Private college admissions consulting is in the news. There’s an editorial in “The NY Post” written by Lacy Crawford, a former private college admissions consultant, who says that she’s worked as a private college admissions counselor for fifteen years. She boasts of working with some very wealthy families in Manhattan, including the children of legacies of Ivy League colleges and the children of parents whose friends are members of the Board of Trustees at Ivy League schools. In the piece, Ms. Crawford shares some funny anecdotes about former students as well as about her role in their lives. We thought we’d share for our readers some of these juicy tidbits.
Ms. Crawford shares the story of a mother who insisted that her son identify as black on his college application. Why? Because her ex-husband lived for four years in Senegal. Naturally because the man lived in a nation on the African continent, he’s black, right? Apparently, this mother got her wish and the young man submitted his application self-identifying as black. Needless to say, he did not gain admission. Ms. Crawford also shares a tidbit that is fairly well known in the Ivy League admissions community — that when members of the Board of Trustees are asked to write recommendation letters on behalf of students who they don’t actually feel strongly about but are instead being pressured into supporting for “social reasons,” they refer to the student as Mr. or Miss in the letter (instead of using the student’s first name).
We at Ivy Coach have never heard of Lacy Crawford before but the stories she shares we’ve experienced, too. The only thing is — we’ve been around as a private college admissions consulting practice for over 20 years — and in all of our years we’ve observed that our business tends not to be a word of mouth business, as Ms. Crawford states. Parents don’t want to tell other parents that their child had help in the highly selective college admissions process from a private college admissions consultant. But we know we’ve done great work when we always get the next sibling as a client. So, needless to say, we’re a little skeptical of some things written in this piece but it makes for good stories nonetheless!