The College Prep Podcast

The College Prep Podcast
For Parents, Teachers, and Teens Who Want Better Grades with Less Stress on the Path to the Perfect College
190: 12 Skills We assume Students Know (But They Don’t) - The College Prep Podcast
Dec 11 • 34 min
There are some basic life and school skills that adults assume teens know how to do — but they really don’t! Gretchen and Megan break down 12 seemingly simply skills they’ve observed in their practices, and urge their adult listeners to support students…
189: How to Make an Anti-Cram Plan for Final Exams - The College Prep Podcast
Dec 4 • 41 min
You’ve heard it’s bad for your brain to cram for finals, but what should you do instead to get ready for semester exams? Make an Anti-Cram! plan, of course! During this episode of the podcast (which is a reprise of Gretchen’s recent Master Class for…
188: Important Distinctions Between Scholarships and Financial Aid - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 28 • 31 min
Families often mistake financial aid with scholarships, which can lead to confusion, disappointment, and wasted time as seniors choose their college and figure out how to pay for it. In this episode Megan breaks down how to think about the different…
187: How to Stay on Track with a Mid-Semester Tune Up - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 20 • 20 min
It’s time for a mid-semester tune up! Take a couple hours this Thanksgiving Break to organize yourself, clean up any broken systems, and assess your study skills. Gretchen will teach you how, including: * How to tune up your organization systems,…
186: Should Your Teen Take Online Courses? - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 13 • 26 min
Have you ever taken, or considered taking, online courses as a high school students? Megan describes her daughter’s experience taking on online course through the Duke Talent Identification Program and delivers her final assessment about whether these…
185: Two Note Taking Strategies Every Student Should Master - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 6 • 28 min
How many note-taking techniques do you consciously use when learning from a textbook? Gretchen describes two specific strategies that you can use now in school, and the rest of your life too. Tune into this episode to find out: * how to skim your textbook…
184: When Weather Interrupts Your College Application Plans - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 30 • 23 min
From hurricanes to snow storms, sudden massive weather can disrupt your college application plans. Megan shares her personal experience of how the Houston area SAT, ACT and school calendars were disrupted by Hurricane Harvey. She also provides some tips…
183: How to Help Students Interrupt Self Sabotage - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 23 • 25 min
All the study and time management tricks in the world won’t help students if their minds are filled with damaging self-talk. Gretchen and Megan break down how the thoughts you think can sabotage your success. During this discussion they touch on: *…
182: The Crazy High Costs of Applying to College - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 16 • 31 min
Everyone knows how much it costs to go to college, but there are some surprising hidden costs of applying to college too. Tune in to hear Megan tally the numbers and help you budget for the college application process. She’ll break down the costs in the…
181: How to Calendar the Entire School Year in One Sitting - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 9 • 20 min
For juniors and seniors, there are so many important dates to remember and plan around related to academics, extracurriculars, and the college search. Megan walks you through how to sit down for a few hours and map out the year on your calendar, so that…
180: How Notifications are Changing Students’ Brains - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 2 • 24 min
We are draining our brains of much needed energy and attention, thanks to social media and the way new communication technologies work. Tune in to discuss a single act that all families can do to help preserve parents’ and students’ […]
179: Success in Admission Starts with the Right List of Schools - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 25 • 32 min
Most admission disappointment start now, with families who don’t take time to create the right college list. Listen in as Megan walks you through the 6 kinds of schools you should definitely apply to, to make sure that you get […]
178: Understanding the PSAT & National Merit Scholarships - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 18 • 26 min
The PSAT is practice for 95% of test takers. But for the other 5% it is an important test that qualifies students for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Learn more during this episode about how to tackle the PSAT, whether […]
177: 7 Tips for For Taking Your First Test This Semester - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 11 • 22 min
The first tests of the school year are happening now for many students! Check out these 7 tips for how to get prepped to take your first assessments: 1. Understand the study cycle. We explain it in this episode, or […]
176: Beginning of the School Year Challenges - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 5 • 21 min
There is so much stress at the beginning of the school year! In this episode Megan and Gretchen normalize how hard the transition from summer to academic life is for educators, families, and students. Tune is as they discuss: Some […]
175: Set Up Your Study Space for the School Year - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 28 • 25 min
The right study space can make or break a student’s ability to follow through, beat procrastination, and get high quality work done at home. During this episode, Megan and Gretchen detail six things to think about when designing a study […]
174: Habits for Parents to Develop Now That Reduces Anxiety Later - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 21 • 27 min
Parents, do you often feel a lot of anxiety about your kids grades and academic habits? Do you suspect that your student feels anxious too? Or maybe it makes YOU anxious that your kiddo doesn’t seem anxious at all. There […]
173: Should Students Really Review Their Notes Outside of Class? - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 14 • 27 min
Parents often expect their students to spend time outside of class reviewing lecture notes. How effective is this habit? Should students do it? And if so, how do parents motivate students to spend extra time studying? In this episode Megan […]
172: The Perfect Planner for Your School Year? - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 7 • 39 min
Are you searching for the perfect planner to help you organize your due dates and assignments for the next school year? One that is oriented towards a student’s real-life needs? Lesley Martin of Class Tracker joins Gretchen to describe her […]
171: Megan’s College Visits — Notes as a Mom & College Consultant - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 31 • 33 min
Megan is looking for the perfect college with her daughter and has just returned from a five day campus visit trip. Find out some insider tips for planning visits, asking the right questions, limiting your choices, and evaluating schools. Tune […]
170: Wise Budgeting Advice from a Teenager - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 24 • 32 min
How the heck do you teach teens to budget their money? Eighteen year old Jason Esguerra is a budgeting enthusiast who Gretchen first met in a Facebook group for YNAB (You Need a Budget), a unique budgeting software that has […]
169: Requests for Teachers that Create Big Returns for Students - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 17 • 31 min
Teachers — you are powerful people in students’ lives! There are a few simple tweaks you can make that will help students be better and less anxious learners and time managers. Now is a great time to plan. Listen in […]
168: College Admissions Essays — How to Get Started - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 10 • 25 min
Summer is a great time to get started on college admissions essays. However, many students start their writing in the wrong order! Megan breaks down exactly what to do to set yourself up to write essays that contribute to a […]
167: 10-Minutes a Day Will Keep Teens’ Brains In Gear Over the Summer - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 3 • 22 min
Are you worried your kid will lose their summer to video games and YouTube? There are activities that students can do this summer — in 10 minutes a day — to help them get a jumpstart on the new school […]
166: Is Self Control a Myth or a Must-Have? - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 26 • 18 min
So often parents wish their students had more self-control. However, it turns out that “effortful restraint” (which is one word researchers use for “self control” is hard for the best of us, students and adults alike During today’s episode, Gretchen […]
165: How to Help Students Budget Their Money Before College - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 19 • 27 min
Budgeting is a skill that many adults don’t have! However, it’s a super important skill to teach your students before they go off to college. On today’s episode, Megan and Gretchen discuss some tips for how to get started helping […]
164: Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate – Should We Do It? How? Why? - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 12 • 27 min
Advanced Placement courses can provide a huge advantage to students when they hit college, but they can also be a huge drain on a high school student’s schedule and sense of balance. Recent a mom named Tamra wrote in with […]
163: Why Perfectionism in Teens Is Not Always Healthy - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 5 • 33 min
Although perfectionism can seem like a good thing, students with perfectionist tendencies can struggle with exhaustion, poor self-esteem, and unhealthy habits related to school/life balance. Guest expert Ann Marie Dobosz sheds insight into how perfecti…
161: Advice Parents and Students Don’t Want to Hear - The College Prep Podcast
May 29 • 31 min
Sometimes educators have to dish out advice that families simply don’t want to hear. In this episode, Megan and Gretchen detail their most unpopular advice for students and parents. The advice folks don’t want to hear includes: Course Selection: You […]
162 – Summer Programs, Study Guides, Improving Vocab & More - The College Prep Podcast
May 22 • 32 min
You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers! Join us as we discuss the following questions: Summer Programs for College Prep: We are looking at the Stanford University “High School Summer College” program for our son. The classes are interesting,
160: Why Parents Should Resist Scheduling Extra Events in May - The College Prep Podcast
May 15 • 23 min
May is a crazy month for parents and students! Families often have the habit of thinking that May will be an easy month because school is winding down. Actually, May is worse than December in terms of scheduling a multitude of […]
159: Perfection Paralysis and How to Get Unstuck When Writing - The College Prep Podcast
May 8 • 19 min
Do writing assignments take you longer than necessary because you often feel stuck? Join Gretchen as she shares an interesting tool she created with a client to help him with his perfection paralysis. Specifically,
158: 5 Secrets to Taking Multiple Choice Tests Well - The College Prep Podcast
May 1 • 35 min
Too many students struggle with multiple choice tests. Often, this difficulty is not that they don’t know the material but rather because they haven’t learned how to take those tests well. Listen in as Megan provides her top five tips so you […]
157: Tips from a Professor About How to Rock College - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 24 • 36 min
Listen in to a college professor talk about what skills make for a successful college student! Special guest Tina Kruse shares what she’s learned from 15 years teaching freshman seminars at a small liberal arts college, including: What is a […]
156: Community Colleges, National Merit Scholarships, and Bad Teachers - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 17 • 29 min
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Join us as we discuss community colleges versus big name schools, getting national merit scholarships, and dealing with bad teachers. Here are the questions Megan and Gretchen tackle on today’s Q&A show: COMMUNI…
155: How to Grow a Thriving Academic Life Coaching Biz - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 10 • 32 min
What’s it like to build a successful business as an academic life coach? Guest Debbie Lehr-Lee shares the ups and downs about her path, including how Gretchen’s Anti-Boring Approach Coach training helped her go from 4 clients to a thriving […]
154: Tips for Attending a National College Fair - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 3 • 30 min
Attending a National College Fair with your high school student? We recently heard from a listener who had some questions about how to make the most of her National College Fair visit with her son. Here’s her email: My son […]
153: Life-Threatening Allergies and How to Choose An Allergy-Savvy College - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 27 • 33 min
If your child has a life-threatening allergy, you know how important it is to find a college that cares, and has specific policies in place to make sure your kiddo is taken care of. Join guest expert Monica Randall PH.D […]
152: Q&A – Math Mistakes, Gap Years, Distracted Studying & More - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 20 • 24 min
It’s another Q&A Show! Here are the questions that we tackle in this episode: 1. Weird Mistakes in Math. My math teacher is a little confusing, which gets me doing weird things that complicate matters on simple problems. Mom thinks it […]
151: 3 Tips to Make Worksheets More Than Just “Busy Work” - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 13 • 19 min
Worksheets may seem like useless “busy work,” especially to bored students. But actually, they are great tools to help you score well on tests if you use them in the right way. Tune in to find out more about how to: […]
150: Time Saving Homework Tips, Admissions Deadlines & Early Decision - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 6 • 19 min
You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers! On today’s Q&A show, learn about how to make online textbook reading less time consuming, what to do once you’ve been accepted via early decision, and whether there’s wiggle room to submit another ACT […]
149: Lesser Known Tests for College Admissions - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 27 • 27 min
Did you know that there are more college admissions tests than just the ACT and SAT? Some of these replace the ACT/SAT, and some of them are required in addition to these tests. During this episode, Megan walks us through […]
148: Take Better Notes with This Simple Math-Inspired Technique - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 20 • 16 min
Students struggle to summarize information effectively, often resorting to writing too much or too little in their notes. Gretchen has perfected a technique that adopts symbols from math to help students read more effectively and take notes more effici…
147: Eight Reasons to Apply to Canadian Universities - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 13 • 40 min
Did you know that you can save more than $20K a year by going to Canadian Universities, as compared to American ones? There are many other reasons why American students might want to consider Canadian universities. Join us as guest […]
146: Scams to Watch for Related to College Planning & Admissions - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 6 • 27 min
When parents and students are afraid of their college prospects, they’re more susceptible to scams that prey on this fear. In today’s climate of expensive schools that seem increasingly competitive, this fear and susceptibility can be a problem for fam…
145: Start Now to Plan Meaningful College Experiences - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 30 • 31 min
Teens and parents! What will you do this summer to have experiences that are both meaningful and impress colleges on your applications? Looking for free and low-cost solutions? Now is the time to start planning. We know it seems super […]
144: Are My Scores and Grades Good Enough? - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 23 • 32 min
Junior year it’s time to start compiling your list of colleges. However, how can you tell if your grades are high enough to be considered by the schools on your list? Megan introduces us to a cool online tool that […]
143: How to Read a 400 Page Book in Under Two Hours - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 16 • 24 min
One of the most time consuming activities for students is reading! Tune in to discover simple tips for reading faster and more effectively than you ever thought possible. The section of the book readers usually skip (but shouldn’t) How to […]
142: How to Learn Foreign Languages Faster & Better - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 9 • 22 min
Does foreign language learning seem awfully slow? Tune in as Megan and Gretchen reflect about 10+ ways to learn languages, including English, faster and more effectively. Today’s episode is a response to a listener named Hassan, who lives in Iran […]
141: 5 Fears Students Have That Need to Be Acknowledged - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 2 • 26 min
Sometimes adults forget that being a student is an emotionally taxing job, and students need reassurance! On today’s New Year’s episode we discuss the 5 ways that feelings get in the way of student success if they’re not acknowledged. Each […]