Was the college search always this overwhelming or does it just feel that way? Do my kids really need to take the SATs? Does test-optional really mean optional? How did covid impact admissions? When should I be signing up my kid for college tours? Or wait…should they be doing it themselves? Why are colleges rejecting SO many kids lately? WHY AM I SO STRESSED?

As someone neck-deep in the college application process right now, I have so many questions — like all parents. Maybe even you. And if you’re staring to think about colleges with your kids, or just want to know what’s going on in that world and how it’s changed, this latest episode of Spawned is a must-listen.

I’m so grateful to talk to the perfect guest: Ned Johnson, the founder of PrepMatters host of the Prep Talks Podcast, best-selling parenting author, and one of our favorite recent Spawned guests. Let me assure you, he is here to enlighten you, surprise you, and hopefully… calm you down.

Me included.

Take a listen right now! You’ll be glad you did.


College application tips from Ned Johnson -- for parents too! | Spawned Parenting Podcast

Also, make sure you’re a Spawned subscriber so you never miss an episode!

Recommended Reading and Related Links From This Episode

Who Gets in and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions by Jeffery Selingo
“The New College Chaos” by James Fallows for The Atlantic
A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League by Ron Suskind
There’s Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow by Jeffery Selingo
Thomas Boyce’s Orchid – Dandelion theory and the science of sensitive kids
Resources from SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions)
The Yerkes-Dodson Law on stress and performance
– Ned Johnson’s own What Do You Say? Talking with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home

– Episode 263: incredible advice for better parent-child communications with Ned Johnson + Dr. William Stixrud
– Episode 237: Taking the stress out of the college application process with Betsy Cadel

@FairTestOffice The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
@AkilBello assessment reform expert at FairTest who coined “highly rejective colleges”
@NedJohnson is a terrific follow on Twitter himself.

This post contains affiliate links and some purchases may generate a small commission to help support our work at no additional cost to you.


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Our Cool Picks of the WeekThe Summer Book by Tove Jansson - why you should read this classic novel

Ned… is currently enjoying  Tove Jansson’s classic novel, The Summer Book — ideally accompanied by an Aperol Spritz. Yum.

Liz… just got back from a business trip to Mexico City and can’t recommend it enough as an affordable, easy, cultural family destination. Be sure to shop the indie boutiques in Polanco that feature artisans from around the country. Her favorite new necklace and a beautiful vase come from LAGO.