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The Ivy Coach Daily

December 8, 2011

College Admissions Decision

If your guidance counselor is smiling at you today, it might be because she knows something about your college admissions decision. Find out how (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

As you await your college admissions decision or decisions from your Early Decision or Early Action school(s), know that there’s a possibility that your guidance counselor already knows the outcome of your admissions decision. How’s that? Well, just because you don’t know doesn’t mean that your guidance counselor doesn’t know. Each admissions season, college admissions counselors talk to high school guidance counselors. Do they talk to all high school guidance counselors? Definitely not. Do they talk to most? No. But many schools – particularly private schools that often feed a number of students each year into certain highly selective universities – have relationships with admissions offices because of their shared histories.

When a private high school has fifteen students apply to Yale and, after reviewing all of the applications, the Yale admissions office has granted 0/15 admission, then Yale has to do a little PR. First, they often contact the school – typically the person they have the best relationship with at the high school. Then, they’ll tell them the preliminary outcome. While the decisions aren’t set in stone at this point, they’ll go over the decisions with them and give the counselors an opportunity to advocate for one student or another. In fact, these calls are known as “advocacy calls” by high school counselors. Again, keep in mind that many – in fact most – high school counselors don’t take the opportunity to advocate for students because they don’t in fact have relationships with admissions counselors.

So if your high school guidance counselor is smiling at you in the hallway today, know that there might be something behind that. High school guidance counselors are people, too! They share in your excitement. But don’t read too much into these facial expressions. You’ll find out your college admissions decision soon enough!

Check out this post on Early Decision Admissions.

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