The Ivy Coach Daily
June 19, 2022
The Parent Who Doesn’t Listen to College Admissions Advice
Every several years, we encounter a parent who enlists our services who doesn’t want to hear the advice we have to offer. Maybe the child has several Bs and even a couple of Cs yet the parent’s dream is that her son attends Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Stanford. That student, of course, doesn’t even have a shot in the dark at earning admission to these elite institutions with such grades — and we’re not at all shy to say as much. Because if we don’t say so explicitly, that student will waste his Early card on a school that is an impossible dream and not apply to a school that he just might have earned admission to had he applied Early but will prove all but impossible in the Regular Decision round. This kind of scenario always leaves us scratching our collective heads. Why would a parent pay for our services and not want to hear the advice we have to offer to maximize their child’s chances of admission to the best university possible? Indeed we believe it akin to going on trial for murder and not listening to one’s lawyer. You want to take the stand in your own defense and incriminate yourself? Go right ahead, you have that right.
Often times, we don’t realize a parent isn’t willing to listen to our advice until the conclusion of junior year when we give the student his college list with a recommended Early Decision / Early Action strategy along with an explanation for why certain schools are being chosen — and why certain schools are ruled out. And, often times, these parents (yes, it’s typically the parent rather than the student) will heed our advice on everything else — just ignore our strongly worded suggestions with respect to the college list and Early Decision / Early Action strategy. But, of course, no matter how great an application a student with several Bs and a couple of Cs submits to the likes of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, they’re still not getting in. The Early strategy is ultimately the most important advice we give of all.
So, long story short, don’t enlist a college counselor if you’re not going to heed their advice. If the college counselor tells you until they’re blue in the face that your son isn’t getting into Harvard, it would behoove you to hear them out. They’re likely not telling you that to make you upset. After all, it’s not like it’s fun to share this news. Yet they’re being candid with you so that you hear this from them rather than from Harvard after the child doesn’t get in.
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