Application to Admission
By Understanding the Choices
Welcome to the Application to Admission Podcast! College admission experts Timothy Fields and Shereem Herndon-Brown pull from their 50 years of college admission experience and feature guests who help students and families to navigate the college admissions process. This is a must-listen-to for parents and advocates who want college admission success for their children and students!
Application to Admission Nov 21, 2023
Episode 37 - Essays over Everything
Want to know how to write an awesome college essay?
Listen to Shereem.
Want to know how admissions offices read college essays?
Listen to Tim.
Thankfully you can do both by listening to the Application to Admission Podcast!!!!
The power of college essay writing is more important than ever. Whether it’s because of test-optional policies or the end of affirmative action for race conscious admissions, students who document their lived experiences with authenticity, need to know that their stories are vital and valuable.
As January 1st application deadlines quickly approach, help your child by giving them instruction and insight on the college essay writing process. We’re here to share what we know with our combined 50+ years of experience so that your student’s essay can stand out.
Episode 36- How a Professor Tackles Being Intentional About Parenting, Education and Talking About Race
Perspective is everything. The more we live, the more we learn. The ultimate goal for many is to grow, share and lead. Dr. Greg Ellison does just that. An Atlanta native, Ellison is associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology where he earned his undergraduate degree and later a Ph.D. degrees in pastoral theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Intellectually invigorating and engaging, Dr. Ellison is approaching what may be most challenging and exciting time in his life: parenting a college bound student.
As an educator, Dr. Ellison has perspective about his role as a dad. I mean, he is the author of Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice and Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men two books that will help him to navigate this complicated terrain.
So we sat down with Dr. Ellison and asked him some probing questions. Hear his responses and grow, share and lead with us.
Episode 35 - Do Black Families Believe in College Rankings?
The better question is “do the college rankings consider Black families……”
Regardless, affluent college educated Black families have very strong feelings about what kinds of colleges their children should attend and why. Does it have to be an Ivy or Ivy-adjacent school? Does the PWI have to have a certain percentage of Black students? Are my children “Black enough” to attend an HBCU?!!!
These are real questions that middle and upper-class Black people think about and Dr. Deborwah Faulk has taken the time to dissect this phenomena and give it light. As a Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at the University of Richmond, her 2023 scholarly research entitled College Choices, Choice Dilemmas: Black Advantaged Parents’ Views of Their Children’s College Options focuses on much of what we aim to examine in our book, The Black Family’s Guide to College Admissions: A Conversation About Education, Parenting and Race. We were fortunate to interview this proud woman of Spelman who earned her doctorate at the The Ohio State University and share our thoughts as well as highlight hers.
Rankings, status, prestige and “what other people think” are woven into the fabric of American society. As Black people who make financial, cultural and educational choices for our children, we cannot ignore this fact. Dr. Faulk gives voice to those who embrace this notion and those who want to challenge it. Her scholarship is novel and necessary. Learn something and let’s discuss.
Episode 34 - How to Get Scholarship Money for HBCUs
Money matters in college admissions. We want everyone to prioritize cost when searching for and applying to schools. We’re big believers in HBCUS too, so when you combine the two - scholarships and HBCUs - there’s only one name in 2023 that rings as the ultimate resource for students and parents: Paula Dofat.
As the leading voice on IG with her @hbcumoneyguide, Paula prides herself on offering “free degree tea” with her posts on where to find the money. A mom of two HBCU grads and a serial college visitor to all HBCUs, she’s done her homework, invested her time and eager to share how to turn HBCU dreams to debt-free realities.
If you want money for college and you’re thinking about HBCUs, this episode is for you!!
Episode 33 -Reflective and Effective Servant Leadership
Leadership is not easy. It demands patience, conviction and transparency. In the profession of college admissions and college admissions counseling, it’s imperative that we have leaders who are true to themselves and committed to the young people who will lead in the future.
Vern Granger holds the respect of thousands of individuals who work in college admission and school counseling. Many of us will descend upon Baltimore this week for the annual conference of the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC). He is the standing Board Chair of our professional organization who doubles as the Director of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Connecticut. With senior admissions positions also from The Ohio State University and North Carolina State University, Vern has overseen seen admission and enrollment of revered, public, flagship universities and done so with aplomb.
Our interview with him - a must listen - was better than we could have asked for. He offered advice for families, gave us his perspective about the state of college admissions given the recent SCOTUS decision and, most admirably, was vulnerable enough to discuss his own occasional imposter syndrome and how all aspiring leaders in the profession can confront theirs and persevere.
Vern is a dad to one but a father figure to many. He watched his own daughter apply to college in 2022 and knows how important compassion and communication are in this process. A true man of the people, servant and leader are the two words that best describe him. We are honored to have spent this 45 minutes with him and now we present his wisdom to you.
Episode 32 - College Sports: Recruiting, Scholarships and What Matters Most
If you have a student athlete in your home, you’re going to want to hear this. This former Olympian and NFL wide receiver has some gems for you.
We all know college and sports work in tandem in our culture and with the recent success and impact of one famous Black football coach in particular, we need to continue to pour into our young men and women to make sure they survey all athletic options. We want families to know more about the college admissions and recruitment processes. Here it is.
Enter Steve Brown Academy where he and his team prepare athletes for success inside and outside the classroom. A dedicated educator and dad, Steve knows the truth about college recruiting and wants to share it with you. This is for sports fans, sports parents and student athletes. Learn from an expert who’s been there, done that and wants you to win.
Episode 31- Mental Health and College Admissions
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” - United Negro College Fund
We are not well. Never have been and maybe never will be. PTSD from a variety of places can obstruct our progress or we can seek help, heal and move in our purpose.
Dr. Bianca Busch helps students and families to do just that. As the “College Psychiatrist” (yes, that’s her website and IG) she is passionate about tending to those in need during these tender years of 18-23. Stern and compassionate, she deftly shares a message of hope and guidance that we all need to listen to. Here’s an excerpt from our interview about how to successfully support students.
“We as parents, must learn to compromise with our teens. Rarely will a student get everything they want, just as a parent will not get everything they want. The goal for a parent must be to partner with their student and have open communication, with an understanding that the student’s social and emotional well-being is most important.”
Jewels. Gems. TRUTH!!!!
Dr. Busch is a must-hear interview that will help us all to change our perspective and approach to how we redefine success in the college admissions process.
Episode 30- When the Juggle (and Struggle) is Real! An Interview with Allison Slater Tate.
When you’re a mom of 4, Princeton grad, writer extraordinaire, and college counseling aficionado, what more is there to say???!! Alison Slater Tate is a respected and appreciated college admissions professional who is as knowledgeable about the process as anyone in the profession.
Why? Because she consistently researches and writes about it while serving as the Director of College Counseling at Lake Mary Prep in Orlando AND simultaneously living through the process as a mom. Two times so far with two more to go!!!
She’s a trusted contributor to a bunch of news outlets including Today and Grown and Flown and possesses a wealth of information that we all need to hear. Parents, get ready. Let’s go Alison!!!!
Episode 29- Redefining Leadership in College Admissions with Ken Anselment
Calling him a veteran is too easy. As the former Vice President for Enrollment at Lawrence University, a better moniker is “Admissions Sensei” who knows all and shares more. Currently he serves as the Vice President for Enrollment Management for RHB, where he along with his team assess and integrate marketing and technology tools that assist colleges with achieving their goals.
Whether it’s his experience in admissions at Marquette or serving on boards such as NACAC or College that Change Lives, Ken is a giver through and through. This purpose driven scholar is also the 2021 recipient of the John Muir Award from NACAC for his very necessary journalistic-style podcast ALP: The Admissions Leadership Podcast. Ken has all the information about the climate of college admissions that you need to hear. Listen, learn and adhere to his sagacity.
Episode 28 - Stephanie Espy - Brilliance is Her Name.
Few people on our planet are as scientifically sharp as Stephanie Espy. STEM specialist and entrepreneur extraordinaire, she is author of STEM Gems which gives girls and young women role models in STEM and opens their eyes to a world of opportunity. Trained as a chemical engineer at MIT (with a masters from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Emory) the most important role of her life is as a mom. And by sharing her love of equations, formulas and the periodic table with her daughter and others, she’s encouraging the next generation of engineers, mathematicians and scientists.
Understanding but not accepting the gender gap is what fuels Stephanie. As one of only 19% of women who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering as well as one of the 3% of Black or LatinX women awarded a bachelor’s degree in engineering, she is a maverick on a mission to change the world. Listen to her story, her advice on standardized testing (she owns a test prep and tutoring company too!) and how she feels about college admission. Prepare to have your mind blown!!!
Episode 27 -Affirmative Action - for Black and Brown students - is Dead.
It’s 2023, yet it eerily feels like 1963. At the behest of a 6-3 vote by the Supreme Court last week, higher education, decades of diversity initiatives and most importantly, our students and their access to selective admission to PWI colleges just took a major blow. The news is still swirling, no concrete action plan has been implemented to combat this and many people are just frustrated, dismayed and confused.
While we don’t have all the answers, we do have some. Understanding the Choices and the Application to Admission podcast has been expecting this for months, and we’ve been doing our due diligence to stay abreast of all the elements of the case. We have our own opinions which we will share and we’re additionally grateful that our friend and SCOTUS case scholar, Marie Bigham, has joined us for another conversation about it. This was impromptu but important. Listen, learn and let’s keep the dialogue going on IG and LinkedIn.
Episode 26 -Shantel Goodman-Luckett - Purpose Driven Work
The Chief Experience Officer of an organization is a big title, but when you’re overseeing just under 30K college admissions and college counseling professionals (NACAC) National Association for College Admission Counseling who are committed to students, education and access, the stakes are greater. With a steady smile and an unwavering sense of purpose, Shantel Goodman-Luckett, MBA accepts this duty as a welcomed labor of love. They say that experience is the best teacher and Shantel has plenty of it.
She has held positions as Marriott International manager of marketing strategy and programs at the The Washington Post. She’s been a leader for Newsweek Interactive’s (a subsidiary of The Washington Post) as senior manager for consumer marketing and served as an adjunct faculty member at Marymount University. Armed with a BS in mass communications/advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University Hopkins and certificates from University of Virginia and University of Pennsylvania, Shantel is the model of perseverance and the unquestioned breath of fresh air we all need to aim for excellence as educators.
Leading with intelligence and poise makes Shantel an amazing and versatile educational administrator, but you know what she’s most proud of? Being a mom of a Spelman College senior. She gives us the realities of her own daughter’s college search, application and admissions processes and how she straddled the professional and personal components of the college process with her child.
Sound familiar anyone?
Shantel is determined to impact all of us who serve in this profession and those listening to this podcast. We are honored that she gave us her time and wisdom.
Episode 25- Curtis Valentine - Education + Service = Excellence
Leading by example is easy to say but harder to do. Wanting others to see, understand and embrace a vision that can help thousands or millions of young people is a Herculean undertaking. Yet, someone has to do it.
Professor Curtis Valentine is may be the millennial Benjamin E. Mays, W.E.B. DuBois or Carter G. Woodson. Big names with big shoulders, yes, but Curtis is up for the task. Consider his Morehouse and Harvard educational experiences and his unique ability to weave entrepreneurship and education into one mission and what else can we say about his dedication to upliftment? Curtis is a man of conviction, and when you hear his story and his ambitions, you’ll be inspired. Buckle up!
Episode 24- How to Use the Summer if Your Child is a Rising Senior -Interview with Stacy Richardson
While we are all eager to exhale and enjoy the summer, rising seniors must manage their time carefully. Standardized testing may still need to happen, college visits can still happen, and writing essays must happen.
Enter college counseling veteran Stacy Richardson and her all-world experience with high school and college students. As the Director of College Counseling at the Potomac School in McLean, VA, Stacy knows what all juniors/almost seniors need to do this summer. This is straight knowledge being kicked to the masses. Listen, learn and SHARE with every parent and child you know before they tackle senior year.
Episode 23 - Is TCU the "hottest" college in the South? Let's ask Dean of Admission Heath Einstein...
Yes, Texas is “hot” in climate but TCU may be “hotter” in popularity. We can make the argument that ESPN is the best marketer of US colleges in the world. College Gameday and the scrolling ticker on our tv screens, introduce us to new colleges every college football and basketball season. Many of our kids want to be part of the college tailgate “ra ra” and that’s fine but what about the academics, activities and admissions requirements?
Meet Heath Einstein, the Dean of Admission at TCU (Texas Christian University). He’s a Jewish man leading the recruitment efforts of a Christian university, has a college counseling experience in NYC, loves sports and has advice for students who want to get recruited for sports in college. Heath’s commitment to his school and its mission is inspiring and right now, on the heels of their football national title game experience, it is competing with the most selective and academically superlative universities in the south.
Heath has been a huge supporter of our book and a man on a mission to make TCU the new destination for the right (best) students in the country who want a bit of southern hospitality. Plus the campus is amazing. TCU is from Fort Worth where Tim is from and where Shereem knows TCU alums who are doing very big things. You need to listen to Heath’s seasoned admissions wisdom and get familiar with the university. Rice, Vanderbilt, UT Austin and Duke, there’s a new sheriff in town and its name is TCU.
Episode 22 -Does Going to a Private, Independent School Mean That My Child Will Go To A Top College?
Many parents, regardless of color, expect that by sending their child to an elite independent school that their child is almost guaranteed to go to an elite college. Not true. Selective college admission in 2023 is complicated and confusing, and going to one kind of school does not have the same kind of “weight” as it might have 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
Instead of sharing the case studies — catch us on tour this summer and we share them then — we asked the Executive Director of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) to join us and share her knowledge. Emmi Harward is a seasoned college admissions professional having stints in the admission offices at Emory and Vanderbilt as well as Director of College Counseling roles at Hampton Roads Academy (VA) and The Bishop’s School (CA). She’s well aware of what school counselors should be doing for students and families and how they all can work together to achieve the desired outcomes.
Enjoy the interview!
Episode 21 - How Much Should Parents Influence Where Their Child Goes to College?
In this ongoing debate about a parent’s role in college application assistance and the ultimate decision, we brought in someone with lived experiences and professional credentials that Black people need to support.
Laura Harding, Esq., is President of ERASE Racism, the regional civil rights organization based on Long Island, NY that exposes and addresses the devastating impact of historical and ongoing structural racism, particularly in housing and public school education. With three degrees, she has a BA from Adelphi University, a MA from the U of Chicago and a JD from Howard University. She’s making the Founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. proud!!!
For this conversation, she leans into her role as parent and her decision to support her brilliant daughter’s decision to attend Harvey Mudd which is one the five Claremont Colleges in California and one of the leading institutions in the country for engineering and STEM education.
Laura is insightful and informative. Give this episode a listen and learn.
Episode 20- Reimagined Success with A Better Chance (ABC) CEO, Francisco Tenzin
Educational opportunity and legacy is what A Better Chance is all about. For 60 years, the non-profit has identified, recruited and developed remarkable students of color from around the country and introduced them to independent schools, assisted with college admission and served as a foundation for mentoring these scholar leaders. Ask former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick or acclaimed author and cultural critic Roxanne Gay. These are just two of the many outstanding alums that ABC has produced, and yes, there are much more to come.
We were honored to sit and chat with Francisco Tezén about a variety of things including educational legacy, the state of affairs in independent schools and the college counseling process for students of color. An alum of a peer educational enrichment program, The Albert G. Oliver Scholar program, Francisco is a consummate professional who leads his organization with compassion and urgency and continues to expect that students maximize their potential.
Listen to wisdom from a seasoned educational administrator whose mission work is laudatory and needed.
Episode 19 -Should My Child Still Take the SAT?
Want a college admissions hot topic? Let’s talk about the SAT and the ACT. The pandemic may have paused them as admissions requirements, but that was temporary, and many colleges are now evaluating whether or not to bring it back. Now you have to decide what your child should do.
Enter our superstar guest for this episode. Akil Bello is THE preeminent testing expert in the country today, bar none. He is the Senior Director of Advocacy and Advancement at FairTest, where he works to help ensure that standardized tests are fully understood and properly used. He has worked at every level of the supplemental education industry, advising universities, launching multiple companies, developing dozens of admissions and test preparation programs, training hundreds of instructors, and teaching thousands of students. He’s also the founding partner and CEO for Bell Curves, a test preparation company that focuses on helping public schools, non-profit organizations, and community-based organizations understand standardized tests and admissions and develop affordable solutions for their students.
If there was a picture for “super smart human being” in the dictionary, Akil Bello would have his picture there. Testing is (or thought of as) big deal and Akil is here to set things straight. Learn and enjoy!!!!
Episode 18- 11th Grade College Information Bonanza with "Jenn the Tutor"
Parents of 11th Graders, quick question: where are you in the college process?
Do you have a college list?
Have you discussed college costs and financial aid with your child?
Do you know what to do and when to do it?
With so many questions understandably circling through your minds, we’ve put together a series of webinars featuring a variety of experts in the college application, testing and financial aid fields. And in preparation for the first webinar happening on Sunday, January 29th at 5:30pm EST, we’re happy to have Jennifer Jessie (aka Jenn the Tutor) on our podcast this week.
Jenn is a college consultant extraordinaire with a passion for leveling the playing field in college admissions. Her own Black Girl Magic makes her a unicorn in this space and she is committed to using her character, confidence, two VA Tech degrees and JD from UVA to being a force for good. As an informed advocate for surveying the landscape to find the best college choices, Jenn is a resource that we admire, respect and hold in the highest regard.
So buckle up, get your notepad and listen up to Jenn the Tutor!!!
Episode 17 - New Year, Even Better Information!
Welcome to year 2 and season 3 of the Application to Admission podcast!! As a team, we’ve learned so much these past 12 months and have enjoyed sharing what we know about the college application and admissions process with you. If this is your first time listening, thank you for being here and get ready for a treat!!
The college application process is cyclical and, right now, class of 2024 parents of juniors in high school need to pay special attention to academic planning (your child’s classes), standardized testing and gearing up for college visits. This week’s podcast is from this exact same time in 2022 and it’s our pilot. So many gems in here! Please listen, learn and let’s talk about everything on your mind at @understandingthechoices
Episode 16 : How Parents Can Partner with Their Teens During the College Admissions Process
Information overload y’all!!! As we close out the calendar year, we leave you with our interview of two exceptional people in the college admissions profession. Brennan Barnard is the Director of College Counseling at Khan Lab School, CA. and the Director of College Counseling for the College Guidance Network. and his partner in writing and podcasting is Rick Clark, the Assistant Vice Provost and Executive Director of Undergraduate Admission at Georgia Tech. Between them, they have 50 years of college admissions experience AND they’re the authors of The Truth about College Admission: A Family Guide to Getting In and Staying Together, it’s complementing workbook and podcast all with the same name. You should definitely check out all of their content AND listen to this insightful interview.
Between all of us, there’s a century of knowledge. If you want to successfully navigate the college admissions process with your teenager, and want them to have college choices, you’re going to need to listen to this!
Episode 15: Is Race-Conscious Admissions Wrong?
Everyone is asking us about the affirmative action case that was being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court last week. Due to the conservative makeup of the Court, race-conscious admissions may be deemed illegal, which would eliminate colleges' ability to use race as a factor in the admissions process.
If affirmative action is ruled unlawful, the Class of 2024, the current high school juniors will be the first group of students in decades to go through the admissions process without it.
What does all this mean?
With so much to unpack, we called in an admissions and Affirmative Action superhero to break it all down. As one of the leading advocates for diversity, equity and justice in college admissions, Marie Bigham has few peers who can mirror her extensive college admissions knowledge and experience. As the Founder and Executive Director of ACCEPT (Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today), she leads an advocacy group and community that centers on racial justice in the college admissions process and profession. Recently named a “Global Game Changer” by Facebook, Marie is a national leader in college admission redesign and reform. In 2018, ACCEPT received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, awarded to “those who use their prominence to advance equity and access in education”.
If anyone knows about this case and its implications, it’s Marie. Listen up and learn. A lot.
Episode 14 - Rodney Morrison is RIGHT!!!
30 years in the college admissions profession can make you an “old head” or a revered, uber-respected scholar-mentor-master. Rodney Morrison is the latter (or maybe both!)
As the Vice President for Enrollment Management at the University of Delaware, Rodney sits in a powerful seat of a state flagship school. He’s also worked in admissions or recruitment at UPenn, Rutgers, Lehman Brothers, Wharton and SUNY Stony Brook. If anyone knows what it takes to get admitted to college, Rodney does.
We sat down and asked him all kinds of questions about testing, essays and the cost of college. Listening to this conversation is worth your time.
Episode 13 - Morehouse or Georgetown: Which Has the “Best Man”? - Part 2
Want more truth-telling from acclaimed film director Malcolm D. Lee and his celebrity psychologist wife, Camille? Here it is!! Part 2 is just as much fun as Part 1! Enjoy!!
EP 12 - Black Families, College Admission, and Money Webinar (Recorded - September 11th)
Join the authors of The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions: A Conversation about Education, Parenting, and Race, Timothy Fields and Shereem Herndon Brown, as well as financial aid expert, Jason Hamilton as they offer an overview of the college admissions process, financial aid and how to get scholarships.
Episode 11 - Morehouse or Georgetown: Which has the "Best Man" ?
Well, Tim went to Morehouse and Shereem worked at Georgetown, but this is not an episode about bragging rights. This is about parenting two boys who attend two great schools and the decisions and sacrifices that got them there.
Seen Girls Trip? The new Space Jam movie? Or are you eagerly awaiting the final installment of the Best Man franchise? Wait no more as you hear from highly acclaimed film director, Malcolm D. Lee and his celebrity psychologist wife, Camille. They sit down with us for 75 minutes and give us a dissertation on the importance of education and how they help their kids to soar. This episode is just part one of what was an insightful look into name brand colleges, cultural development and yes, is college even necessary. Camille and Malcolm keep it real with us, and you’re going to appreciate their truth because it might be yours too.
Will Sending Your Child to a Private School Get Them Into a Top College? A Real Talk Conversation with Gina Parker Collins and Samantha Osbourne from RIISE (Resources in Independent School Education)
We’re back! After a few summer weeks off, we’re bigger, blacker and better than ever!
It’s August, and our book drops in less than a month. Are you ready? Have you pre-ordered it? One of the most controversial topics we write about in our book is how the decisions you make about your child’s education now matter later.
RIISE is the preeminent leader of all things independent schools for Black and Brown people. Founded almost 20 years ago by an independent school parent, Gina Parker Collins, RIISE is an instrumental resource that helps US navigate the challenges and triumphs of sending our children to private schools. Gina has made it her mission to gather information, share and support independent school students and parents. Coincidently, she’s an HBCU graduate, and her children now attend Tufts and Brown, respectively.
As a product of an NYC private school, UPenn and recent Wharton MBA graduate Samantha Osborne has her own opinions about private school education and if it leads to top colleges. She’s been Gina’s partner in podcasting - check out @articulating – and get their periodic perspectives about what Black and Brown parents need to be doing now to have independent school success.
Hear their stories and confirm that you have similar struggles, questions and reasons to keep pushing forward. This is a fun one!!
*** Correction in the podcast we mention the amount of school counselors that identify as White women which was incorrect. Please see the correct data below.
Episode 9 - Season 1 Done (Wrap Up and Outtakes)
And we’re out!!
Thank you for ALL for joining us on this Application to Admission ride, Season 1! So far, so good as we’ve (hopefully) been informational and inspirational about the college admissions process. Our guests have shared their unique stories of challenge and triumph as they work with or parent Black children, and now you should have what you need to help your own child.
And we’re not done!!
Join us beginning Tuesday, August 9th as our new season begins with more exciting guests and valuable insights into the college admissions process.
And to make sure you’re laughing at us as well as with us, we’ve included some goofy outtakes from our first season. Enjoy!!!
Episode 8 - The Personal and Professional Side of HBCUs vs PWIs with Admission Expert - Lisa Fuller founder of College Primed, LLC
Many HBCU grads expect that their children will follow their path. Whether it’s a family tradition or a desire for a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience, many HBCU alums encourage their kids to pour into the rich legacy.
But what if it’s not what the child wants to do?
Even better, what if you’re a college advisor who knows more about colleges and college admissions than most and all you want is for your child to find themselves and their academic happy place.
Meet Lisa Fuller, a first-generation college student and founder of College Primed, LLC an educational consultant company offering personalized college planning and admissions advising for 8th-12th graders and their parents. Lisa is also the mom of two college graduates (both from PWIs) who wholeheartedly believes that Black students should explore a range of colleges to find places where they feel they can thrive. She was recently quoted in New York Times article: Why Students Are Choosing H.B.C.U.s: ‘4 Years Being Seen as Family’
As an active Spelman alumna, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated member, and Associate of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, Inc., Lisa personally knows the value of and proudly advocates for HBCUs. She also co-moderates the “Parents of Black and Brown and College Bound” Facebook group, a forum for families that works to demystify the college search process and offers first-hand information on an expansive list of colleges.
Episode 7- College Admissions: Hittin’ You from Every Angle with College Admission Guru, Joseph Montgomery
If college admissions experience was embodied in a person, that person would be Joe Montgomery. A 20-year veteran of the profession with varied experiences in higher education, makes Joe an expert in how parents (oh yeh, he's a father too), counselors and admissions folks need to think about the process. Starting with his work at University of Miami, North Carolina A&T, College Board and he now serves as the Vice President of Enrollment at Tuskegee University, he has both analytical and anecdotal examples of how success and college can be aligned. He’s offering food for thought and we want you to take in.
Serving on the Board of Directors for NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors), Joe joins us to share very personal insights about both his and his children's educational experiences as well as sagacious college admission advice that Black families need to know. He knows his stuff and is a believer in access and equality for all. Have a listen and be informed.
Episode 6 -Taking Full Advantage of the College Experience with guest Rhodes Scholar Chelsea Jackson
While no college experience is identical, some are simply better than others. Too many adults regret what they didn’t do during their four years, and whether it’s not taking full advantage of the academic opportunities or not doing enough outside of the classroom, most of us can agree that college is too short not to do it all.
Currently residing in the United Kingdom, meet heroine Chelsea Jackson. She’s an activist, Rhodes Scholar, Delta and just a phenomenal human being. She’s determined to use her youth — and college experience — to leave no stone unturned. Her story of being a child of HBCU parents and choosing a PWI is fascinating and inspiring. She followed her gut, understands her purpose and is poised to shine on every platform she steps on.
You’re in for a treat!!!
Episode 5 - If you want your child to go to a Black Ivy AND a PWI Ivy, do this……. w/ Parent, Educator and Entrepreneur, Tracie Wilson Payne
Mother's Day Edition!
There’s a secret to college admissions success and this week’s guest, Tracie Wilson Payne is going to tell you what it is. As a mother of three, she’s helped steer her kids to Morehouse, UNC Chapel Hill, Spelman and now Harvard Law.
As a fourth-generation college grad, she has always stressed education to her kids and now they’re reaping the rewards of their hard work and Tracie and her husband’s sacrifices.
Tracie has a story to tell (well, actually, stories) so sit back and listen with a pen and notebook in hand. College admissions success means having an open mind and a plan.
Episode 4 -11th Grade To Do’s w/ College Admission Expert, Brandi Smith
Junior year is the most important year of high school. With harder classes, standardized tests, colleges to visit, and lots of (mis) information flying around, it’s time to get the truth about what 11th graders need to be doing now.
Enter college admissions Swiss-army-knife Brandi Smith. Name anything in the college admissions profession and she’s done it. Worked in admissions? Vanderbilt. Check. Been a school counselor? Public or Independent, she has done both. Check. Community based organization? Yes, she’s done that too. Check. She is one of the biggest names and “personalities” in College Admission!
Listen in as Brandi shares what families, especially Black families, need to be doing now to get ahead in the college process.
**Production note this episode was recorded prior to North Carolina System changing back to being test-optional for the upcoming year.
Episode 3 - Money Matters (Comparing Financial Aid Award Letters) with guest, Jason Hamilton of FinAide.com
College is expensive and few things matter more in building a college list and deciding where to go more than cost. In this episode, seasoned higher education professional and the founder of the financial aid app, FinAide - https://finaideapp.com/ - , shares how this revolutionary tool helps students, parents, and schools learn the REAL cost of college.
By breaking down financial aid award letters step by step, Jason and his app share how much each semester of each year will cost. This is exactly what families need to know about how to make the best financial decisions for their children’s college education.
Episode 2 -The Black Family’s Guide to College Admission Book Preview
From their forthcoming book, the Black Family’s Guide to College Admission: A Conversation About Education, Parenting and Race, Tim and Shereem highlight a few of the book’s gems about "The Black Ivies" and "Sports Arts, and Special Talents." The book is set to spark conversations that all college-bound Black families need to discuss so buckle up and get a little taste of what’s to come!
They also talk about the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson and how her school counselor told her "you will never get into Harvard." #howyoulikemenow
As always they will also introduce you to some new schools that you may want to consider as you are building your child's college list.
Episode 1 - OurIntroToLetYouKnow
Meet the Application to Admission hosts, Tim Fields, and Shereem Herndon-Brown, and listen to their unique style of explaining how college admissions really works as well as their take on all the current news in the college admissions landscape. As an extension of their Understanding the Choices brand, the hosts give you the real and raw options that students and families have as children approach adulthood.
What is Understanding the Choices? It’s a mission and a movement that aims to lead the discussions about reimagining what educational success looks like for Black families. This first episode serves as a notice of the evolution of education and how parents need to approach college admissions and understand the choices for their children.