A private college admissions consultancy is making headlines — and it’s not for good reasons. As we’ve said many times before, in any industry there are good and bad apples. It’s true in real estate. It’s true on Wall Street. It’s true in academia. Private college admissions consulting is no different — there are good and bad apples. A bad one seems to have revealed itself. His name is Mark Zimny (we’ve never previously heard of him). The fact is that there are thousands of private college admissions consultancies and some of them are great, some good, and some just awful. It appears Mark Zimny’s was — without question — awful.
It appears that Mark Zimney, a former lecturer and visiting assistant professor at Harvard University at both the undergraduate school and in the Graduate School of Education, is being sued by a Hong Kong couple for taking over two million dollars from them and promising to funnel it to schools like Harvard and Stanford, so their sons would gain admission to the colleges of their dreams. Zimney allegedly claimed that he had connections with development officers at these universities and for the couple to give the money directly, it just wouldn’t work because of “embedded racism” against Asian applicants. So he had to be “the middleman.”
Parents of college applicants be warned — college admissions consultancies should never serve as middlemen for donations to universities. If you want to make a donation to a university, donate to the university. If any college admissions consultant guarantees your child admission to Harvard if you give them over two million dollars to funnel to a university, turn around and walk away quickly. Mr. Zimny’s unethical practices are a black eye to private college admissions consulting and we hope he never advises another family ever again.