Speaking Engagements

Harvard University of autumn, Cambridge, USA --- Image by © HIROYUKI MATSUMOTO/amanaimages/CorbisIvy Coach has addressed a number of topics related to the highly selective college admissions process for audiences around the world. From our presentations for College Week Live, to our seminars for participants in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program, to our talks at Columbia University, we attract large audiences. There is quite a bit of inaccurate information out there about the highly selective college admissions process and we see it as our task in these seminars to demystify the process for all attendees. Our attendees are consistently surprised by how much they don’t know, how much they thought they knew, and how much they learn. Read More

In our seminars on the college admissions process, we address how to:

  • Write powerful college essays
  • Obtain dynamic teacher letters of recommendation from a school counselor and teachers
  • Showcase a special talent in extracurricular activities and avoid presenting as well-rounded
  • Secure great summer research opportunities
  • Prepare for alumni interviews
  • Maximize testing opportunities for SAT, ACT, and AP Tests
  • Demonstrate interest in colleges
  • And much more

Our workshops on the college admissions process are targeted for high school students and their parents but we’ve also offered seminars for high school counselors and college admissions counselors. In the past, these staff development workshops have been through such organizations as Peterson’s, New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the United Arab Emirates’ Scholarship Coordination Office in Abu Dhabi, College Week Live, Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, the Motorola Foundation, and for the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China in Nanjing and Beijing. Below is a breakdown of the seminars that we offer.

The College Admissions Case Study

In this seminar, Ivy Coach reviews with the audience how applications to highly selective colleges are evaluated and how decisions are made. The audience reads several authentic college applications for the purpose of understanding what an application to a top tier college entails. The audience then discusses the candidates as though the audience is the admissions committee. After the discussion, the audience ultimately votes for an acceptance, denial, or a waitlist for each candidate. The audience’s conclusions are then compared to the conclusions of the actual admissions committee. Read More

Through this very exciting and demystifying look at the inner-workings of a highly selective college admissions office, the members of the audience become aware of how all of these threads (grades, rigor of coursework, class rank, SAT or ACT scores, personal information, extracurricular activities, campus or alumni interviews, admissions essays, counselor and teacher recommendations and evaluations, and supplemental material) create the components of the application. We have presented this particular workshop for private and public schools as well as for corporations.

College Application Workshops

In these workshops, we discuss all of the components of the college application. Such components include personal information, activity sheets, college essays, Personal Statements, campus visits, interviews, letters of recommendation, and supplemental materials. We also discuss how college admissions counselors evaluate applications and what they look for in an applicant. We relay relevant stories and discuss how some of the evaluative factors in a student’s college application are very obvious, while others are often much more subtle.Read More

We make it clear that although there are certainly objective criteria in evaluating college applications, many of the decisions that are made are done so subjectively. By using a step-by-step approach, we help students and parents not only find the process less overwhelming, but we also demystify it by disclosing seemingly inconsequential details that can be the difference between a college acceptance and a denial.

College Admissions Staff Development Seminars

Depending upon the individual needs of the high school college counseling department, Ivy Coach takes the mystery and frustration out of the highly selective college admissions process. In this staff development workshop, counselors learn how to teach their students to submit applications that stand out from their competition. In our analyses of each portion of the college admissions process, we create a template to help counselors assist their students in gaining admission to the college of their choice.Read More

This workshop has been conducted at private and public high schools in the U.S. and abroad. We have conducted this staff development seminar in the UAE to the members of the Scholarship Coordination Office in Abu Dhabi and for the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China in Nanjing and Beijing. At schools outside of the U.S., when the college counseling department is unfamiliar with colleges and universities in the U.S., the expertise of Ivy Coach in college admissions becomes essential.

Talented Students Winning at the College Admissions Game

The applicants who get accepted to highly selective universities have not only achieved academic success and respectable standardized test scores, but they also have demonstrated strength or talent in one particular area. When a college has received approximately 65,000 applications, a talented bassoonist is only competing against other talented bassoonists with similar grades and standardized test scores. In our article, “Talented Students Winning at the College Admissions Game,” we demonstrate how by using the internet, talented students (athletes, musicians, actors, dancers, or science / math researchers) can find the colleges that are right for them based on their talent and skill. Read More

From searching for the right colleges to communicating with coaches and musical directors, we illustrate how students can be proactive in the highly selective college admissions process. We have conducted this workshop for school counselors at a Peterson’s conference, the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling conferences, National Association for College Admissions Counseling college fairs, and more.

Writing Powerful College Essays

College essays are the one part of the application over which the student has total control. In this seminar, we encourage students to take advantage of this distinct opportunity by writing memorable Personal Statements that express their individuality. To encourage this, we have the audience envision what it might be like at a highly selective college admissions office when there are 65,000 applications to be read and multiple essays per application. We give examples of how some topics are ordinary, cliché, boring, and can sometimes be viewed as arrogant and self-serving.Read More

We encourage students to think about their daily lives, what they enjoy, what they find important and how a most trivial thing such as a rubber-band ball can make an outstanding subject matter for a Personal Statement (our student received hundreds of rubber-bands with her acceptance so we know our methods work!). By reading some of the best essays written by our own students, we teach our audience how they too can write powerful college essays. We have presented these seminars for students and parents at NACAC college fairs, for school counselors at NYSACAC meetings, and for College Week Live.

Preparing for Alumni and Campus Interviews

The highly selective colleges are typically the ones that include interviews as part of the college admissions process and these interviews can be one of the most stressful parts of the admissions process. Since good interviews can also humanize the process, in this interactive workshop, Ivy Coach shows students, parents, and school counselors how to prepare for an outstanding interview. We show our audience how to view the interviewer as a resource who may help them better understand the college and as someone they should keep in touch with throughout the remainder of the college admissions process.

These college counseling experts have presented college admissions workshops for ...