Good private college counselors work behind the scenes. Not in front of the scenes. They’re producers, not actors. During free consultations in which parents and students ask questions about Ivy Coach’s service offerings, we sometimes hear a pair of questions that go something like this: “Will you contact colleges on our behalf? Will you liaise with our school counselor?” The questions are often met by our silence. Maybe a full ten seconds pass before we reply. Sometimes they say, “Are you there? Did we lose you?” They did not lose us. We just don’t get why people would ask such preposterous questions. Of course we don’t contact colleges on behalf of our students. Of course we don’t liaise with our students’ school counselors. We work strictly behind the scenes. And any private college counselor that doesn’t work strictly behind the scenes is a terrible advisor to your child! Terrible.
Good Private College Counselor Work Behind the Scenes
It’s our suspicion that the parents (it’s more often the parents, not the students) who ask these types of questions actually believe that it would behoove them to have a college advisor in their corner who reaches out to admissions officers at our nation’s most highly selective colleges to lobby on their child’s behalf. So we always feel we disappoint them when we tell them the god’s honest truth. But, if that’s the case, we are happy to disappoint. We will always tell the god’s honest truth. In our quarter of a century of being in the college counseling business, we’ve never been accused of not telling it like it is. In fact, we’ve been applauded on the pages of America’s oldest college newspaper, “The Dartmouth,” for telling it like it is. That’s a pat on our own back. We know. But we’re not applying for college admission. So we’re allowed to brag from time to time (college applicants should absolutely never brag!). Deal with it. And if these parents actually hired a college counselor who claimed they’d lobby on their child’s behalf, G-d help them because we are quite confident that their child won’t get into the schools they covet.
Why We Work Behind the Scenes as a Private College Counselor
Our students submit outstanding applications. They submit powerful essays. They show their love for each institution to which they apply. They have singular hooks — never appearing well-rounded. In a word, they’re interesting. But the reason our students so often earn admission to their dream schools is because college admissions officers at our nation’s most elite universities perceive them to be interesting — not us. If these college admissions officers knew that an applicant paid the fees we command in order to help make the student as interesting as can be, well, they wouldn’t be as interested in the student and we wouldn’t be very good at what we do. It doesn’t exactly make a college applicant likable if an admissions officer knows they paid a hefty fee in order to present themselves as the wonderfully weird applicant we’ve helped make them. And a key reason why our students at Ivy Coach so often earn admission to their dream schools is because we help present them as likable.
So if a college advisor suggests they’ll lobby on your child’s behalf, if they suggest they’ll interact with a high school counselor, run. Run fast. Run far. And run for the hills. Oh, and don’t look back. Don’t ever look back.