Podcast: College Admissions Decoded - Season 3

Welcome to Season 3 of the College Admissions Decoded podcast!

This podcast features NACAC member-experts in conversations that speak directly to parents, families, and the general public to help demystify the college admission process.

College Admissions Decoded examines how the college admission process works for the approximately 20 million students who apply each year. The series also spotlights how college admission in the US can continue to make progress toward more inclusivity, transparency, and service to students.

College Admissions Decoded offers a true insider's perspective on the world of college admission. See the Season 1 and Season 2 episodes. We welcome your suggestions for future podcast topics and guests. 

Latest Episode

Fit, Finance, and Equity: Two Economists Discuss College Affordability

Season 3, Episode 9 

How does the ticket price on higher education impact access, and what should families be paying? Two economists tackle these questions with the CEO of NACAC Angel Pérez. Together, they explore what financing constructs can increase equity, and what advice they have for those making difficult decisions about what they can afford.

Guests: Sandy Baum, non-resident Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, Phillip Levine, Katharine Coman and A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics at Wellesley College. Moderated by NACAC CEO Angel Pérez.

See episode details 

Season 3 Episodes

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  • Setting Your College-bound Student Up for Success on Day One

    Getting into college is one thing; what about completing your degree, and making the most out of the experience? In this conversation, college counselors and administrators talk about the importance of having the right mindset on the first day you set foot on campus.

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  • The Myriad Possibilities of Community College

    There are many ways to take advantage of all the opportunities community college provides. It serves some students as a stepping stone to four-year schools, a chance to obtain a practical skill that leads to a job, or a flexible option for students with families or work commitments. We debunk the outdated stereotype and stigma of community college, and look ahead at the bright future of this pathway to higher education.

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  • Special Edition Podcast

    Special Edition: Next Gen Admission Professionals Seek Balance, Values, and Self-Actualization at Work Angel Pérez, CEO of NACAC, talks with two up-and-coming college admission professionals about lessons learned from the pandemic, how to find workplaces that share your values, and what they think lies ahead for the next generation of college admission counselors.

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  • How to Approach the Final Decision on a College

    The month of April can be stressful for high school seniors who are making their final decisions about college after four years of classes, extracurricular activities, standardized testing, essay writing, and so on. What should you consider now that you’ve been accepted to college or if you’ve been waitlisted, or even denied, admission? Our guests give their best advice for making good decisions as you consider all your college options.

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  • Why Take, or Not Take, a Gap Year

    The gap year – that space after high school and before college devoted to experiential learning – can be magical and mystifying. Our guests define the gap year and its many iterations, offer grounded advice for deciding if it’s right for you, and point you to resources that can help you plan and successfully complete the gap year and the subsequent transition to college.

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  • How College Admissions are Different for Student Athletes

    The admissions process is different for college athletes. What do they, and their families, need to know? When should they get started on their college preparation? And what should they watch out for in the recruiting process?

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  • How to Make the Most Out of College Visits

    College visits are the best way for students to gather information on the schools they are considering. But visits can be a big investment of time and money and, sometimes, it’s hard to avoid the sales pitches and get an accurate picture of a college. The right plan and the right mindset are essential for the visit to be worthwhile. Knowing what questions to ask, and who to ask, is essential.

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  • What Non-academic Factors Actually Influence College Admissions

    Beyond grades, test scores, and class rank, what non-academic factors do colleges consider when making decisions on whom to admit? And how should students present their nonacademic selves? We’ll talk about these questions, and discuss college interviews and recommendation letters, too.

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  • The Keys to Building a Good College List S3, E2

  • Strategies for Acing the College Essay, S3, E1