What Job Can I Get With This Degree?


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


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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How International Students can Attend High School in the U.S.


There is a trend for international students to study high school abroad in the U.S. for a smoother transition to U.S. colleges. 

For those students, here is my advice for how to attend high school in the U.S.

Step 0:
Make sure that your family can afford the high cost of studying abroad, and that it will be worth the return on investment. Finances may determine whether or not and the length of study abroad program.

Step 1:
Assess your language skills.

The relevant way to assess your skills is through taking the junior TOEFL test, targeted to students ages 11-15. The Junior TOEFL serves as an eligibility marker for students who are applying to private schools around the United States. Students should aim for a TOEFL score above 80.

For public schools in the United States, there is no eligibility exam; however, you need to have a guardian with established residency in the United States to enter public school. If your family plans to establish a new residence in the...

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How do you plan a great college visit with your teenager?


I was honored and grateful to comment to Reader's Digest about college tours!

You can read my quote in the article, and here are my full remarks about how you can plan a great college visit with your teenager: 

Personalize your visit. Don't just go on the campus tour. Email department chairs, professors, and students ahead of the visit to have a coffee chat or just a quick talk on the way to class. Research the academic department you are interested in, look up research in that department that's relevant to your interests, and discuss that work during your visit.  Remember to relate any questions about the college to your demonstrated interests and future goals for college. 

If you're a sports player, meet with a coach. For example, one of my students is a golfer, and met with the Cornell golf coach in anticipation of hoping to be a walk-on in the 2017-2018 academic year. Without that visit, my student would not have known that Cornell actually recruits only 50% of...

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5 Things to Prepare for Summer Program Applications


Ah, winter. In some places, like where I live in Philadelphia, it can be snowy and cold. Regardless of the weather, this time of of year is the perfect moment for high school students to plan for the summer. 

Here is my five-step process for how to prepare for and select summer programs:

1. First and foremost, students and families have to decide the desired outcome or goal for attending a summer program. While "looking good for college" is a potential byproduct of attending a summer program, it cannot be the primary goal. Instead, students and families should use the student's academic interests, professional goals (if any), and special talents to decide what summer programs are the best fit. For example, is the student an excellent flute player, but needs a boost to technique to take her expertise to the next level? Then, search for 3-4 music-based summer camps to apply to and start gathering application materials.

2. Most students will benefit...

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How to Balance Practicality and Passion with Graduate School Rankings


As a young professional or college student, have you ever been told to follow your heart, live your dream, or pursue your passion? While I definitely ascribe to and give this advice in my own life, it wouldn’t be wise for me to tell you to consider only your passion when making a decision about investing in graduate school. 

Even more problematic than a hyperfocus on passion is using the U.S. News rankings list as gospel of "fit." Some students I know fixate on a number… and formulate their graduate school list based on that number alone. 

Focusing too much on passion or rankings is a problem, as it limits you from formulating a practical and profitable action plan for graduate school. Ideally, you want to make a plan that will get you employed and paid 100% of the time.

Instead of US News, students should instead consider these (unsexy) rankings to balance their passions, desire for prestige, and need for...

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Why It's Time to Go Global


It was my pleasure to comment on my experience with international partners on LinkedIn. For me, international partnerships have provided a personal and wonderful sense of challenge, expansion, and development.

In my article, I argue that international partnerships are critical to business strategy - and the lessons can apply to students as well - whether they're studying abroad for a semester or for the full four years. 

I encourage you to consider studying abroad in college - either for the full four years of college or just a semester. It's one of my biggest regrets of my undergraduate experience! Don't miss out!

I'm Dr. Aviva Legatt. I specialize in selective (Ivy +) college admissions at VivED Consulting LLC with experience on the admissions committee at The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.  I am featured in Business Insider in one of the most widely viewed articles on...

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Why You Need to Know Class of 2021 Early Action and Early Decision Stats, Stat!



Welcome to 2017 and the beginning of admissions results rolling in for college applications!

College admissions offices are not super transparent with their information, but statistics are the greatest thing that the college admissions offices provide to help students plan out their strategy.

While statistics are no substitute for you to define yourself in high school, get excellent grades, and become a better applicant, statistics are still a helpful window to planning your strategy.

So, let me ask you a question. Do you want to go to one of the following colleges?

  • Brown 
  • Univ. of Penn 
  • Duke 
  • Dartmouth 
  • Johns Hopkins 
  • Williams 
  • Princeton
  • Yale 
  • Harvard 
  • Notre Dame 
  • Georgetown
  • MIT

If you're a high school junior (grade 11), you can plan your admissions strategies with the statistics I'm providing, including:

  • ED % incoming class
  • Spots left in the class, based on expected yield Historic Yield Rate (Class of 2020)
  • Yield Rate (the...
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Are International Students Penalized for Requesting Financial Aid During University and College Admission?


Since 2010, I’ve worked with dozens of international students to help them make the transition to higher education in the U.S. Many of my clients have one major concern in common: how will their families pay for a college education?

College is a serious financial and emotional investment for all students and families — especially for international students. Undergraduate students enrolled in public out-of-state schools for the 2016-2017 academic year are paying on average $35,370 for tuition, fees and room and board, according to College Board. For private school students the average cost is $45,370.

Sources: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges.


International students need to not only consider travel expenses in the cost of their education, but also the possibility that they will be required to pay the full price for college or university without scholarships from outside sources.  


In the U.S., these are the two primary opportunities available...

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Navigating Your Way to College Success: Application, Admissions and Beyond


Back in October, I filmed two modules for a course offered by The School of The New York Times called NAVIGATING YOUR WAY TO COLLEGE SUCCESS: APPLICATION, ADMISSIONS AND BEYOND.

The School of the New York Times, a subsidiary of The New York Times offers educational programming for both professional and pre-college audiences ranging from classes on writing, editing and content marketing.

Through this affordable course, students will learn how to navigate the college process by learning from different experts, completing exercises and reading articles. There's even a Facebook group so that students can connect with mentors and with one another.

One module I filmed is about how to discover your interests, values and strengths so that you can make an informed choice about what colleges to select. I also walk through how to find colleges that fit you.

The second module I filmed is about what to do after you get into college — how to tell your friends, what factors need to be...

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