Every now and then, a parent during a free consultation asks, “What kind of relationships do you have with college admissions officers at the colleges my child will be applying to?” We usually take a deep breath in and exhale before answering this ridiculous question from a know-it-all parent. And it is a ridiculous question (and it does typically come from a know-it-all parent) because no college consultant worth his or her salt should be boasting about relationships with colleges and/or college admissions officers. And exactly why not?
We Hire Folks Who Previously Worked in Admissions
At Ivy Coach, we hire folks who’ve worked in admissions at our nation’s elite universities. Indeed we retrain these folks extensively. You see, just because you’ve worked in the admissions office of an elite university doesn’t mean you know how to beat that system at its own game. Sometimes these very folks we’re considering hiring are so brainwashed by that system that they don’t know what’s real and what’s, well, not. Sure, an admissions officer may tout that a school is need-blind at info sessions, but highly selective colleges are not truly need-blind. They’re need-aware. If after some discussions (it usually only takes one!) these former admissions officers aren’t seeing the light, you can bet they won’t be working at Ivy Coach. But note these are folks who formerly worked in admissions at elite universities.
We do not employ folks who currently work in admissions. That would be nuts. If a private college consultant suggests that he or she has folks working on the inside, putting the applications of clients into the admit pile, we suggest you run, run fast, and run for the nearest set of hills. Oh — and keep running even then! Frankly, it’d also be against the law since universities, even private ones, receive government subsidies. Bribing admissions officers would, at least in our view, be a violation of law.
We Work Exclusively Behind the Scenes
After we tell these parents that we most certainly do not have connections with folks in admissions and after we explain how such a scenario would be outlandish, they often reply, “That’s not what I mean. What I mean is…do you lobby admissions officers to admit your students? That’s the kind of connection I mean.” Oy vey! Let’s say that three times for good measure. Oy vey, oy vey, oy vey. No we do not lobby admissions officers to admit our clients. In fact, if admissions officers knew they were working with us — or working with any private college consultant — it would hurt that student’s case for admission.
You see, a very high percentage of students work with private college consultants (an even greater percentage than you think!) but the ones who are good — and they are few and far between — leave absolutely no fingerprint on a student’s application. Admissions officers won’t ever know the student had help. Admissions officers won’t ever know how much their parents paid to optimize their case for admission. Because if admissions officers did know, if college consultants did leave a fingerprint (and bad college consultants sure do!), admissions officers aren’t going to go to bat for that student. It’s not going to inspire them to root for them. The reason our students at Ivy Coach so often earn admission to their dream schools is because we inspire admissions officers to root for our students. It’s that simple.
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