PrepWell Podcast


Ep. 2 | Why Highly-Selective Colleges Seem To Prefer Specialists vs. Well-Rounded Students

Unlike 30 years ago, Admissions Officers today strive to build a "well-rounded class", not a “class" of well-rounded students. What are the implications of this institutional shift? Will this impact your child’s chances of getting in? How can you use this trend to your advantage?

Show Notes:

Why is it that today, many highly-selective colleges seem to be more interested in students who are specialists, experts, or angular versus those who are generalists, jacks-of-all-trades, or well-rounded? 

Because 30 years ago, it used to be the opposite. 

Back in the day, highly-selective schools were impressed by the proverbial “well-rounded student” who seemed capable of doing just about anything - sports, academics, guitar, community service, work.

And the "specialists" were thought to be more on the fringe, narrowly focused, or maybe didn’t have a broad enough base of curiosity to take advantage of a liberal arts education. 

Well, the tides have turned.

In this episode, we explore the implications of this trend and how your child might fit (or not fit) into this new landscape.

Is your child a generalist or specialist? If they’re still undecided, should you give them a nudge one way or the other? Or stay out of their way?

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Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:05 The way it used to be 
0:01:34 The way it is now 
0:01:39 Goal: A well-rounded class, not a “class" of well-rounded students 
0:02:38 How should your child invest their time nowadays? 
0:03:10 How a typical mom describes her son
0:05:35 Why her son resembles tens of thousands of others
0:06:23 What gets the attention of Admissions Officers? 
0:06:49 Examples of angular students
0:07:28 Institutional needs of colleges
0:08:00 What about athletes? Are they angular?
0:08:33 What do angular students do?
0:09:18 What does this mean for your child?
0:09:37 Where does your child fall on the angularity continuum?
0:10:16 What to do if your child is angular?
0:10:37 What to do if your child is well-rounded?
0:11:14 Who are the winners and losers?
0:11:58 What are some popular “angles"?
0:13:15 What are hooks?
0:14:21 Does your well-rounded child have any chance?
0:15:43 Caution: What “not" to do with this information
0:16:36 Summary thoughts

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Podcast Host: 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, 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.

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