The Ivy Coach Daily

July 25, 2019

Seniors Can Still Fix Mistakes Before Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines, Rising Seniors, Seniors and College Deadlines
We are only interested in taking on rising seniors around this time of year if they’re open to fixing the mistakes that can still be corrected before application deadlines. If they’re not open to fixing the mistakes that can still be corrected, we’re simply not the right fit. And we’re not shy to say it.

Our one-hour evaluation is the first step in our college admissions advising. But whether students and their parents work with us beyond the one-hour evaluation or not, they’ll come away with invaluable advice from that one-hour session alone. Of course, their success will come down to the execution of the strategy we lay out for them — which is a big part of our secret sauce — but at least they’ll have the game plan. At least they’ll know to think twice when their school counselor recommends they write about their involvement in speech and debate as the basis for their Personal Statement. At least they’ll know they shouldn’t be taking AP Statistics in lieu of a math course as a senior even if their school’s math department or counseling office suggested otherwise.

Our Frustration with Some Rising Seniors Who Are Not Our Clients

One frustration we have with rising seniors and their parents around this time of year — students and parents who are not our clients but are rather first inquiring about our services — is that they think they only need help with certain things and the rest is already all set in stone. As an example, a line we often hear from rising seniors during free consultations about our services around this time every year goes like this: “I know that your one-hour evaluation focuses on correcting mistakes in my coursework and the presentation of my testing. And I know it focuses on helping me find a hook and showcasing that hook through my activities and storytelling in my essays. But I only need help with my essays. My courses and testing are set. So can we just focus on that?” The answer is no.

Rising Seniors Can Still Fix Some, Though Not All Mistakes

You see, it would be easy for us to say yes but that answer will not serve the prospective client. As an example, if a student has an outstanding hook and fantastic storytelling in their essays but failed to continue with their Spanish as a senior, well, that student has created quite the obstacle for herself. Highly selective colleges, including the Ivy League colleges, do not want to see students dropping their foreign language as seniors. It demonstrates a lack of intellectual curiosity. It demonstrates a lack of rigor in the senior year coursework. And, no, one can’t replace the last year of foreign language by doubling up in a science. Students should have foreign language as seniors.

The point of this story is that everything is not set in stone for rising seniors. Are there some things that aren’t correctable at this late date? Of course, lots! But there is much that still can be corrected and if students and their parents aren’t open to hearing what can still be fixed, we’re not interested in telling them. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” No, no you can’t. Of course, of course.

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