How to Build Relationships with Admissions Officers

admissions officers Apr 09, 2018


I'm writing to invite you to join me for my next free training webinar How To Build Relationships with Admissions Officers.

I'm hosting this webinar because most college applicants are too fearful and tentative to approach admissions officers and college personnel. But if you don't approach these people, you will miss a critical opportunity to stand out to your top college. 

Think about it, and pretend that you're an admissions officer. You have two applicants with relatively similar profiles of GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars. You can only admit one of these two students; there's simply not room for both.

Who do you think you would be more likely to admit? The student who you know personally and like, or the student who has no obvious connection to the university beyond what's written in the essays? 

You guessed it: As the admissions officer, when you know someone outside of the...

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Why Simone Biles Chose An Online College Over UCLA

“I know what it means to rise out of challenging circumstances and be given an opportunity,” says Simone Biles on being a student at University of the People (UoPeople).

For my latest Forbes article, I had a chance to speak with Biles and other education leaders about online education and when it's the right choice. Simone Biles chose University of the People because the flexible format enabled her to continue with her gynmastics schedule. In addition, Simone Biles is very much a believer in the open access (free) education that University of the People provides. 

I also covered the Smartly MBA Program, which was founded by former Rosetta Stone CEO Tom Adams. Smartly emphasizes a user-driven, concise and fun learning experience.

Students of Smartly’s free MBA include Forbes Under 30 winners Kaitlyn Yang and Mary Iafelice, both of whom are entrepreneurs. Founder of Alpha Studios, an LA-based post production company, Yang chose Smartly to advance her...

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Why Your Identity and Values Are Your Business (And Your College Application!)

On Leonard Kim's show, I talked about why your identity and values are at the core of what should be driving your decisions--on college admissions, in life, and in business. Take a listen!

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BuzzFeed - My Top 5 Tips to Excel as a Journalist

dr. legatt journalism Mar 12, 2018

Thank you to BuzzFeed for featuring me in their post on women journalists. Here's my excerpt in the article:

Dr. Legatt's beat in Forbes centers on higher education issues affecting millennials. In October 2017, her piece on online degree programs was chosen as a Forbes Editor's Pick. Through Forbes, she's had a chance to interview esteemed education leaders including Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford Professor and past education advisor to Barack Obama, Anant Argarwal, Founder of EdX and MIT Professor, and Katlyn Grasso, Seventeen Power Girl and Founder of GenHERation.

Dr. Legatt's is purpose-driven from her personal experience contracting stress-induced pneumonia in high school due to her own challenges with the college application process.

Dr. Legatt's expertise is regularly cited in major outlets including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Business Insider, Poets & Quants, Forbes, Reader's Digest and many more.

As a Penn professor, Dr. Legatt teaches about issues...

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How To Prioritize Your Extracurricular Activities to Maximize Impact

Uncategorized Mar 05, 2018

Join me for my next webinar: How To Prioritize Your Extracurricular Activities to Maximize Impact.

I'm hosting this webinar because I want to combat the most common problems that plague my students:

1) They don't realize that only certain extracurricular activities will impress an admissions committee.

2) They have faulty assumptions when making decisions on how to spend their precious time after school.

In this training, I'll share trends from the committee regarding boring and "bored" activities that clearly wasted the student's time.

Boring because the involvement was shallow. Bored because it seemed that the student was going through the motions and wasn't truly engaged in the activity.

I'll also share which activities were a "hit" with the admissions committee and why.

If you or your child have been frustrated about having too many club meetings to attend without anything to show for it, guess what? I’m going to show you how to be more efficient with your time as well.


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5 Questions to Ask on Your College Tour

college tours Feb 26, 2018

GenHERation, an organization dedicated to empowering young females, asked me for my top 5 questions for any college tour. Here they are:

I was reading that your college has alumni living around the world. Can you share a personal example of how alumni at the school have impacted you? The presence of alumni you can lean on will be extremely valuable to you both while you’re in college and afterward. If the student tour guide cannot answer this question, this may be a red flag about this college’s alumni network or the happiness of its student body.

I’m interested in xyz major. What kind of jobs do alumni in this major typically take right after graduation? If you’re uncertain about your career goals, you want to take up a major that will give you access to a variety of career options; not just in one kind of field or one kind of role. Colleges will have a career services office that keeps data on alumni career placement. Make sure you take a look at...

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$1.5 Million for What!? 3 Questions to Guide Your Choice of College Counselor

In case you missed it, Ivy Coach is suing a family for failing to pay the balance of their $1.5 million contract for college counseling.

Yes, college counseling is not cheap (and neither is college), but in today's market, NO ONE should be paying $1.5 million for the service that this company provided. 

Why? Because no college counselor is going to have such "dirt" on the inside that they could warrant a price of $1.5 million.

Having served on the admissions committee, I can tell you that there are tips and tricks that students can use to stand out. But there's no silver bullet.

Not even admissions officers themselves can predict the outcome of admissions decisions.

There are so many factors--including the committee process itself, which is a collective voice in the final decision.

In addition, one student who looks perfectly desirable in one year may be less attractive in another admissions cycle depending on who else is applying from the pool. 


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You have 8 Minutes to Stand Out

admissions review Feb 12, 2018

Four years, over 2 million minutes and over 1 billion seconds of high school comes down to 8 minutes of admissions review. Eight minutes! 

What am I talking about? 

In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal reported that elite colleges like Penn, Rice and Bucknell are making admissions reviews extremely short by splitting up application pieces amongst admissions reviewers.

Some say that the fragmented review--splitting up materials across admissions readers-- detracts from the "holistic" review.

I agree that this method has potential to detract from the human element of the admissions review, and some admissions officers I know expressed disappointment that the process was changed (previously, 2 admissions reviewers would review the entire application and write a report with their thoughts before it passed through to the committee). 

But the eight-minute review isn't necessarily a bad thing. Trust me, spending 60 minutes with your application would...

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International Students - 3 Things You Need To Make Your College Decision

International students, I love working with you.

You're a fantastic group -- so ambitious and hopeful, full of energy and enthusiasm for U.S. colleges. 

Things You Need To Make Your College Decision

My students "dream" (their words) of coming to the United States for college. The dream is wonderful, but the reality sometimes isn't. With that, here's a list of 3 things you want to pay close attention to when making your college decision.

Financial Aid

More than likely, you won't be awarded financial aid based on financial need (e.g. parent income). You may be eligible for merit-based scholarships, but it depends on the college and how aggressively the college is looking to recruit international students.

Colleges that are looking to increase international student enrollment may be more generous with scholarships.

Popular colleges with international students, like the University of California system and the University of Michigan, expect that you will pay the full sticker...

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My Top 3 Summer Pre-College Experiences for Competitive Applicants

This document is designed to kickstart your summer opportunity search.

Here are three categories of summer experiences and insider tips on what college admissions officers are guaranteed to love about each one.

Summer Pre-College Experiences for Competitive Applicants

By downloading this document, you'll also get a seat for
my upcoming webinar.


-Dr. Aviva Legatt

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