The Ivy Coach Daily

June 13, 2021

5 Things Parents of Rising Seniors Say That Make Us Want to Scream

Many parents of rising seniors think the cake is baked. It’s not yet baked. Heck, the eggs are still raw (photo credit: Namkota).

At this time every year, parents of rising seniors come to us and we fill them in on the pathway to working with Ivy Coach, which begins with our one-hour evaluation. During free consultations designed to answer any questions parents might have about our services, we’ve noticed that some parents — particularly at this time of year — tend to say a few things that, well, make us want to scream. And why? Because the parents are saying something they know to be true which, well, isn’t true. Yet we often don’t have the energy or interest in convincing them otherwise. So we figured we’d share with our readers some of these common sayings from parents of rising seniors that inspire our eyes to do back flips.

1. My child’s courses are what they are. He has taken the most rigorous courses the high school he attends offers so there’s nothing we need help with on this front. Oh? Then why are you contacting us if you know you’ve made no mistakes with coursework? Yes, we help students with their entire applications, including their essays, but if they’re not in the right senior year coursework — and they’re probably not — or if they didn’t take a class they should have taken during a prior year, those great applications are meaningless. And, no, it doesn’t matter if a student has maxed out on what is offered at his school. Particularly in the age of online learning, America’s elite universities love students who go above and beyond what their high school happens to offer.

2. My child is applying Early to Harvard. You need to know that beforehand because I don’t want you suggesting during the evaluation that Harvard is out of reach. I want you giving advice on how my daughter can get into Harvard. Oh, bossypants. We won’t be scheduling that evaluation with you because we can’t offer advice on how your daughter can get into Harvard when we know she can’t get into Harvard. We don’t tell parents and students what they wish to hear. We tell them what they need to hear. Sugarcoating is antithetical to Ivy Coach’s approach. We tell it like it is. During this evaluation, you’ll find out what your daughter’s Early strategy should be — not what you’re telling us it is beforehand. If you want to go on trial for murder and not listen to your lawyer to take the stand to testify in your own defense, go right ahead. But you’re not going on trial with us. Good day!

3. It’s too late to help my child showcase a hook. It’s too late to help her get involved in activities that reflect the wonderfully weird singular interest you speak of. Oh, it’s not too late. These are activities she can get involved in before the end of the school year and during the summer. These are activities she can participate in over senior year. These are activities that constitute the basis of college admissions essays which she’ll be writing this summer. It’s only too late in your own head. Would it have been better if you came to us years before? Of course. But there is still a tremendous opportunity to correct such mistakes and to help a student demonstrate a singular hook.

4. If I don’t work with you beyond the one-hour evaluation because your fees are out of my range, there is no point in the evaluation. Oh, not so. You come away with a roadmap for how your child should navigate the highly selective college admissions process from this session. So if you go it alone, at least you’ll be approaching the process armed with this game plan. And if you go with another college counselor who gives you advice that doesn’t make all that much sense, at least you’ll know why it doesn’t make all that much sense from Ivy Coach’s evaluation.

5. My son doesn’t want outside help. He won’t talk to me. We’re getting in fights just about every day about the college admissions process. So I don’t think I can hire a private college consultant since he won’t listen anyway. Oh, he’ll listen. Lock him in the room for the evaluation. He’ll listen. At Ivy Coach, we joke that we prevent murder. When parents and students hear from an objective source how to navigate elite college admissions, they get it. When a student hears from a parent how to navigate elite college admissions, he knows that some of what his parent is saying isn’t right. And vice versa. We serve as a necessary intermediary and we save a whole lot of money on broken door frames from all that teenage angst.

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