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The Ivy Coach Daily

May 29, 2022

The Rubber Stampers in Admissions

It is our policy at Ivy Coach to avoid working with parents whom we deem Rubber Stampers.

There are some parents who come to us each and every year — parents whose children did not work with us through the college admissions process – who want us to look over their child’s application to essentially rubber stamp our approval. They want Ivy Coach to give it our blessing. We will not do so — not now, not ever. It’s not that we won’t look at an application even days before it’s due and let a parent and their child know what’s wrong since some (though surely not all) things can still be fixed in the days before an application deadline. But there’s a difference between a tuneup and a rubber stamp of approval. So how do we know when a parent is looking for our rubber stamp?

That’s easy. Before the session, they send us a bunch of directives of what they want us to relay to their child. Maybe they want us to say that their child has a great shot of getting into Harvard when they in fact do not. Maybe they want us to say that their child’s activities — a mix of volleyball and tennis, FBLA and Key Club — are going to wow admissions officers when they in fact will not. Maybe they want us to say they’ve done everything right when they obviously have not done most things right. In any case, we call these parents The Rubber Stampers and if we sense a parent is a Rubber Stamper, they might be surprised to know we’re not interested in taking them on as clients.

At Ivy Coach, we proudly tell it like it is to parents as well as students. We do not sugarcoat. In our experience, students want to hear the cold, hard truth — even if their parents think they’re not capable of hearing it. They don’t want to be told an untruth simply to save their feelings. Students are smart enough to know that this won’t serve them and it won’t serve their parents. So to The Rubber Stampers out there, if we write that we wish you all the very best with the admissions process, it means we wish to steer clear. We’re selective with the families we choose to work with for a reason and this has served us well for three full decades.

While you’re here, read about ten annoying things prospective clients say during free consultations with us!

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