College Admissions 101: How to Prepare Your Student for College

Welcome to the Wiser Wealth Management Roundtable, where we believe the best financial advice should always be conflict free! Host Casey Smith is joined today by co-host and colleague Brad Lyons, as well as guest Wendy Williams. Wendy is the founder and owner of Williams Educational Consultants, an organization offering assistance with K-12 school placement, college and graduate school admission, and career placement. She joins Casey and Brad to discuss the particular topic of college admissions, explaining the process, exploring financial ramifications, and more!

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As the conversation begins, Wendy lays out what her baseline goal and first tasks are when working with a family in the college admissions process. Before formally beginning her work, Wendy determines that both student and family are invested in the process, and then she helps the student to identify who he/she is outside of the classroom. In order to best place a student, Wendy needs to know who the student is; so, she begins her consultation with assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which reveal character traits, insight into where a student may be successful, and themes of personal interest that tend toward certain tracks of study and career paths.

In many ways, Wendy’s work is dictated by the family that she is working. Some families come to her with a school in mind, while others may disagree about college decisions. There are also many different approaches to education available for students today, and there are instances in which a gap year, a slow start to college, a transfer, or something similar may be fitting given a student’s circumstances. Wendy’s consulting is highly individualized, but as a general practice, she is a firm supporter of in-person education. This allows students to grow socially and experience independent living. In-person campus tours are also helpful, but in this season of the COVID-19 pandemic, students and families are having to lean into the positive aspects of virtual tours.

Before the conversation ends, Casey, Brad and Wendy also consider the cost of a college education and the various routes students can take to keep the costs lower. More specifically, they discuss ways in which students can study out of state in certain situations while still receiving an in-state tuition rate, the financial benefit of staying within the university system, the importance of applying for as many scholarships as possible, and the false claim that a whole life policy will allow a family to save.


Learn more about Casey Smith and connect with him on Twitter.

Learn more about Brad Lyons.

Learn more about Matthews Barnett.


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