The Role of Parents in College Admissions

Parents in College Admissions, College Admissions and Parents, Parenting and College Admission

There was a piece recently in “The Atlantic” on helicopter parenting — or parenting 2017 as the writer puts it.

There was a piece recently in “The Atlantic” entitled “The Ethos of the Overinvolved Parent” by Laura McKenna that caught our attention. The piece focuses on how essentially helicopter parenting has become, well, parenting 2017. Whereas in past decades it may have struck people as odd for parents of college students to reach out to their children’s college advisors or professors, it doesn’t seem all that unreasonable now — particularly in light of current tuition costs. With what parents are paying colleges these days, many parents feel their children should be getting as much bang for their buck as they can get…and understandably so.

As a private college consultancy that works jointly with parents as well as their children, we can’t say we’ve noticed a drastic change in recent years with respect to the involvement of parents in the college admissions process. Maybe it’s because we’ve always had involved parents as clients, dating back to the 1990’s. After all, many parents and students come to Ivy Coach because we serve as an intermediary between parents who don’t know the right approach for their children to earn admission to highly selective colleges and teenagers who know their parents don’t know the right approach — thus creating family tension. When everyone is on the same page of what the correct approach is, tension has a way of dissipating. As we’ve said before on the pages of our college admissions blog, we prevent murder at Ivy Coach. Yes, you read that correctly. We prevent murder.

So to all the helicopter parents out there — or to 2017 parents — we welcome you with open arms. As long as you’re kind and you heed our advice for your children, rev up them helicopters because we’re quite used to the rotor-blade noise. It’s our normal.

Have a question about the role of parents in college admissions? Post your question below and we’ll be sure to jump in on the conversation.

Colleges Not Playing by the Rules

Colleges Breaking the Rules, National Candidates Reply Date, National College Decision Day

A “New York Times” article brings to light certain colleges not playing by the rules.

There are certain colleges that aren’t playing by the rules. Good thing “The New York Times” has a storied track record of investigative journalism that brings to light a certain someone’s tax forms, possible Russian connections, and — to less fanfare — colleges encouraging students to break their binding commitments to other schools. There was a piece yesterday in “The New York Times” that caught our attention. Written by Ron Lieber and entitled “When Colleges Dangle Money to Lure Students Who Ignored Them,” the article focused on how certain universities reach out to students in most unusual ways after May 1st, the National Candidates Reply Date. If that seems fishy to you, you have reason to be scratching your head. After all, college applicants have made commitments to the universities they’re attending by May 1st. So for colleges to reach out to students whom they offered admissions to after this deadline, well, isn’t that encouraging students to break their commitments? Yes indeed.

Shame on Hampshire College, Elizabethtown College, Washington & Jefferson College, and Ursinus College for not honoring the binding commitments students have made to other colleges.

And these schools looking to lure students away from the colleges they committed to didn’t just reach out to say hello, they dangled money if the students chose to commit to their universities instead. As Lieber writes, “During the first week in May, [some students] received text messages or emails from schools that had accepted them but had not heard back. The messages all hinted at a particular question: Might a larger discount prompt you to come here after all? Hampshire College, Elizabethtown College, Washington & Jefferson College and Ursinus College, all private liberal arts schools, did this sort of outreach in recent weeks, as did Lawrence University, and perhaps others. For some students, such notes can be a dream come true if they make their first-choice college more affordable.”

We’d like to also point out to our readers that Hampshire College, Elizabethtown College, Ursinus College, and Lawrence University are also on the “College Openings” list published by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), an organization to which Ivy Coach is a member. Might these schools not have secured the yield they sought? It doesn’t take a degree in astrophysics to put two and two together here.

Shame on these aforementioned schools for encouraging students to break the binding commitments they’ve made to colleges. These students are married at this point and these text messages and emails from these schools that still have openings read like spurned former lovers trying to win back their affection. Not cool.

Race and Princeton Admissions

Princeton Admissions, Race at Princeton, Princeton University Admissions

There was a piece up on “BuzzFeed” recently about a federal probe into Princeton’s admissions practices.

A piece up on “BuzzFeed” by Molly Hensley-Clancy entitled “Asians With ‘Very Familiar Profiles’: How Princeton’s Admissions Officers Talk About Race” highlights comments about Asian, Latino, and African American applicants discovered as part of a federal probe into Princeton University’s admissions practices over potential racial bias. Regular readers of our college admissions blog may remember that Hensley-Clancy previously reported a couple of months back that Princeton was trying to block its admissions records from being released.

As reports Hensley-Clancy in her “BuzzFeed” piece, “Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show Princeton’s admissions officers repeatedly wrote of Asian-American applicants as being difficult to differentiate, referring to them dismissively as having ‘very familiar profiles,’ calling them ‘standard premeds,’ or ‘difficult to pluck out.’ The comments were noted by civil rights investigators at the Education Department as they probed allegations of racial bias in the school’s admissions system. Of a Hispanic applicant, an admissions officer wrote, ‘Tough to see putting her ahead of others. No cultural flavor in app.’ Of a black student, another said, ‘Very few African Americans with verbal scores like this.'”

Hey hey, ho ho, discrimination has got to go. What do we want? Equality. When do we want it? Now.

We at Ivy Coach have been shouting from our college admissions soap box for years and years how all highly selective colleges discriminate against Asian American applicants in particular in these very kinds of ways. While Princeton is being singled out in this federal probe, the university is certainly not alone. Not even close. And we firmly believe that Asian Americans deserve better in highly selective college admissions. Until we see this kind of change, until we see an end to Asian American discrimination in admissions practices, we’ll continue to shout it from our soap box at the top of our lungs.

A Salute to Brown University

Brown University and Vets, Veterans at Brown, Brown University Veterans in Admissions

Brown University is one of America’s friendliest universities to veterans.

Ivy Coach salutes Brown University and its program director for student veterans and commissioning programs, Karen McNeil. Brown University, a school that just a few weeks ago cracked our top 10 list of most veteran-friendly colleges, is not resting on its laurels. No, not under the leadership of Karen McNeil. And we’re mighty glad that’s the case.

As “FEDWeek” reports, “Brown University wants service members to apply for admission. The Providence, R.I.-based Ivy League school announced April 22 that it has agreed to the Defense Department’s Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding. The arrangement allows Brown admissions officers to visit military facilities and seek out students who serve in the armed forces. ‘This is a big deal for us, because reaching student veterans has been a significant challenge. It’s not like with traditional students, where admissions officers visit high schools and know the guidance counselors. Veterans who have just gotten out of the military and are looking to go back to school could be literally anywhere,’ said Karen McNeil, program director for student veterans and commissioning programs at Brown. McNeil believes that the agreement will enable Brown to reach out to potential students while they are still on active duty, whether they are just beginning their military careers or are nearing separation and planning to transition to civilian life.”

Ivy Coach salutes Brown University for its outreach to those who’ve served America in uniform.

This is a tremendous arrangement for Brown and it is demonstrative of the university’s proactive outreach to America’s veterans in recent years to encourage them to apply to — and attend — the university. Now, regular readers of our college admissions blog may remember when we were rather critical of Brown’s support for veterans but Karen McNeil, Brown’s program director for student veterans and commissioning programs, wrote in and shared insight into the outstanding ways the university has opened its doors and welcomed those who’ve served our nation in uniform. We are glad that Karen McNeil stewards Brown’s outreach to veterans. She is, in our humble opinion, the most proactive leader of this kind of program at a highly selective American university and we thank her for bringing to our attention the great work that she, and others, do to help make Brown one of the most veteran-friendly universities in America.

Top Ten Percent Rule in Texas

Top 10% Rule, Texas Guaranteed Admission, UT Austin Guaranteed Admission

Ivy Coach supports legislative reform with respect to the Top Ten Percent Rule in Texas.

For residents of The Lone Star State, admission to any public university in Texas is guaranteed for any student who graduates in the top 10% of their high school class — with the exception of the University of Texas at Austin where the cutoff is the top 7% to be guaranteed admission. It’s dubbed Texas’ Top 10 Percent Rule and there has been some speculation that Texas’ legislative body might soon propose legislation that would alter the rule. But that’s not happening as the Republican state senator trying to spearhead a revision to this bill, Kel Seliger, doesn’t have the votes.

As Matthew Watkins reports on the Top Ten Percent Rule for “Midland-Reporter Telegram” (because who doesn’t read this fine local newspaper?), “Seliger initially proposed repealing the rule entirely. He later updated his bill to keep the rule in place, but in a more limited way. Under the latest version of his bill, each school could cap automatic admissions at 30 percent of its incoming freshman class. That would significantly impact admissions at UT-Austin, where about three-quarters of each freshman class is automatically admitted. Many suburban parents and students from competitive school districts loathe the bill because they say it makes it harder to gain admission into UT-Austin. Seliger wanted to change the rule because it represented ‘big government.’ The universities, not the state, should be in charge of setting admissions standards, he said. But Seliger couldn’t get the 19 votes needed to get the item up for consideration on the floor of the 31-member Senate.”

Interesting indeed that a Republican can’t gather the votes from “small government” fellow Republicans to curtail the state’s reach into the admissions process of the state’s public universities. We fully agree with Seliger. The admissions policies of Texas’ public universities should be left up to the admissions offices at these schools — and not legislators. Kudos to the state senator for his efforts. May he continue to try to bring about change in The Lone Star State. Nevertheless, he will persist!

What do our readers think of the Top Ten Percent Rule in Texas? Let us know by posting a Comment below.

Most Beautiful College By State

Prettiest College Campuses, 2017 Most Beautiful Colleges, Most Beautiful Colleges in America

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia would all certainly make our ranking too of the most beautiful colleges by state (photo credit: Msact).

“Travel + Leisure” has a piece out entitled “The Most Beautiful College in Every State” that we figured we’d share with the readers of our college admissions blog. So which university takes the cake in each of the fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies? Shout ’em, scout ’em, tell all about ’em. One by one ’till we’ve given a [beautiful college] to every state in the U.S.A. Ok, sorry, we had some Ray Charles on our minds.

We’re not going to list all fifty of these schools but we’ll cherrypick the highly selective ones. Yale University takes the cake in Connecticut. University of Chicago wins the Illinois sweepstakes. Tulane University wins Louisiana. The United States Naval Academy wins Maryland. Washington University in St. Louis wins Missouri. Dartmouth College takes New Hampshire. Princeton University wins New Jersey. Colgate University wins New York. Wake Forest University takes the cake in North Carolina. University of Pennsylvania wins Pennsylvania. University of Virginia takes Virginia. In Vermont, it’s Middlebury College. And in Tennessee, it’s Vanderbilt University. Oh, and let’s not forget the District of Columbia, home of Georgetown University, certainly one of the world’s most beautiful universities.

And now we await the folks who write in with Comments that read something like, “But Indiana University in Indiana is highly selective.” Sorry, not compared to Princeton, Annapolis, or Middlebury. We had to draw the line somewhere but you’re welcome to read the full piece on America’s most beautiful colleges up on “Travel + Leisure.”

Harvard and the Senior Prom

Harvard Admission, Getting Into Harvard, Harvard College Admissions

One senior chose to take her Harvard acceptance as her date to senior prom.

Woodward and Bernstein may not be working at “HelloGiggles,” “a positive online community for women covering news, culture, entertainment, beauty, fashion, and more,” but the online community is breaking news on the date a high school senior chose for prom. Hint, hint. It’s not a person. When Priscilla Samey apparently couldn’t find a date for prom, she chose to take her college acceptance letter instead. And it wasn’t just any ordinary college acceptance letter. It was from Harvard.

As “HelloGiggles” reports, “Now our attention has turned to 17-year-old Priscilla Samey, who had the best response after failing to get a date for prom. After not being asked to the dance, Samey took matters into her own hands, and did something amazing: She took her Harvard acceptance letter with her as her date instead. ICONIC…Samey explained that she got the idea from her sister. ‘She said, ‘The best one [date] is all your college admissions,” the 17-year-old said. ‘I was like, ‘I’m just going to stick to my roots!’ After sending out her tweet, Samey was flooded with comments on social media, praising her decision.”

“Couldn’t find a man to accept me for prom so I took a college that did #Harvard2021 #prom2k17 💕🙏🏾” — Priscilla Samey on Twitter

Ivy Coach salutes Priscilla Samey for choosing to go to her senior prom with something she is so very proud of — her admission to Harvard. Who needs a date anyway.

A Salute to an American Vet

Ivy Coach is proud to be in the service of some of the brave men and women who serve our nation in uniform. Some years ago, we decided to reserve our pro bono college admissions services exclusively for veterans of the five branches of our American armed forces. While we can’t work with every veteran seeking to earn admission to a highly selective university in the United States, we can take on a few each year. It’s work we are immensely proud of.

American Vet and Ivy League, Ivy League Veterans, Veterans in the Ivy League

Some of the proudest members of our American armed forces are immigrants to our nation.

Today, we’re proud, with his permission, to share a bit of the story of an extraordinary young man, William Wang, who has earned admission to the University of Pennsylvania. An American immigrant from China, William has served as a mechanic in the United States Army — charged with fixing Humvees and other military-use vehicles. Many of these vehicles have protected our American soldiers in the Asia-Pacific region in particular. At the University of Pennsylvania, William looks forward to studying the political science of the very region the military-use vehicles he repaired have been deployed.

On a more personal note, William is one of the kindest and most respectful young men we’ve ever had the opportunity to work with at Ivy Coach. We literally had to nudge him dozens of times just to try — unsuccessfully we might add — to encourage him to not say “Mr.” and “Sir” at the beginning and end of every sentence. It’s who he is. We at Ivy Coach congratulate William on earning admission to one of the finest universities in the world. We are grateful to William for his service in our military and we’re so very excited about his news.

International MBA Applicant Numbers

International MBA Applicant, MBA Applicants, MBA Admission

There’s a piece up on “Bloomberg” on international MBA applicant numbers to U.S. MBA programs.

There was an article up on “Bloomberg” recently by Nick Leiber that focuses on how many students from outside of the United States are leaning against applying to MBA programs. But while the title of the piece, “How The ‘Trump Effect’ Is Driving Foreign Students Away From U.S. B-Schools” seems to apply that international applications are down at business schools across the board, know that this just isn’t the case. It’s not true at the highly selective MBA programs.

Indeed, as stated in Leiber’s piece, “The most prestigious of the 700-plus American B-schools are unlikely to be significantly affected, but lower-ranked institutions could suffer, says Chioma Isiadinso…Many lesser-known schools are highly dependent on tuition from international students, she says, and the prospect of a decline in their numbers ‘is keeping deans and admissions directors up at night.'” Ms. Isiadinso is absolutely spot on. There are hundreds of graduate business programs but there are not hundreds of good graduate business programs. And there are only a handful (or two) of great MBA programs. And as we’ve stated on the pages of this blog ever since President Trump was leading the Republican primary, we did not then — nor do we now — anticipate that international applications will decline at these highly selective schools. Not for undergraduate admission. Not for MBA admission.

The very best students in the world will still wish to earn admission to and attend the very best business programs in the world. And the very best MBA programs in the world are right here in the United States — in places like Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Palo Alto, California, Hanover, New Hampshire, Durham, North Carolina, and more.

Thinking of applying for MBA admission? Ivy Coach helps students each and every year earn admission to the top MBA programs in each of the three MBA rounds so contact us today to get started.

Tough College Waitlists

College Waitlists, College Waiting Lists, Tough University Waitlists

“US News & World Report” has released data on college waitlists from the 2015-2016 admissions cycle.

Waitlist data is difficult to ascertain but “US News & World Report” has come out with some 2015-2016 data on college waitlists for some universities where it was particularly hard to get out of limbo. Before our readers start writing in questioning these statistics (we know you well!), let’s reiterate that the “US News & World Report” data is from the 2015-2016 cycle. As we said, it’s difficult to aggregate this data so the numbers that do come out can often be a couple of years behind.

So, for the 2015-2016 academic year, which selective and highly selective universities waitlisted lots of students but in the end didn’t admit any of them? Look no further than Lehigh University. Lehigh University waitlisted 1,847 applicants that year. And how many of those 1,847 applicants earned admission off their waitlist? A big fat zero. That’s right. Zero. At the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, 1,601 students were placed in limbo. None of them earned admission either. Stanford University waitlisted 927 students that year but also did not turn to its waitlist. Tulane University waitlisted 921 students and admitted zero from the list. University of Notre Dame placed 869 students in limbo but didn’t offer any of them a slot in the incoming class. Same goes for the California Institute of Technology. Caltech waitlisted 429 students that cycle but didn’t give a single one of these waitlisted students a chance to enroll.

Schools waitlist students as a safety net. Regardless of past data, a university never knows for sure what its yield will ultimately be. So we don’t fault schools for not turning to their waitlists. As but one example, Dartmouth had its highest yield in a quarter of a century this admissions cycle. The school could not have anticipated this news. But we do ask these schools…is it really necessary to waitlist so many students when they end up admitting zero? Maybe — just maybe — they should be waitlisting a smaller pool so as not to offer applicants any false hope. Who is with us?

1 2 3 246