This is an important episode for listeners with kids in middle school or high school who are looking to go on to university, because we’re going to be talking about college admissions. I’ve done a few episodes in the past touching upon post-secondary education, one with Elizabeth Hamblet on managing the transition from high school to college, one on how our kids can identify and get into colleges and universities that will work for them, and most recently, an episode taking us inside a college for neurodiverse students, Landmark College.

But this week, we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of the application process, and learn about things like strategies for tackling admission essays, how to decide between the SAT and the ACT, getting accommodations for admissions tests, how to highlight interests in a way that will catch admissions directors eyes, and more. To fill us in on all this is my guest Eric Karlan,  college essay and Application Consultant and founder of The Ivy Experience, a company that works with families to prepare students students for their collegiate futures through test prep, tutoring, and essay consulting. 

In this episode, Eric gives us lots of insight into the application process, and I have to say that rather than ramping up the anxiety, I found myself feeling more calm and trusting about the college process. I hope it does the same for you.


About Eric: Eric is one of the co-founders of Ivy Experience. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Journalism, History, and Culture; he was one of only two students in the Class of 2009 to design his own curriculum for an Individualized major. Since graduation, Eric has consulted thousands of students on their college and graduate school application essays across the country and around the world.

Eric is an active writer and has been published in the Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Magazine, and The New York Daily News. He enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams from his home in San Diego.



  • What the SAT and ACT tests are, and how to decide which test our child should take
  • The types of accommodations we can push for when taking standardized tests, and how to go about securing them
  • Strategies for tackling the application essay(s)
  • Ideas for how our kids can demonstrate their areas of interest during the college application process
  • The most important considerations when beginning the college application process
  • Eric’s advice for when and how to start the college application process in the best way for your family
  • Other important factors to weigh during the application process





Read through the whole episode!






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