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The Ivy Coach Daily

April 25, 2022

High School Counselors Who Won’t Make Advocacy Calls

Waitlisted students must not rest on their laurels.

If your child is a senior who happens to be waitlisted at a highly selective university that he or she very much wishes to attend, the school counselor should absolutely be making an advocacy call on your child’s behalf. Yes, the school counselor should be picking up the phone, dialing the admissions office of the school that has waitlisted your child, and asking to speak with the regional representative. Once the regional rep is on the line, the school counselor should lobby for your child. They should fight for them — and ideally present them in the same way your child portrayed themselves in their Letter of Enthusiasm. Of course, if your child didn’t happen to work with Ivy Coach on a Letter of Enthusiasm, he or she probably made the mistake of bragging and updating the school on all he or she has achieved since first applying all of four months ago. But hopefully not?

In any case, we’re all for a school counselor lobbying for their student. We’re all for that school counselor checking in regularly with the admissions office on behalf of that student (though we are not in favor of the student making any other contacts beyond the Letter of Enthusiasm as that would only risk annoying admissions officers). And so many wonderful high school counselors do make such advocacy calls. So many wonderful high school counselors do fight for their students, particularly the ones they care about most. Over the last three decades, we’ve seen how these advocacy calls work. Heck, the Founder of Ivy Coach, Bev Taylor, placed so many of these advocacy calls over her years as a high school counselor — and witnessed how they so often worked. A Duke University admissions officer once even said the following after admitting one of Bev’s students off the waitlist: “As much as I love hearing from you every day, we’ve offered your student admission off the waitlist so we can each have more time in our days. You can tell the principal and her chemistry and history teachers as much as well. They call every other day!”

This leads us to the lame high school counselors who refuse to make such advocacy calls — and, yes, they are lame. What do we think of these lame high school counselors, you ask? We think they don’t understand their role. We think they don’t understand the highly selective college admissions process. We think they’re entirely lazy, hiding behind the excuse that they don’t want to fight for one of their students over one of their other students. Oh please. They should be fighting for both of their students. That is quite literally their job. They’ll simply have more positive things to say about the student they care about most — and that will shine through to admissions officers. So to those parents who ask their child’s school counselor to make an advocacy call on their child’s behalf only to be met with a refusal, no matter how eloquent their excuse, know you’ve got a lazy high school counselor on your hands who isn’t properly doing their job.

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