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Ask Me About College Prep Audio BLOG

for Parents, Rich Aunties, Fly Uncles, Jazzy Grandparents, Corporate Bosses.  College prep can change lives for students with intentions of going to college. The adults in their life play more of a role than they believe, therefore, understanding the college application is just as important for them. 

College Prep is.....

Financial Literacy

Mental Health

Academic Success

 for Everyone! 

Five Things I learned from my Generation Z Interns

July 13, 2023

For the past three years, our company provides internship professional development and services to a local nonprofit organization. We created and implemented the recruitment, hiring, program development, and work for six interns ages 17-21. Every summer I learn so much from them in respect to their thoughts, creativity, and viewpoints on "work". Which I deem as importance because they are the upcoming generation of employers and employees. Here are my top 5!

1.  Dress Code is Irrelevant. 

After multiple discussions and two presentations, instead of confirming, our interns refined business professional, business casual, and causal into "I wear what I feel are the work tasks for today, not what the workplace culture decides.  If their duties required outdoor activities, you would see them in form fitting leisure wear or workout attire. I realized at the end of the day, the work assignments were completed rather the interns wore crocks, tennis shoes, or loafers. Is Dress Code really irrelevant?

#2 Late is Still Late.

Half of the interns were consistently late. I spoke to them about collectively and individually. The interns were still late. Therefore, I mandated a new rule that anyone over ten minutes late would lose 30 minutes of payday every day they were late. The interns were still late. I decided to start an experiment, I started random buy Starbucks for the interns who were on time. This worked, interns were not late for two weeks. Although this was very expensive experiment. I evaluated several workplaces; tardiness is without reason is still viewed negatively. If the interns did not learn this at our internship, they would at their next venture. 

#3 Creativity

One thing that I love about this generation is that when I think something is hard, they see it as a challenge. Our interns group project was to create a short online course for youth their age on any topic that would prefer and add a short quiz at the end. The interns chose "How study the Bible (teen edition)?".  I was in awe of the chosen topic, purpose, planning, and execution. Their true intent to help people renewed my hope in our Generation Z.

#4 New Skillsets

80% of our interns were tech savvy and advanced in digital media. This includes content creation, social media platform, youtube monetization, video editing, and imagery. Their aesthetics were always on point. Which lead me to the conclusion that these things will be more importance within the next 5-10 years. I need to advance my knowledge in these areas. After this summer, you find me in a video editing course. 

#5 They love Authenticity. 

One of my goals as the intern coordinator is to treat the interns as new professionals. I have learned from them that the honest and direct dialogue, the more respected the intern feels. The current interns recently shared with me that they hate CODE SWITCHING. Although they understand its reasoning, they wondered why they had to water themselves down to belong and/or be considered acceptable.  Simple, but true "Be You" with Generation Z. 


If you are interested in how we create and develop internship programs, please contact us at info@precollegesolutions.con


Academics & Teen Anxiety

July 6, 2023

It's Black, Indigenous, & People of Color Month. Perfect Girl Syndrome and Academic Confidence are two common theories adding to teen's mental health that I observed, while working with teens in the college prep space. Check out my thoughts.!

*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist. These are my independent research and thoughts. Contact Mental Health America for resources.

Listen Here!


Three Professionals You Need, If Your High School Counselor Sucks

June 27, 2023

What if your high school counselor sucks? What do you do? Who do you need to help you succeed through high school? 

*Not all high school counselors suck. High School Counselors have various roles and effectively supporting every high school student is hard. *

Listen Here!


What are your plans after high school?

June 22, 2023

listen to our first audio blog! 

How to respond to teens after asking "What are your plans after high school?"

Listen Here!


The Cost of Senior Year

May 24, 2023

Last week on social media, I saw an array of PROM Day grand entrances/ exits with a photographer, D.J., yard decorations, backdrops, and etc. This made me ponder if these same high school seniors would financially struggle their first year of college. 

Have you ever thought about the "cost of senior year" for a high school student? Graduation pictures, PROM, senior fees, homecoming, college applications, and etc. According to 2019 Consumer Report article, a family could spend up to $5,000 or more on moments of a high school senior's final year.

Let's review this from an economic standpoint. If a family decided to set aside the money that would be used for senior year expenses into an education IRA or savings account, which they would use to distribute to their child for college expenses. Then I get that age old question "Who is responsible for paying for college?"  The parent? The teen? The government? Here is my response. 

I urge my client's parents or guardian to think about paying for the last two years of college for their child. Think about it, not only are the last two years of college the most difficult for them academically, but also more expensive. Most of them will be living off campus, own a car, and involved in campus life. Because they are ready to graduate, they will sign up for a loan just to be done with college. 


This summer, we will host a summer series educating teens, parents, guardians, and youth professional on college readiness. Join our email list to get notifications!


https://precollegesolutions.com/scholarships

~Happy Graduation  Season~

To read more of our blog "UnColleged", visit 

https://precollegesolutions.com/blog


Best UnCommon Graduation Gifts

May 3, 2023

It's Graduation Season! My favorite time of the year because I love celebrating student success, graduating from high school is one of the ultimate student successes. With graduations around the corner, what is the perfect graduation gift? I have decided to stray away from the "perfect" graduation gift to what is the most beneficial gift at this time. 
Therefore, I present my Best UnCommon Graduation Gifts.

  • Self Defense Course

  • Rocketbook (digital notebook)

  • College Class at Local Community College 

  • Read & revise their professional resume

  • Bible with highlighted scriptures for Mental Health

  • Uber/Lyft gift cards

At PreCollege Solutions, we offer a College Adulting Class for college bound graduates as an additional gift to our clients. In the course, you explain the Five Laws that Affect College Students, Meal Prep, Greek Life, On-Campus Resources, Financial Aid, and Academic Advising. 


If you are interested in this class for your favorite high school graduate(s), feel free to contact us. 


https://precollegesolutions.com/scholarships

~Happy Graduation  Season~

To read more of our blog "UnColleged", visit 

https://precollegesolutions.com/blog


Should my high school student take the ACT or SAT?

March 22, 2023

By now, over 80% of high school juniors should have taken the SAT or ACT at their respective high school. Most parents don't know this but there is a partnership between the College Board (owner of SAT) or the ACT with school districts. In order to remove the barrier of some students not having access to take these tests independently, this partnership was formed. For most school districts, this test is only offered once to high school juniors.

Here are two things, I wish would improve about this system.

1) Most school/districts do not provide test prep for high school juniors, who are taking the test. Most don't remember it is test day until the week of the test. I know it is expensive to provide these tests and test prep. I suggest at the very least, an information session about the test. I tell my clients these things when they take these tests.

"The atmosphere is very intense. There will be no phone, music, snacks, multiple bathroom breaks, this prevents cheating.

"Get a good night sleep and eat a good breakfast"

"Don't Sleep during the test! No one will wake you up."

"This is a timed test. Move with focus and swiftness.


2) Assisting high school students with a plan, if they score low on SAT or ACT. What typically happens for the average student is that they take the school administered SAT or ACT? A school official explains the scores and encourages the student to retake the test. Because the student has never registered for the SAT or ACT before, they don't or wait until their senior year during the same time which they are applying for college applications. If those test scores are not acceptable, then the student delays applying for college to retake the test again. It is a horrible cycle during senior year until they are forced to send whatever scores they have. 

"I tell my clients to take another SAT and ACT towards the end of their junior year. Yes, both tests. Of course, they don't want too. I explain to their families that the goal is to see which test they obtain the better score from not blindly be loyal to the more well-known test. "

Due to the partnership between school districts and College Board or ACT, the students always lean towards the test they took at their high school because of familiarity. 


 For College Bound Seniors- We are having a FLASH $5.00 Sale on Scholarship List(s). Sale ends Friday, March 24, 2023. 

Feel free to research out to https://precollegesolutions.com/scholarships

~Happy Scholarship Season~


To read more of our blog "UnColleged", visit https://precollegesolutions.com/blog

Spring Break + Teens + College Prep= How?

March 1, 2023

I see you Spring rapidly moving through. Which means I also see Spring Break, which means intense planning for summer for parents and youth focused organizations. Most parents and organizations discount Spring Break and allow our teens to sleep, eat, and binge watch Anime. I recommend the following to keep them college ready.

1) Volunteering

There is no organization that is going to turn down help. I recommend light volunteering such as food bank or clothing closet for at least one day of their Spring Break.


2) College Research

If your teenager cannot name ten colleges outside of the Big 12, then they need to research colleges. How? 

Narrow their search with these three questions. This is just for beginners. 

1) Do you know what you would like to study/major? 

2) Do you plan to go college in or out of state? 

3) Is the cost of college important to you?

Write down a list of 5-10 colleges to research based on answers.


3) Job Shadow

For teens who are confident in their future career, this is how you show you are serious by investing your time. Reaching out to job shadow can be as simple as researching local companies and emailing them or DMing them. Most professional want to connect to the next generation. 


4) For College Bound Seniors- Check financial aid packages and apply for scholarships.

We can sale customized scholarship lists for high school and college students. 

Feel free to research out to precollegesolutions.com

~Happy Scholarship Season~


To read more of our blog "UnColleged", visit https://precollegesolutions.com/blog

What every SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION should know?

February 15, 2023

It's Scholarship Season. Around 50% of college bound high school seniors have received their financial aid award letter(s) and have determined they need more money for college. Of course, they are turning to scholarships. Here are some statistics, I learned about scholarship last week.

  • Only 1.5% of students will receive a full scholarship.

  • 16% of students will receive a state scholarship, while 13% will receive a private scholarship.

  • 1 in 8 students are likely to receive a scholarship

This data comes from Think Impact based on the year 2020. As a college prep coach, I think it is important for scholarship foundations to understand this data as well. Here are three innovative strategies scholarship foundations can use to increase these statistics.

1) Increase the applicant tool

A common practice for scholarship foundations is to review the number of applicants annual to determine to reach of the scholarship application. If your reach has a steady decrease, I suggest reviewing the application eligibility and supporting documents requirement. You will not believe how many high school students; I have worked with who do not complete a scholarship because their high school teacher did not have time to work the recommendation letter by the deadline or their transcript never got mailed to the scholarship foundation. Small obstacles like this stops applicants from applying.


2) Market to your ideal audience

Similar to marketing for a business, find your niche audience and market to them well. The Footlocker and Wendy's Heisman Scholarship do this pretty well. Their audience is high school students who play sports during high school. Their marketing strategy is to advertise every where, but use their social media platform to target their audience. I would recommend local scholarships to partner with local PTAs, youth-lead organizations, and social media post that can be shared. 

Do not depend soley on the youth and school districts.


3) Go overboard with recognition

Amazon and Collegeboard does an amazing job highlighting their scholarship winners using the Good Morning Show or surprising scholarship winners are their school. Besides an awards banquet, go overboard with recognition such as highlighting the winners on your social media, add additional prizes such as dorm supplies,  or ask to present at their high school awards ceremony. This allows other teens to see immediately determine if they will apply for this scholarship. when it is their turn.


We can consult with any scholarship foundation interested in revising their scholarship application process.

Feel free to research out to precollegesolutions.com

~Happy Scholarship Season~


To read more of our blog "UnColleged", visit https://precollegesolutions.com/blog

Three Reasons High School Students Don't Complete Scholarships

February 1, 2023

Last month marked the unofficial start of Scholarship Season. There will be thousands of scholarship opportunities for high school seniors starting in January and wrapping up in May. According to Think Impact, there is around five billion dollars available in private merit-based scholarships, over five billion for need based scholarships, and over three billion for student athletes. Yet, in 2020, 58% of families used scholarships to help pay for college. Why are high school students not applying for scholarships?

Here we go!

1) They Don't Know How to Start.

With anything new, you need someone to show you once and practice. The illustration that we tell high school students to start applying for scholarships with no assistance. We would never tell them to get in a car and start driving. Why would we do the same thing, when it comes to scholarship application assistance?

2) It's Time Consuming.

Have you applied for a scholarship lately? There is typically an essay requirement, which halts a lot of high school students. On top of the academic rigor of their honor classes, extra-curricular activities, part-time job, home life, and much more, writing an essay gets forgotten or submitted at the last minute. Not to mention no one is holding them accountable.

3) They Don't See the Benefit. 

To break this down mathematically, If a high school student applied for 100 scholarships. In this profession, we advise that they may only receive 10%, that is not guaranteed. Some high school students do not like those odds and prefer student loans. 

At PreCollege Solutions, we work to help high school students seek other opportunities. such as dual credit, CLEP, and our signature product "Scholarship Subscription". Scholarship Subscription is a bi-weekly customized scholarship list for high school seniors that maximize scholarship opportunities, saves time on scholarship searches, and eliminates fraudulent scholarships. We also recommend Scholarship Application Assistance Workshops, especially for high school seniors who are serious about applying for scholarships. 
Feel free to research out to precollegesolutions.com

~Happy Scholarship Season~


To read more of our blog "UnColleged", visit https://precollegesolutions.com/blog

Student-Athlete Hopeful.......

January 18, 2023

Two weeks ago, I had a consultation with a high school junior and his family. The high school junior has high intentions to be a college athlete and play for a top Division I ranked university. During the consultation, I asked for his gpa. He hesitated, but his grandparent shouted 1.7. To maintain professionally, I asked was this a weighted or unweighted gpa. The response was weighted. I begin to firmly ask the family has any of them read the NCAA Student Athlete Eligibility regulations for recruiting high school students. The response was no. I explain the gpa and recruitment process. He got upset and exited the consultation. The family apologized and stated that he was upset.  He said, "I WAS CRUSHING HIS DREAMS." "Crushing his dreams" I thought. His gpa crushed his dreams. Not taking his academics seriously crushed his dreams. 

In this blog, here is three to-do's a parent/guardian should do if your child is interested in being a Collegiate Student-Athlete.

1) Read the NCAA Student-Athlete Eligibility Regulations & create your child an account. There is a cost associated with the account creation.

2) Focus on Academics. Most high school students forget that you still have to apply for these universities. Being an amazing student-athlete will not guarantee you automatic college acceptance. Therefore, grades and test scores are very important. Please remember collegiate athletes need to obtain certain gpa for their scholarship and to play. Creating a mindset that values education is key. 

3) Community Service. Volunteering humbles a winner's heart.  Have you ever noticed that all sports have recognize their players who are heavily involved in philanthropy. There is a true connection between sports and service.

To view what advice, I gave the family in this blog. 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CnVABlBInbF/?igshid=NDk5N2NlZjQ%3D

To read more of our blog "UnCollege", visit https://precollegesolutions.com/blog

What is College Readiness?

January 4, 2023

As a College Prep Coach, one of the most frequently asked questions I received is "What should I be doing to get my child ready for college?" Most parents/guardians don't realize how loaded this question and answer can be. It varies on the grade level, academic status, extracurricular activities, college research, test scores, and etc. 

The question that parents/guardians should be asking themselves "Is my child college ready?"

College Readiness is defined as the ability to successfully complete the first year of college.  True college readiness requires understanding the importance of academics and real-world skills such as problem solving, independent thinking.  It is easy for people to conclude that academic success will guarantee the same success in college. This can be untrue in most cases. A certain skillset such as resilience, self-motivation, and grit has to be internally invested in our youth. As a seasoned college prep coach, I witnessed college students lack the ability to problem solve or magically believe situations will work out positively with minimum effort. The overcome results in no degree and student debt. The job of preparing a youth for college is a combination of family, high school, and the YOUTH. All entities working together in sync can produce more college graduates.

At PreCollege Solutions, we use assist in preparing students academically, financially, and socially, while transforming from a coach role to a mentor role.  Believe it or not, college students still need help especially mentorship. 

PreCollege Solutions will be hosting a Facebook Live on Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 5:00pm on the topic of "WHAT IS COLLEGE READINESS & WHAT DO WE DO?"  

Follow us on our social media platforms for reminders!

Facebook @PreCollegeSolutions

Instagram @PreCollegeSolutions

Four Questions NOT to Ask Teens this Holiday Season

December 23, 2022

Christmas is only a couple of days away. As we in-person gather, you will see your teenage son/daughter/niece/nephew/grandchild/godchild/ family friend connected to their device. Although it may feel odd, this is the perfect time to engage them in a conversation.

Let me prerequisite this conversation by saying: this conversation is only for individuals who plan to get to know the teenager in their life.   

Here are four questions NOT to ask them.

1) How is school going?

2) How are your grades?

3) What are your plans after high school?

4) Do you have a little boyfriend/girlfriend?

These questions have become second nature for them to answer because everyone ask them these same questions. I would be shocked if they took their eyes off their phone to respond. 

Here are four questions to engage them in conversation.

1) What was the last show you binged watched? (Insert the last show you binged watched)

2) What was the last college you toured? Well, name me three colleges you would like to tour.

3) How were finals this semester? Which one was the hardest? Why do you think it was so hard?

4) What is your favorite extracurricular or thing you do for fun?

These questions are interludes to more questions and more engagement. You have to build up to the "DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS" to get an authentic answer. We open to answer their questions. 

I hope this helps! 

Happy Holidays from PreCollege Solutions

What is a College Prep Resolution?

December 7, 2022

Next month millions of people will start making goals, well New Year's Resolution. According to Dictionary.com, a New Year's resolution is "a firm decision made on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year". I definitely make New Year's resolutions, I actually call them goals to make them more attainable for me. 

For individuals who live or work with teenagers, I'm proposing this year that you create a College Prep New Year's resolution for them that you both add to your goals this year. College prep does not start junior and senior year of high school, it starts as early as freshman year, if your youth plans to go to college.  

Here is a helpful tip for each high school grade level.

Freshman-Focus on Academics and sign up for Pre-AP/ AP course next school year

Sophomores-Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer

Juniors-Finalize your college choices list and apply for one scholarship

Seniors-Finish applying for colleges by Christmas and obtain campus housing by February.

For more tips and best practices, our College Made Easy Checklist is on SALE for $15. It comes printed or digital. Check it out!

College & Career Prep Blog

It's for ANYONE that wants to READ our OPINION on COLLEGE & CAREER PREP.

Four Tips for Scholarship Foundations & Organizations to Increase Applicant Pool

November 8, 2022

Scholarship season is approaching. Here are four tips for scholarship foundations and organizations to increase their applicant pool.

1) REDUCE THE APPLICATION

The number one reason for an incomplete scholarship application is to essay requirement. Why do scholarships have the essay requirement? To a high school senior, this is another essay on top their advanced placement classes, dual credit courses, and college admission essays. My suggestion is to remove the essay requirement and input a scholarship questions with 50 words or less answers or one scholarship question with 50 words or less answer. 

2) REQUEST AN INTERVIEW

This is the best way to connect to the potential scholarship recipient(s). With our technological advancements, scholarship foundations and organizations can easily conduct an interview anywhere using Skype, Facetime, Zoom or the traditional in-person interview.

3) C​HANGE THE SCORING RUBRIC

Most scoring rubric are bias and lean towards the candidates with the highest academic achievement and/or high financial need. There is a niche population of scholarship seekers, who are NOT in the top 10% of their classes and are NOT low income households that deserve scholarships. Revamp the scoring rubric. 

4) APPLICATION DEADLINE

Please STOP creating scholarship application deadlines in April & May! You are competing with prom, graduation, and finals. You will LOSE. I recommend setting a scholarship deadline late March or June. 


My belief is that scholarships are still paving the way for high school students to attend post-secondary education. I thank you for it! 

What if my SAT/ACT scores are not high enough?

November 16, 2022

Imagine being a high school senior, you are applying for college. Your college of choice has an admission deadline for January 15th. You have all of the required admission documentation, except your SAT or ACT score. You decide to retake the test in early October. You take the SAT or ACT and receive your scores in three weeks (early November). Your SAT or ACT scores didn't improve, so you decide to retake the SAT or ACT again. But you missed the deadline the SAT or ACT registration deadline for November, because you were hoping the test results from October's SAT or ACT would suffice. You decide to register for the December SAT or ACT test. The scores return a couple of days before Christmas and you did not meet SAT or ACT score requirements. What does this student do?

I've watched this scenario play out numerous times for high school seniors. Most high school seniors opt out of finishing their college of choice application and apply to another college with less rigorous admission requirements. Here is my recommendations if a high school senior encounters this scenario.


Always submit the application, even if you believe you will be denied. Submit the application! Some universities have pathway programs. Pathway programs can consist of summer course(s) completion at the university over the summer, being on academic probation during the first semester, or taking a placement test. If you are denied admission, determine if you would like to submit an APPEAL. An appeal is the process of resubmitting your admission application to a college for acceptance, the college will review your admission application with an appeal committee. The student has to request an appeal. There is typically an application/form. Student may be asked to write an appeal statement. Be aware that additional documentation may be requested.

In the end, it's the student who has to determine if the college of their choice is really worth it. 

It's College Fair Season

August 23, 2023

College Fairs are typically the first opportunity for high school student to demonstrate interest in "where" they would like to go after high school. Some students come prepared with questions. Some students are overwhelmed and are not sure what to do.  Here are some tips to help navigate through a college fair. 

Listen to our Audio Blog to finish the BLOG!

Simplification FAFSA: The New FAFSA
July 19, 2023

There is a new fafsa application rolling out this year for Fall 2024 & Spring 2025. Here are some of the changes. Please review the Department of Education's website for all updates. 

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