Aidan and Ash interview Lauren Lieberman, currently the Director of College Counseling at Shady Side Academy and former Assistant Director of Admissions at The University of Chicago. Lauren has spent two decades deep in the trenches, helping thousands of families navigate the college admissions process. All in this week’s episode of Hold Me Back. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast platforms.
Shady Side Academy: Interview with Lauren Lieberman, Director of College Counseling
Aidan and Ash interview Lauren Lieberman, currently the Director of College Counseling at Shady Side Academy and former Assistant Director of Admissions at The University of Chicago. Lauren has spent two decades deep in the trenches, helping thousands of families navigate the college admissions process. As a result, Lauren is a highly respected figure in the national landscape of college admissions. Having been on both sides of the fence, Lauren shares a unique perspective that’s both compassionate and pragmatic in this extensive and informative interview. This episode covers everything from student stress to family dynamics. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How does the admissions process differ between colleges?
- What is The Pile Theory?
- How large of a role is standardized testing playing?
- Are the schools aware of these “GPA games?”
- How much of an impact does Early Decision have?
- Are parents starting to think about what makes a “good school” in the wrong way?
- What happens when a college application arrives?
- Can a “yes” happen early in the process?
Who was more convincing: Aidan or Ash? Vote at the bottom of this post.
Enjoy the show! Check out the show notes below for much more detail.
- Intro to Lauren Lieberman
- [0:17] This episode of Hold Me Back is brought to you by Motto. Get started with Motto at Aspen Dental or MottoAligners.com
- [1:00] Welcome to Hold Me Back
- [1:07] Meet Aidan (Gen Z) & Ash (Gen X)
- [1:13] What is The College Admission Series (CAS)?
- [1:21] Who is Lauren Lieberman?
- Interview with Lauren Lieberman
- [3:48] What are some of the biggest misconceptions on both sides of the fence?
- [5:00] Admissions Officers
- [6:38] GPA (Grade Point Average)
- [6:52] How does the admissions process differ between colleges?
- [8:28] What is the standout factor?
- [10:24] Is quantity better than quality when it comes to trying out new things?
- [11:09] COVID-19
- [13:08] What is The Pile Theory?
- [13:40] Is there any merit to that?
- [15:28] Stuyvesant High School
- [15:52] Who Gets In and Why by Jeffrey Selingo
- [16:42] Naperville North
- [19:14] How large of a role is standardized testing playing?
- [20:52] Test-Optional
- [21:38] How do you advise students who get lower test scores than they’d like?
- [22:35] College Consultants
- [23:31] Extracurricular Activities
- [23:41] How do you view GPAs?
- [24:53] Are the schools aware of these “GPA games?”
- [25:29] This episode of Hold Me Back is brought to you by Motto. Get started with Motto at Aspen Dental or MottoAligners.com
- [26:19] What is Demonstrated Interest?
- [28:41] How much of an impact does Early Decision have?
- [29:19] Yield
- [30:02] The University of Chicago (UChicago)
- [31:27] How many kids you work with end up applying early?
- [32:53] How much of a role do college counselors play in the process?
- [34:42] Why is there an increase in anxiety and stress among kids applying to colleges?
- [35:50] Press Releases
- [36:34] Media
- [36:43] Ivy League Schools
- [37:02] Hold Me Back Podcast #13: The Social (Media) Divide
- [37:38] Are parents starting to think about what makes a “good school” in the wrong way?
- [39:58] University of Tampa (UT)
- [41:00] How do you handle tough conversations as a college counselor?
- [42:08] Hold Me Back Podcast #12: Grades
- [43:03] What can a kid do to put themself in the best position to get into the college they want?
- [44:29] Grad School (Graduate School)
- [45:32] What does Lauren want students and parents to take away from this interview?
- [47:10] What happens when a college application arrives?
- [48:44] Committee-Based Evaluation (CBE)
- [50:19] Do schools bring in outside readers?
- [50:58] Podcast
- [51:24] Can a “yes” happen early in the process?
- [53:17] Do you give a score that adds up to a final number?
- [53:51] Engineering
- [54:02] Core Curriculum
- [54:42] What resources does Lauren have to share on college admissions?
- [55:08] U.S. News Best Colleges
- [55:20] “Lord of the Rankings” from Revisionist History
- [55:36] The Truth about College Admission by Brennan Barnard & Rick Clark
- [55:48] The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg
- [57:33] Thank you for listening! Follow Hold Me Back on HoldMeBack.com and on Instagram & Facebook
- [57:30] Leave us a 5-star written review on Apple Podcasts
- [57:40] Who was more convincing: Aidan or Ash? Vote below
Thank you for listening to Hold Me Back. To hear more episodes, follow Hold Me Back at HoldMeBack.com.
WHAT IS HOLD ME BACK?
Gen X and Gen Z live together, but we occupy different worlds. As the generational gap widens and conventional wisdom on parenting and education fails, is it even possible to understand one another? In this unique son-and-father podcast, Aidan & Ash ElDifrawi hash out a new contract between generations, forcing them to violate comfort zones on today’s most charged topics: social media and screen time, bullying and loneliness, inequality and privilege, sex and drugs, education and etiquette, even politics, religion, and sports. All to uncover a path toward greater harmony and a hopeful future for the next generation.