I’m so happy to be back with Alyse Levine, one of the foremost college counseling experts in the country, to continue our Insider Guide to the College Application Process. This week, we took a cue from you, our readers and listeners, who wrote in to ask what you should be doing in seventh grade…or tenth grade… or OMG it’s already the summer before senior year, how do we even get started?

No panicking allowed! While there are some benefits to starting the process early, Alyse reminds us that it’s never too late.

Take a listen to Alyse’s super helpful grade-by-grade guide to college admissions, empowering parents to support our students through this crazy journey best we can.

Some of the topics we cover:

  • Why middle school should be about focusing on healthy work habits
  • How and when to make the most of clubs and after-school experiences
  • Plotting out high school courses like a decision tree
  • Why Alyse calls 10th grade “a pivotal year”
  • What ā€œdemonstrated interestā€ is, and why it matters
  • Different ways to visit colleges and when to start
  • How and when to start creating your college list
  • How to frame the (dreaded) personal essay to take off pressure
  • Why there are no limits to essay topics (contrary to popular belief)
  • Free college essay resources from The College Essay Guy and Premium Prep
  • How to decide whether to apply Early Decision
  • Putting mental health first, always.

Alyse Levine from Premium Prep on supporting students grade by grade through college admissions | Cool Mom Picks

Note to parents of rising juniors and seniors:Ā  If you’re panicking even a tiny bit, I think you in particular will find this incredibly helpful and reassuring — whether or not you’ve already stepped foot on a campus with your student. Turns out we often do a lot of things right without even realizing it.


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Premium Prep has helped guide 93% of their students into one of their top three college choices. Each of their 50 counselors has extensive experience in college admissions offices, in private high school college counseling, or both. They work with all kinds of kids, whatever their dreams or GPA. So… take advantage!

Premium Prep College Counseling

If you want to chat about today’s episode, pop into the Spawned Community on Facebook. Or hey, ask Alyse a question right in the comments on this post or on the @Premium_Prep Instagram feed.Ā 

Be sure to subscribe to Spawned wherever you get your podcasts and thank you for listening!