Podcast: Joy Meserve: Leading with Joy

In today’s episode, join me as I sit down with Joy Meserve, CEO and founder of Leading with Joy. We delve into her transformative journey from corporate PR to pioneering STEM education, exploring insights on joyful leadership and navigating career shifts. From parenting parallels to practical college prep tips, Joy shares candid wisdom and actionable […]

Join me in today’s episode as I delve into the intricacies of college waitlists. I’ll discuss the purpose behind waitlists and offer actionable advice for waitlisted students on navigating their current acceptances while strategically positioning themselves for potential waitlist admissions. Tune in! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:00 They had the raw talent and stats to probably get […]

Podcast: Joanna Graham: Expertise, Authenticity, and Purpose

In today’s episode, I chat with Joanna Graham, one of Signet’s Senior Admissions Consultants, to discuss the significance of expertise, authenticity, and purpose in shaping students’ paths, highlighting the transformative power of education. Join us for insights into career navigation and the impact of self-discovery on students’ aspirations. TRANSCRIPT Joanna Graham: 0:00 I love this work. […]

Podcast: Shereem Herndon-Brown: The Black Family’s Guide to College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Shereen Herndon-Brown, founder of Strategic Admissions Advice, about the evolving college admissions process. We dive into the significance of redefining success, the value of authenticity, and the importance of embracing one’s unique identity in college applications. Tune in for insights on storytelling and diversity in higher education. TRANSCRIPT […]

Podcast: Van Tran: Embracing the Pivot

In today’s episode, I sit down with Van Tran, co-founder of API Rising, and delve into the intersection of art and technology, her pivotal career transitions in corporations, and the importance of trusting oneself in navigating diverse career paths. Join us for a conversation that inspires embracing purpose-driven career pivots and making a meaningful impact. […]

Podcast: Let’s Get Tactical: How to Build a College List

In today’s podcast episode, I talk about the college list. From navigating super scoring policies to campus visits and holistic considerations, gain valuable insights on creating a tailored list for a seamless college application process. Join me for essential tips and tools to guide you through this crucial phase. Resources here: Signet Education’s College List-Building […]

Podcast: Emmaline Cook: Learning for the Sake of Learning

In today’s episode, Signet’s Account Manager Emmaline shares her remarkable journey—from unconventional high school experiences and the complexities of college admissions to a surprising detour into dance during a transformative gap year. Her story is a testament to self-discovery, resilience, and the pursuit of authentic fulfillment. Tune in! Access Signet’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Planning […]

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Planning Course

  ACCESS THE COURSE NOW   Parents know that summer activity planning is important for college admissions. But don’t stress – with the right steps and timely planning, you can make the most of how your teen invests their time in the summer, and strategically choose the right thing for them! Signet Education’s 40-minute Summer […]

Podcast: Dr. Neha Pathak and Dr. Joyce Varughese: Education and the Children of Immigrants

In today’s episode, I engage in a compelling conversation with two dear friends and accomplished professionals, Dr. Neha Pathak and Dr. Joyce Varughese, on navigating the pressures of college and societal expectations. They offer insightful advice for the next generation, urging a pursuit of passion over predefined paths. Join us as they candidly discuss the […]

Podcast: Let’s get tactical: How to Plan your Summer

Welcome back to the podcast! After a refreshing holiday break, join me as I share valuable insights on making your student’s summer meaningful. Let’s kick off the year together! Access Signet’s Guide to Summer Planning here. Explore various summer programs and exciting opportunities from Pathways to Science, Teenlife, and College Match Point. TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: Hello, and welcome back […]

Podcast: Samara Bay: Permission to Speak

In today’s episode, I dive into a captivating conversation with Samara Bay, an advocate for embracing individuality and finding power in our unique voices. We explore the transformative impact of authenticity and self-acceptance while uncovering Samara’s upcoming newsletter series, ‘How to Show Up,’ aimed at reshaping power dynamics. Join us for an inspiring discussion! TRANSCRIPT […]

Podcast: Let’s Get Tactical: Early Results Are Coming Out

Early results are here! Dive into my latest episode to understand how to decode acceptances, denials, and deferrals, and learn why these decisions don’t define your journey. Join me as we navigate the highs and lows of early applications, helping you support your child through this pivotal moment! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: We want to remember, […]

Podcast: McKenzie Carver: What is a Co-Op program?

In today’s episode, I sit down with McKenzie, Signet Education’s exceptional Community and Operations Manager. Our conversation delves into the impact of her Co-Op program at Northeastern on her college experience and her career journey. TRANSCRIPT McKenzie – Signet Education: 0:00 But I gained so much experience from little things such as how to dress in […]

Podcast: Jay Rosner: Bias in Testing and College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Jay Rosner to explore the realm of standardized testing, discuss fairness in education, and dissect the recent legal battles over affirmative action in college admissions. TRANSCRIPT Jay Rosner: 0:00 It just so happens that the SAT on the math side particularly has a disparity consistent disparity over decades against […]

Podcast: Sheila Tactical: Now That Early Apps Are Done

In this episode, I talk about what to do now that early college applications are behind us. Uncover essential post-early-admission steps and strategic insights to navigate your next move. Don’t miss this expert advice on the college admissions journey! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:00 Once you have a clearer idea of what are the things you need […]

Podcast: Chris LaTempa: Recruited Athletes & College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Chris LaTempa, a seasoned college counseling expert with a wealth of knowledge in the intricate world of college athletic recruiting. If you have a child considering college athletics, this episode is a MUST LISTEN! TRANSCRIPT Chris LaTempa: 0:00 It is a common error for student athletes to sit back […]

Podcast: Jaime Smith: Transfer & Homeschool Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with educational consultant Jamie Smith to explore transfer admissions. Join us as we unravel the opportunities and challenges for non-traditional students, from transfers to homeschoolers. Get ready for insights into the evolving higher education landscape and its impact on admissions. Don’t miss this conversation about fostering diversity on campuses […]

Podcast: Annie Tulkin: Accessible College

In this episode, Annie Tulkin, the founder of Accessible College, and I discuss the world of college transition support for students with disabilities. Don’t miss this insightful conversation that sheds light on the path to college success for all students. Follow Annie Tulkin on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, and visit her website here. Connect with me on LinkedIn and become a […]

Podcast: Don’t Force It: An Intentional Approach to College Admissions

Join me as we dive deep into the college admissions process and explore the three essential phases that set students up for success. We’ll uncover the importance of building a solid foundation, strategic preparation, and crafting a compelling narrative. Discover how an intentional approach can transform the college journey into a rewarding experience. TRANSCRIPT Sheila […]

Podcast: Hanna Stotland: Educational Crisis Management & Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Educational Crisis Manager, Hannah Stotland. She works with students to recover their academic records and reapply to programs after major incidents, like medical leaves, ethics code violations, or family emergencies. Her message is clear: there is hope, but it will take your hard work. Bio Hanna Stotland flunked […]

Podcast: Sharon Genicoff: Personal Branding in College Admissions

In this episode, I sit down with high school college counselor Sharon Genicoff to explore the art of crafting an authentic personal brand for your college applications. Our conversation empowers students to present their unique qualities in a meaningful way, ensuring their college applications stand out and reflect their genuine selves. Tune in for invaluable […]

Podcast: Alberto Naviera: STEM tutoring

In today’s episode, I speak with one of Signet’s Principal Tutors, Alberto Naviera. We discuss Alberto’s unique approach to STEM tutoring, his empathetic connections with students, and how he empowers them to conquer the challenges of learning science. Tune in to learn more about how we meet students where they are at Signet! TRANSCRIPT Sheila […]

Procrastination? Or Fear in Disguise?

Procrastination? Fear or Disguise.

Here’s a look into the future: It’s Spring of 2024. The school year is rolling on. Homework and activities have piled up. And you realize you’re behind—again.    You thought this time would be different, but the days slipped away, “have to’s” piled up, and your hope of being purposeful and intentional got swallowed by […]

Podcast: Bob Schaeffer: Fairtest.org

Today I sit down with longtime friend, Bob Schaeffer. Bob is an incredible source of knowledge around how the testing landscape has changed in the last several decades and the work that he and his team at FairTest do is invaluable. Tune in to hear about the test optional movement in college admissions and more!   TRANSCRIPT […]

Signet Admissions Results

Since we started helping students in 2005 get into their dream schools, our team of former admissions officers, writing coaches, and research analysts have helped students with hundreds of personal statements, supplemental essays, activity lists, and resumes. On top of that, we’ve given our students advice on which schools to target, how best to frame […]

Podcast: Dr. Arundhati Ghosh: Medicine as a Career Path

Dr. Arundhati Ghosh currently works at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and is the surgery curriculum director for the Harvard Medical School Cambridge Integrated Clerkship. She does innovative work in curriculum development and teaching methods. Her most recent publication is ‘Structuring Medical Education for Workforce Transformation: Continuity, Symbiosis, and Longitudinal […]

Podcast: Holly Schrieber: Relating to Teens with ADHD as an Educator

Welcome back everyone! Today, I kick off back to school season with an interview with my dear friend and colleague, Holly Schrieber. Holly is one of the few people at Signet who does “all the things” – and this makes her an incredible insightful advisor and supporter for parents and students alike. Tune in to […]

Podcast: Andrea West: The Power of Reflection in College Admissions

Today, I talk with Signet’s Director of Operations and senior academic coach, Andrea West about the benefits of combining traditional college admissions consulting with coaching. Coaching can not only improve a student’s academic performance, but it can also shift them into more of a growth mindset and self-knowledge, two things which are vitally important in […]

Podcast: Panel: Do Asians face a higher bar in College admissions?

As their children approach the college process, some families face a uniquely challenging question: does the model minority myth help or hurt their students in college applications? Given the cases before the Supreme Court, the lack of transparency in the admissions process, and differing values around education, this discussion is overshadowed by strong opinions, confusion, and […]

Capturing Your Story

The school year is coming to a close, and you’re getting excited about summer and all its possibilities.  But nagging there in the back of your mind is this little thought that won’t leave you alone.  Your college essay.  You can put it off or pretend it’s not there, but eventually, you’ll have to face […]

Podcast Bonus Episode: Tools for Academic Skill-Building and Accountability

Jay Bacrania: Skills for High School Success

Towards the end of my conversation with Jay, our CEO, last week, we started getting really tactical around various tools that can help build students’ awareness of their challenges and move them towards solutions. In this episode, we talk through calendars, digital distractions, time management, and a tool for examining how non-academic factors impact academic […]

The Weight of the Waitlist

The Weight of the Waitlist

If your child has been put on the waitlist for their college of choice, you know the ache of watching them struggle under the weight of it.  The feeling of being in limbo can be hard to bear, and it’s difficult to know what to do next. Although the waitlist isn’t a closed door, it […]

To Test or Not To Test?

To Test or Not To Test

One of the less visible changes that the 2020 pandemic brought us was the shift to “test optional” policies at many schools across the US.  Nearly 2,000 schools have now instituted this policy based not only on the lack of ability to test during lockdown, but on research showing standardized test scores do not offer […]

Podcast: How to Navigate the Waitlist

With all the college decisions that came out in the last week of March, I’m getting so many questions about how to navigate the waitlist. In this episode, I talk about what the waitlist is used for, how waitlist use has increased recently, and what students who are waitlisted should do to both move forward […]

Make Your College Application Stand Out

Make Your College Application Stand Out

Who are college admissions officers? And how can students ensure their applications stand out? Discover three helpful guidelines for making a good impression.

Need an Executive Functioning Coach?

Executive Function Coach

Is your student struggling with organization and time management? Learn how an executive functioning coach can help them be successful in all areas of life.

Write Your Perfect College Essay

The college essay (or personal statement) is an important component of a college application. Discover Signet’s 8-step approach to writing the perfect essay.

College Admissions

College admissions is one of the most important parts of the high school experience. It can also be a significant source of stress for students and their parents—especially as they try to keep up with the many other demands of high school.   First things first: take a deep breath. The journey you’re about to take […]