We Push College Choices Both Up and Down

Students don’t work with us at Ivy Coach to earn admission to safety schools. That would defy logic. Rather, parents pay our fees so their children can earn admission to reach schools.

Some folks — who are expressly not our clients — like to suggest that our students at Ivy Coach so often earn admission to their dream colleges because we push down their college choices. If their dream is Dartmouth College, as an example, it seems these folks are asserting that we let them know that they can’t get into Dartmouth and should instead consider Nassau Community College. But does that make any sense whatsoever? Of course not! Our clients would not be paying our steep fees to help them get into schools that aren’t extremely competitive. In fact, the vast majority of students who enlist Ivy Coach’s services are seeking to earn admission to Ivy League colleges and other highly selective institutions like Stanford University, Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the California Institute of Technology, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis, Amherst College, Williams College, and a select set of others.

Now, do we push some students down on occasion? You bet. If a student’s dream is Harvard University and the student has a slew of B grades and a C+, we’re going to give that student some tough medicine — as we should. After all, we don’t want that student wasting his valuable Early card on a school at which he’s eliminated from contention before even applying. We want him to use his Early card wisely by applying to a reach school but not an impossible reach. If a student has an impossible dream, we will be the first to tell that student it’s not a possibility so that they hear the news from us rather than from the school after they not only don’t get in but after they’ve wasted their valuable Early card that could have been used much more wisely.

But it may surprise families who are not our clients to know that we push the choices of our students up even more than we push them down. As an example, a couple of years ago, we had a student whose dream was the University of Michigan. He wore a Michigan sweatshirt. He could cite all members of the Fab Five — even the two who didn’t become NBA stars. And while we agreed to help him with his candidacy to UMichigan, we encouraged him to apply Early Decision to Duke. So if he were to get into Duke, a tougher school to get into than UMichigan, he would be bound to go — even if he got into UMichigan which he was allowed to apply to as well by November 1st since Duke allows its ED applicants to submit applications to any public universities as well. The student got into Duke. He then promptly withdrew his UMichigan application since he was bound to go to Duke and he didn’t want to take away a slot from a deserving student applying to UMichigan.

So do we push some students down? Yes, as we should! We give them their medicine. But we push many more students up — as we should, too. We give it to our students and their parents straight. No sugarcoating. It’s been our style for over a quarter of a century. It’s a key ingredient of our secret sauce.

 
 

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