non-fiction booksNon-Fiction Reading for College Planning
TED TalksTED Talks for College Planning

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A college education is one of the most important goals you will ever pursue, so it’s important to start preparing for college (college planning) as early as possible. Getting into college is the culmination of all of your hard work in school. It also requires a well-thought-out plan. Set yourself up for success by starting early, identifying your passions, and then finding the right colleges that will allow you to take your passions to the next level. Here are some TED talks to help you with the college planning process:

Recommended Podcasts

The Happiness Lab

You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong. In “The Happiness Lab” podcast, Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.

Women’s Media Center (WMC) Live

The Women’s Media Center is a progressive, nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media and, thereby, ensuring that their stories get told and their voices are heard.

Nice Try!

Avery Trufelman explores stories of people who tried to design a better world — and what happens when those designs don’t go according to plan.

Freakonomics Radio: The Secret Life of CEOs

Freakonomics Radio presents a special series: “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” Over six episodes, you’ll hear from the leaders of some of the biggest companies in the world: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Richard Branson (Virgin), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Jack Welch (G.E.), Ray Dalio (Bridgewater), Carol Bartz (Yahoo!), David Rubenstein (Carlyle), and Ellen Pao (Reddit).

Reply All

“A podcast about the internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.” – The Guardian

YR Media

YR Media (formerly Youth Radio) is a national network of young journalists and artists collaborating with peers across the country and top media professional to create impactful content.


Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio programs in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, Radiolab began as an exploration of science, philosophy, and ethics using innovative composition and sound design.

Science Friday

Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the trusted source for news about science, technology, and other cool stuff. Host Ira Flatow mixes it up by featuring people in the know and those who want to be.

Flash Forward

Hosted and produced by award winning science journalist Rose Eveleth, each episode combines audio drama and journalism to go deep on potential tomorrows, and uncovers what those futures might really be like. The future is going to be weird, so let’s get ready for it together.

The Daily

The Daily is a daily news podcast and radio show by The New York Times. Hosted by NY Times political journalist Michael Barbaro, its episodes are based on the Times’ reporting of the day.

Recode Decode

Over five years as the host of “Recode Decode,” Kara has held hundreds of newsmaking interviews with nearly every major tech and media figure in the country. She has grilled Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Shoshana Zuboff and Kim Kardashian. New York magazine called her “Silicon Valley’s most-feared journalist,” and last year Adweek named “Recode Decode” the Podcast of the Year.

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale, reporting on the strange events that occur within it. “With its uncanny blend of the macabre and the mundane, the news out of Night Vale sounds like what might occur if Stephen King or David Lynch was a guest producer at your local public radio station.” – NY Times


Solvable showcases the world’s most innovative thinkers and their proposed solutions to the world’s most daunting problems. The interviews, conducted by journalists like Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, will launch a dialogue that both acknowledges the complexity of the issues while inspiring hope that the problems are, in fact, solvable.

The Dark Side Of…

Most people have no idea what’s hiding behind their favorite things. Every Monday, we dig deep into everything from charities to the Founding Fathers to the Bible, and turn up disturbing stories and salacious details. From the Space Race to the Wizard of Oz, there might just be a dark side to everything.

Best Business Podcasts in 2020

Gone are the days when podcasts existed purely for entertainment. Today, podcasts are a great learning resource, with a multitude of titles addressing a broad range of business topics. Some are conversational, some are story tellers, while others address the pure nuts and bolts of business and marketing. In short, there’s something for everyone no matter what you want to learn, how long you have, and your listening style.

Want personalized, one-on-one help with college planning? Contact Blue Stars today!

About the Author: Amy Morgenstern

Dr. Amy Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, is the founder and CEO of Blue Stars Admissions Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice.

Free Workbook for Students

Blue Stars College Planning Foundations Workbook

Start today! Go through these strategic exercises to help you sketch out your plans for all four years of high school.

  • Learn key traits important to top colleges.
  • Write your first personal narrative
  • Branch out, exploring interests and defining activities.
  • Set goals and create your 4-year college planning timeline.

Fill out the form to get the workbook.

Resources to help teens and their families navigate the college admission process



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