We’ve been in the private college counseling business for a quarter of a century. Needless to say, folks have asked us quite a few ridiculous questions over the years. What can we say — we bring out the crazies. Most of these questions occur during free consultations which are designed for folks to ask us questions about our service offerings. Our little secret is that they’re also designed for us to weed out the crazies. So what are 10 ridiculous things people ask private college counselors? You’re in for a treat. And we’re in for some therapy. So here are the musings of Ivy Coach:
Ivy Coach’s Top 10 List of Ridiculous Things People Ask Private College Counselors
10. Mother: “My son is remarkable. He has a 4.7 GPA in all honors courses. The school doesn’t even weight so that extra .7 speaks to his moral character. He has a perfect SAT score. We all just knew he was gifted from birth. His obstetrician said so. We agreed.” […15 minutes pass and we’ve baked an apple pie while on mute]. Ivy Coach: “So what’s your question?”
9. Father: “My daughter has a 1250 SAT score with mostly B’s, one or two A’s. I’ve read about your reputation. Can you guarantee her admission to Harvard? She belongs there.” […Radio silence]. Father: “Hello?” Ivy Coach: “Sorry, you have the wrong number.”
8. Mother: “I’m curious to learn about your fees and how your business works.” Ivy Coach: “Certainly. What grade is your child currently in?” […Pause]. Ivy Coach: “Hello?” Mother: “He’s in 10th grade.” Ivy Coach: “What school does he go to? What does he like to do? Can you tell me about him?” […Pause]. Mother: “I’m just curious to learn your fees and how your business works.” Ivy Coach: “Are you a private college consultant looking to learn about our business? I see your name is listed as an advisor on a college counseling site.” […Click].
7. Mother: “I read your college admissions blog every day as both of my children were going through the admissions process, which was years ago. I still read it regularly to keep informed on college admissions.” Ivy Coach: “Thank you! Why?”
6. Mother: “I’m calling to purchase a handbag.” Ivy Coach: “A handbag?” Mother: “Yes, a handbag. This is Coach, yes?”
5. Assistant: “Do you have experience working with monarchs?” Ivy Coach: “Indeed we do. We’ve worked with quite a few members of royal families over the years. We worked with an H.H. just last year.” Assistant: “H.H.?” Ivy Coach: “His highness.” Assistant: “I have another H.H. for you.”
4. Ivy Coach: “…Terrific. Just email us a few dates and times that work for you to set up a free consultation call to answer questions you may have about our services.” Father: “No, I would like to come meet you in person.” Ivy Coach: “We actually don’t meet with students and parents in person. We haven’t done so for years. We work exclusively via Skype, FaceTime, phone, and email.” Father: “I’m on my way to your offices for the consultation.” Ivy Coach: “No biscuits, no biscuits! We don’t serve biscuits!”
3. Father: “We are in the market for a college consultant. We’ve spoken to six or seven already with a few more planned. We wish to know what differentiates you.” Ivy Coach: “It’s a fair question but do you go into Chinese restaurants and tell the hostess you’re shopping for dinner options that evening, that you’re debating between pasta, sushi, vegan, and Thai?” Father: “No.” Ivy Coach: “Then why tell us you’re shopping so many?”
2. Mother: “My daughter is precocious. She is certainly the smartest individual in her class. Her father and I both went to Harvard. We believe she will end up at Harvard too but we want to ensure we do everything we can as parents to make this happen for her.” Ivy Coach: “We understand. What year is she?” Mother: “She’ll be going into kindergarten in fall of 2018. Ivy Coach (not surprised): “In that case, we recommend Stephanie Sigal of Say and Play Family as she’s an expert at kindergarten admission.”
1. Mother: “I haven’t received my handbag.”
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