The Ivy Coach Daily

September 30, 2020

A Word on Good Private College Counselors

A CNBC piece features a rather alarming quote from a private college counselor — if you ask us.

On free consultations with prospective clients, we’re sometimes asked, “Do you have connections with admissions officers?” Our answer? “No, we most certainly do not. We hire former admissions officers as consultants from time to time. But we most certainly do not have connections with admissions officers. And if any private college counselor should suggest that they do have connections with admissions officers, we encourage you to run, run fast, and run for the hills.” You see, the best private college counselors work exclusively behind the scenes. They don’t interface with school counselors, admissions officers, teachers, or anyone at all other than the parent(s) and student. And why? Because the task of a private college counselor, in our book, is to help a student earn admission to the best school possible. To accomplish this feat, it’s necessary to inspire admissions officers to want to root for that student. So why exactly would you wish to boast of working with a college counselor? Or why would you want your college counselor to boast about working with you? That would make absolutely no sense.

A Private College Counselor’s Loose Lips

And so we were rather disheartened to read the following in a CNBC piece authored this week by Jessica Dickler. Note we’ve redacted the private college counselor’s name so as not to embarrass him: “[The college counselor] said his office has been inundated with calls from eager applicants. ’We’re seeing a record-breaking number of students applying as transfer students to their dream schools,’ he said. ’We have twins who are currently at Northeastern who are interested in transferring to Stanford and students from Lehigh who are aiming to get into their dream school, University of Pennsylvania.’” For the first time, even students in their junior year are considering a switch, [the college counselor] said. ’I have never seen this.’”

Loose Lips Can Sink Ships

Anyone catch anything strange? We did! Why oh why would this private college counselor say that his company is working with “twins who are currently at Northeastern who are interested in transferring to Stanford”? Good god! How many twins from Northeastern will likely be applying as transfers to Stanford this year? Likely not too many. By stating as much to the press, this private college counselor essentially alerted Stanford’s admissions office that twins from Northeastern are applying to Stanford as transfers this year with the help of a private college counselor. Oy vey.

We Don’t Speak About Our Students Navigating the Admissions Process to the Press

We are regularly asked by media outlets if any of our students would be interested in being quoted in their stories on college admissions. And do you know what we tell them? Absolutely not. It’s out of the question. We would never allow our students to put themselves out there in the press as they navigate the admissions process and we’re certainly not going to tell the press that a set of twins from a certain school are applying to a certain other school as transfers. That wouldn’t help their case for admission one bit. So when we come across a private college counselor who volunteers that he’s working with twins at Northeastern who are applying this year to Stanford as transfers, well, we’d be pretty upset if we were the parents of those twins.

We have no ill will towards this private college counselor. It’s why we chose to redact his name. He seems like a nice person. He’s on CNBC quite a bit. He may have just made an honest mistake. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

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