There is an editorial on the pages of “The Duke Chronicle” that we figured we’d bring to the attention of our reader base. Entitled “Buying your way to the top” and authored by the Editorial Board of “The Duke Chronicle,” the opinion piece focuses on a former hedge fund manager we previously wrote about who has no experience in highly selective college admissions whatsoever but has been earning quite a nice living with his college admissions consulting shingle out in Northern California.
As we’ve written on many occasions, anyone can be a private college consultant. A student who just got into Harvard can claim to be an expert on how to get into highly selective colleges. A parent of a student who got into Harvard whose only experience is needlepoint could claim to be an expert on how to get into highly selective colleges. A hedge fund manager who grew tired of the grind of Wall Street could claim to be an expert on how to get into highly selective colleges. It’s why we strongly urge parents and students to peruse these companies’ websites. Peruse their press section. Are they quoted as experts in the press? Do they have any experience in highly selective college admissions? Are any members of the companies members of NACAC? The Founder of Ivy Coach sure is. A hedge fund manager as your private college counselor? Oy vey. Run.
The Editorial Board of “The Duke Chronicle” writes, “It is no coincidence that Steven Ma, CEO of ThinkTank Learning previously worked in Investment Banking. This reflects the realities of what an Ivy League brand now amounts to: a commodity. Knowing that these proxies of SATs, extracurriculars and grades can be nipped and tucked to appeal to admissions processes, are we receiving the kinds of students we want to have? As the admissions culture continues to accelerate in this direction, more consideration needs to be placed on how we can accept applicants in a more meaningful way.” It’s a fair question. But what would be more interesting is a solution. What changes does the Editorial Board of “The Duke Chronicle” propose? We’re curious to hear their thoughts.
And, while you’re here, read about a talented Duke University student.