The Ivy Coach Daily

December 9, 2019

Top 10 Ridiculous Things Parents Say After College Deferrals or Rejections

Deferred Students, Rejected Students, Early Decision Rejection
Parents of deferred or denied college applicants — parents who are not our clients — often say the darndest things (photo credit: Derrick Smith).

As many students learn of their Early Action / Early Decision admissions decisions over the coming days, we figured we’d share with our readers the top ten most ludicrous lines we hear the parents of students who were deferred or denied admission in the Early round say. To be clear, these are parents who first approach us after their children are deferred or denied admission. They were not previously our clients. Rather, they’re coming to us so that their children will not make the same mistakes in the Regular Decision round that they made in the Early Action / Early Decision round. So what are some of the most ludicrous, outrageous things these parents say? Wonder no more.

10 Things Never To Say When Your Child is Deferred or Denied Early Admission

10. My daughter is Caucasian and middle class. She likely didn’t get in because she’s white and not low-income or super rich. Riiight. Because white middle class females don’t earn admission to America’s highly selective colleges. Of course they do! Highly selective colleges boast lots and lots of white, middle class young women. Just because your daughter didn’t get in, don’t blame it on her race or socioeconomic status.

9. I’ve heard it’s misleading that it’s easier to get in during the Early round as compared to Regular Decision because of all the legacies, development cases, and recruited athletes who apply Early. While you’re right that legacies, development cases, and recruited athletes do apply Early, the odds are still so much stronger when a student shows their love for a school by applying Early. Besides, if the argument is that the Early round is filled with legacies, development cases, and recruited athletes, then the Regular round — by that logic — is brimming with underrepresented minorities, low-income students, first-generation college students, and more. So how exactly will it be easier to get in during the Regular round? It won’t be!

8. The college admissions process is a sham. If one doesn’t bribe an athletic coach or hire a proctor to fill out the SAT for them, one doesn’t have a chance of getting in. Ridiculous! The college admissions process is an imperfect system. It always has been. In fact, it’s been less perfect. There was a time when schools like Harvard used quotas to limit the number of Jewish admits. Of course, Asian Americans continue to face discrimination in admissions — though not through quotas. But, despite your sour grapes, the college admissions process is not a sham and in spite of all the news coverage about the illegal lengths a select set of parents went to get their children into schools like USC, there are lots and lots of not only legal but ethical ways to beat an unfair system at an unfair game…the right way. As an example, one of the ways our students beat an unfair system at an unfair game is by not presenting well-roundedness. Our students are not students who excel in sports, music, and community service. Our students showcase a singular hook. They dare admissions officers not to admit a student who is going to change the world in one super specific, often small way.

7. My son was denied by Cornell in the Early round. Among his Regular Decision schools are: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford…Oy vey! If your son didn’t get into Cornell after committing to attend if offered admission, he is highly unlikely to earn admission to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford in the Regular Decision round. If you want to have 1-2 of these schools on the RD list just so you never have to wonder throughout the rest of your life if he could have gotten in, by all means. But he should instead be focusing on reach schools that he just might be able to get into RD. It’s time to get real.

6. My daughter is very stubborn. She wants to do everything herself. I don’t think I can convince her to use a private college consultant. Well, how did that work out for her in the Early round and why exactly are you calling us then? Yes, we said it.

5. My son applied to Dartmouth this year because there was a student who had lower grades and lower scores who got in last year. So we just assumed he’d get in, too. Oy vey. Admission to Dartmouth — or any highly selective university — is about more than just grades and test scores. And never base any decision in admissions on incomplete anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is often the exception, not the rule.

4. After that psychopath in California who purported to be a college counselor bribed college coaches and helped his students cheat on the SAT, I’m scared to enlist the services of a college counselor. Can you talk me through that? If you want your child to be a great pianist, you hire a great piano teacher. If you want your child to be a great swimmer, you put him on a team with a great swim coach. If you want your child to earn admission to the best university possible, you hire a great college counselor. And, no, great college counselors don’t bribe athletic coaches or help students cheat on the SAT. There are lots and lots of ways to beat un unfair system legally — and ethically. We’ve been helping our students and their parents do just that for over a quarter of a century.

3. Your Postmortem Evaluation sounds like just the thing my son needs. I’ll get back to you in a week. Oy vey! No! Don’t get back to us in a week. In a week, you’ll have wasted so many days that should have been devoted entirely to fixing mistakes from the Early round for Regular Decision schools. If you want to do the Postmortem Evaluation, the time to act is now.

2. My daughter was deferred and she’s already sent in a family photo album to the admissions office. She also sent in a letter, a box of home-baked chocolate chip cookies, two additional letters of recommendation, and a year’s supply of toothbrushes. My wife is a dentist. We’ll leave that one there.

1. It’s too late to fix my son’s case for admission. His cake is baked. That’s so not true. While there will indeed be some mistakes that are no longer correctable in mid-December for the Regular Decision round, many mistakes can absolutely still be corrected. How a student tells his story, how he presents his activities, how he tailors his supplemental essays to each school to which he’s applying, and so much more is still very much within his control. This can all absolutely still be changed before January 1st. And if he didn’t get in Early, there are of course opportunities for significant improvement.

If your child was deferred or denied admission, fill out Ivy Coach’s free consult form and indicate whether your child was deferred or denied at the bottom. We’ll then be in touch to lay out the best go forward strategy and set up a free consultation to learn about our services for deferred or denied students.

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