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The Ivy Coach College Admissions Blog

Shame on Johns Hopkins Admissions

December 18, 2014
Johns Hopkins Admissions, Admission to JHU, Johns Hopkins Admission

We never thought we’d put a photo of a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon on our college admissions blog. But now we have.

If a Cuisinart blender that costs $300 is mislabeled as costing $30 at Bed Bath & Beyond, there are consumer protection laws on the books here in the United States that dictate the customer is entitled to purchase that blender for $30. And that customer can indeed still use a 20%-off coupon and walk away with a blender for $24 plus tax. After all, to shop at Bed Bath & Beyond without coupons is like applying to college by marketing yourself as a three-sport athlete who has a passion for Key Club. Yikes! The items are marked up at Bed Bath & Beyond in anticipation of customers using coupons so it’s quite foolish if you ask us to walk in without those blue, ubiquitous blue marketing material.

But enough about Bed Bath & Beyond. What’s the point of our little anecdote, you ask? Well, the Johns Hopkins admissions office made an egregious error this admissions cycle. And by egregious error we really mean nearly 300 egregious errors. Johns Hopkins sent offers of admission to nearly 300 Early candidates only to later rescind their acceptances, stating that they were sent in error. Their message to these impacted students read as follows: “Earlier today, you may have received an email from us with the subject line: Embrace the YES! Please note that this email was sent in error. The decision posted on the decision site reflects the accurate result of your Early Decision application. We regret this technical mistake and any confusion it may have caused.” Please note that this email was sent in error. Noted, thanks Johns Hopkins.

It caused more than confusion, Johns Hopkins. While none of our students were impacted by this error and we congratulate our students who earned admission in the Early round to Hopkins, perhaps the admissions office should have been more careful when sending out their decisions. Unless they’re prepared to blame this error on North Korea (and private, salacious emails from the dean of admissions are about to get posted on “The Guardian”), someone in that admissions office has some explaining to do. And perhaps Johns Hopkins would be better served by proceeding as Bed Bath & Beyond would. Let these students in. Build another dorm if you have to. It was your mistake. So deal with it. Shame on the Johns Hopkins admissions office for the unnecessary roller coaster ride they put these nearly 300 students on, students who were already on the roller coaster ride of highly selective college admissions.

Oh, and if you’re recall, the Johns Hopkins admissions office previously emailed out misleading letters to parents saying their students put them in touch. Pull it together, Hopkins admissions!

Categories: College Admissions, Early Decision / Early Action Tags: , , , ,

Early Decision Autopsies

December 17, 2014
Early Decision Autopsy, Early Action Autopsies, Early Action Autopsy

Did you know that the hit ABC series “Body of Proof” about a medical examiner played by Dana Delany was based off of Brian’s idea? Don’t believe us? Read on.

If you’re a student or the parent of a student who applied via an Early Action or Early Decision program and was either deferred or denied admission, you need to know why your application didn’t make the cut. You need to know what mistakes were made and we promise that mistakes were made because the last thing you want to be doing is making these same mistakes in your Regular Decision applications. If you wrote an essay about your grandfather, it’s a mistake. If you checked certain boxes on the application, it’s a mistake. If you wrote 450 words when the maximum word count for a supplemental essay was 650 words, it’s a mistake. If you wrote about your come-from-behind run in the 400 meters, it’s a mistake. If you came across as unlikable, it’s a mistake. The list goes on…and on.

So now that your application is dead or near-dead at your Early Decision or Early Action school (though there are things you can do if you were deferred and we can certainly help you), the time has come for your autopsy by The Ivy Coach. We will dissect your application. We will tell you the cause — or causes — of death. And we will tell you how your death can be avoided at your Regular Decision schools, where there is indeed still hope. You made the mistake of not working with The Ivy Coach before you applied to your Early Decision or Early Action school. Don’t make the same mistake this time around. Not everyone gets a second chance…at life. Use it wisely.

As an aside, we have a little experience with real-life (or fake!) autopsies as well and since The Ivy Coach is a family business, we figured we’d share! There was an ABC series that aired for three years starring Dana Delany named “Body of Proof.” The show was about a brain surgeon who lost dexterity in her hand as a result of a car accident. Because of the accident, she could no longer operate on the living as a brain surgeon and so she retrained as a medical examiner to operate on the dead. The idea and the title for the successful ABC series was Brian’s. Hey, he likes to dabble in Hollywood from time to time. Everyone has their passions, right? When we say that you should work with talented writers on your admissions essays, we mean it. We can help make your writing stronger. We can make it more compelling. We can make it more colloquial. We can turn you into better, more powerful writers. It’s what we do.

And we teach by example. Brian surrounds himself with the greatest writers of our generation from Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning playwrights (and F. Scott Fitzgerald!) to potential future Nobel Prize winners and widely respected journalists to iconic American author James McBride whose works are required reading in classrooms across America (and this one too) and even up and coming YA writers and many more. You’ll note his name in all of these articles. Find a private college counseling company that surrounds its people with such amazing voices of our generation. We dare you. On second thought, don’t waste your time because by the time you find one, you’ll be dead and in need of an autopsy.

Contact us today by filling out our consult form. Indicate that you’re interested in an admissions autopsy. We like to call them post-mortems. Beeeeeeeeeeeep.

Categories: Early Decision / Early Action Tags: , , , ,

Advice for Deferred Applicants

December 16, 2014
Early Decision Deferrals, Advice for Deferred Students, Deferred in Early Decision

Deferred applicants should not sit back and do nothing. They should hustle. But they need to hustle smartly. At The Ivy Coach, we help students hustle smartly every year to turn their deferrals into offers of admission.

We’ve got some advice for deferred applicants. If you applied for admission during the Early Decision or Early Action round and were neither admitted nor denied, you were placed into limbo. Just as Regular Decision has the waitlist, you were essentially waitlisted. It’s the Early equivalent of the waitlist. At most highly selective colleges, around 10% of deferred students earn admission to the school that deferred them. So how do you get to be among the 10% of applicants who turn that deferral into an admission, you ask? In life — and in highly selective college admissions — the answer is not by doing nothing. You’ve got to hustle. And you’ve got to hustle the right way because foolish hustle won’t help you one bit.

For starters, you need to write a letter of enthusiasm. This is a one page letter to the college that deferred you that expresses your continued interest in attending the university. Ideally, the letter discusses what you can bring to the university, what you’ve been up to, and why you’re the perfect fit for their institution. The letter should contain no brags. The letter should be exceptionally written. And the letter should help to sway admissions officers to want to go to bat for you in the Regular Decision round. After all, you showed your commitment to the university during the Early round. You want to inspire them to show their commitment to you in the Regular Decision round. But having sour grapes won’t help. Only by continuing to demonstrate why they should admit you do you have a chance to be among the 10% who turn that deferral into an offer of admission.

We help students year after year turn their deferrals into offers of admission. We help students craft extremely compelling letters that don’t rehash everything that their applications already conveyed. Rather, they offer new information, information that will indeed help their candidacies. So often parents tell us that their children have already written these letters, that they’ve got it covered. Oh really? They’ve strung together 500 words on the page? That’s remarkable. But who says those 500 words strung together are any good? In most cases — in almost all cases — they are generally the opposite of what students should convey. Our students don’t make this mistake. If interested in our assistance with letters of enthusiasm, reach out to us today by filling our our consultation form. Time is of the essence to get these letters in.

Categories: Early Decision / Early Action Tags: , , , ,

Early Decision Post-Mortems

December 15, 2014
Early Action Post Mortem, Early Admission Post Mortem, Early Action Admission

If your child was deferred or denied at his or her Early school, it would be beneficial to conduct a post-mortem with us on their application so the same mistakes aren’t made again.

If you applied Early Decision or Early Action to a highly selective college and were either deferred or denied admission, it would be a very good idea to sign up for a consultation with The Ivy Coach so that we can let you know reasons you likely did not get in. We can inform you of mistakes that you made on your application, in your Personal Statement, in your supplemental essays, etc. as you don’t want to be making the same mistakes again…and again…and again. Because that would be quite foolish!

During this consultation, we will go through the various components of your application and pinpoint the errors you made. We will also brainstorm changes with you and potential new directions for essays, as time permits. Maybe a mistake was an arrogant remark in an essay that you didn’t realize could come across as bragging. Maybe your Personal Statement was all about an activity that you participate in — which is not what a Personal Statement should be. Maybe you checked a box on the application that you should not have checked. Maybe you repeated information in your essays, as though admissions officers had very bad memories. Or maybe you just didn’t come across as likable in your application. It’s entirely possible.

There will, in all likelihood, be “aha” moments during this consultation and while you may be kicking yourself for making these mistakes for your Early Decision or Early Action school, at least you won’t be kicking yourself again and again for your Regular Decision schools. Making the same mistake again and again is a very bad idea. So, if you’re interested in this Early Decision or Early Action post mortem, fill our our consultation form today. Indicate that you’re interested in an Early Decision or Early Action post-mortem.

Categories: College Admissions, Early Decision / Early Action Tags: , ,

Stanford 2019 Early Action Stats

December 14, 2014
Stanford Early Action, 2019 Stanford Early Action, Stanford Early Admission

Congratulations to all of our students at The Ivy Coach who gained admission to Stanford University in the Early Action round!

Stanford University has released its Early Action statistics for the Class of 2019 and we of course have these statistics for our loyal readers. But, first and foremost, we’d like to congratulate all of our students who earned admission to Stanford University this fall. Congratulations! In all, 743 students earned admission to Stanford on December 12th. These 743 applications stood out in a batch of 7,297 Early Action applications submitted this fall. This marked an acceptance rate of 10.2%, lower than for last year’s class (10.8%). Last year, 748 students earned admission via Early Action to Stanford out of a pool of 6,948 applicants to the university.

According to an article on the Stanford 2019 Early Action statistics in “The Stanford Daily,” “‘We have admitted a remarkable group of students from an extremely talented applicant pool,’ said Richard H. Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid. ‘Our review was rigorous, and we are pleased to celebrate those who were accepted.'” We always find these quotes quite funny. What is a dean of admissions going to say that the class wasn’t remarkable, that their review wasn’t rigorous? It always seems like a whole lot of fluff to us!

Anyhow, as “The Stanford Daily” reports, “According to a release from the Stanford News Service, the 743 students who received acceptance letters come from 47 states and 31 countries. More than 75 percent of them have a high school grade point average of 4.0 or above. ‘We are humbled by the many competitive candidates who demonstrated interest in Stanford University through our restrictive early action program,’ Shaw said. ‘We recognize the time and effort that goes into completing our application, and we are honored to have reviewed the applications of so many outstanding young people.'” More fluff! Do you think deans of admission recycle these quotes every year, changing a word here or a word there? Maybe. We’ll do some research and write a blog about it in the days ahead for kicks.

Stanford is expecting over 30,000 applications in the Regular Decision round. If you’re interested in gaining admission to The Farm via Regular Decision, you could likely use some assistance so contact The Ivy Coach to get started today. The clock is ticking towards that deadline!

Categories: College Admissions, Early Decision / Early Action Tags: , , , ,

Duke University Early Decision Stats

December 13, 2014
Duke Early Decision, Early Decision at Duke, Duke University Admissions

Duke University has released its Early Decision statistics for the Class of 2019.

Duke University has informed its applicants who will be members of the Class of 2019, who has been deferred, and who has been denied admission. In all, 3,180 students applied for admission via Duke’s binding Early Decision policy. Of those 3,180 applicants, 26% gained admission. It marked the second ‘most selective’ Early Decision round in the history of Duke University. We of course put quotes around ‘most selective’ because a lower admission rate doesn’t mean the university was more selective. It simply means the university was more successful at getting students to apply. After all, students with ‘D’ averages and terrible SAT scores don’t make an applicant pool ‘more selective’ one bit. As we’ve been saying on our college admissions blog for years, words like these are all spin. And, love us or hate us, we don’t stand for spin. Bill O’Reilly says his show is the ‘no spin zone’ but — love him or hate him — he sure does have some conservative spin. We pride ourselves on no spin.

Anyhow, according to an article on the 2019 Duke Early Decision stats in “Duke Today,” “Students admitted through Early Decision this year will represent 48 percent of next fall’s incoming class, which is expected to total 1,705 students. Of the 815 students offered admission, 652 will enroll in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the remaining 163 will enroll in the Pratt School of Engineering. North Carolina, New York, California, Florida and New Jersey are the states with the greatest representation among students admitted through Early Decision. Students of color comprise 35 percent and international students make up nine percent of those admitted. Last year, the university accepted 797 students through Early Decision. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said the increase in students admitted this year is a reflection of the quality of the applicants.”

If you were among the deferred students to Duke University, contact us today to get started working on your letter of enthusiasm. Time is of the essence to get this letter in tip-top shape and get it into Duke. An ordinary letter just won’t do. If you want to sway admissions officer to go to bat for you in the Regular Decision round — if you want to stand out from the 598 students whose admission was deferred in Early Decision (and that’s the number!) — this letter has got to be exceptional. The letters of our students are, without question, exceptional.

Categories: College Admissions, Early Decision / Early Action Tags: , , , ,

2019 Brown Early Decision Admission Rate

December 12, 2014
Brown Early Decision, Early Decision at Brown, ED at Brown

The admission statistics are in for Brown University Early Decision applicants for the Class of 2019 (photo credit: Daniel Case).

The Brown University Early Decision admission statistics are in for the Class of 2019 and we’ve got them for our readers. In all, 3,016 students applied for Early Decision admission to Brown this admissions cycle. Of those who applied, 20% gained admission. Indeed 617 students were offered slots at Brown under the university’s binding Early Decision program. This thus marks the largest Early Decision class since Brown instituted the program for the Class of 2006.

If you’re wondering how the 20% mark compares to previous years, 18.9% of Early Decision applicants were admitted last year as members of the Class of 2018, while 18.5% of Early Decision applicants were admitted to be members of the Class of 2017. And how about deferrals and denials, you ask? In all for the Class of 2019, 1,968 students were deferred while 408 were denied admission. As you likely know, deferred candidates are reconsidered in the Regular Decision round while denied candidates are not. At the Ivy League schools, generally around 10% of students who are deferred during the Early round end up earning admission. This statistic fluctuates a bit but it’s generally a good rule of thumb.

According to a “Brown Daily Herald” article on the 2019 Brown Early Decision admission rate, “Recruited athletes account for 26 percent of the early decision class, marking a small dip from the last admission cycle, when athletes accounted for 28 percent of the class, [Dean of Admission Jim] Miller wrote. Racial minorities account for 31 percent of the admitted class — a slight rise from the last admission cycle, when 30 percent of early admits identified as racial minority students. Forty-six percent of admitted students applied for financial aid. Approximately 58 percent of early admits are female, while approximately 42 percent are male. Admitted students hail from 43 states and 31 nations. New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island are the most represented states in that order, Miller wrote. China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, France and India are the best-represented foreign countries. The mid-Atlantic region accounts for 24 percent of the admitted class, New England accounts for 21 percent, the Mountain and Pacific states account for 19 percent, the South accounts for 12 percent and the Midwest accounts for 9 percent. The remaining 15 percent of students are international.”

Have a question about the 2019 Brown University Early Decision admission statistics? Let us know your question by posting it as a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Categories: Early Decision / Early Action, Ivy League Tags: , , , ,

2019 Harvard Early Action Stats

December 11, 2014
Harvard 2019 Admission Rate, Early Action at Harvard, 2019 Harvard Early Action

16.5% of Early Action applicants to Harvard for the Class of 2019 earned admission.

The 2019 Harvard Early Action stats are in and this year’s Early admission rate marked the lowest admission rate in recent years. In all, 5,919 students applied to be members of the Class of 2019 at Harvard University. Of those applicants, 16.5% were notified that they have earned admission to the university. The vast majority of the 5,919 applicants were neither admitted nor denied admission. Rather, they were deferred to the Regular Decision applicant pool. In fact, 4,292 students were deferred this Early cycle to Harvard. 541 students were outright denied admission, while 90 students submitted incomplete applications, and 19 others withdrew their candidacies.

As reported by “The Crimson” in an article on the 2019 Harvard Early Action statistics, “This year’s number of applicants signifies a roughly 26 percent increase from the 4,692 applicants who applied early last year. Early admissions rates for the classes of 2018, 2017, and 2016 were 21.1, 18.2, and 18.3 percent, respectively. Regular admissions was the only option for applicants to the classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015…This year’s early admissions pool shows slight increases in the percentages of minority students. Of those admitted early to the Class of 2019, 22.7 percent are Asian American, 10.3 percent are African American, 11.4 percent are Latino, 1.2 percent are Native American, and .3 percent are Native Hawaiians, compared to 21, 9.9, 10.5, .9, and .2 percent figures, respectively, last year. Of the admitted students, 49.7 percent were women, compared to an overall admitted pool that was about 45 percent female last year.” So a significant increase in the number of females admitted Early Action — that’s interesting!

Curious to read more about the admissions stats for last year’s class at Harvard so you can compare and contrast? If so, check out our Ivy League Admissions Statistics for the Class of 2018.

Categories: Early Decision / Early Action, Ivy League Tags: , , , ,

Columbia University Basketball

December 10, 2014
Columbia Lions Bball, Columbia Basketball, Basketball at Columbia

The Ivy Coach salutes Columbia’s men’s basketball team for their near-upset of the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Well done, Lions!

Columbia releases its Early Decision notifications on December 11th but we’d be remiss not to write about the Lions’ near-upset of the University of Kentucky tonight in men’s basketball action! Perhaps inspired by Yale University’s upset of defending National Champion University of Connecticut, the roaring Lions held a halftime lead over the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats tonight in a matchup of David vs. Goliath. That’s right, Columbia had a lead on Kentucky…and on the road in the house that Adolph Rupp built! The Air Force football coach recently made comments that the new playoff system in college football is un-American because teams from lesser known conferences — like Air Force — don’t have equal opportunity to compete. We couldn’t agree more with the Air Force coach and Yale’s victory the other day over UConn coupled with Columbia’s near-upset of Kentucky speak to the fact that a team from any league — on any given day — can stun the world. After all, it’s kind of the story of what America is all about, as the Air Force coach so eloquently points out.

Anyhow, back to the Columbia game. According to an article on the basketball game in “The Columbia Daily Spectator,” “In one of the college basketball’s biggest surprises this season, Columbia men’s basketball gave Kentucky all it could handle for nearly 29 minutes, but couldn’t keep it up, falling 56-46 to the No. 1 Wildcats. The Lions (5-3) stunned the 22,000-plus fans at Rupp Arena, jumping out to an 11-0 lead—Kentucky’s largest deficit of the season—by hitting their shots and limiting last year’s national runner-up’s prowess on the offensive glass. It took more than five minutes before a three-point play by guard Andrew Harrison got the No. 1 Wildcats (10-0) on the board.”

The article goes on to say, “The Light Blue stayed ahead for the entire half, getting back in transition and consistently using most of the shot clock, something which the Wildcats said prevented them from getting into a rhythm at either end of the floor. Toward the end of the half, the Wildcats managed to get into the open court a little, cutting the Lions’ lead to just one point. But after the teams exchanged misses, a three by junior guard Maodo Lo put Columbia back up by four, and the Lions carried a 25-23 lead into the break. Kentucky head coach John Calipari noted after the game that, more than anything else, Columbia’s persistence in the post caught the Wildcats off-guard.” High praise indeed from one of college basketball’s all-time greatest coaches.

The Ivy Coach salutes the Columbia University men’s basketball team for leading Kentucky through one half of basketball action in enemy territory. You showed the world that your team can hang with anyone. Just as your alumnus and our dear, late friend Cliff Montgomery showed the world when he led your Lions to Rose Bowl victory in 1934.

Categories: College Athletes, Ivy League Tags: , , , ,

Elite College Admissions

December 9, 2014
Elite Admissions, Elite University Admissions, Elite Ivy League Admissions

A letter to the editor in today’s “New York Times” entitled “Elite College Admissions” contains a number of inaccuracies about the elite college admissions process.

There is a letter to the editor in today’s “New York Times” entitled “Elite College Admissions” that we thought we’d share with our readers. Written by Loully Saney, a member of Princeton University’s Class of 2017, the letter is in response to an article authored by Kevin Carey, an article we previously praised for its accuracy. It’s praise we 100% stand by. But we beg to differ with quite a few things that Mr. Saney purports in his letter to the editor. It’s a letter replete with inaccuracies about the highly selective college admissions process. As our college admissions blog aims to correct misconceptions and inaccuracies related to this process, allow us to correct the Princeton undergrad.

In his letter, Mr. Saney writes, “Generations ago, high school students were expected to have good grades, good recommendations and a well-written college essay. Today, high school students are expected to show all that plus a dedication to service, academic rigor more rigorous than ever, diversity, leadership within their communities and the unknown X factor.” Not so, Mr. Saney. Students who gain admission to schools such as yours, Princeton, do not need to demonstrate leadership within their communities. They do not need to have an unknown X factor, as you suggest. They do not need to show a dedication to service. Highly selective colleges such as yours are interested not in well-rounded students but in singularly talented students. These singularly talented students would then form a well-rounded class. A talented basketball player need not show leadership within his community to run the backdoor cut for — and invented by — the Tigers. A science researcher need not demonstrate a dedication to service. Winning the Intel Science Talent Search competition will suffice in its stead. And as for an X factor, that leads readers to believe that a mystery element factors into your admission decision to a school such as Princeton. This is simply not the case. Applicants have more control of their destinies than Mr. Saney lets on.

Mr. Saney also writes in his letter, “The ‘holistic admissions’ process gives students the full chance to show who they are and why they deserve a seat at one of these elite institutions, but the process also loses some of the best and brightest students, who fall through the cracks or don’t tick enough boxes. Students are hiring college counselors, tutors and advisers beginning in their freshman year of high school. They are tutoring disadvantaged students after school and volunteering over the summer in impoverished communities in Africa. Do you really think that odds for admission remain the same?” Volunteering in impoverished communities in Africa typically doesn’t help one’s chances for admission to a school such as Princeton, Mr. Saney. All this activity says is that the student likely has quite a bit of money to be able to spend his or her summer in Africa. And one doesn’t have to tutor disadvantaged students after school to get into Princeton either. Princeton is not looking for a thousand tutors of disadvantaged children.

We understand, Mr. Saney, that you may believe we’re misinterpreting what you’ve written. But you’ve written it nonetheless and it is our interpretation of what you’ve written. It’s likely also the interpretation of others. Our college admissions blog intends to correct such inaccuracies in the college admissions process and we hope we’ve done that here. Mr. Carey’s “New York Times” article is entirely accurate. Your letter to the editor on elite college admissions is, unfortunately, not.

Categories: College Admissions, Ivy League Tags: , , , ,