The Chinese Obsession with Harvard

Chinese and Harvard, Harvard and Chinese Applicants, Chinese Parents and Harvard

Ivy Coach is featured in an article of “China Daily.”

Ivy Coach has been featured in an article of “China Daily.” We’ve written many times over the years about the Chinese obsession with the Ivy League. A number of our clients hail from China or are Chinese Americans and so we are well aware that Chinese students — and even more so their parents — believe that it’s Ivy League or bust. Sure, Duke University, MIT, Stanford, and Caltech are some of the finest institutions in America. But Chinese parents so often don’t want their children going to schools like Duke. North Carolina? Where’s that? And, actually, the notion that the Chinese are obsessed with the Ivy League is misleading because Chinese parents are not obsessed with all eight Ivy League institutions. Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth? Brown, Princeton, Penn, Yale? No.

Chinese parents are — overwhelmingly — obsessed with Harvard and there is an excellent piece in “China Daily” pointing this out. In the piece by Amy He entitled “Chinese Parents: For some it’s ‘Harvard, Harvard, Harvard,'” He writes, “Some trace that obsession back to 2000 when Harvard University and Liu Yiting became household names across China after Liu’s parents published a book chronicling how their parenting style led to their daughter’s admission to Harvard. Harvard Girl sold millions of copies in China and detailed Liu’s disciplined upbringing and how she became one of the first Chinese undergraduates to attend Harvard on a full scholarship.┬áThe book led to many copycat titles, with different parents trying their hand at detailing their own parenting styles and how it led to their childrens’ admissions to other prestigious higher education institutions.”

The Founder of Ivy Coach, Bev Taylor, is quoted in this article. As the article states: “Bev Taylor, the founder of college counseling service Ivy Coach, works with parents and their children to get them into the schools of their choice. She helped the family whose daughter and son were accepted by Yale and Princeton. ‘They weren’t done. They wanted Harvard. Why it was Harvard? I don’t know. What’s wrong with Princeton, what’s wrong with Yale? And why would you go through that? What’s so different?’ she said. ‘A lot of it is bragging rights so mommy and daddy can say they have one kid at Harvard and one kid at Princeton, instead of saying they have two kids at Princeton.'”

It’s high time that Chinese and Chinese American parents consider schools like Yale and Princeton in addition to Harvard. Heck, maybe even Dartmouth, Columbia, and Brown while they’re at it. But one can’t lead a horse to water so, in the meantime, it’s Harvard or bust.

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