Our children are getting older! Sarah and I have been recording Best of Both World for over five years now and so, naturally enough, the kids are five years older than when we began. My eldest started 10th grade this morning. So we are branching out into more teen-oriented content.
Today’s episode features Laura Clarke, a college admissions expert and owner of Clarke College Insight. I was drawn to Clarke’s work because she looks at any data sources she can find from colleges as she figures out her advice. If you’ve got a kid applying to college in the next few years, there are a lot of practical tips in here, including looking at the Common Application years before your kids actually apply, making lists of activities/awards/etc. so you don’t forget things, and advice on how to think about activities. First and foremost, your kids should do what they love. But from an admissions perspective, it’s often better to go deep on a few things, and perhaps slightly off-beat things, and be a leader (or do independent projects in these) than to be “well-rounded.” Also, she is not big on SAT courses/coaching — finding that there are better places to invest that time.
As Clarke stresses, no one has to do any of this. Most colleges are not highly selective. If your family is choosing to pursue the highly selective college route, though, it’s good to know how these things work.
In the opener, Sarah and I discuss applying for college many, MANY years ago (one more year ago for me than her, it turns out). In the Q&A we tackle the evergreen topic of kid-spacing. If a listener wants three kids and just had her second, should she go for it now or wait? Please give the episode a listen and let us know what you think.