10 of the Silliest Things Parents of College Applicants Say

Parents of College Applicants, Crazy Parents in Admissions, Admissions Process and Parents

Parents of college applicants often say the strangest things (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

We’ve been in business for over a quarter of a century. As you can likely imagine, we’ve thus heard some parents of college applicants and college applicants themselves say some outlandish things over the years. Most of these students and parents say such things during free consultations; they typically do not become our clients. You see, we are selective with the families we choose to work with since our work can span years. And who wants to work with crazy, right? Anyhow, here are 10 of the craziest things we’ve heard parents of college applicants say over the years and below each item, in italics, is what’s going on inside our heads when we hear such ridiculousness.

10. My daughter isn’t applying Early. The Early round is filled with legacies and recruited athletes. There’s no advantage in applying Early. The statistics are entirely misleading.

There’s an absolute advantage in applying Early. The statistics are not misleading one bit. Are there legacies and recruited athletes in the Early round? Yes. But by that same logic, there are low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students in the Regular round. So how exactly is the Regular round less competitive? Nonsense!

9. My son is a three-sport athlete. Colleges are going to appreciate his commitment to athletics and his leadership, even though he’s not being recruited for any of these sports.

If a student can’t help a college’s athletic teams, the applicant’s participation in those sports during high school does not in any way serve the college. Rather, such participation only serves to render the student well-rounded. Highly selective colleges do not seek well-rounded students.

8. I was speaking with an admissions officer the other day about my daughter and…

Parents should not be communicating with admissions officers. Yikes!

7. My daughter has demonstrated her commitment to community service by going on a mission trip to Nicaragua.

Mission trips convey (1) privilege and (2) the belief that going on such a fancy trip will lead admissions officers to think your child is a good person. It’s like you’re trying too hard to impress admissions officers.

6. I want a guarantee that my child will earn admission to his top choice college.

Oh? Do you? [Click].

5. I’ve gone through this process with two of my older children and both got into great schools. One is at Boston College and one is at Bates College.

Then why do you need us if you’re under the impression you have all the answers? [Click].

4. My son’s high school counselor is excellent. I’m not sure I need a college consultant.

If you feel that way, we’re not going to try to convince you otherwise.

3. Two U.S. senators will be sending in letters of recommendation for my son. This will heavily impact his admission.

Yes, yes it will. But likely not the way you think…

2. I told an admissions officer that my family would be willing to donate $500,000 to the college.

You tried to bribe an admissions officer? How do you think that’ll play out?

1. My daughter is very precocious. We’d like to get her started with your college counseling services. She’s a rising pre-schooler.

Call back in a decade.


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