Interview 40: Stephen Antonoff on “Debunking the myth that there are only 20 great colleges”


Mark interviews best-selling author and college admissions expert Dr. Steven Antonoff. Steven shares his background and how he got interested in admissions. Steven explains why the University of Denver has become such a great University.

Dr. Steven Antonoff
We introduce our topic, Debunking the Myth that there are only 20 great colleges and Dr. Antonoff shares the consequences of this myth. Steven shares how he once believed this and he lets us know what changed his thinking. Steven shares why college rankings are an ineffective way of figuring out which college you should attend. Steven shares other myths in college admissions that he wants to debunk. Steven explains what a Wild card college is. Steven shares his perspective on Demonstrated Interest. Steven explains how to enroll in the college counseling program at UC-Irvine and he shares where people purchase the books he has written. (Length 51:24)

You can also listen on Episode 94, Episode 95 and Episode 96

  • FANTASTIC interview! I thoroughly enjoyed Steven Antonoff’s insight I’ve been so inspired by the information provided by YCBK, and Mr. Antonoff’s interview motivated me to join the UCI IEC credentialing program!

  • Hi Mark, Love your perspectives on what the College Admissions Officer is considering in candidates. I listen to a lot of other College related podcasts-each one has its own strengths(have been listening for the past 2 years). I love your behind the scenes(opening the Pandora’s box) thoughts on what the Admissions office is thinking.You should do 1 on Jeff Levy’s spreadsheets(Ethan did 1 on that too). I am listening all the way back from Episode 1 and am at Episode 36 right now. Love Steve Antonoff’s books and website resources. My sophomore kid will have to depend only on Merit Aid. So, it will be great to have an episode on Merit Aid-how to apply to colleges giving good Merit Aid(maybe using Jeff Levy’s xls sheet) and EA related data for colleges. My kid is also thinking of going the dental route. Steve’s recommendation was to just go to a college that covers the pre-reqs for the DAT. Well- I checked his book College Finder for that and have a list. But I would love for you to do an episode on that too-Pre-Med and Pre-Dental route and where to search for that data effectively.

    • Vijay, really appreciate you coming here and sharing your thoughts. I am going to be covering merit aid quite a bit in the next 10 weeks. As you know, we correlate our content with our book content and we have several chapters in the book coming up on merit aid. You will also see me covering the spreadsheets in those weeks. Quite a few others have also sent in questions on merit aid, so I am hearing from others they want more coverage on this. Finally, I can take your question about the DAT and DAT prep and add it to our questions but just know that we have questions designated through 127 so it will be about 5 months before I can get this question on the podcast. Thanks for being a YCBK listener and thanks for your great ideas.

  • Good idea, Vijay! An episode on the non-highly-selective colleges that are generous with merit aid would be great.

    • I can see already that this forum is going to be very helpful for Anika and me as we learn what you want us to spend more time on.

      Sylvia, I mentioned you by your first name on episode 105, I hope that was okay. Thanks Sylvia