Getting In: A College Coach Conversation-logo

Getting In: A College Coach Conversation


Planning for college? Tune into Getting In: A College Coach Conversation for tips, techniques, and insider perspectives. Hosted by Elizabeth Heaton, a former admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania, and featuring her fellow admissions and college finance experts from Bright Horizons College Coach, the show shares what colleges are really looking for and how to highlight your hard-won achievements for the best chance at success. New episodes air every Thursday at 4 PM Eastern Time, 1 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel.


Tempe, AZ


Planning for college? Tune into Getting In: A College Coach Conversation for tips, techniques, and insider perspectives. Hosted by Elizabeth Heaton, a former admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania, and featuring her fellow admissions and college finance experts from Bright Horizons College Coach, the show shares what colleges are really looking for and how to highlight your hard-won achievements for the best chance at success. New episodes air every Thursday at 4 PM Eastern Time, 1 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel.






Campus Safety; Homeschooled Students; Financial Aid Packages

While college campuses are, by and large, very safe places, we know that crime can happen anywhere. Host Sally Ganga will be joined by Jessica Mertz of the Clery Center, an organization dedicated to helping colleges create the safest possible environment on campus and to advising families on campus safety. Jessica will be giving Sally some tips about students should be concerned about. Hint: it isn’t what most people think about! Have you been homeschooled? Nicole Doyle, College Coach colleague, will be jumping on to discuss what homeschooled applicants and their parents need to know, not just during the application process but while they are planning their high school curriculum and extra-curricular activities. And, College Coach Finance expert Beth Feinberg-Keenan will be starting the podcast with a discussion of how to interpret your financial aid package.


All about Transferring; Day in the Life of Financial Aid Officers

Have you invested yourself at your current college, working hard in your classes and trying out a few extra-curricular activities, but you still feel like it isn’t the right place for you? Or maybe you’re at a community college and it’s time to move on? If so, listen in. Host Shannon Vasconcelos will be discussing the transfer process with colleague and former Hamilton College Admission Officer Jay Bonham. Shannon will also be joined by Alex Rendon, who, previous to coming to College Coach, worked in admissions at the University of California at San Diego, to discuss how to transfer into the University of California system. It’s a fairly complex process, so don’t miss this one! In addition, Shannon will be talking with Helen Faith, Director of the Office of Student Financial Aid at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, about the role of a financial aid administrator. Folks who work in financial aid offices have a tough job that is worth understanding. We hope you’ll join us!


Parent Support; Engineering Nuts & Bolts; Financial Aid Awareness

Parents, do you have a high achieving student and are concerned about how to best support them in high school and the college process? Listen in as our host, Ian Fisher, will be talking with colleague DJ Meehan, former high school counselor, about what to do. In addition, Ian will be joined by colleague Joy Biscornet, who in a previous life was an engineering major and worked in admissions at top engineering school the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign to discuss engineering nuts and bolts (yes, pun intended!) And of course you all know already that February is Financial Aid Awareness month, but maybe you don’t know exactly what financial aid is and how families can access it. Laurie Peltier, college finance expert at College Coach and former financial aid officer will be reviewing the above with Ian.


The Athletic Recruitment Process; College Research

Are you a student-athlete planning to compete in college? If so, tune-in to hear our host, Beth Heaton, talking with college finance expert and parent of a college athlete Stacey MacPhetres. They will be joined by Michael Yager, College Coach admissions expert, who will be covering the athletic recruitment process and athletic scholarships in their discussion. Ian Fisher, Getting In co-host, will be playing the role of guest in a separate segment to discuss how students can research colleges.


College List Building; Campus Visit Tips; FAFSA Rollout

Juniors, and to a lesser degree sophomores, this is a great time to start thinking about the colleges where you’ll be applying! Our host, Shannon Vasconcelos, will be chatting with College Coach admissions expert Nial Rele about how to build your list. One important item on your to dos when doing so is to visit some colleges, and College Coach admissions expert Serena Frisina will join Shannon to talk about how to get the most out of those visits. And we’re very excited to have college finance expert Jess Mosley, in her first Getting In appearance, to discuss the challenging rollout of the new “simplified” FAFSA.


Senior Grades Matter; Job Search for College Seniors; Loan Debt

Seniors, have you heard the rumor that colleges don’t care about senior year grades? Well, that’s incorrect, and even if a student has been admitted, colleges can rescind admission offers if grades drop. Listen in as host Ian Fisher discusses how and when this happens with Tova Javetz, college admissions counselor and former admission officer at Barnard, Columbia, Fordham, and Montclair State. Ian also welcomes Amanda Cuttler, former head hunter for Tory Burch and current consultant in talent acquisition. She’ll address the job search process for college seniors. Lastly, and this is one you won’t want to miss if you’re considering taking out student loans, college finance expert Michelle Smoley discusses the ripple effect of student loan debt on personal finances.


Having the Paying for College Talk; Summer Plans; 11th Grade Tips

Have you and your student discussed who is paying for college, and how? Are you hesitant to do so because you don’t want to disappoint them? You aren’t alone! Listen in as we’ll be addressing that topic in our first segment with a conversation between host Sally Ganga and College Coach finance advisor Aimee Yorsaner. Then, Landis Fryer, College Coach admissions expert and former admission officer at Dartmouth, will join Sally to discuss summer programs—no, it’s not too early to think about those! Last, Sally and Mary Sue Youn, another College Coach admissions expert and former admissions officer at Barnard College, will be talking about what juniors can do now to start the process.


College Admissions Resolutions; Student Loan Repayment Updates

Happy (Almost) New Years! Our host Shannon Vasconcelos will be discussing New Years resolutions with College Coach colleague and guest Kyra Tyler. Then, Michelle Clifton of College Coach’s Finance Team will be joining Shannon to give updates about Student Loan Repayment and the federal SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education) plan.


Canadian Admissions; Who Gets into Highly Selective Colleges

Have you been considering attending a Canadian University? Listen in, as Meghan Thompson, Student Recruitment Officer from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, will be joining us to discuss Canadian admissions, a very different animal from U.S. admissions. Our host, Beth Heaton, will also be talking with College Coach colleagues Amy Alexander, formerly of Yale admissions, and Zaragoza Guerra, formerly of Cal Tech and MIT admissions, about who gets into highly selective, perhaps most accurately known as highly rejective, colleges, and how.


Apps Are In: Now What?; Post-Decision Etiquette; Borrowing Basics

Getting In host Sally Ganga will be interviewing College Coach educational consultant, Elyse Krantz, our go-to person for the nuts and bolts of the application process regarding what to do now that you’ve submitted your applications. If you are concerned you might miss something important after you submit, tune in! Then, our colleague Lauren Randle, former high school counselor, will be going over the post-admit decision etiquette and kindness pointers. Finally, Jennifer Wilcox of the College Coach Finance team will be discussing the basic rules of borrowing money to attend college.


Early Application Results & Decision Time; Listener Q&A

Seniors, did you apply Early Decision or Early Action to college? If so, you should be hearing from the college or colleges soon, in which case, it may be time to make some decisions! Michael Yager, College Coach Educational Consultant, will be joining host Shannon Vasconcelos to discuss what students should be thinking about now. Then, they will be joined by College Coach finance expert Beth Feinburg-Keenan to answer Listener Questions. If you want to submit your own, you can do so via any of our social media pages, including Instagram and Facebook, or email us at:


Men’s Colleges; State Department Youth Programs; Transferring Aid

If you weren’t aware there are all men’s colleges, you’re not alone! Ed Devine, Director of Admission at Hampden Sydney in Virginia will be here to discuss them with our host, Shannon Vasconcelos. Then, College Coach colleague Brian Swann will be joining to tell us about US State Department sponsored pre-college programs for youth, and College Coach Finance colleague Laurie Peltier will hop on to talk about how to transfer financial aid when you transfer schools in spring semester.


Encore European Universities Consortium; Military Education Benefits

Interested in learning more about earning your college degree in Europe? On this episode, our host, Beth Heaton, interviews Ioana Benea (Bocconi University) and Juan Carlos Ruiz (Brussels School of Governance) about the European Universities Consortium (EUC). The EUC is a group of eight universities throughout Europe whose goal is to promote internationalization of higher education and provide educational opportunities in Europe to non-Europeans. Each member university offers programs taught entirely in English so they provide realistic opportunities for any English speaker. Additionally, since May is Military Appreciation Month, our college finance expert Laurie Peltier joins us to discuss the GI Bill and maximizing military benefits.


New Ways of Evaluating College Applications; Listener Q&A

This is a particularly exciting episode, as we’ll be joined by Benjamin Baum, the Vice-President of Enrollment at St. Johns College of Annapolis, Maryland. He and host Beth Heaton will be discussing new ways of evaluating applications. Then, Beth will be responding to listener questions along with college coach finance expert Michelle Smoley.


What 9th, 10th & 11th Graders Can Do to Prepare for Admissions

Are you a 9th, 10th, or 11th grader in high school, or the parent of one? We’ve got you covered in this episode! College Coach colleague, and parent of high school students, Kara Courtois, will be talking with host Ian Fisher about what 9th and 10th graders should be preparing for in the upcoming months, and Nicole Doyle, another colleague and parent will be covering the same topic with Ian but about high school juniors. Alex Bickford, college finance expert, will be covering the financial side of things for us.


Gap Years; High School Resumes; Aid Timeline for Early Applicants

Have you ever thought about gap year, or even another year of high school? Host Beth Heaton will be discussing who and why should consider those options with colleague Zaragoza Guerra. Then, Jen Simons, formerly of the admission offices of Tufts, Northeastern, and more, will address whether applicants should create a resume. Hint: in most cases, no! Also, Beth will be joined by college finance expert Zachery Gries to talk about financial aid notification timelines for early admission applicants.


Public University VS Liberal Arts College; Student Visa Holders

Today’s battle: public universities versus liberal arts colleges! We kid; each institution type has its pluses and minuses, and on today’s podcast, host Sally Ganga interview guests representing both. Our colleague Brittany Preston, formerly of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Oregon State University-Cascades, shares her experience at public universities, and our colleague Nial Rele, formerly of Middlebury College, relates his experience at a small liberal arts college. In addition, if you are an international student in the US on a visa, listen in as finance expert Robyn Stewart discusses how this may affect what you pay for college.


College Essay Tips: Overcoming Writer’s Block; Listener Questions

Are you struggling to write those essays? Dismissing every idea as bad, or just staring at a blank screen? College Coach admissions expert Steve Brennan shares advice on how to overcome writer’s block. So, tune in, and know that you aren’t alone. In addition, host Shannon Vasconcelos and our very own admissions vet Jen Simons answer listener questions.


Senior Grades; Financial Impact of Early Decision; Stress Tips

Students: Have your older friends, or even your parents, told you that your senior grades don’t matter? Well, they’re wrong! Tune in to today’s episode to hear host Ian Fisher and colleague Brian Swann discuss how senior year grades can impact admission to colleges. In addition, finance expert Alexander Gonzalez weighs in on the financial implications of applying Early Decision. Finally, as we enter peak stress time in the college application process, College Coach Karen Spencer helps us remember to take a deep breath and relax.


Supplemental Essays; Activity Lists; FAFSA Updates

What in the world are supplemental essays? Unfortunately, many colleges require these additional short essays alongside the Common and Coalition Application personal statement. Tune in to this episode as host Beth Heaton talks with College Coach admissions counselor Lisa Albro about how to approach these supplements. In addition, admissions counselor Brittany Preston explains the activity list that’s part of many college applications, and Chrissy Foran, college finance expert, provides an overview of the Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA) changes for 2024-2025.