In this week's podcast, I share a tip that I learned 7 years ago.
If you have a child with big ambitions for college and beyond, make sure you don't skip today's episode.
Hello, friends, and welcome back to the PrepWell Podcast. In today's episode, I want to give you a quick bit of advice that I received maybe six or seven years ago, which has worked like a charm ever since. If you are a prep dweller or a prep parent, you may have already heard of this tip. But it's worth repeating nonetheless.
My two oldest sons were just starting out in high school. They were doing well. They were playing sports, taking advanced classes and getting involved in extracurricular activities. And we as parents were letting them do their thing as long as there were no problems that we were aware of. We let them go. They were getting A's in their classes, but they weren't easy A's.
They would periodically struggle in advanced math or honors chemistry and we would just stand by and let things play out. As new parents with our first children in high school, we didn't really know much better. We wanted them to do well of course, but we didn't really even know what that meant until one day I was having a conversation with a parent about school and how one of my sons was teetering between an A and B going into the final chemistry exam.
And the parent asked me, Oh, who is your son's tutor? And I said, What do you mean? What tutor? And she replied, You mean your son doesn't have a tutor for his ex's chemistry class? And I said, No. Should he have a tutor? And she replied, If he wants to get an A, that class is impossible. Everybody knows that.
All the academic minded kids have tutors. It's the only way to get in a. Well, it turns out that this was seemingly true. Most of the most motivated and academically oriented students were enlisting the help of tutors on the side to help ensure that they understood all the concepts well. And they typically got A's. Well, that was news to me.
And quickly, I felt like I was completely out of the loop. So I took action. I was curious to see how this tutor thing worked. So we called one of the well-respected and recommended tutors in the area, and we set up a few sessions. And lo and behold, it worked. The concepts became much clearer. The lessons made more sense, and the grades reflected a deeper understanding of the material.
And a borderline a B became a solid A. I'm not suggesting that the teacher was incompetent or not doing her part, but sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra attention or a different perspective at just the right time to make that breakthrough. And so from that point on, we were not bashful or embarrassed to enlist the help of outside tutors in particularly challenging classes.
Sometimes it was just a tune up before a big test. Sometimes it was a mid-semester review session. Sometimes it was to help with a particularly important problem set. I would say that our use of tutors over the years was intermittent, maybe a few sessions a semester if that. It wasn't like they met with a tutor every single week.
It was more like a few times a semester just to make sure that the concepts were rock solid. And of course, it helped with their confidence. And as we've talked about many times before, you want to start high school with good momentum as opposed to getting in a hole early. And so my message to all the parents and students out there is a simple one.
If you have the resources and you're serious about academics and you have high aspirations for college, don't be shy about seeking out extra help. Obviously, there are costs associated with hiring a tutor that not everybody can manage. If that's the case, there are many opportunities to get help at no cost from afterschool tutoring programs sponsored by the school.
Teachers often meet with students during lunch before school to cover topics that are giving students a hard time. It's more convenient for parents to set up a Zoom tutoring session at home. But a motivated and resourceful student can certainly find more affordable ways to get extra help. And by the way, as I'm sure you're figuring out, out, that's not where it ends.
I'm sure you've heard of people hiring outside, pitching coaches, rowing coaches, hitting coaches, speed and agility coaches. Then we move into S.A.T. and A.C.T. tutors and private college admissions consultants, and the list goes on and on. By the way, this isn't to freak anyone out. It's simply to make sure you're aware of what's happening in the world right now.
I personally don't love hearing about things after the fact and regret that I missed out on something. That doesn't mean I pull the trigger on every single option out there, but I like to know what's out there. Obviously, I own and operate a college admissions consulting business, so I think there's value in knowing what lies ahead ahead of time.
That's the entire reason I built my business. I wanted to help parents and students see around the corners so they weren't caught missing out on important dates. Milestones, Strategies, Tactics, tips. Most of you know that my prep academy program starts in ninth grade. Many years before other college counseling curricula. Because I'm in the business of helping your child prepare ahead of time to be a success, not backfilling after the fact and wondering why you didn't know about X, Y, or Z and then trying to put lipstick on a pig at $15 a month.
I try to make prep academy affordable for many families so that students and families who don't have $7,000, $10,000 or more to spend on a private college counselor and 11th or 12th grade still have a fighting chance. If you stay on track from the beginning, you may not need much help later on, depending on your aspirations. Now, that's not to say that if you have big ambitions or you want to attend a super selective college or a military service academy, or you're looking for an ROTC or an athletic scholarship that you wouldn't benefit from some private consulting and expertise to get you there.
But you should build a strong foundation either way. I hope this was helpful. I hope I opened some of your eyes to the possibilities that are out there to help your son or daughter be the best that they can be before it's too late. That's all I've got for you today, folks. Thank you for tuning in and thank you for your continued support.
In case you didn't know, this podcast supports prep academies, online mentoring program or high schoolers, and their parents receive weekly videos. For me where I break down important topics and give timely advice about college admissions, particularly for top tier colleges, service academies, and for ROTC and athletic scholarships. Many parents who listen to this podcast already have their high schoolers enrolled in Prep Academy, which is great.
If you don't yet, please consider enrolling them. Registration is only open during freshman or sophomore year. After that, we no longer accept new students. So if you have a freshman or sophomore in high school and you like what you're hearing in these podcasts and you'd like to get more content like this tailored specifically for your child for their specific goals and with their specific goals in mind, go to Prep academy dot com and enroll today.
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PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank (2X), etc.
Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.