The Ivy Coach Daily

December 19, 2021

Our Crystal Ball Strikes Again

Some people say they don’t have a crystal ball. But we do at Ivy Coach. And it’s super accurate!

As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know oh so well, we’ve got a very accurate crystal ball at Ivy Coach that regularly offers readings on the college admissions process. Heck, our crystal ball has even been cited on the pages of America’s oldest college newspaper, The Dartmouth. It’s predicted everything from colleges doing away with legacy admission to colleges going test-optional to court decisions on Affirmative Action to spikes and declines in annual applications submitted to our nation’s elite universities. This year, as our readers may recall, our crystal ball issued a forecast that ran counter to the projections of many in the field of highly selective college admissions. And what was that projection? We projected that applications would be sky high this year — but not as high as last year. When so many others — from private college counselors to high school counselors to parents and students around the world — voiced fears that applications would set new record marks, we told people to chill because we didn’t expect new records on the heels of last year’s benchmarks. And it seems our latest crystal ball reading is right on target.

Elite Universities Love to Boast About Application Records in Headlines

You see, when an elite university sets a new application benchmark, that school tends to put out a press release with a headline that reads something like, “Early Applications Surge to All-Time Record, Early Admission Rate Dips to Historic Low.” They don’t hide it. Why would they? A college is a business. A business, naturally, leads with its success. When our students at Ivy Coach all earn admission to a particular Ivy League university in a given year — or to all Ivy League schools in a given year as we have in the past swept all eight Ivies (all admissions, no deferrals and no denials) — you bet we proudly write all about it. America’s elite colleges are no different. They brag — as they have every right to do.

There Are Fewer Headlines About Record Applications So Far This Year

But this year, you’ll note fewer headlines about record levels of applications…at least thus far. As an example, Dartmouth College’s press office led this year’s release with, “Admission Offered to First Members of the Class of 2026.” It was followed by “Dartmouth has allocated a record level of undergraduate scholarship support.” Note there was no reference to record levels of applications. Last year, the press office led with, “Dartmouth Notifies Early Decision Students of Their Admission.” It was followed by “This year saw a record number of early applications, which increased by almost 29%.” And the school newspaper’s headline last year? “Dartmouth admits 566 early decision applicants from largest-ever pool.” Are you getting the idea? For Rice University, this year’s headline in the student newspaper reads, “Rice accepts 440 Early Decision applicants for Class of 2026.” Last year’s? “Record number of students apply for early decision at Rice.” Are you starting to get the idea? We imagine so.

Our Crystal Ball Forecasted Strong Application Numbers, Just Not As Strong As Last Year

The early story this year — as Early Decision / Early Action admissions decisions continue to roll out — is applications are extremely strong, just not as high as last year’s record numbers. And, yes, the irony is not lost on us that elite colleges love to pretend they wish to make the highly selective college admissions process less stressful for all…all as they peddle stress, brag about their skyrocketing application numbers and diminishing admission rates, and essentially serve as bad actors. They pretend they’re all about the college applicants when in fact they’re all about their US News & World Report ranking. Yet the peanut gallery likes to criticize us for adding to the anxiety surrounding the college admissions process. As an example, a hypocritical high school counselor at the trying oh so hard to be posh Derryfield School once wrote in a longwinded diatribe for Forbes, “There are undeniably private educational consultants who prey on the fear and anxiety that families can feel as they navigate admission to college. They market their services with names like Ivy Wise, Ivy Coach and Top Tier Admission that, regardless of how reputable their approach is, immediately hint at what should be valued or aspired to.” Of course, if that were the case, why would we have published our forecasts that we did not expect record applications this admissions cycle? How does publishing such a projection in any way serve our bottom line? Crickets. The fact is, we tell it like it is — whether it serves our bottom line or not. We always have.

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