casey Near, Executive Director of Counseling at Collegewise. Casey is a former admissions counselor at Mills College, avid book reader, part-timer Mainer, and full-time smarty pants.
Our guest this week is Nicole Pilar, Collegewise's resident admissions super-nerd. Listen in as Arun and Nicole dig into the details of how (and why) each year of high school matters when you submit applications. They discuss how admissions officers weigh each year of your high school transcript, how to address a "rough" year of grades in the application, why you shouldn't be afraid to devote your time to the things that make you happy, and a whole lot more.
This week's fundamental truth: Test scores are never the most important thing. Our guest is Paul Kanarek. Paul is a co-founder of The Princeton Review, where he spent 30+ years as Senior Vice President before leaving to become a managing partner at Collegewise. In that time he’s developed some “strong” opinions on just about everything related to college admissions, notably a deep skepticism of entire American testing industry. The irony is not lost on him.
This week we explore the role extracurriculars play in admissions. Do colleges look more favorably at certain activities? What do they mean by "sustained and meaningful" service? What if you want to build a hovercraft instead? Our guest is Tom Barry. Tom is a veteran college counselor, a former admissions officer at Colorado College, Stanford grad, and noted flannel enthusiast.
This week Arun is joined by former Stanford admissions officer Nandita Gupta for an open conversation on the eternal question:"What should I major in?" And the more important question, "Does it really matter?" Follow Arun on Twitter: @ArunWiseFollow Collegewise on Instagram: @collegewiseGet admissions-related updates and resources at collegewise.com/covidGet Wise: College Admissions Explained is produced by Collegewise, the nation’s largest admissions counseling organization. With over 60 expert counselors and 40 testing and curriculum tutors, we’re out to change the way families approach college admissions.
Arun and Collegewise founder Kevin McMullin break down the stubborn myth that colleges have a formula for getting in. They discuss the human element in college admissions, why students should think twice before choosing activities because they "look good," and how all of this might look in the time of COVID-19.