"Several months ago our child was struggling in his Algebra class. Fortunately we remembered our meeting with you at the MoneyLive 2019 youth life skills event. You took the time to learn our (especially our child's) situation and plan an effective series of one-on-one tutoring/study sessions. The result: our child is ending the school year with much improved (a full letter grade) performance in Algebra. The Village is stronger because of you."

Parents of a Clear Lake High School student

College Admission Tell-All: Hailey Thomas
Edited by Jennifer Ledwith | 
(713) 553-6557

Current Scholar Ready students asked Scholar Ready's Class of 2020 and 2021 about applying for college admission and scholarships. 

Hailey Thomas graduated from Shadow Creek High School on May 27. She plans to attend the University of Houston-Clear Lake, located in Houston, Texas, where she plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science. I prepared Ms. Thomas for her PSAT and SAT. She also attended Scholar Ready's Essay Writing for College Admissions and Scholarships last summer.  

She has earned a full scholarship to the University of Houston-Clear Lake.  

Here are her lightly edited responses. 

You have to do all these things to get into college and get scholarships. Where's the right place to start?
The first place I started was just researching different colleges, starting freshman year of high school. Because I wanted to stay close to home and in the South, many of the schools I researched and applied to are Southern schools. I also researched different majors, internships, and careers. Discovering what interests you and what doesn't will help you in the long run.

As a soon-to-be college freshman, I still don't exactly know where I want to go with Computer Science, and it's okay to go into college not knowing exactly where you want to go, but keep this in mind: major-focused scholarships can help significantly, moneywise. 

How many colleges should you apply to? Is it better to throw everything at the wall to see what sticks? Or just pinpoint a few schools and apply to those?
I see my friends' and others' Instagrams flooded with over 30 colleges they've applied to, and not only am I impressed, I'm confused. Don't get me wrong, apply to as many colleges as you'd like, but staying on top of 15 to 60 colleges' deadlines and applications can be overwhelming and stressful, so I'd apply to 4 to 12 schools. I've been to a few college workshops, and I hired someone to help me with my college search, and all these professionals told me that applying to no more than 15 schools is a good thing.

As a freshman in high school, however, if you plan on going to Ivy Leagues and top colleges, I would advise you to stay on top of your studies and take your academics seriously since many top colleges are very competitive.

How do you correctly judge a college when it's telling you what it can offer? How do you know what's real? How do you know how to evaluate the claims?
When a college tells me what it can offer, I add it to a stack of every other offer  that I've received. Then, once I have all of my offers, I like to do in-depth research and see if whatever is being offered to me is the real deal.  Instead of accepting the first offer, I can look over everything and choose which offer suits me best. 

There are some college organizations and scholarships that are complete scams, so I'd stay wary about what I'm willing to accept. Then, once I know that whatever I've researched is a legitimate offer, I read the terms, conditions, and requirements for the scholarship before I accept anything. Are there any scholarship requirements? Do I have to maintain a 3.0 or 3.5 grade point average (GPA)? Do I have to pursue a specific major or join any organizations? If there are requirements for the scholarship, make sure you're able to meet them!

Were the essays for the applications hard or easy?
Many of the essays were reasonably easy. Most of them asked the same thing, were STEM-related, or asked how I felt about certain current issues.

  • How to write a personal essay
  • How to build a scholarship plan (where to find scholarships and what to write about in other essays)
  • How to request letters of recommendation
  • Interview skills

SESSION I: June 7 - July 1 | MWTh | 9 am - 10:15 am  
SESSION II: July 6 - August 3 | MWTh | 9 am - 10:15 am  

To register, call (713) 553-6557 or email

How personal should you get in your personal essay?
It really depends on which essay you're writing. If you're writing about your life,  experiences, or aspirations, I would share whatever I feel comfortable with people knowing. I wouldn't want the admission or scholarship committee to know about possibly polarizing viewpoints such as political opinions. The more personal you make your essays, however, the more the scholarship committee will likely differentiate your essay from others' submissions. As long as you write about unique experiences, and you're able to feel the passion in your essay, your essay should be fine!

How long should you wait for a response from the admissions office?
I like to wait no longer than two months for a response from the admissions office. Most of the time, it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to receive a decision.

What was it like if you got denied by a college that you wanted to go to?
Fortunately, I was accepted by all of the schools to which I applied, but not getting enough money and scholarships for the college I really wanted to go to was very discouraging and disappointing. Nevertheless, I had faith that another college would give me money.

Were new criteria established for college admission since the COVID-19 pandemic? 
Yes! Many, if not all, colleges I applied to didn't require SAT and ACT scores. However, some schools in my area administered the SAT with the College Board. Some test dates were canceled, but I took the SAT in 2021 and it wasn't too bad. I took the ACT in 2020 and everything was socially distanced and safe.

What guidance would you provide to a tenth grader to help him or her be successful in high school and competitively prepared for college?
Get very serious about your education. Many colleges in America, especially top colleges and Ivy League universities, are incredibly competitive: You cannot expect to get into them and get scholarships from them if you're an average student. 

Completing high school-level internships; attending different summer camps; joining 1 to 2 student organizations; participating in extracurricular activties; and volunteering are what colleges want their prospective students to do. Being a well-rounded student can be intense, but if you can handle the workload or you'd like to challenge yourself, I say do it! 

On the topic of challenging yourself, take Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Dual Credit courses to raise your GPA. (Taking Dual Credit classes can help you out financially as well!) Taking challenging classes and showing that you are capable of handling the workload demonstrates that you're willing to challenge yourself and could put you above average students! Good luck!

College Admission Tell-All: Pavisha Sargunan
Clear Brook Grad, Full Scholarship Recipient: Venture out and challenge yourself with all the opportunities life has to offer. 

PV Bound Cypress Park Grad: Don't give up when the applications start to seem like "too much work."

College Admission Tell-All: Toni Bryant: Before entering college, I thought I would have to be perfect, but I realized everyone makes mistakes and needs help along the way."
Register for Classes

Summer 2021: The Hero's Journey 
June 7 - August 13
Midnight Madness Family & Friends Game Night: August 13
Scholar Ready Summer Symposium: August 14

Essay Writing for Scholarships & College Admissions
SESSION I: June 7 - July 1 | MWTh | 9 am - 10:15 am  | $125 to reserve your student's spot, $485 due June 15, 2021
2 seats remaining

SESSION II: July 6 - August 3 | MWTh | 9 am - 10:15 am  | $125 to reserve your student's spot, $485 due July 15, 2021
4 seats remaining

Class size: Limited to 4 students | 2 books | Recommended for high school classes of 2021 and 2022 | 100% Live instruction on Skype

Students will learn:
  • How to write a personal essay
  • How to build a scholarship plan (where to find scholarships and what to write about in other essays)
  • How to request letters of recommendation
  • Interview skills
 To register, call (713) 553-6557 or email
PSAT Preparation (The PSAT is scheduled for October 13, 2021)
Recommended for students who have completed Geometry
Class size: Limited to 4 students  | 100% Live instruction on Skype | 2 textbooks

Session I: Math: Geometry, Measurement, Proportions, Percents, Ratios
June 7 - June 24 | MWTh | 10:30 am - 11:45 am | $195 | SOLD OUT

Session II: Math: Linear Functions
June 28 - July 15 | MWTh | 10:30 am - 11:45 am | $195 | SOLD OUT

Session III: Reading
June 28 - July 15| MWTh | 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm | $295 |SOLD OUT
Session IV: Math: Quadratic Functions

Session IV: Quadratic Functions
July 19 - August 5| MWTh | 10:30 am - 11:45 am | $195 | SOLD OUT

Session V: Writing and Language
July 19 - August 5 | MWTh | 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm| $295 | SOLD OUT

Would you like to participate in all 5 sessions and the October 4 - 6 Test Review? Invest in a Class Pass! $1095
To register, call (713) 553-6557 or email

Summer Math and Literacy Program: THE HERO'S JOURNEY
Recommended for rising 8th, 9th, and 10th graders
Class size: Limited to 4 students | 100% Live instruction on Skype

Session I: Pre-Algebra & Fiction | 1 seat remaining
June 7 - June 24 | MWTh | 1 pm - 2:15 pm & 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm| $359

Session II: Linear Functions & a Graphic Novel | 1 seat remaining
June 28 - July 15 | MWTh | 1 pm - 2:15 pm & 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm | $359

Session III: Quadratic Functions & Non-Fiction | 1 seat remaining
July 19 - August 5 | MWTh | 1 pm - 2:15 pm & 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm | $359

Would you like to participate in all 3 sessions? Invest in a Class Pass! $729
To register, call (713) 553-6557 or email
About Scholar Read
Jennifer Ledwith is the owner of Scholar Ready, an educational services company. She meets with clients online or in person in Houston, Texas. She also studied Personal Financal Planning at Rice University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER.
Scholar Ready tutors Math, conducts personal essay writing workshops, and prepares students for PSAT, SAT, and ACT exams. To learn more, visit and .
Ms. Ledwith is the PSAT and SAT instructor at University of Houston-Clear Lake's Center for Executive Education. She also prepares students for the ACT. Learn about her upcoming PSAT/SAT preparation course.

Contact information:
(713) 553-6557