The College Scoops Podcast

Episode 139: Parents – Listen Up! Tips on How You Can Help Your Student Find the Best Fit College

September 13, 2022

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There are many misconceptions about the college admissions process, as well as mistakes that parents can make while trying to support their student. On today’s podcast, we are joined by Beth Pickett, where she explains how parents can help their student find their best fit college. This decision can be made by considering a multitude of factors instead of just the prestige and ranking of a school.

Key Takeaways:

  • Families don’t take the financial outlook of colleges into enough consideration 
  • Look at the big picture – how many students will you have to pay for in the family? Figure this out before applying to colleges
  • Demonstrated interest: showing up if a college representative is making a visit to the student’s high school, visiting the campus if it’s within a 4-hour drive of your home, and early decision
  • For students: Do anything to make a connection. Email the representative to ask a question and attend the online virtual information session
  • For parents: open the email to double-check. Colleges track when you open their emails or visit their website
  • Parents can help students stay organized and answer emails by using spreadsheets 
  • Complete target and likely schools first when you have the most energy. Then, tackle Ivy leagues and more unlikely schools later
  • You want to hand in the best application you can. But, it’s not a matter of whether or not you’re worthy. It has a lot to do with institutional priorities
  • Maybe the best fit for your student, academically, emotionally, and socially, is not going to be an Ivy League or schools with a 1% acceptance rate

Important Resources and Links:

College Prep Counseling

College Admissions: The Essential Guide for Busy Parents

Meet Beth Pickett

Beth Pickett is the founder of College Prep Counseling and the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller, College Admissions: The Essential Guide for Busy Parents. She has been working with students across the U.S. as a college admissions counselor for 15 years. Her clients and essay students have earned admission to Harvard, Yale, Brown, UCLA, Stanford, Williams, and many other colleges and universities across the U.S.

A graduate of Stanford, Beth studied human and marine biology in college. She completed a post-graduate year afield, joining underwater expeditions with the National Geographic Society and the Cousteau Society, then working for Cousteau as a writer and editor.

She went on to earn her Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA and started working with families as an independent admissions consultant in 2007. She began teaching summer essay-writing seminars to 80+ rising seniors annually, then leading a team of editors to review the essays and offer suggestions for improvements before they were submitted to the colleges.

Beth is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and resides in the seaside town of Ventura, California, with her two teenage boys. 

Thank you Beth for enlightening both parents and students on the world of college admissions and how families can navigate this process in a smart and safe manner. Before applying to a college, parents should make sure their student will be in a financially-sound situation. If you are applying for financial aid, try to understand exactly what that aid is doing, or not doing, for the student. In the end, the college admissions process is not merit-based. Rather, it depends on the priorities of the institution. Students should not base their self-worth on whether they get admitted or not. It is more important that their college experience is academically, socially, and emotionally fulfilling. In the end, students should feel that the school that they are attending is the best fit for them, regardless of prestige or ranking.

Episode 139 Full Transcript

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College Scoops has a team of college interns who share their insights and expertise with our community. Our team consists of editors, writers, videographers, social media experts, and storytellers who work hard to produce relevant and interesting content for students (and parents) whether they are applying to, attending or graduating from college.

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