Leslie Davidson (Part 4)

May 4, 2021 | podcast

In today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt interviews Leslie Davidson, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Beloit College, and they discuss admissions and seeking enrollment and aid during COVID-19.


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: Thank you. That’s such a great advice, and I really appreciate what you said about finding the school’s purpose, values and fit and also taking the opportunity as these times have allowed so many of us to step back from what we thought we wanted to do or what our plans may have been and reevaluate what our plans might be or should be during these challenging times. And like you, I want to encourage people to think about college selection and applications in a new and an innovative way to meet the needs of these times and make sure that your needs as an applicant are being met as well. And that’s a lot of what I talk about in my book, “Get Real and Get In”, which is my forthcoming book with St Martin’s Press. The book is all about finding out who you are and what you want on the way to college, but not just to get into your top school. So COVID has presented an opportunity for people to really get inside of what’s really important to them and to thrive as best as they can during these challenging times. So what’s happening at Beloit College right now that people should know about in terms of COVID policy or other exciting things happening in the future? 

LD: Sure. Thank you for asking. I have been at Beloit for just under two years and it’s really been an extraordinary time. Over those years, our community has galvanized around creating the best possible undergraduate experience and recruiting students who will thrive at Beloit. In the months preceding COVID, we developed a new set of strategic priorities focused on advising and mentoring, beginning not just when students arrive on campus for orientation, but from the time they deposit and effectively linking college and career. There was so much alignment and momentum on campus before COVID. Then COVID acted as a catalyst for even more innovation. The Beloit Action Plan, which we launched a year ago, address students academic, social, and financial needs during COVID and established a model for numerous other places. We also have real success working closely with our students in planning for an in person academic year. The result of that was a realistic and safe set of behavioral guidelines developed by students for students and thus owned and supported by students. That is seeing us through a healthy and productive year on campus and led The New York Times to call us out as the bright spot in their coverage of colleges and COVID. We’ve recently launched an updated action plan comprising five programs that prepare students to launch successful careers after graduation. And our recruitment results this year have been terrific. We’ve been setting 30 year records for deposited students. There’s so much energy and possibility at Beloit right now, and people are really feeling that. 

AL: I haven’t looked at the list to match it up, but Beloit is one of the colleges where people can still enroll if they are looking for a place to come. 

LD: Yes. There have been two distinct trends this year that have shown up in the National data and that have certainly shown up in our pipeline. One is students who were dealing with uncertainty by wanting to move more quickly and get their decisions made. And the other group of students who were really behind in all of their activities and taking longer to complete applications and make decisions. And we understand both of those sets of circumstances, and we are completely open to considering applications from that latter group. 

AL: That’s great. How do people submit an application if they’re late to the game now? 

LD: On our website, the application is still open. They have an opportunity to complete our own app or to complete the common application. So any students who have done the common application can add ballot to the list of recipients. 

AL: That’s great to hear. And I know a lot of students will want to take advantage of this because boys a great place. It’s not a second choice. It can be a first choice for so many people. And it sounds like situation wonderful community, especially during these challenging times to get the support and to have a college that is so invested in not only the future of students but also the present. Experience, I think is wonderful. Anything else you want to share with respect to the topics we discussed or about the low? 

LD: I would just say to students to remember that you and the admission office share the same goals. You’re both looking for a great fit. And so often if a student has faced adversity that’s tied to their family or groups they’re part of or a community, and the last year has been truly different in that COVID has affected everyone. So your admission officers understand what you’re going through because they too have had their professional and personal and family lives disrupted by COVID. I would encourage students to be open, to be honest and to be trusting that the people they’re working with. And admission officers have their best interest at heart and understand the circumstances of the very challenging last year. 

AL: Thank you for that. And for more information about Beloit and their action plan, you can go to Beloit.edu/story/the- beloit-action-plan, and we really appreciate you being on with us Leslie today. And this has been so helpful and interesting. I hope that students listening will decide to consider Beloit College for their list, if they’re juniors and or if they have seniors, at home, or they are a senior that they will apply to Beloit to get considered there. So thank you, Leslie. 

LD: You’re very welcome. Thank you.

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.