PrepWell Podcast


Ep. 6 | How Extracurriculars Turn a Ho-Hum Application into a Home Run Application

Inspired by a recent “check-in” session with one of my private PrepWell students, this episode demonstrates how timely advice on extracurricular activities can help a student go from a weak candidate to a strong candidate for admission into the country’s most selective schools.

Show Notes:

In this episode, I take you “inside” a check-in session with one of my private PrepWell students (we’ll refer to him as John). John, who is just beginning his junior year, has been enrolled in PrepWell Academy since freshman year and has positioned himself well for the college admissions process. He has a 4.5 GPA, takes challenging AP and Honors classes, plays a varsity sport, engages in student government, and scored well on his PSAT 10 in sophomore year. That’s the good news.

What’s the bad news? John has revealed that he aspires to attend a Top 10 colleges. This puts John in competition with some of the most motivated high school students in the country. As I audit his extracurricular activities, it becomes clear that his current path will not get it done. John is a bit surprised. He thinks he’s been doing everything right. What more can he do in the next 10-12 months to be competitive?

This episode walks you through my recommendations. What can John do to turn his ho-hum application into a home run application? Will John take me up on these ideas? Will he execute the plan? I won’t know until next year, but at least he’s got a fighting chance. Why? Because he’s engaged in this process early enough to take action. 

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Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:55 What is “John's” status today?
0:02:22 Do you want the worksheet I use?
0:03:08 Where does John aspire to go to college?
0:04:06 What is my role?
0:04:45 “John’s” profile
0:06:15 Excelling in the “Big 3” is a given
0:06:51 What else does “John" need to do?
0:07:09 How ECs create separation
0:07:43 What’s an Admissions Officer thinking?
0:08:08 Will the student fit into a “slot”?
0:09:49 Does a student’s “major preference” matter?
0:10:10 Can the Admissions Officer see a connection?
0:10:28 “John’s” major preference and ECs
0:11:52 Does “John” deserve further consideration?
0:12:30 What do these colleges expect?
0:13:30 Why “John” has no chance
0:14:00 Why “John” picked Engineering as his preferred major?
0:15:42 What created a spark for “John”?
0:16:08 My EC suggestions for “John” 
0:19:35 How to paint a compelling picture
0:20:45 Why inaction is still a good sign
0:21:21 Do I think “John” will take action?
0:22:05 Why “John” is lucky
0:22:45 Imagine if “John” started thinking about this next year

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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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