Real College Matters

Keep calm amidst chaos: advice for the class of 2021

February 16, 2021 Leigh Moore Season 1 Episode 15
Real College Matters
Keep calm amidst chaos: advice for the class of 2021
Show Notes Transcript

College admissions 2020-21 is characterized by surging applications from a shrinking pool of college-bound students.  What are we to make of the admissions process?   Listen in as Ginger Mayfield interviews Leigh Moore about the stressors sustained by the class of 2021--and their parents.  (Unedited transcript available.)

Unknown:

Hello, we

Ginger Mayfield:

are back for another podcast today and we are recording February 2 of 2021. early decision application numbers have started to come in. And there's been a lot of news about the increase in applications this year. And we wanted to talk about that on the podcast today. First of all, I'm ginger Mayfield, and I'm a college advisor with real college matters. And I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and with me today is Leigh Moore, who is the founder of Real college matters. And to start this off, Lee, you're a college advisor, you're passionate about transparency in the college admissions process. But more importantly, you're the parent of a senior this year. So you have a unique vantage point into this year's college admissions process based on those two hats that you wear, so could you tell us what that has been like for you this year?

Leigh Moore:

Yes. Hi, ginger, happy Groundhog Day. By the way, I had to say that because the whole year has felt like a groundhog day right? over and over. But maybe we'll have a nice season ahead of us. Yeah, it's been tough. And I'm often told that I care too much, you know, about colleges. And I think one of my kids said to me this summer, can you get a hobby maybe? And so understanding that, yes, I'm the mom of a senior, my professional life I take pretty seriously. So that is all kind of wrapped up in being a mom of the senior, you know, balsa being a college advisor and finding myself, you know, not able to predict and not able to rely on data as much. And as a mom, kind of the same way. Parents, we don't know what to tell our kids other than take things one day at a time. But yeah, I think it's been stressful, and particularly those of us who did not get our kids on many campuses before COVID strap,

Ginger Mayfield:

right? It does seem like there's a lot of uncertainty in the air. And can you give our listeners a little bit more of an insight as to what a family emotionally goes through when they read some of these headlines such as you know, over 100,000 people have applied to NYU so far. MIT is up 60% even though your child did not apply to either of those institutions, I imagine it still has an impact on you emotionally as a parent. Could you speak about that? You know, ginger,

Leigh Moore:

it bothers me because I know it bothers other people. I look at surges of applications. And you know, none of its real yet. Like they say in Moneyball, we have to ask the right questions. the right question is not how many applications did they get? particularly where your own child is involved? You know, the question is, has my student put their best application forward?

Ginger Mayfield:

Wow, Lee, that, I think is a really helpful perspective for all parents, because it sounds like you've been able to quell some of the fear even though there's been a lot of uncertainty by understanding the data. And by asking the right questions, and that you glean from your years as a college advisor. What do you think that parents should be asking right now? Or if you could get every parent of a senior the same level of freedom you have in terms of fear in that regard? What would you do? Where would you send them? What would you have them look at?

Leigh Moore:

Well, you know, I think the more confusing life gets, the more you it makes sense to go back to the basics. The basics are Why do you want to go to college? I've started asking students that again, I used to do that a long time ago. And for some reason I quit. But why do you want to go to college, there are some particularly good arguments to make against it, particularly in the next couple of years. Most kids are going to be well served to go to college, but you know, asking that and asking what it is that they're looking for in a college. And then of course, a big thing that we talk about a lot is price, and what can we as parents reasonably afford, and working your objectives, working your list, and doing your best to figure out which place is going to meet those needs is all you can do. As recently as yesterday, I was talking to my son about staying in touch with the representatives and I think you and I probably take for granted that you know you want to do that you want somebody at the college to know who you are. I mean, I think that kids have so much going on and it's not necessarily obvious to them, but make this process as personal as it can be. I mean, these kids are wonderful and almost all of them. If you get Get them in front of her college rep, it's going to be beneficial for him because there's, they're great. I try to be fairly hands off with my own son. But you know, even yesterday, I was reminding him of the value of making sure that colleges know who you are, and know that you're particularly interested in their institution.

Ginger Mayfield:

I think that's helpful. More than ever, it does feel like there is a lot of noise for families around college admissions. And I definitely agree with you that keeping the process personal to you, understanding which schools you are likely to be admitted to having a good understanding of how much your family is either willing to or is able to put towards your college education. Those are the non negotiables that you have to know. And a big pain point for parents. That has come up a lot for me, and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it is test optional, and how maybe that has really played a part in a lot more applications to certain schools. Do you have any thoughts on test optionals role in some of the chaos we're seeing right now? Lee?

Leigh Moore:

I think the test optional policies are for sure having an impact for better or for worse, it seems to me like students and families tend to go in one direction or another with it most often, actually, I think they don't believe me when I say yeah, you really don't have to submit a test score to have your application process. A lot of people out there think oh, well, then I can just pay, I've got straight A's I don't and I don't have to submit a test score so I can get in anywhere I want. And you know, that's certainly not the case, either. I do think that and this is ginger. I'm gonna say this, because so often parents tell me, Look, I just want somebody to tell me the truth about the way all this works. And to me a big part of the truth is that this is a marketplace with very expensive price tags, and colleges need to be able to justify a student's admission. This past year, it was just awfully it was going to be awfully hard for students to get test scores on the book, right. I do think and this sounds awful. I'm going to say what a way I think it is. But please understand, I don't like it. I think testing is optional for full pay kids and for full pay. You know, that's a little bit of an overstatement. But I guess a better way to say it is for students who are meeting enough institutional needs otherwise, but ability to pay is huge. I've read a great quote in the New York Times last week, somebody said, any discussion about admissions, which does not include the ability to pay is fundamentally dishonest. These are big, big numbers. So you know, a lot goes into it, I guess I'm glad to see the emphasis on testing going down just because it promotes so much anxiety. But I also think that it's going to provide more chaos in some ways, because it is hard to tell one high school from another. I mean, I see the benefit of an apples to apples comparison.

Ginger Mayfield:

We and I I know the answer to this, but I think it would be helpful for our listeners to hear you process it out loud. You mentioned in your last answer institutional priorities. Right. And so my question is twofold. One, could you give some examples of institutional priorities? And how could a regular family going through the college admissions process know what Vanderbilt's institutional priorities are? versus wash us institutional priorities?

Leigh Moore:

Good questions. And, you know, I also should, I'm gonna hop back on what I said, I don't mean to sound as though a student without the ability to pay full price has no chance. That's not what I mean, at all. I always say that there are different kinds of currency in admissions, hash currency, but then also having, you know, rigor, high school, river grades, even character. There's all kinds of currency you can bring to the college, what

Ginger Mayfield:

know how could a family know whether that currency is valuable in any given year? Or can they Lee,

Leigh Moore:

I'm just a big believer in the personal relationships and Well, generally speaking, I think we have to accept that cash currency is really important. Every year and especially in a year where with so much uncertainty, otherwise, I think a lot of times you just have to I mean, I encourage students to establish relationships with their admissions reps and get their best, most honest Answer best guesses in terms of you know, their admissibility, if you're talking about, you know, evaluating some particular strength and whether or not it will bode well for admission. We hear so much about affordability, admissibility, and about people getting in and you know, and then about prices. And you know, I do think the overlooked elements so often is what I call affinity. What do you want? Where do you want to go and being able to effectively communicate all that goes a long way? So I don't know if I answered your question.

Ginger Mayfield:

No, I think that was really helpful. And you spoke about institutional priorities. Yeah, institutional priorities. And can a family discern what those are?

Leigh Moore:

Yeah, so institutional priorities. I think when I first started in admissions, I attended the Harvard Institute on college admissions or something like that, and the quote that stayed with me, somebody asked the director of admission at Princeton, what would you tell her? What should I tell my students who say that, you know, they're just gonna die if they don't get into Princeton? And her answer was, you tell them that I answer to a board of directors, and that I don't know, directors is going to want more students from Rhode Island, or if they're going to need me to increase our Native American population or whatever. And, you know, that's hard to accept, especially for families, especially for a kid who has worked their tail off and achieved, you know, has really had their eye on the prize of, for instance, Princeton, you know, we kind of live in a way that we I think we tell our kids that, you know, you can set your mind to it and do it. And then suddenly, you realize, wow, that really, not only may I have no control over this, I might not even ever know why it happened or didn't happen in terms of an admission. So you know, institutional priorities can be anything from athletics, particular field of study. But also one thing that I don't think many people realize the extent of right now is the huge disproportion of girls, two boys in college, I've been kind of shocked to see application numbers. Private schools, particularly almost all of them that seems are pushing 60% on guys, two girls. And the application numbers are a little more lopsided, with oftentimes more than 60% of the applications being from females, so many guys might take hard out there just knowing you give a little bit of an extra boost, just by being a guy,

Ginger Mayfield:

right? Because I think you would agree with me when I say every college wants that 5050 split. And they also want 50 states represented. So they'll always joke if you're from North or South Dakota, shoot for the stars. You know, I think that is really helpful. And I think I would add, at the end of that just a word to parents listening, we just gave some really concrete examples of some things, for instance, field of study. And I think that could cut a few different ways as an institutional priority. And the truth is, it's very unlikely that you're going to know, I remember in Rick Clark's book that he wrote a few years ago, he gave a really good example of this, of, you know, maybe a small liberal arts college has been given a donation earmarked directly for the chemistry department, or maybe directly for promoting women in STEM majors. And so then what that school will do, is they will start to go out and buy AC t sh, t scores, you know, for for maybe students from certain geographic regions, females who scored well on maybe the science section for the AC T or indicated an interest in a potential chemistry major. So that is one way that it can cut is maybe there has been a donation made. And you know, there's been a mandate given, you know, we need to increase this population of students on our campus, and that is your charge. And then another thought that I've had that I've not read that much about, but I do think we have seen, especially with COVID, and I'm not speaking about the top of the selectivity spectrum, not the Ivy League schools, but a lot of schools are phasing out certain departments. So maybe you're really interested in a certain department that because of their long term planning, they know is not going to exist in a few years, perhaps so that's another way that could cut. But since real college matters, we want to help families navigate through this process smoothly and calmly. I do want to say it's very hard To know what the institutional priorities will be in any given year, and whether or not they've interacted with your child's application or not in some sort of meaningful way, unless, as you say, you have a relationship with a, an admissions officer who maybe shares that he maybe says, look, we want more women from the Pacific Northwest, we so yes, that's, and that would maybe be in more of a context of a personal relationship. And I did want to mention here, Lee and I talked about this offline. Lee and I have the utmost respect for college admissions officers, they have a hard job, just like they have a job, Lee and I have a job. And I think with college admissions officers, it is very tempting to give them the job we wish they had, as opposed to the job that they actually have. An every college admissions officers job is to protect the best interests of their employers, not to protect the best interest of your child or your high school student. And I think it can really be confusing, because the people who really do well in admissions are super positive, they're very outgoing. They're the type of people who build relationships easily. And I think as individuals, you can always assume that a college admissions officer really does care about your child as an individual. But when it comes down to when a decision has to be made, of course, their loyalty has to go with what is in the best interest of their employer, their institution. And that is not always going to square with what you might believe is in the best interest of your child. So I just wanted to say that before we moved on,

Leigh Moore:

you said that very well. Absolutely. And that's we abide in the space admission space, which is so you know, it is full of flaws. And it's I think some people would argue a very bad system, but it is full of so many good people. Yes, among some of my closest friends, our admission side, folks, so I don't mean to be critical of any individual. I will say I've been very disappointed. I guess this is the the mom talking more than the college counselor. But it's been really disappointing to me this year to see absolutely no breaks given to seniors in terms of, you know, there was no pushing back of deadline. I mean, not no meaningful pushback of deadlines, I can think of a few individual colleges. But in my mind, this was a year for leadership for all the colleges to come together and decided there would be no deadlines until January 1, or whatever, easy for me to say, I've never worked in a college admissions office. But in my mind, it's just been very disappointing to see that, you know, the, the kids are living in the same pandemic that we all are. And yet, they're apparently supposed to have some great knowledge of exactly what they want to do next year. And I guess that's the part that's been stressful as a mom. And so I, again, no particular one person makes me mad. I've just been disappointed. And I guess sort of the whole process,

Ginger Mayfield:

right? I agree. And it makes me think about, and we've talked about this before, but sort of the myth of holistic admissions. And if you have been on any college tours or watched any college information session, they will say we use holistic admissions, there's not a score cut off that we're looking for. There's not a GPA we're looking for. And we just know that to not be true, I think the lived experience does not bear that out. And there is data to suggest that is also not true. It can feel disingenuous when a school says there's no score cutoff, but then you can go look at their common data set and see that no current freshmen on their campus had under a 30 ac t if they submitted scores. So I think we've added also hard for families. And also, I think holistic admissions appears to be really generous, when in fact, it is really limiting. And it's really, it feels like it's gentler, when really it is so much harsher for families for students, because, one it's a total energy and time suck. Frankly, you know, if a student has sort of spun up in their mind, you know, this is my opportunity to make my case for why I deserve to be on this campus. And the data says, again, data not admissions marketing materials, but the data says no one who wasn't in the top 10% of their high school class was admitted last year. And that child's in the 58% of their class, that's really hard for families to navigate. And it's hard to figure out what's real, you know, the college is marketing material, which we know are often outsourced versus some of the the actual numbers, they have to turn into a common data set, or iPads or some other reporting areas, do you want to speak to anything about holistic admissions,

Leigh Moore:

it sounds good, it kind of means less accountability to any particular metrics, which occasionally can be nice. But to your point, a few years ago, there was something called the turning the tide report that came out. And it was a bunch of colleges signed on, because there still is, you know, way too much stress around advanced placement classes. And the turning the tide report stated that, you know, it was going to be more about character and less about advanced placement classes and be less stressful, which all sounded wonderful until Scott Prince, my colleague, looked up and said, well, doesn't sound like they're gonna increase the number of seats in any of these classes. So really, how much good is this going to do? And that was just the perfect. That's exactly right. I mean, all it's going to do is confuse people. And when they talk about character in admissions, it kind of drives me batty. Of course, we want kids to develop character. But you know, having your character judged by somebody who's never met you, that's just stressful, in a lot of ways that kids would be much better off the kids, in my opinion, across all kinds of socio economic levels would be much better off if we would just have cut and dried admissions standards. But anyway, that's them going off on a tangent. But yes, I think holistic admissions kind of means a lack of accountability,

Ginger Mayfield:

right? And it gives colleges the ability, at the end of the process not have to answer why or why not someone did or did not get admitted. Under the guise of there's this holistic admissions process, and we are the only ones who know the criteria. I don't want parents to miss how confusing and stressful that is for a child to have to interact with. I think, Lee, let's turn our conversation now to Okay, this is where we are. But what are your suggestions for February 2 2021? For a parent of a senior, what do you think parents of seniors need to be focusing on right now?

Leigh Moore:

I think two main things, I'm glad you asked good questions. Number one, we've touched on this, don't let the headlines about surging application numbers affect you at all. They're just applications. They don't mean anything. I hate to sound like that. But I can I'm not surprised in the least by the number of applications that are out there. Because, frankly, our son is not our he's our second child to go through this. And as you know, I'm not a big proponent of you know, let's apply to 12. Colleges. I'm a five college girl. And, you know, I'm like, let's know what we want and go after it. But you know, with this son, I've, we've certainly said, Yeah, I think you need to apply to a few more colleges to keep some doors open them you haven't been able to visit? I mean, he will. So that doesn't surprise me. I'm just think that all those surging apps, I think that Stokes up Fear Fear is not good for anything. This is really a buyer's market. Even I've talked a lot about admissibility by colleges, I guess, you know, if the listener takes nothing else away, please understand the number of people going to college is going to continue dropping off till at least like 2026 2029, something like that. And so colleges are in a hot, they are in hot pursuit of enough students to fill the seats and pay the bills. And so, you know, try to keep a level head when you read all these headlines about surging applicants, you know, people aren't multiplying,

Ginger Mayfield:

the patient isn't improving the application increase does not mean anything that the product that is being sold has actually become more valuable.

Leigh Moore:

Right. More applications from some basically, I think fewer students. It's hard to make an apples to apples comparison from year to year because of the number changing numbers of colleges that use the common application, things like that. But yeah, it doesn't it really doesn't mean anything except the fact that admissions revenues, you know, are certainly increasing. I mean, you know, that's everybody's spending money on applications. But anyway, the other thing, just that I would advise people, including my son, and I don't think the college folks are gonna like it when I say this, but I really would not be in a hurry to make a final decision. If you were admitted to any college in Anyway, besides binding early decision, I think that's probably a fair statement, then your space is protected until May 1. And you're gonna be getting plenty of calls and texts and emails and invitations and this and that and the other. But you've got a while to make a decision. And this is just not a good year to hurry into one. So I'm just going to try to encourage families that you know, it's okay. And I know that they're tired of the kids are tired of worrying about where they're going to go to college. But they've got time.

Ginger Mayfield:

These are great words of advice for parents of seniors who most likely have filed the majority of their application. Certainly there are some schools that still accepting applications.

Leigh Moore:

You made a point in our conversation offline, why don't you speak about it, if somebody really feels like they're getting into this process too late, or they think they don't have great options, tell them what you were saying about the open list or the space, that baseball ability list,

Ginger Mayfield:

at least in prior years. Of course, I would assume that it will happen this year. Actually, I think it'll probably be more needed this year than ever. There, NASDAQ, which is the National Association of college admissions counselors, they post a list that colleges can opt in or opt out of schools that still have available space. And there's even a checkbox where you can see schools that maybe have available space available seats, available beds in the freshmen class, as well as some might still have financial aid available. And they will say that now, their existence on the list does not mean you just sign up, you still would have to go through an application process. Yeah. But there might be some schools on the list that suddenly seem, you know, more attractive. You're not gonna see a school like MIT or Stanford or any of the ivy League's on that list. But I mean, even two years ago, I saw TCU is on there, SMU is on there. Some pretty well known writing.

Leigh Moore:

Yeah. goals with great outcomes. Yeah,

Ginger Mayfield:

yeah. Some some well known regional, smaller liberal arts colleges that are great places for students to land and are focused on undergraduates. So I would just mention that that that is a resource that usually comes out and I expect it will come out this year. But I also would add Lee, since we talked about how schools have to choose to be put on that list, that I don't know that there's any harm in asking a school even though they all have published deadlines. Hey, are you still accepting applications? What do you think about that? Lee?

Unknown:

There's never any harm in asking, gosh, I mean, right. But I think, and I think we

Ginger Mayfield:

forget, or families forget that some policies aren't as strict as they are laid out. And so that's one where I think it's worth asking, again, that's not going to apply to the most selective institutions, but we want to help people understand what their options are. And I think that's an option folks don't always consider,

Leigh Moore:

I guess one other point I would make too, is that I do think it's a little bit tougher to deal with the public institutions this year than the privates, probably because of economic reasons. You know, for in State students, the prices are, you know, usually pretty favorable at state institutions. But that's the place where, you know, as much as we were talking about some applications that aren't necessarily increases aren't meaningful, but at some of the big public schools, I am sort of feeling more of a squeeze, that feels like admissibility. The point I'm going to make is, though, that, you know, public institutions don't have as much admissions officers. I don't know, they're more rules, hello, their legislative mandates that

Ginger Mayfield:

I would say,

Leigh Moore:

yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's autonomy, usually, and so particularly at a private college. And again, you know, it's gonna be less likely to happen at Stanford than at a private college, that's a little less selective, but private colleges, in particular, you know, they can kind of do what they want. never hurts to ask if you still want to apply, and it says they're not taking applications. So that's a long, long answer to that. But that's a good question.

Ginger Mayfield:

Well, let's talk about juniors. What should parents of juniors be thinking about right now?

Leigh Moore:

Well, you know, I sent a note to all my junior parents and students yesterday, basically saying, haven't forgotten about you. This is going to be a long spring. And I do sort of feel that way. I feel like for the seniors, you know, I just feel like financial aid packages are going to take a while to come out and decisions. I think will be lagging just because people don't haven't basically, I think it boils down to the lack of ability to be on campus many places. But because it's going to lag, I told my juniors, look, be patient with me Come in, you know, we come in and talk, but I don't want, I don't want juniors to feel rushed at all. I do think that my current seniors, I'm gonna encourage my current juniors to do what my current seniors did last year, which is get an early start on the common application and get the especially if they could get that essay. Get an essay done before the summer there common application essay, that would be great. Just while you're stuck inside, kept out of your activities, you may as well,

Ginger Mayfield:

great advice I would add for families and parents of juniors to make sure to save space for on campus visits in the fall. I do think that starting this summer, we will see more official on campus visits happening. And for schools that are concerned with yield protection, which Lior probably would do a better definition of yield protection than I would but I define yield protection as colleges making sure that the folks they offer admission to are going to say yes, at schools that are concerned with yield protection, I think it is going to make a difference. If you were able to visit if they offered on campus visits, and you didn't take advantage of them, especially if you're within driving distance. So I would just for parents, I would consider that say your student has done a bunch of virtual options this spring and is really excited about a school, I would still encourage you if possible to do an on campus visit, then continue to demonstrate interest. I think we have seen several schools. And there may be schools that offer both early admission and early decision. And you know, early admission is not binding early decision is I know I personally have had a lot of students that typically would have been admitted and early, I'm sorry, early action, not early admission, early action be deferred. And they're a little bit above the school's typical profile. And I'm curious, and we'll never know. But I have a hunch that a lot of that has to do with demonstrated interest and effort that the students took to communicate their interest to the school. And I think especially if you are looking at schools, where you are in their 75th percentile, whether for GPAs or testing, I would encourage you to demonstrate interest all the more don't I don't think any student right now can assume they will be admitted at a school that offers early action and early decision because those programs alone show that a school cares about yield protection. So what do you think about that? I know that there's a lot to say on yield protection

Leigh Moore:

to touch on one point in particular that you said, I think that the spring, another thing that can be done, in addition to starting on the common app is doing a fair amount of research. There's so much to learn about colleges online. And no, it's not the same as being on campus. But it is absolutely very, very helpful in choosing which campuses to visit, you know, again, your college list has to be built around something meaningful. And so figuring out what your objectives are using the spring to find out which colleges really seem to meet those objectives, I just think is I think that's great advice, campus visits. COVID are no COVID they're expensive, they're time consuming, it hurts my heart to see a family go and visit a school that students not even really interested in, you know, or, you know, not going to be their academic profile won't be suited for it or something like that. So I think that's another good use of the spring. Yeah, and you know, ginger, you and I've talked about a lot of nuanced topics. And today, families don't get overwhelmed. I try to help families remember they have agency in this process. And you know, that's why I formed real college. I'm a co founder of Real college matters, actually with Dana straw. We formed real college matters. Honestly, if it's based on one thing, it's based on my belief in the value of good advising and working with somebody like ginger to figure all this stuff out. So you don't have to worry about demonstrated interest. You know, right now if you're the parent of a junior or if you're a junior, but you know, that is the kind of thing that we help coach families through later.

Ginger Mayfield:

Well and to go back to something you said earlier, even though it's in a slightly different context is you have to be asking the right questions and With all of this noise and the media's I mean honestly obsession with a very small percentage of colleges that have tiny at net rates, I think every family could use some extra help figuring out what questions should we be asking for my child? Not what question should everybody be asking? That certainly is another topic. I do think there are questions that have implications for every high school student, but what families really care about is their individual child and their individual child's outcome in this process. And every student's set of questions is different. And so a lot of times, whether it's a paid college advisor, an independent, like what we do at real college matters, or your high school, college guidance counselor, or college advisor, or community based organization that gives free advice. I do think with all of the noise and all of the misinformation, and all of the marketing families do need help distilling down what questions should we be asking for my child?

Leigh Moore:

Yes, absolutely. Ginger, the we're all like minded at real college matters. We want the parent to be engaged as a parent, we don't want the parent to feel like they have to worry about details or, you know, deadlines that's really on the student, right. But parents, you know, nobody else can parent your child. And it's really not the admissions officers job to look after your child's best interests. No, none of us is able to do that the way a parent is right. And so you know, we work with parents to help them set parameters in which the student can find their legs and figure it all out. But a couple of things. And maybe you know, this may wrap up the discussion nicely. I have learned so much from wise parents over the years. And I think of two input two sets of parents in particular, who told me a couple things about family discussions around college admissions. And one of them my friend, Polly said that the college search starts with the identification of your family's priorities. Yeah, wow. What does our family stand for? What do we believe in, what do we invest in, that's not to say the student doesn't isn't growing into their own person, but college is probably the biggest investment you'll make in your kid. And somebody told me one time you only give a gift that you should only give gifts that are aligned with your own beliefs. So I think that's a very appropriate discussion to have, you know, what's our what are our family's priorities, and then my friend Carrie said, our family had to discuss what success was gonna look like? And, you know, how are we going to define success on the other side of the college search, just, you know, I don't think I'll ever forget those, I think that it's a good way to frame it.

Ginger Mayfield:

That's a really good way to say that, that the end goal is going to be different for everyone. Each family is going to define a good outcome differently. But I think that is really helpful. And oftentimes, I know, in my own practice, the students that end up having the easier process in terms maybe emotionally, you know, it's not a stressful process, have parents who set boundaries earlier, you know, who said, No, you know, we're not going to go visit that school, because it's probably not the highest use of your time to apply. Because one, it would cost our family $80,000 a year, and you might not even be admitted. So I do think only parents can parent parents are the ones who ultimately set

Leigh Moore:

the tone for this process. Yes, as you know, it's been a struggle for me over the last couple years, because I realized, the very parents who I think want to hear these messages are often the parents who are least likely to be seeking out counsel about college when their kid is in eighth grade, because it seems like it's just too much. But early discussions with parents are just so helpful. Because it is it's just a lot easier to set expectations to say things like I understand that a lot of your friends are going to be looking at this kind of school, we get that but we're more interested in this kind of whatever the conversations need to be. But I love to encourage parents and honestly to give them the freedom to enjoy their kids high school years. You don't want to look back at your child's last year at home and just feel like Oh, it was stressful.

Ginger Mayfield:

I think to wrap up if there is a listener who's interested in finding out more about real college matters offers what should they do Lee? Oh, goodness,

Leigh Moore:

yeah, real college matters is we are a network. I really call it your college advising team since we're a network of college advisors. And when I sought to build something sort of different wanted to work within a team and also provide something integrative where all the every professional could sort of focus on their strengths and work within their their strengths for the students. And so at real college matters, we believe that even one hour of good advice is worth its weight in gold. And so, you know, you can do comprehensive advising with us, you can do hourly, we love to set up group classes and all kinds of offerings. But anyway, we are real college matters.com. And on real college matters.com, there's a link to set up a free consult, and you can talk to Dana stroll who handles all of our consults, and learn more about what we do. But we really just want to encourage and make the these kids are just beautiful, and we love working with them. And we want to make the process as much fun as it can be.

Ginger Mayfield:

Thank you. That's so helpful. I would just add that one thing I really like about real college matters is that we're all committed to getting good information out there for free. So I would just invite anyone that maybe has a burning question or something they would really like to hear discussed or addressed in a blog post or a podcast to email info at real college matters. COMM we want to be responsive to the needs of high school parents. So if you have an idea that you would really like us to toss around on our podcast, we would love to hear it.

Leigh Moore:

Yes. I'm so glad you said that. And yes, we kind of covered those, right. There's so much to talk about. We want to know, you know, we're glad to throw out ideas, but I'm a data geek. So if there are data set, if there's any particular kind of data that anybody would like to see any particular, you know, kind of admissions professional you'd like to hear from, here we are if you're relatively new to this, say you're the parent of a junior or sophomore, I do encourage you to go back and listen to the podcasts that we've already taped. We've had we've been so blessed by the quality of guests that we've had, including Miss Mrs. Mayfield, but yeah, we'd love to hear from you. And in addition to the info at it's pretty easy. I'm li li gh at real college matters. And then ginger is ginger at real college matters calm. So all of this would love to hear from you.

Ginger Mayfield:

Oh, great. Well, I thought this was a really interesting discussion. And I hope it was helpful for all of you out there trying to navigate life in what is now 2021 and I look forward to chatting soon.

Leigh Moore:

Thanks a bunch, ginger.