Brian Taylor, Director of Ivy Coach, leads off an article about Asian American Ivy League applicants in “The Boston Globe” today. The piece, entitled “To get into elite colleges, some advised to ‘appear less Asian‘” features our characteristic tell-it-like-it-is approach here at Ivy Coach. Let us be very clear. We do not think it’s right that Asian Americans (and Asians too) should have to make themselves seem ‘less Asian.’ But we are in the business of helping our students achieve their dreams of gaining admission to elite American universities, including the Ivy League colleges. And so if our strategy, one that has proven successful in a quarter century of putting it to practice, offends some, we make no apology. We make no apology for the happy Asian American students and parents who can boast of earning admission to their dream schools (yes, for some parents…that’s sure how it feels). We make no apology for telling it like it is, even if we wholeheartedly believe (as we do) that the discrimination against Asian Americans and Asians in the admissions process is downright wrong.
The piece on Asian American applicants to elite American universities begins like this: “Brian Taylor is director of Ivy Coach, a Manhattan company that advises families on how to get their students into elite colleges. A number of his clients are Asian American, and Taylor is frank about his strategy for them. ‘While it is controversial, this is what we do,’ he says. ‘We will make them appear less Asian when they apply.'” Indeed we will. The piece goes on, “At Ivy Coach, much of the advice Taylor offers his clients echoes that of Chen. Be careful, he tells them, to avoid appearing like a ‘grade grubber’: ‘Schools don’t want students who care too much about their grades. They want kids who love learning.’ Ivy Coach offers an ‘unlimited package’ for students for $100,000, which includes helping them throughout high school with all aspects of their college applications: testing, essays, letters of recommendation…At Ivy Coach, some of the toughest work is with the parents. ‘Asian-Americans are extremely competitive among each other,’ Taylor says. ‘They want to impress.’ Few such parents refer his firm to one another. ‘No one wants others to know they’re using us. But we always get the siblings and the cousins.'”
And when you get the siblings and the cousins as clients after working with the initial child, it kind of says it all. Our strategy is controversial indeed. But it’s equally as effective. We have publicly called for admissions offices at highly selective colleges to change their ways with respect to the discrimination against Asian Americans and Asians. It’s high time they do. But we’re not sitting around waiting for that pot to boil on a low heat. We’re going to keep doing what we’ve always been doing. Yes, oh yes we will.