5 Questions to Ask on a College Tour

I had a chance to talk with GenHERation girls about what to do on a college tour. Check out the full comments by clicking here.

In summary, before the tour, it’s your job as a student to:

1) Do your research on the college

2) Keep an open mind about what you might see.

Here are five failsafe questions you can use on the tour. Come up with your own as well!

1. 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?

2. I’m interested in "xyz" major. What kind of jobs do alumni in this major typically take right after graduation?

3. What tends to happen on campus over the weekend? Do people stick around or do they tend to leave?

4. How do students get help if they struggle in an academic subject? Is there on-campus tutoring available, and is it free? What is the process for getting a tutor?

5. What are the living arrangements for students for freshman year and after freshman...

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How to Make Use of Legacy and Special Status in College Admissions

Legacy is a hot topic in U.S. college admissions. Though high levels of academic achievement in a challenging curriculum are helpful, gaining a competitive edge in college admissions can also involve who you know rather than what you know. 

A 2011 study of 30 elite colleges found that the children of undergraduate alumni were, on average, 45.1% more likely to be admitted than students without a previous connection to the school.

But legacy students are only a small fraction of those admitted to college every year and there are many other ways that students with no prior connection to a school can distinguish themselves from the rest of the applicant pool.

Read more here, with thanks to my friends at Applerouth. Click here for their complimentary tutoring offer!

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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

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


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


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


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?


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?


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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