Visiting colleges is a rite of passage for high school students and their parents across America. It’s one of those distinctly American traditions — like sweet sixteens, proms, and Fourth of July barbecues. Maybe a father and daughter will hit the road and knock off several schools in the New England area in just a few days before they hop on a flight to Chicago to knock out Northwestern and the University of Chicago. Or maybe they’ll spread their college visits out over the course of the student’s sophomore and junior years, to really take their time with things and soak it all in. Everyone does it a little differently. But whether you take several road trips with your mom or dad or knock lots of schools out over a long vacation, let’s also not forget that these college visits, this rite of passage, is a bonding experience between children and their parents.
Visiting Colleges by Private Jet
As our regular readers likely know, we aren’t exactly known at Ivy Coach for our inexpensive fees. Our clients, well, let’s just say most could afford a private jet service to take them around to visit college campuses. Heck, some of our clients have private jets of their own. But would it surprise our readers to know that we stand firmly against such private jet programs? As Paul Sullivan writes in today’s “Wealth Matters” column of “The New York Times” entitled “Taking the College Tour by Private Jet,” “Students need to present themselves as likable, said Brian Taylor, managing director of Ivy Coach, a New York consulting firm, and college hopping by private jet may not be the best strategy. He suggested that students spend the money instead on preparing early in high school and then honing their college applications.” That’s right.
Visiting Colleges by Private Jet is Lame
For starters, if a private jet program suggests that they’ll introduce you to the admissions team (as some do), we suggest you run, run really fast, and run for the nearest set of hills. One of our core tasks as a private college consultant is to help make our students likable, to inspire admissions officers to root for our students. Do you think an admissions officer would be inclined to root for a young person whose mom or dad enlisted a private jet service to fly them to colleges? At Ivy Coach, we work exclusively behind the scenes. We do not interface on our students’ behalf with admissions officers. If a private jet service is setting up meetings with admissions officers, well, yikes!
But these private jet services are also totally unnecessary. There’s no reason a student can’t hop in the car with mom or dad (or both!) and visit schools. Sure, maybe they’ll have to book a flight to knock out a few schools that are outside driving range. But a private jet service? Please. This is our favorite bit in the “Wealth Matters” piece: “On their return to the plane, Magellan [a private jet service] provides notebooks from each college so students can write down their thoughts. The company then binds their notes in a book at the end of the trip.” Notebooks! And binding! Wow. That must be one fancy bound notebook. While our clients may pay a steep fee for our service, our service actually optimizes their case for admission to highly selective universities. A private jet service? Well, you get some nicely bound notebooks. And what parents and their children don’t get is to experience that rite of passage together. It’s just not the same on a fancy private jet — even if a parent chooses to go along too for the added fee.
While you’re here, we found a nice video up on YouTube on how to bind notebooks all by yourself! Bye, Felicia.