Finding Your College Admissions X Factor

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In today’s episode, Dr. Legatt talks about how to find your college admissions X factor.

Have a question? Text 610-222-5762.

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VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school? 

AL: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk. This is Dr. Aviva Legatt, founder and Elite Admissions Expert at Ivy Insight. Today, we’re going to be talking about the college admissions X factor and what it is. So, 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 the applicant you have your metrics, like your GPA and your test scores. You have your attributes, which are things like your character traits and your grit. And you have your experiences. So, the kind of things that you’re putting on your resume and any life events that you’ve been through so far. Each one of these attributes, metrics, or experiences helps you to paint a picture of your unique talents and strengths to persuade admissions officers to admit you. But in these couple of years, when we have COVID-19, you may not have some of those metrics available. Maybe your standardized tests were canceled. Or maybe you didn’t perform your best due to the adjustments you were forced to make while transitioning to online learning. Whatever the reason, many applicants have a challenge when it comes to representing their metrics this year. This means that your attributes and experiences become all that much more important. But you can’t do it all. So, you have to make really difficult choices about where you should apply your focus, time, and efforts in order to create your college acceptance X Factor. So, what is the X Factor? It’s a combination of your expertise, which is a special or noteworthy talent or quality, for example, your problem-solving abilities through deep subject matter. Knowledge of a topic like math or physics. It could be your desire and demonstrated ability to help other people or another incredible knowledge that you have on a topic demonstrated through research. The second aspect of your X Factor is your experience. This could include things like a hurdle you overcame or an opportunity that you took advantage of. These are all the fun and sometimes challenging life events that we go through that helps to shape who we are and what we’d like to do. The third is exponentialism. So exponentialism really refers to the impact that you’re making. So, if you’re building on that expertise you’re building on that experience and allowing others to benefit from it, that is when you achieve exponentialism. So, when you apply to college, you want to have a record of having impacted your peers, organizations, and communities in a meaningful and significant way such that many people benefit from your experience and expertise. There are many opportunities to create your X Factor. I’ve highlighted some on previous episodes. These include doing a research project which we could help you with through our Emerging Leader program. If you’re looking for a one-to-one mentor, we have over 95 professors in our network we can match you with. The second option is writing a book or creating a blog around a topic that is of interest to you. So that’s how you build up your expertise as well as your experience. And the third is by founding an organization, ideally that has a social mission or a broader purpose. So, you don’t necessarily want to start a T-shirt business but you could start something, as one of my students did, for example where you’re founding a water conservation organization and you’re going out into the community and others are going out into the community to achieve this goal and you’re mobilizing teams in order to achieve this goal. So, there are a lot of ways to achieve your X Factor. So, the key question for you is what are the areas that you feel most compelled towards working on? What sparks your curiosity? What have been the most exciting things that you have done so far and how would you like to build on those? What are some causes that really speak to you? What are some interesting projects that are going on at school or outside that you think you might like to be involved in? Asking yourself these kinds of questions can help you to figure out what is the best path forward for you to build up your X Factor. And we’re here to help. If you need support finding, creating a project or even matching with one of the professors in our top tier community. Until next time.


VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222- 5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.