applying to us universities

In the May 12th episode of “Getting In: A College Coach Conversation,” guest host Ian Fisher welcomed three unique perspectives to discuss three very different topics.

Should I Take a Gap Year?

Earlier this month, Malia Obama announced that she’ll be taking a gap year before heading off to college, thus sparking many people to ask, “What is a gap year and should I also consider taking one?” College Coach admissions expert Kara Courtois joined Ian to discuss what a gap year is and the many reasons why a student might choose to take one. Most importantly, the duo discussed how to go about researching, planning, and requesting a gap year.

Applying to US Universities as an International Student

In the second segment of this week’s show, Steve Brennan joined Ian to share insight into, and tips for, applying to US colleges and universities from abroad. It’s important to recognize, as Steve shared, that “In the rest of the world (generally) you take a test, you get a score, and then there is a list of schools you can go to [based on those scores]. Here in the US, there is such a strong emphasis on the non-objective parts of the criteria.” Students applying from abroad will benefit from listening to Steve and Ian discuss the differences in international applications, the best steps to take when applying to US universities, and the best timeline to follow to ensure success.

Financial Aid FAQs

In the third and final segment, college finance expert Kathy Ruby answered listener questions. In her response to the seemingly straightforward question, “Does a high need for financial aid hinder acceptance?” Kathy covered everything from how need-aware and need-blind admissions work, to the way the evaluation process might change from “no problem” to “reach” school applications. Kathy also answered questions about negotiating financial aid packages, developing a financially strategic list of schools to which to apply, and the best resources for researching scholarships.

Be sure to tune in to this week’s episode of “Getting In: A College Coach Conversation” to learn why students should study abroad and how to pay for it, as well as expert opinions on the new Coalition Application. Listen live on Thursday at 4 PM EDT.


Written by Abigail Anderson
Abigail Anderson is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Abigail received her bachelor’s in sociology from Colby College. Prior to joining College Coach, Abigail worked as a senior admissions officer at Reed College and Emma Willard School. Visit our website to learn more about Abigail Anderson.