study abroad planning

On the latest episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, guest host Ian Fisher discusses intriguing first-year abroad programs for college freshmen and tackles loads of listener questions regarding SAT scores, student loans, the AP Capstone program, and recommendation letters.

First-Year Study Abroad Programs

Ian welcomes admissions educator Sara Calvert-Kubrom, formerly of Lewis and Clark College and Northeastern University’s NUin program, which gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to begin their college career overseas. This type of offering is becoming more and more common, but is it right for your student? Sara explains the rationale behind the program and the pros and cons of choosing this exciting but potentially challenging pathway.

Listener Questions

College finance consultant Kathy Ruby joins Ian for a round of listener questions including:

  • Does a lower SAT Math score make a non-STEM applicant less competitive for highly selective colleges?
  • I have a 9th grader; is it too late to start saving for college?
  • Should I submit a lower AP score to my colleges?
  • What pre-tax college savings are available?
  • Should I pursue the AP Capstone program?
  • Should I refinance my home to increase financial aid eligibility?
  • Which teachers should write recommendation letters for a student who is undecided on major?
  • Are there loans students can take out in their own name?

School Spotlight

The University of Waterloo is known for its robust engineering school that offers harder to find specialties for undergraduates including geological engineering, management, mechatronics, and nanotechnology. Waterloo also boasts the largest academic computer science research center in Canada and a popular co-op internship model, making its Computer Science major one of the biggest draws for American students.

Tune in to our next show when Elizabeth Heaton will discuss this year’s changes to the Common Application, institutional variance in financial aid awards, and accelerated degree programs.


Written by Emily Toffelmire
Emily Toffelmire is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Prior to joining College Coach, Emily worked as an admissions officer at University of Southern California as well as a college counselor at high schools in the US and Thailand. Visit our website to learn more about Emily Toffelmire.