College Admissions Trends for 2024 – College Bound Mentor Podcast #1

Welcome to the College Bound Mentor podcast! Each episode, hear trends, case studies, and interviews with students who have gone through it all

This is Episode #1 and you’ll hear Co-Hosts Lisa, Abby, and Stefanie share what to expect from this podcast going forward and the most surprising trends of the 2024 college admissions season. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re enjoying the show!

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College Bound Mentor Podcast Episode #1: College Admissions Trends for 2024

Welcome to College Bound Mentor! Lisa, Abby, and Stefanie know college. They also know students. With over 30 years combined experience mentoring young people, they’ll show you why understanding yourself is the key to finding the right college. In this pilot episode, you’ll hear what to expect from this podcast going forward, the most surprising trends of the 2024 college admissions season, how the Co-Hosts will approach next year differently, their advice for students as they begin the college application process, and some of the most impressive resume boosters they’ve seen. This episode covers everything from college admissions trends to where the podcast idea came from. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • What surprised you about the 2024 college admissions season?
  • Are colleges test-optional?
  • What trends did you see in the 2024 college admissions season?
  • How should students think about Early Decision (ED)?
  • What was different this year vs. previous years?
  • Are Ivy League schools getting as much interest as in the past?
  • What will you do different in next year’s college admissions season?
  • Why do medical schools differ in the application process?

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Check out the episode and show notes below for much more detail.

Show Notes

What is the College Bound Mentor podcast?

Lisa, Abby, and Stefanie know college. They also know students. With over 30 years combined experience mentoring young people, they’ll show you why understanding yourself is the key to finding the right college. Each episode, hear trends, case studies, and interviews with students who have gone through it all – giving you valuable insight to survive the college application process and beyond. Hosted by Lisa Bleich, Abby Power, and Stefanie Forman, Partners of College Bound Mentor.


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Abby Power 0:00
You just have to take advantage of every opportunity and everything you’re doing and figure out how to make it the best you possibly can. And put your own interesting spin on it.

Lisa Bleich 0:19
All right, we got it.

So welcome. Welcome to The Reluctant podcast. Maybe that’s what we should call ourselves the reluctant College Bound Mentor podcast.

All right, so we’re here you would never know by the way of our technology, but we’re here to talk about college, college and beyond journeys, pathways that don’t always the way that you want them to go. And hopefully along the way, you’ll get some gems about how to apply for college, how to do well once you’re in college, and then how to deal with the uncertainty that comes about those things. And I didn’t introduce myself, I’m Lisa Bleich. And I am the CEO and founder of College Bound Mentor, and I have my co host with me, Stefanie Forman, and Abby Power.

Stefanie Forman 1:09
Okay. Hi, I’m Stefanie Forman. And I’ve been with College Bound Mentor for the past five years.

Abby Power 1:16
I’m Abby Power had been with College Bound Mentor for 10 years,

Lisa Bleich 1:22
I think about 10 years. I think it’s about 10 years, I think he joined. It’s actually the 10 year anniversary of my book being published Surviving the College Application Process. Yeah, it was April of 22,000. Wait, where are we? 2014? I can’t even I can’t even subtract. Yeah, April of 2014. So it’s 10 year anniversary. And I think it’s still relevant. All the stuff that’s in it, even though so much has changed in college admissions. But it’s interesting that it’s been 10 years. So now it’s time for a podcast, and time to revisit. You know, just what happens in college admissions. And what’s the journey like? So why don’t we start off with tell us about this past jury, um, this past season, we just had, all of the admissions decisions came out last week, you know, the final decision. So what surprised you about some of those results?

Abby Power 2:18
I would say this year was much more predictable than last year for me. I know, in the press, it’s not saying that. But for my couple of dozen kids, I think the last couple of years post COVID learned a lot in terms of how to manage test optional. And so this year, I didn’t actually have many surprises.

Lisa Bleich 2:43
Did you? How did you manage? What were the Well, now that they’re changing, and it may go back to test? Not optional test required, but what did you learn in terms of the test optional management? And how did you manage it differently than you did in the beginning of COVID?

Abby Power 2:57
Yeah, that far reaches don’t work. You know, when when the colleges went test optional. Everybody wanted to apply to super high reach schools, because testing didn’t matter. And you know, that just never worked out. And it took, it took me at least a couple of years to

Stefanie Forman 3:14
really register. So this year,

Abby Power 3:17
I just really counseled my students and my clients to apply to appropriate schools like good fit schools. And that worked out.

Lisa Bleich 3:26
Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing how that happens. Yeah.

Stefanie Forman 3:33
Council works council where I had one surprise, I just felt like early decision was a little more definitive than previous years. So students who got rejected at certain schools I was a little surprised about so I felt like schools trended more towards rejection for early decisions. And maybe that’s just because early decision is getting more and more popular and continues to rise in popularity, but that was a little surprising to me. Some students with early decision acceptance rates.

Lisa Bleich 4:04
Yeah, interesting. Yeah, there was definitely more of that, although, except for Michigan, and Penn, who ended up deferring, postponing everybody and then not necessarily accepting them when it came to regular. I think the biggest surprise for me, which I’ve seen in the past, but it really played out this year was how much special talent and music played a role. And students who were really strong in a very unusual musical way, had a really good run and got into so many schools and many reach schools. So that was just a surprise to reinforce or validate how important it is, or how much that plays a role when you really have a very strong special talent that’s going to bring something really unique to university

Stefanie Forman 4:51
was that more instruments voice or

Lisa Bleich 4:54
it was actually one of them was more electronic music and it new emerging music. And so that played a role, I think, because he had, he was both classically trained. But he also was very strong in this experimental, interesting type of music. And the other one was a jazz drummer. And he had a real depth of experience in jazz drumming at his school because his school offered like Afro Cuban drumming, and just interesting, an interesting pathway. And that really led him down a road that give them lots of opportunities to do that. And he was also very intellectually curious about music, and about history and kind of the intersection between music and history and politics and pop culture, or history so that those combinations of intellectual curiosity in music, and also depth of music really made them stand out. And

Abby Power 5:49
they made it clear how they’d get involved on a different campuses and music. Yes,

Lisa Bleich 5:54
definitely. And they also reached out to professor’s and had that connection with the professors. And so I think they professors knew that they were going to bring something to their program. And I think that was also really helpful. So similar to how an athlete might get in, I thought that was a really, it was surprising how much that really carried weight. Were there any trends that you saw emerge this year?

Stefanie Forman 6:18
I feel like my students and families are embracing public universities more, and especially honors colleges. And so that’s been really nice to see that students understand that there are more options outside of the most Select Schools and that honors programs are really wonder or colleges are a really wonderful way to make larger universities feel smaller, and create community. And so that openness and practicality, or even Lisa and I were in New Jersey, and rockers went on the common app this year, and I get it when I’m from New Jersey to I didn’t want to be in my home state. I didn’t want to go to Rutgers, but I’m seeing so many parents push rockers on students applications. And it’s also coming from students now. So that’s really nice to see. Right.

Lisa Bleich 7:08
And it’s interesting, because I think that a lot of times those, as you said were overlooked. But those honors programs or colleges are really strong. And I’ve worked with a lot of graduate students who have come from those honors programs or honors colleges, and they kill it. I mean, they do so well in the graduate admissions process. Because they get this mentorship experience. They get dedicated research opportunities, they get smaller classes within a larger school, and then they have the resources of these large public universities behind them. So they are really good options. How about you, Abby? Did you see any trends that emerged or key themes?

Abby Power 7:42
I mean, for me, it seems like with the really small schools, AG is critical. I’ve definitely noticed that the last few years, but even more so this year. So with the mid size schools, also, you know, but with the small schools, it seems like Ed is so important. I think they take so much of their class, Ed and then plus, on top of that Edie for the athletes, that just doesn’t seem like there are many spots left. So you had asked earlier if I’d seen any surprises. So that’s actually the one surprise I would say. It didn’t really matter for any of my clients, I don’t think but kids who were very highly qualified for some of those tiny, tiny schools, like Pomona, Middlebury, they did not get in regular decision. I don’t know if I had any kids get into any teeny tiny schools regular decision,

Lisa Bleich 8:31
actually. Well, that’s interesting. I did have some students that got in regular decision to the school to Middlebury Bowden, I had that musician got into Carleton regular decision and Bates regular decision. So that was a nice surprise as well. But for those schools, I think if you’re not very clear, they were very distinct candidates, though. So I feel like they had a very clear role for those schools. And I think they were pleasantly surprised, as was I for that. And actually, I had a student get into Haverford regular decision, as well. And she did not get into Swarthmore Ed, she got just flat out tonight. So that was a nice surprise. And she was between those two schools. So it worked out. Another thing that was interesting, that was some of the trends that a lot of kids that applied and this happens every year, but I feel like this year, even more so is that a lot of kids that applied early decision to a school, and they and it was, as you said earlier, stuff that was surprising. They just got flat out denied there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to it. By the end, when they got to the end of the regular decision. They actually had some really interesting choices and maybe choices that they hadn’t initially considered, but actually could be even better than what they had thought they wanted at the beginning of the process. So I think that’s something I keep thinking about is just to be open to the process because it is a journey and it’s so interesting how it twists and turns and and you don’t necessarily know if you don’t get into early decision. It’s not the end of the world. Did

Stefanie Forman 10:00
your students have that? Do they have that awareness now that like, things didn’t work out, but they see the way that you they see it now the way that you see it?

Lisa Bleich 10:08
I think they’re coming to interesting choices. Yeah, I think they’re coming to it, particularly as they go to their admitted students day. And they start to see the opportunities that are available to them. And they realize that you know, what, maybe that choice that I had for a live decision wasn’t actually as good a fit for me, because now I see the people that are going there, and maybe they’re not actually my people. Maybe this school has more my people. So it’s good. It’s still they’re still in this in the revisiting schools that go into that. But I have seen that with students in previous years, where they’re open to the possibilities. And also I just think the mindset, if the response is, hey, I’m, like, really surprised and really happy that I got into the school, I didn’t think I would at regular decision, then they’re really excited about what comes their way, versus just being so fixated on what they didn’t get, as opposed to what they do have and what’s, what’s out there for them and what the opportunities are. So I think that’s something Yeah.

Abby Power 11:05
Yeah, I know, we all have clients who are actually at school already, who, you know, in hindsight, feel that way. Yeah, during their freshman, sophomore year, who are like, I can not imagine being at a different school. Yeah. You know, it’s so crazy that I applied somewhere else early decision. Right. Right.

Lisa Bleich 11:21
It does work out, which I guess is a good is a good thing. How do you think the Supreme Court decision influenced this year? What did you see with that? Coming out?

Abby Power 11:30
Well, we have all those lovely community and diversity.

Stefanie Forman 11:36
More work, right?

A lot of essays, a lot of new essays are the same essays said differently many times. Yeah,

Lisa Bleich 11:45
your lived experience, how does your lived experience will contribute to our experience,

Abby Power 11:50
it’s tough. I, I thought I might be wrong. But I thought that last year, those the first year of the community essays or diversity essays, lived experience essays, I felt like they were more uniform. And this year, I felt like every school put its own little spin on it. Did it just feel that way? You

Lisa Bleich 12:08
might have just felt like that. I mean, they were endless than they were and every school added it, but they all had a similar vibe to them. But it also seemed an admissions for certain schools, particularly a lot of the IVs that they went more towards income based rather than race based. And a lot of their admissions like Princeton came out 70% Of the students have a financial need. And they’re still using legacy in their admissions decisions. So I feel like that was a way that they were able to hold true to their values. And in some of the ivy League’s and some of the more select schools, but also adhere to the letter of the law. Maybe not the spirit of the law, but the letter of the law.

Stefanie Forman 12:50
Yeah, yeah. I agree with you about. I think they looked at that. Yeah.

Abby Power 12:55
And I think that decisions, right, which is not a terrible of the whole thing. I mean,

Lisa Bleich 13:00
no, but it does, it does make people think about, you know, different things like legacy. How do you think legacy played in this year? Just in this year’s decisions? Did you see that? Still play as heavyweight?

Abby Power 13:13
At some schools? I did? For sure. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t want to name names. But once particular, I would say for sure. Yeah. Probably not across the board, like it used to be, I think some schools are sticking to it. And some schools really have let it go.

Lisa Bleich 13:34
Or maybe not as much importance on it. But I do think that some schools came out and said, we’re sticking with legacy, we’re not gonna get rid of this. And I think the only time that will be gotten rid of is if there’s an actual law that is preventing them from doing it. But I feel like that’s a very hard thing to enforce. At the end of the day, because what are you going to say, Now, if you move it, anyone with legacy that that is somehow illegal? I think it’s going to be a challenging thing for the courts to enforce.

Abby Power 14:03
That would for sure hurt the innocent applicants who, you know, their only fault is that they’re the child of a legacy, even if they’re really highly. Yeah. I don’t know how you did worse than that, and how

Lisa Bleich 14:19
you would either. So what do you think you’re going to do differently now that we have our next round of juniors coming up coming down the pike? How do you think you’ll counsel them differently this year, if at all?

Stefanie Forman 14:28
I guess TVD because I’m going to use all the information that comes out with this year’s admission cycle or what I’ve seen and to share that with my current students with my current juniors, but I think managing expectations is always challenging. I think no matter how many times you can say something or even come from it in a really empathetic way, like I don’t want to kill your dream, but do you know how hard it is to get into this school and this is

Have a certain profile and this is where you’re at. So, you know, finding new ways to say that and come from a place of, but I, I’ve been there. But yeah, I think it’ll be interesting to see, even though so many decisions are in to see how weightless play out to see how letters have continued interest play out so that the student doesn’t get in somewhere to see how powerful they are. I think Lisa, you said you already have a student who was accepted off the waitlist from a letter of continued interest. I had

Lisa Bleich 15:28
someone who was accepted off of a deferral from a letter of a conditional offer deferral of a waitlist, not yet not off of a waitlist, but off of girl. So yeah, yeah, so we had that. And that’s also sometimes hard to do as well, to get enough of the deferral especially it’s not that obvious for that to happen. I felt like we had two kids this year that did we had the Duke kid and the northeastern kid, I think that was it for the the deferral and then acceptance rate acceptance in So

Abby Power 15:56
yeah, that’s it for me just that one. Right.

Lisa Bleich 15:59
And we had a northeastern student that did and maybe a UNC as well. Stupid and then got him. Actually, no, I think they got in right off the bat. So what do you think you’re going to do differently? Abby, anything?

Abby Power 16:12
I’m gonna really try to stick to my guns about not wasting your early decision application on a for each school. Yeah, like Steph said, managing expectations, it is hard. Because, you know, you don’t want to squash their

Lisa Bleich 16:30
dream Crusher, we need to say that we need to have a new Pat Benatar song that’s like dream Crusher.

Abby Power 16:36
It’s such a funny thing to me that, you know, having done this for a while that people still just look at the IVs the way they do, you know, I was just talking to a prospective client yesterday. And her son is at a public school in the Midwest. And he’s got a three two GPA. And, you know, she said, you know, we’re not going to get for the IVs or anything. And I was like, the whole? Oh, good. That’s correct. That’s correct. And then in the back of my head, I was, you know, all of a sudden remembering all the people who are in the exact same position, who wants I started work working with them. And we did the list said, you know, what about Cornell? That could be a good fit. Yeah, he’s always come back in to the conversation or often come back into the conversation when they you know, they don’t belong there. So yeah, I think managing expectations early is, is something that I have to work on. Yeah,

Lisa Bleich 17:41
I think it’s really important. I mean, as we’re putting the list together, and I start putting them into the categories, and you see, not everyone, but there’s always one or two students where they have one or two safety and likelihoods, and the rest are all possible and reaches. And you know that that’s just setting them up for disappointment. And it’s hard, because now everyone’s applying to so many more schools thinking that if they throw the darts, they’ll get one and in some instances, particularly for kids that are admissible to those schools. I hate to say it, but that strategy does work because it is so uncertain. But if no one, but for students for whom that they’re not admissible, they just end up with tons and tons of rejection. And I think that’s the thing I would possibly counsel students differently is that if you’re going to apply, or just say it straight out, if you’re going to apply to this, many schools, expect that you’re going to get rejected, you know, it’s interesting, because I do a lot of graduate medical school. And so for medical school, it’s really clear, you apply to say, 16 to 20 medical schools, it’s usually a five to one ratio, if you’re in the range of application to interview and then from that, maybe that whittles down to maybe 20%. Of that. So you might be applying to 20 schools. And if you get into one or two medical schools, you’re happy, you know, you’re you’re you’re strong, that’s like a really successful run. And I think that it’s the same thing with college in that if you’re applying to all of the most Select Schools, you’re going to have rejections, you’re going to have disappointment. And that’s just got to be built into your expectation that that’s going to happen, because there’s no guarantees. Just because you’ve worked so hard, and you’re super strong student you’ve done all the things that you know, all the right things, if you would not that there’s a right thing, but all the things that you think are the right things, that doesn’t mean that you’re gonna get in, that’s hard for students to accept. I think it is easier if it’s like they don’t really have a shot, to maybe say, Look, this is the profile, but people still want to go for it. Well, maybe I’ll be the one that gets in like, I’ll be the lottery winner. So I think that is something I think we’ll do a little bit differently is just to open yourself up to rejection and it’s just or denials and that’s just part of the process.

Abby Power 19:55
I’m definitely gonna do that. That is very good advice. I had to kids this year where I saw it was such an interesting psychological observation. So I had one, the one who applied to Duke, he applied early decision to Duke. He was very, very highly qualified. I was very surprised that he got deferred actually. And in my heart of heart, I, our heart of hearts, I knew he was going to get in, because He’s the great fit. And he did. So I don’t know why they deferred him first, because it wasn’t because they were looking for anything else. You know, he was he. But he got denied from so many other schools because he did all the Ivy’s plus Stanford plus MIT, and denial, denial, denial, denial. So when she got the acceptance from Duke, he was almost traumatized by all the denial. He was excited. And then he called me a few days later, and he was you know, he said, Okay, now that I’m through all of that rejection, I’m so excited. So I saw that happen, which was really interesting, because I would have thought the second that he got accepted to his ed school, right, everything else would have been blocked him. But now it took him a few days to process it. And then I had another ID young woman who applied EA to the school that she was thinking until the last minute she was going to apply ed to Okay. And then she ended up reaching for one of the Ivy’s for Ed, she got deferred. But she got into the EA school, which again was

Stefanie Forman 21:30
for initial right, very cool.

Abby Power 21:34
Almost up till November 1, it was her first choice. And then she got denied, then she got into a couple of other really good spots. Actually, she did get into some tiny ones regular decision to come to Colby and Colgate actually, but she’s so somehow, she’s so fixated on that rejection from that reach Ed, she’s really not excited about any of her amazing choices. So she’s doing all her admitted student days now. So hopefully, something comes up that but so she’s literally into her number one choice. And she’s, and she because of the you know, the denials, she just can’t get her head around it. So yeah, I guess it’s relative, but I think you’re right, if if we prepare them earlier, that it’s an inevitability, then maybe that will help.

Lisa Bleich 22:26
Hopefully, it’s just also there’s the psychological piece of it, there’s the intellectual piece of it, and then there’s the emotional piece of it, and nobody wants to be denied. I mean, you want to have the options and the choices, but colleges are also looking to see who’s going to actually come to the school. And sometimes they’d get it wrong, but a lot of times they get it right, you know, they’ll waitlist or defer someone who probably wasn’t going there wasn’t going to go there, if they had other choices. And then sometimes they they deny the person who really would go there, if they got it, and and they can’t get over it. So it’s interesting.

Abby Power 22:57
Yeah. Well, I mean, one thing that I feel like, if I look at all of my kids from this year, it seems like the schools were really looking at how they did first quarter in first semester of their senior year. Because that would attribute a couple of things, you know, a few results to, I think pretty clearly. So yeah, that’s another I mean, I always I always tell clients that that, you know, it doesn’t end at the end of junior and senior year, if not, you know, show up even better. But, yeah, I think that that’s a big deal. Yeah,

Stefanie Forman 23:34
no, I think that’s a good point. Because a few of my students, they really flourish senior year. And I think, yeah, you’re right, that definitely attributes to some of their acceptances or some surprise acceptances in the long run, and it was definitely because of senior year, right. And

Lisa Bleich 23:52
this is the last year who had a COVID year. I mean, they had freshman year as COVID. So this is really it makes sense that they’re coming into their own senior year because they didn’t have freshman year to put into the mix. All right, so are there any last minute things you want to say about just sharing with juniors about the process as they move into it anything that you would give advice to people coming down the pike?

Abby Power 24:17
I think, related to what you said earlier, Lisa, about the your music students, I think whatever you do, you have to put your all into it and your own spin on it. And every opportunity you have in school, even if you don’t have a special talent, which most of us do not I certainly do not. You just have to take advantage of every opportunity and everything you’re doing and figure out how to make it the best you possibly can and put your own interesting spin on it. My favorite example lately is a I have a young man, he’s a rising junior. He was doing community service at a senior living place with his mom. His mom was sort of forcing him into doing it and you know He wasn’t all that excited about it, but he’s also an acquire. So we kind of just talked through how he could put his own spin on his community service. And he started a karaoke club. Living place, I love it. It has turned into, it’s amazing. So such a win win, win win win win. He brought friends from spire and they perform first. So it’s practice, they can experiment, they can do stuff that they can’t do in their choir, he’s coaching, three women, three of the scenes, so they can gain the confidence to perform. I mean, he’s so giddy about this thing. Awesome. And I mean, I can only imagine on the other side, at the senior living home, how amazing it is for them. So I feel like if you just take a minute, take a breath, take a beat, look at what you’re doing, and figure out how you can put your heart into it, it just makes such a difference in how you can show up for the college’s and what they can learn about you. Right.

Lisa Bleich 26:05
And that is what you want to be doing. It’s not I mean, there’s no there’s no magic formula, just be you and do it. That sounds very trite. But it’s really true. I have a student similar who was who’s really interested in reading, she loves loves to read all different genres. And I put her in contact with this organization that was looking for teens to help middle school and some high school students in this lower income area. And she brought up the idea of a book club. So the person who was in charge love the idea. So she meets every week, in person, she goes and has this book club, they all pick different books, and she’s learning from them. They’re learning from her. And it’s been this amazing opportunity for this sharing of different cultures, and just different lifestyles around books. And so she’s putting her own spin on it, and they love her there. And she loves it. And it’s been a great experience for her. So there’s lots of ways that you can be true to yourself without thinking that you have to morph yourself into something that you’re not.

Abby Power 27:07
Yeah, that’s amazing. And completely tagging on to that is, once you’ve been doing something for a long time, you can really assess what’s going on and figure out how to make an impact. If you show up on the job day one, you can’t be like, Hey, you’re doing this wrong. And let’s try this because no one trusts you. No one knows you. Plus, you don’t know anything, right? But if you’ve been doing a club for a year, year and a half, you can figure out oh, we need more volunteers, or what if we have the kids journal? Or what if we try having them have write poetry, you know, you’ll know all of the players and you’ll be able to really figure stuff out. So that’s another thing is to commit to something. And to your point, Lisa, you can’t commit to something if you don’t like it. Right? Exactly. Yeah, like what you’re doing. So

Stefanie Forman 27:57
speaking, so a challenge that I come across, sometimes if I start working with the student into sophomore year, or junior year, like to your point, Abby, that students should find community find ways to be engaged, find things they’re excited about and follow their passions early on. When you meet with a student, junior year, and they’re doing all the work like you there’s no right thing, but they’re they’re flourishing in the classroom. their test scores are strong, but they haven’t found ways to engage with service or their community or show how their intellect intellectual curiosity transcends the classroom. How do you advise them when it comes to junior year, and you haven’t, and they haven’t had those years to establish

Lisa Bleich 28:44
the longevity? Right? Yeah.

Stefanie Forman 28:46
And to make impact summer Yeah, we

Lisa Bleich 28:49
have to do something over the summer. I mean, you have to, you have to find a connection, some sort of a thread, because there is something there typically a thread of what they’re doing and just identify or help them identify what they like about what they are doing, and then see if they can go deeper over the summer, because that’s really the time that they have and the big chunk of time where they can do something stronger, and that a lot of times the summer opportunities, particularly that junior year, summer, junior to senior year summer, can be transcendent, or can really make a difference. Like I had this one young man who was very interested in going to, to West Point, that was his goal. And so he followed along all the different things that he needed to do for that. And he was a you know, a good student, solid student. And he hadn’t really come into his own leadership. He done different things that he was told to do to follow the path for West Point, but he ended up doing Boise State and it wasn’t it’s about a four day four to five day situation. And he’s not your typical boy state kid in the sense that he’s more of a jock more of a you know Hunter like he’s not like doing Youth and Government Model UN that wasn’t really what history was. But he was a really strong leader. And he had a really good sense of people. And he had a really good sense of bringing different types of people together. And it was those leadership skills that came out through Boys State. And thank goodness he did boys day, because every essay was about like state, and all the different ways that he became, you know, he was the mayor, he was elected the mayor, I know he had, he had to, like facilitate people that were not necessarily treating each other well, and has somebody wanted him to, like, take over and he said, No, I’m not going to take over because this person was elected. And that wouldn’t be fair to that person. So it really brought out all of his moral character. And so that summer really opened it up for him. And then he was able to use that leadership and do it in different ways when he became senior. So sometimes that summer experiences can really make a difference.

Abby Power 30:51
I declined a few years ago who was doing had no community service, and I got him as a junior. And he was doing a lot of theater tech at school, which, you know, there was actually an element of community service to it, because they do so much work behind the scenes. So much. Yeah. So yeah, he had that collaborative sort of community minded vibe, but he hadn’t done any community service. So this was in the Midwest, again, we found him a place basically a theater group for underserved kids. And he was doing like 20 hours a week, just the inspires. You know, he loved it, too, which is great. But I feel like you needed it because he was going for Jesuit schools also. Right, which, yeah, so and then he’s able to get a letter of recommendation from the head of the theater, which was a big deal, I think, for the Jesuit schools. So yeah, sometimes you just just jam it right in there.

Stefanie Forman 31:53
I know. It feels that yeah, that’s Yeah, but I guess that’s what you

Lisa Bleich 31:56
already had that interest. He already had that talent. So he was just sharing it. And that’s the thing. It’s like, share your talent with the community. That’s, you know, sometimes it’s harder. It’s not any harder than that, I guess.

Abby Power 32:08
Right. And I don’t think if he had done something random, that didn’t tie to anything else on his application, it would have been nearly as impactful. Right. You know, it was a threat. Like Lisa said, it was it made perfect sense. It didn’t look like something he was just doing for the sake of doing exactly.

Lisa Bleich 32:23
It was sort of an umbrella of the theater and then going deep in it and reaching it across school community, etc, down. Alright, well, we’ll stay tuned. We have other episodes coming down the pike. And we will always do some form of a case study and every other week or so. We will also be talking to students who have gone through the process, who may or may not have gotten into their first choice or who did get into their first choice. So stay tuned, and we hope that you found this inaugural podcast beneficial

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