Why You Need to Build Relationships with College Admissions Officers

I wrote a post on why applicants need to build relationships with college admissions officers and others at the college in order to stand out.

As I write, college admissions is NOT a numbers game, reliant on test scores only. It’s a human connection that provides an opportunity to build awareness about who you are as an applicant and what you have to offer the world. When college admissions officers know who you are, they’re going to be interested in you. They’re going to learn about your values, and assess if YOU can offer a benefit to them by attending their college/university. Students can be part of shaping that conversation by reaching out to admissions officers and professors. If students can talk clearly about what they do and why they’ll do it, they’ll have the opportunity to earn the trust and praise of college admissions officers.

Read more here.

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How to Persuade Admissions Officers to Admit You

webinar Apr 27, 2017

Hi, all--

I’ve been thrilled at the response to my free webinar, "How to Persuade Admissions Officers to Admit You. I've received a variety of questions and would like to answer any questions you may have, too.

At 8:00 PM EST next Wednesday, May 3, (and on Wednesday, May 10), I'm hosting a free webinar to discuss how students can:

1) Identify what makes them unique in a competitive applicant pool
2) Create an outstanding essay
3) Build relationships with admissions officers and professors.

If you can’t make the live webinar, no problem. We will record it and email a link to everyone who registers. So even if you can’t attend, please register if you would like to receive the recorded link afterward.

Register now to learn about this very important topic - especially relevant to students in the class of 2018.

We hope you can join us and look forward to the conversation!


All the best,

Aviva Hirschfeld...

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4 Strategies to Connect with Your College-Bound Teen

This Guest Blog is by Andrea Carvin OTR/L. Andrea is a Feminine Power Health & Leadership Coach and owner of InnerSparks, LLC where she helps professional women stay healthy, let go of stress and effectively radiate their love, power, and wisdom. 

“The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.” Quentin Crisp

The paradox of rebellion and conformity is a disorienting dilemma. On the stress scale, parenting teens is up there with moving homes, losing a job, and a multitude of change related items.

As a feminine power leadership coach and Occupational Therapist, I help people move into the unknown all the time.  As my kids began their college lives,  I was particularly grateful for my training.  Utilizing coaching super powers made the tender times sweeter and the prickly times less stinging.  Most important as we grew together,...

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Seniors: Choose your College in 3 Easy Steps

Uncategorized Apr 03, 2017

It’s spring semester senior year. You’re exhausted, elated, anxious, overwhelmed, floored, or any combination thereof. You have your acceptance emails in your inbox. You also have the rejection and waitlist letters in the same inbox.

But for now, you have to put aside the pain of waitlists and rejections because it’s time to decide where you want to go based on your available options. (And if you want to get off the waitlist, read this.)

Here are the steps you can follow to decide where you want to go.

Step 1: Be realistic about the money. With your acceptance, you also have received a financial aid package. Be realistic, does your family have enough to pay for your top-choice college? If not, do you know what kind of responsibility you have to take on if you choose to take on debt after graduation? This could mean choosing a different job or career path after school than you would ideally like. When calculating the cost, make sure you take into account all...

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5 Ways to Get Off the College Waitlist

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2017

Getting on the waitlist, especially for your first-choice college, is one of the toughest notifications to receive. Why? Because there's a lack of closure – and you may ultimately be rejected.

So, the first thing to do is to take a pause and breathe. Then, celebrate.

The decisions you receive are not a reflection of your character, but of limited capacity at top-tier colleges. There may be a difference in priorities between what colleges are looking for and what you provide at this time (I promise it’s not black and white. Younger students can get my guidance on how to navigate colleges’ priorities).

I get it, Dr. Legatt. I've come far and I can celebrate, but what do I do if I want to get off the waitlist?

Here you go...

1) Don’t get on the waitlist in the first place. Sit back and review the options you have so far. Would you want to go to one of the available options over the waitlist option? If the answer is yes, DO NOT accept a place on the waitlist and...

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4 Ways Parents can Support College Applications

Uncategorized Mar 08, 2017

I recently commented on the role that parents can take to help their children with college. You can read that article here.

College applications can be a tough time for parents. You might find yourself feeling more anxious than usual, and you might find your relationship with your child is a little more strained.

This is not just a teenage thing, it's a college thing.

Here are my suggestions on four things parents can do to encourage and support their children without micromanaging them:

Tip 1: Practice active listening between you and your child. Have a conversation with your child where your only job is to listen. Resist the temptation to jump in and provide feedback and guidance. Process your student's feedback on your own time.

Have another conversation where you share your logistical concerns and hopes for your child's college aspirations. Focus your desires more on logistical (e.g. financial and location-based) rather than on guiding students to apply to the most prestigious...

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Should A Millennial Freelancer Get an MBA?

Uncategorized Mar 01, 2017

I had the opportunity to guest blog for Kaytie Zimmerman, Forbes contributor, and creator of Optimistic Millennial. 

For the article, which was on if a freelancer should apply to MBA programs, I shared my perspective about what admissions officers are looking for in MBA candidates, interviewed JoAnn Goldberg, a former admissions officer at Stanford, and Solenn Seguillion, a UC Berkeley MBA and freelancer. 

This article timely because, with the start of the year, recent grads will begin to make plans to apply for graduate school —and the MBA is the most popular master's degree. Experts predict that 50% of the workforce will be freelance by 2020, and many millennials work full-time or “side-hustle” as freelancers. With the rise in entrepreneurship as a profession, it will be interesting to see how popular MBAs remain, and how current freelancers will base their decisions about whether or not to apply. 


Here is the article. Thank...

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What does a college list have in common with a racecar?

Uncategorized Feb 23, 2017

This guest post is by college counselor Colleen-Boucher Robinson.


When I was a kid, one of the highlights of the week was going out for pizza after a softball game or a Girl Scout meeting. The parents would sit at the table and manage the chaos of 14 girls’ pizza topping preferences. And the kids would crowd into the tiny little arcade that boasted three or four video games. I was always most compelled by the racecar game, where you’d select your car (about which I knew nothing) and your location (Miami, Paris, Outer Space). What I remember most vividly about this game was the hypersensitive steering wheel. You’d nudge the wheel slightly to one side, and your car would go careening into the guardrail or off a cliff. It made me terrified of driving an actual car; I couldn’t believe my parents were skillful enough to keep the vehicle in a straight line on the road. Now I know that real cars aren’t like that, but that image has stuck with me, of...

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What Job Can I Get With This Degree?

Uncategorized Feb 14, 2017

Thanks to Dalyn Montgomery for this thought-provoking blog on asking the right kinds of questions to admissions officers and on the purpose of getting a Bachelor's degree.

Dalyn is the director of admissions and enrollment for the University of Redlands graduate and professional programs. He holds a B.S. in mass communications from the University of Utah and an M.S.Ed in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. He blogs regularly at www.brohammas.com, and you can contact him at [email protected].

It happens so many times in meetings with prospective students, and it drives me nuts. We sit in my office, open the catalog and the question is asked, “What job can I get with this degree?” It is my second* least favorite question, and people ask it all the time.

On the surface, it sounds precisely like the right question to ask. After all, a person on the brink of investing thousands of dollars, years of their lives, and immeasurable sweat equity, should be...

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Pro-tips to Complete Your 2017-2018 Common Application Essay

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2017

Ah, Common App essays. One piece of writing that you'll be pleased to finish and submit sooner, rather than later!

In case you missed it, Common Application announced this year's prompts. Here are my pro-tips for each prompt:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]

Opportunities: All admissions officers want to know the answer to the question: what makes you unique? This prompt is a safe choice to respond to the question about "what makes you unique" because you can highlight one quality of your personality, background or experiences that make you distinguishable from other candidates.

Dangers: There are a couple of dangers here. The first is that few teenagers truly understand what makes them unique. The second is that you could inadvertently focus too much on your awards and accomplishments, and not enough...

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