Emerging Leader Program

A special 2-month program for you to complete an original reesarch project with guidance from one of of 95+ professors from top-tier universities at places like Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Yale  and Columbia University.

Your ability to succeed hinges on your ability to distinguish yourself!

COVID-19 has disrupted your daily life, but don’t let it stop you from reaching your potential. 

Are you…

  • Hoping to make an impact, but aren’t sure how to distinguish yourself for the challenges that lay ahead?
  • Frustrated by limited opportunities to drive your future forward?
  • Worried about the impact of the shutdowns on your college application or career?

Ivy Insight is pleased to offer an advantageous program featuring opportunities to create an original researdch project and solve real-world challenges.

We have put together a special 2-month program to allow students like you to take advantage of this time to complete a project remotely from one of 95+ top experts at colleges like University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, MIT and Columbia University.

For this program, you will invest time and energy diving deep into your passions in order to showcase your uniqueness and be that stand out candidate.

How Does the Emerging Leader Program Help With College Admissions and Your Admissions X-Factor?

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me use the term “Holistic Admissions” and you may have a pretty good understanding of what that means, but it really all comes down to this one idea:

Colleges don’t want well-rounded students, they want a well-rounded class!

As a college applicant you have your:

  • Metrics (GPA and scores)
  • Attributes (personal characteristics)
  • Experiences (leadership and service)

Each aspect of you helps to paint a picture of your unique strengths and talents, ultimately persuading admissions officers to admit you.

But this year, you may not have some of those metrics available. Maybe your standardized tests were canceled. Perhaps you didn’t perform your best due to the adjustments you were forced to make during online learning. Or everyone’s grades got inflated and now you’re just one of many “A” students.

Whatever the reason, most applicants will face a challenge when it comes to metrics representation this year.

This means your attributes and experiences will take center stage!

But you can’t be all things to all people and hope that you’ll make a positive impression!

You’ll have to make some difficult, yet critical, choices about where you should apply your focused time and efforts in order to create your college acceptance X-Factor! This “X-Factor” is what helps you to stand out above other applicants in highly-selective college admissions

Your college acceptance X-Factor is a combination of your:


A special or noteworthy talent or quality; for example, your problem-solving abilities, your desire to help others, your incredible knowledge in one topic and a demonstrated record of that expertise


For example, a hurdle you overcame or an opportunity you took advantage of


Your ability to impact your peers, organizations, and communities in a meaningful and significant way such that many people benefit from your experience and expertise


There are many ways to create the X-Factor and it can look very different for every person. It’s important to take into consideration your specific interests, talents, and strengths when deciding where to apply yourself and how to invest your time during this pivotal year.

You may be wondering:  

  • How to narrow down your interests and zero in on your X-Factor
  • How to make important connections to make your project successful
  • How to tie it all together and present your project in the best light possible to impress admissions officers

At Ivy Insight, we’ve worked hard to leverage our network of contacts and alliances to form strategic partnerships that will provide you with a bridge between your academic achievements and real-world experience and we’re using our years of admissions expertise to help you accelerate your success – no matter when you apply to college. We can even help you even if you are thinking about transferring, taking a gap year, or if college is a few years away.

Ready to find your X-Factor and create the impact you were born to make, despite Covid-19?

Dr Legatt coaches two college students at The School of the New York Times.

About Dr. Aviva Legatt

Program Director

Dr. Aviva Legatt is an elite admissions expert and founder of Ivy Insight, the gold standard in college admissions consulting for undergraduate elite college applications.

Dr. Aviva Legatt formerly directed the Worth Magazine-recognized #1 business pre-college program, Leadership in the Business World at The Wharton School. An in-demand leadership and college admissions speaker and respected expert with a fresh perspective, Dr. Legatt has been hailed by the New York Times, as a trustworthy expert on college admissions, and also recognized as an expert in corporate culture and diversity as a faculty member for Coursera and at the University of Pennsylvania.

At The Wharton School, she previously served as Senior Associate Director of Admissions. Dr. Legatt is the author of “Get Real and Get In (St. Martin’s Press, 2021), which is an insider’s guide for students aiming for their college goals. Dr. Legatt has a column in Forbes, where she writes about issues affecting higher education today.

By participating in the Emerging Leader Program you will work closely with Dr. Legatt to develop and refine your college and career strategy while strengthening your skills in networking, communication, and presentations.

How It Works

Submit your application below and if you’re qualified, we’ll contact you to explore your project goals and seek to match you to a top-tier mentor in our network of 95+ professors. Possible mentors include:

  • University of Pennsylvania professors of anthropology
  • Duke University Public Health graduate student
  • Medical doctor who specializes in OB/GYN and pediatrics

Once you the program begins, you will take part in one-on-one mentoring sessions.

The program is conducted entirely online, removing location dependency or barriers to bring opportunities to students all over the world.

Our Emerging Leader Program gives you that edge in matching you to an in-depth project that boosts your X-Factor (comprised of eXperience, eXpertise, and eXponentialism). You’ll gain incredible access to one-to-one mentorship. Most importantly, this experience is designed to help you create value in the world while maximizing your success.

You will also have 8 one-on-one meetings with your mentor, scheduled at your mutual convenience, to cover the following:

  • Timeline
  • Topic selection
  • Guidance to select relevant sources
  • Feedback and revisions on your work
  • Guidance on publication of your work
  • Next steps for success after the program concludes

Post-Program Evaluation

Upon your successful completion of all program requirements, which include attending program-sponsored meetings and completing written assignments, you will receive a final evaluation from your mentor. You can use this evaluation as a letter of recommendation for your college and career goals.

The Emerging Leader Program is the catalyst for ultimate college and career success!

As a participant in the Emerging Leader Program, you will have the unique opportunity to work with a mentor from a prestigious university like MIT, Duke or University of Pennsylvania to create your X-Factor that helps you make an incredible impact on the world while working toward your college and career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions


This unique program runs for 8 consecutive weeks and operates on a rolling admissions basis.

Remote Location

Remote-Located Research Program

After evaluating your application and supporting data, we’ll place you in either a field that aligns best with your current abilities and interests and your future goals. 

For the duration of the program, you will work remotely. To make this experience a success, you need to have access to reliable internet and be able to check and respond to email and text messages regularly.


We accept applications from both high school and college students ages 14- 21.

Tuition & Fees

Both application and session fees are non-refundable investments. 

Session fees include: all instructional programs, professional development activities, and program networking events.

Tuition for the Emerging Leader Program is $6000.

Application Requirements

The Emerging Leader Program is an elite opportunity uniquely designed for hard-working, top tier students. Only the best applicants will be accepted into the program. Determinations will be made after careful review of the following materials: 


  • Personal contact information
  • An unofficial transcript
  • Resume or activity list 
  • Essay
  • If applying from outside of the United States will also be asked to submit their TOEFL English Competency scores or a letter of recommendation from their English teacher. 


We employ a rolling admissions policy, placing qualified applicants into available spaces on a first-come, first-served basis.

Selections will be made based on academic achievement, demonstrated interest in the requested field, and an authentic desire to maximize the program experience.

After all required materials have been received, you will be notified of next steps within 7 business days. 

Case Studies

Charles Wu

City of Residence: Chicago
Intended Major: Electrical & Mechanical Engineering
What challenges did he face?

  • Charles would like to devise a wearable device that acquires bio-metric data and body motions of swimmers.
  • Charles had a lot of ideas, however there was a need for him to focus on the main relevant factors contributing to his design paper. 

Matched professor: A mechanical engineering professor from Columbia University who teaches courses in thermal-fluids engineering and aerospace propulsion.

How did our program help him?

  • We helped Charles to review and improve his writing for the design paper.
  • Additionally, Charles has learnt to improve his patent application paper for his product design.
  • Charles has created a design paper, which describes the purpose, function, and dimensional characteristics of the wearable device.
  • Charles’s patent application was reviewed and edited.
  • The program has provided valuable evaluation which pinpointed Charles’s strengths and weaknesses.

Arial Wong

City of Residence: Boston
Intended Major: International Relations / Business

What challenges did she face?

  • Arial struggled with word pronunciation and grammatical errors.
  • Arial would like to write a higher-level English paper and improve her technical writing skills.
  • Arial had ideas on her research topic but lacked the thought process on writing a high level research paper
  • Arial was taught to do citations for her paper and that is something she would continue to work on

Matched professor: For the first program, Arial decided to work with a researcher and seminar lecturer from Oxford University. For the second program, she worked with a finance associate professor from Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. The professor is also an Associate Dean with California State University, Dominguez Hills in the College of Business and Public Policy.

How did our program help her?

  • The mentor introduced her to new writers, themes in creative writing, and writing styles during each class.
  • This program puts emphasis on literary texts, essays, and poems to strengthen student’s overall English capabilities.
  • The professor had the opportunity to discuss Arial’s research topic in depth and stimulated critical thinking in her.
  • Arial was guided throughout the entire process, from the flow of writing to providing sources to support her arguments.

Ready to find your X-Factor and create the impact you were born to make, despite Covid-19?

Anthony Liu

City of Residence: Philidelphia
Intended Major: Economics

Anthony is a student at one of the top 5 private day schools in the United States. He has a passion for economics and entrepreneurship. Anthony’s budding interest in debate and leadership gives him strong potential for success in business related majors in the future. With a professor from MIT, he was able to achieve his goals and more!

What challenges did he face?

  • Though Anthony has a passion for economics and entrepreneurship, he has no experience in starting business plans or analyzing business trends.

  • Anthony has a strong foundation in subjects such as statistics and economics, but has yet to use this knowledge towards any practical real-life pursuits.

Matched professor: A Mathematics lecturer in MIT, he has been an investment manager, exploiting advanced statistical analytics to manage a variety of investment programs.

How did our program help him?

  • We set Anthony on a 2-months program that allows him to learn to use financial software programs.
  • Anthony has gained a deeper understanding into reading financial data, analyzing stock trends, and deciphering what the numbers mean.
  • The professor introduced Anthony to statistics concept, statistics programming language and RStudio software.
  • The professor further provided a step-by-step instruction manual to ensure Anthony remember beyond the mentorship program.

Sarah Mai

City of Residence: San Francisco
Intended Major: Art History

Sarah is at the top of her class with a 4.03 GPA. Her main academic passion is Art History. She has taken art history courses and done independent study in modern and ancient art history. She is the president of her school’s art and design club, and is also a designer/contributor to a student magazine.

What challenges did she face?

  • She had to become acquainted with terminology and notions she was not aware of before.
  • She was assigned college level research papers as reading and was expected to write her research paper at a college level as well.

Matched professor:  A core curriculum instructor from Columbia University in Art Humanities and a Teaching Assistant in Art, History and Archaeology. His primary field of research is Greek and Roman archaeology.

How did our program help her?

  • At the end of the program, she was equipped with a research paper that is well suited for college application.
  • She will be getting receiving a letter of recommendation from the professor when she is ready for college application.

Apply Now

Apply for the Emerging Leader Program

Questions? Contact [email protected]
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The Emerging Leader Program is an elite opportunity uniquely designed for hard-working, top tier students. Only the best applicants will be accepted into the program. There is no guarantee of placement if you apply. Financial aid is limited and is based on need.