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10 College Counseling Podcasts You Should Check Out

As a counselor, professional development is key and there are several ways to ensure your growth. There are workshops, books and seminars, but college counseling podcasts can be an incredibly valuable tool as well. With the wide variety of podcasts available, you can use them to keep up with trends and developments, hear expert interviews, delve into the latest research, and more. From learning how to be a more effective counselor to simply staying abreast with education models around the world.

We’ve curated a list of podcasts that offer unique insights to education consultants. Most of them are free to access, however some of the platforms they are hosted on might require a subscription. Here are 10 college counseling podcasts that you should not miss out on:


Host: Hannah and Mark, admissions officers

Platform: Apple Podcast

The "Inside the Yale Admissions Office" podcast opens up a firsthand exploration into the world of Yale's admissions officers. Episodes unravel the strategies that administrators use during the assessment and selection of students from a multitude of applications. You will learn about topics like college admissions lingo, staying abreast of application updates, and examining the role of artificial intelligence in college essays. For college counselors, this information offers an insider’s look at the admission process and can be a valuable tool, enabling them to effectively guide their students.

Host: Ethan Sawyer, college essay expert

Platform:  iTunes, Spotify, and the CEG website

Ethan Sawyer is an educator and author renowned for his expertise in the field of college essays and personal statements. He started the College Essay Guy website to offer guidance and information on the subject in 2011 and, when that succeeded, developed the podcast in 2017. The podcast covers college admissions as a whole, offering guidance on subjects like financial aid, choosing a college, and taking standardized tests. In every episode, Ethan interviews an established professional from the field such as Ted Fiske, the author of the Fiske guide. The discussions generally include tools and tips that can be useful for your counseling practice. Additionally, you can look out for episodes where the interviewee is a counselor, for more insights.

Host: Stephen P. Hundley, Chair of the Assessment Institute

Platform: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and more

Developed as a service of the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis (which is organized by Indiana University), this is a reputed podcast that looks at trends and changes in the education industry. It particularly focuses on improving conditions in higher education and Hundley engages with a variety of professionals to offer new insights. They include university staff, EdTech professionals, researchers, and people from a number of different education-related organizations. The podcast has also won the APEX award three years in a row. If you’re looking to explore topics that are more complex and technical while also keeping track of trends in the industry, this one is an ideal choice for you!

Host: A group of students from University of Oslo

Platform: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more

Sign up for this podcast if you’re looking for global perspectives in the field of education. Created by a group of MPhil students from the University of Oslo, THESIS focuses on getting international perspectives on relevant topics by looking at specific cases from across the world. The podcast deep dives into themes like the impact of politics on higher education, first-generation students' experiences and international student mobility. Episodes have even included international guests from countries like Germany, China, Chile, Australia, and more.

Host: NACAC (Various individuals)

Platform: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, and more

Being developed by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) lends this podcast credibility. It covers a wide range of topics like when families should start thinking about university costs, the generational gap between students and counselors, the future of college admissions and more. The podcast features professionals from the NACAC like the CEO and the president of the organization, as well as professionals connected to universities such as college deans or directors/heads of university departments. The discussions during these episodes are a bit more niche and could be useful to your practice in several ways.

Host: John Durante, school principal

Platform: Apple Podcasts, Audible, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castro, and more

Once a school principal, John Durante now hosts The College Admissions Process Podcast which aims at helping students and parents through the college admissions process. The highlight of this podcast is that most of the episodes focus on a specific university, with Durante speaking to someone from the university’s staff such as an admissions officer or director. His episodes have previously covered renowned institutions such as John Hopkins University, University of California, San Diego, and NYU. Getting an insider’s point of view for particular universities can help you, as a counselor, guide students who are aiming for those colleges.

Host: Chris Reeves and Joel Ford, high school counselors

Platform: Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud

A podcast hosted by two professional high school counselors (who have also been presidents of a counseling association) is bound to be useful to other counselors as well. They have talked about subjects like taking gap years, the value of a liberal arts education, and have even visited and explored campuses during their episodes. They have discussed counselor-specific topics, like how to tread the line between a student’s dreams and realistic expectations. The podcast also has an episode dedicated to independent education consulting. Reeves and Ford themselves can have strong opinions about certain things but they also often bring in other professionals from the industry to offer their inputs and balance things out. 

Host: Jeff Young, EdSurge Reporter

Platform: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more

If you’re looking to explore the larger contexts around education, then try this podcast that has been developed by EdSurge, a media organization that focuses on education. You will find topics like the growing skepticism of students towards higher education, the influence of AI on certain professions, and even how Hollywood stereotypes could be harming teaching professionals. Rather than having a direct impact on your work with your students, this weekly podcast will help you keep up with changing trends in education as well as the field’s intersection with technology and society.  

Host: Jill Anderson, Assistant Director of Creative Media at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Platform: Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more

Organized by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, this podcast looks at different areas of the field, examining higher education models, exploring methods of raising and educating children, as well as miscellaneous topics like justice, teacher strikes, parental rights and more. They have even had specific episodes of counseling. Interviewees include teachers, researchers, policymakers, leaders and more. This podcast has a wide scope that will allow you to explore a variety of subjects in the field of education.  

Host: Claire Riley, CEO of Classroom Secrets and school teacher

Platform: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and more

Aimed at education consultants, Edtech providers, and education-based business owners, Claire Riley’s podcast looks at the business side of things. She talks about operations, goal setting, work-life balance and more. This is a good way to learn how to manage your business as well as scale it to bigger heights, whether it is pitching your services or looking out for certain money pitfalls. As a counselor, such content can help you better navigate your business and effectively support your students. 

If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image Source: Inside the Yale Admissions Office Podcast logo



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