We came across an article recently in which a high school counselor writes about how he often works jointly with private college counselors. He speaks with his students’ private college counselors on the phone. They discuss Early Decision / Early Action strategies for a student. They discuss the student’s strengths and weaknesses. You get the idea. While reading this piece, we couldn’t help but think that this was rather unwise. At Ivy Coach, we work exclusively behind the scenes. Because we’re good at what we do, school counselors don’t know that we are helping our students. And colleges don’t know either. Think about it like this: if your school counselor knows that your child is working with a private college counselor, that means that this could theoretically end up in his or her letter of recommendation. Which is the last thing that you want. And that’s why we think it’s rather unwise for any private college counselor to ever interact with a school counselor. We always encourage our students to never contradict what their school counselors say, even if they’re wrong. Basically, follow our advice (and not theirs if they’re wrong about certain issues) but don’t let school counselors know you’re doing so.
There is a reason that parents and students seek out private college counselors. High school counselors aren’t necessarily experts on college admissions. In fact, few are. In many cases, they have caseloads of hundreds of students. And they’ve got so many other responsibilities as well that don’t include helping your child gain admission to a highly selective college. But any good private college counselor — and many are not good! — works behind the scenes. A college admissions officer at a highly selective college isn’t going to root for the student who quite evidently had the help of a private college counselor. And, sometimes, it’s quite obvious. There’s a reason that Ivy Coach has been helping students gain admission to their dream colleges for as many years as we have. Admissions officers don’t know who worked with us. They’d never know. And high school counselors shouldn’t know either. Because who wants to run the risk of what this school counselor will communicate with the admissions offices at highly selective colleges?
If a private college counselor boasts of having strong relationships with high school counselors, run. Run fast. And run for the hills. Because whether you work with Ivy Coach or not, you want your private college counselor to be working exclusively behind the scenes. It’s what we do best and we’ve been doing it this way for a quarter century.
Be sure to check out this infographic we made on the benefits of private college counselors.