For students in China, the Gaokao is the all-important exam that, in many ways, determines their educational future. It’s a tough test that requires quite a bit of studying. In the United States, it would be the equivalent of college admissions officers only weighing your SAT score to determine whether or not you’re admitted. Only the Gaokao is a whole lot more intense than the SAT. If the SAT is a sprint triathlon (maybe a 400 meter swim, 10K bike, 5K run) , the Gaokao is the Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). Yeah, that’s right. And there’s quite a bit of unrest in China over the Gaokao exam — particular as it relates to gender. Because Chinese females have been doing so well on the exam, Chinese universities have had to admit males with lower Gaokao scores to balance out their classes. So females with higher scores than their male counterparts are being denied admission while the males are getting in. It doesn’t seem fair, right?
According to an article on the Gaokao and China university admission in “The Los Angeles Times,” “In China, national data on male and female test scores aren’t made public, but in recent years universities have published scores of incoming students on their websites. That is how Kale, who scored 614 on her tests in June, discovered that boys had been accepted to the international finance program from her province with scores as low as 609, while 628 was the lowest score for girls who were accepted. Scouring the websites for evidence of discrimination, women’s rights activists have discovered even higher gaps for foreign language and performing arts majors. Shanghai Language University admitted boys from Guangxi province with scores of 551; for girls, the lowest score was 616.”
If you’re a student in China, do you think that there’s gender discrimination when it comes to university admission? Has this led you to want to pursue your education in the United States? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!Categories: China University Admission Tags: Chinese Gaokao, Gaokao and China, Gaokao and China University Admission, Gaokao and Chinese University Admission, Gaokao Exam
Asians in college admissions should dare to be different. Yes, we are addressing an entire ethnic group…even if this isn’t as PC as you’d like it to be. At The Ivy Coach, we’re not necessarily always PC, but we always give it to you straight. We are unapologetically honest, even if it risks upsetting you. The fact is that stereotypes are often based on truths. Just read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” if you don’t think this is true. Stereotypes are survival instincts. They are hardwired into our brains so that we can process information quickly, so that we can survive. The psychologist Robert Cialdini calls this processing “click whirr.”
And college admissions officers stereotype just like the rest of us. When they come across an Asian or Asian American applicant, they look to see if he or she is first or second chair violin. They look to see how many years he or she has run track. And they look to see if his or her SAT scores are perfect or just close to perfect. Yes, these are all stereotypes. But people stereotype. The sooner that you accept this fact, the sooner you can start preparing a fantastic college application that will distinguish you from the pack.
If you’re an Asian or Asian American applicant to a highly selective college such as an Ivy League college, avoid things like the violin. Avoid running track. Dare to defy the stereotypes of your ethnicity. Dare to be different. Dare to do something that many Asian and Asian American applicants would never think of doing. Maybe this means being a lover of classic literature. Maybe it means being an amazing water polo player. Find a hook that distinguishes you from the rest. And, yes, helping students find their hooks is what we do best at The Ivy Coach.Categories: China University Admission, College Admissions, Ivy League Tags: Asian Americans in College Admissions, Asians and College Admissions, Asians in College Admissions, Asians in Ivy League Admissions, Asians in University Admissions
There’s an interesting article by Chris Boehner on IECA’s (Independent Educational Consultants Association’s) blog about Chinese Ivy League applicants. Boehner, who previously worked as an independent educational consultant, cites that in 2011, 339,700 Chinese students chose to study abroad (93% of whom are self-supported). Boehner states that this 2011 figure marks a 20% increase in the number of students studying abroad from 2010. And why are these students turning to studying abroad? Well, for one, it’s tough to get into Chinese universities. The Gaokao is tough. It’s a whole lot of pressure!
According to Boehner, “This year 9.15 million high school seniors registered for the Gaokao, competing for 6.85 million university seats. Chinese parents today are much more savvy about education options, learning quickly and actively speaking with other parents, acquaintances, and education thought leaders familiar with education in the U.S., Australia, England, and Canada.” Boehner goes on to write, “Today, more and more parents are turning their child away from Chinese universities because they see the Gaokao as too high pressure, a drain on creativity, and part of a system that doesn’t support the development of their one and only child’s unique talents. This creates an increasingly competitive landscape for Chinese applicants applying to school abroad.”
While we’ve written about both American Tiger Moms like Amy Chua and unethical admissions agents in China in the past, we’ve never really discussed the variety of Tiger Mom in China. Tiger Moms in China often turn to unethical admissions agents who will do just about anything in the hope of helping students gain admission to American colleges. But the things that they do — such as handing students a college essay from a stack of pre-written essays — actually often severely hurt applicants. These admissions agents have no ethical boundaries and they don’t understand the process of highly selective college admissions. And the fact that many parents in China are willing to accept these practices does not reflect well on them.Categories: China University Admission, Ivy League Tags: China Ivy Applicants, China Ivy League Applicants, Chinese Ivy Applicants, Chinese Ivy League Applicants, Chinese Ivy League Applications
Many college applicants from China (and their parents) don’t fully understand that an applicant’s voice matters in highly selective college admissions. They often understand the importance of standardized test scores. They understand the importance of grades. They often even understand what having a unique hook means. But what too often isn’t clear to applicants and their parents in China is the importance of sharing one’s unique voice in an application. So many just don’t get it.
College essays are a unique opportunity for a college applicant to share their unique point of view, their outlook on the world. It’s an opportunity for a college admissions counselor to gain insight into who you are, what you’re all about, and what you hope to become. Ok, maybe a college essay doesn’t accomplish all of those things. But a good one often can — even if you’re writing about something as small as rubber-band balls. It’s often when you write about small things that you can say the most. When students try to write about big things like death or life lessons, essays have a habit of becoming trite.
So when admissions agents in China hand parents and students college essays from a stack to select one or two from, know that this is absolutely not the way to share one’s unique voice. In fact, it’s just the opposite. When the unethical admissions agent hands over those essays, push them right back at them and let them know that they don’t know what they’re doing. Tell them they’re unethical. Tell them they don’t what it takes to get into highly selective American universities. Because they don’t. They’re utterly clueless in fact. Avoid them at all cost.
While you’re here, check out this post on Chinese Students and the Ivy League.Categories: China University Admission, College Admissions, Ivy League Tags: Chinese Applicants from China, Chinese Apps from China, Chinese Ivy Applicants, Chinese Ivy League Applicants, Chinese University Applicants
As you’ve likely heard, the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to reconsider the use of race as a factor in college admissions. The case stems from a University of Texas applicant who alleges that factoring race into admissions decisions at UT cost her a slot at a place in the incoming class. In 2003, the Supreme Court made a ruling on affirmative action. In a divided opinion, the Court ruled that race can indeed be a factor in admissions decisions. But nine years have since gone by. Maybe race should no longer be a factor in college admissions. With a more conservative Court than in 2003, this case could well be the end of affirmative action as we know it.
In an election cycle, this could become a major issue at the forefront once again and while many will debate the pros and cons of affirmative action, we want to draw the attention of our readers to a different kind of college admissions discrimination based upon race. It’s not white applicants losing slots to African American applicants. It’s Chinese applicants competing with other Chinese applicants for slots. It’s Chinese applicants with higher test scores and higher grades losing out to non-Chinese applicants. And the same is true for Indian applicants.
The time has come to end discrimination against Chinese and Indian applicants in highly selective college admissions. Some college admissions officers may deny it. Most won’t. It exists. It’s real. It’s time to put it to an end. It’s, quite frankly, shameful that the very institutions that claim to be all about diversity discriminate against certain minority applicants in the college admissions process. Shame on them.Categories: China University Admission, India University Admission, International Students, Ivy League Tags: Affirmative Action, Chinese Admissions Discrimination, College Admissions Affirmative Action, College Admissions Discrimination, Indian Admissions Discrimination
As you may know from reading our blog, Princeton University is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for discrimination in admissions decisions — specifically with regard to Asian-Americans. The complaint, brought by an Indian-American, alleges that Princeton denied the applicant a spot in the incoming class because of his ethnicity. As you may also know from reading our blog, at The Ivy Coach, we also believe that highly selective colleges discriminate against Asian-Americans in the admissions process. As much as college admissions counselors may deny it and as much as they may or may not realize it, it happens.
According to “Bloomberg,” a 2009 study shed light on the fact that applicants who are Asian-American need to score 1550 out of a possible 1600 on the math and verbal sections of the SAT in order to effectively compete against Caucasian applicants with scores of 1410. And what about Asian-Americans competing against African-Americans? They’d need a score of 1550 to compete with a score of 1100. The numbers are, quite simply, striking!
What do you think about the discrimination Asians and Asian-Americans face in the Ivy League admissions process? Or do you think that Asians and Asian-Americans don’t face discrimination at highly selective colleges? We’re eager to hear your thoughts on the subject so post below and start a conversation!
And check out this post on Asians and College Admissions!Categories: China University Admission, College Admissions, Ivy League Tags: Asian Americans and College Admission, Asians and Ivy League Admission, Asians and Ivy League Admissions, Ivy League and Asian Admission, Ivy League and Asian Americans
College consultants and China. Right now, it’s a bad mix…a system in need of an overhaul. For students using college consultants in China, we’d like to give you a warning. A big warning. The vast majority are highly unethical. We’ve written before about how they often receive kickbacks from universities in the United States should their students enroll there. We’ve written before about how they have students choose college essays from a stack of prewritten and often already used college essays.
But new information circulating in the press suggests many college consultants in China are indeed even faking transcripts, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities for students. Have these college consultants in China no moral compasses? It seems not. And students and parents alike should know that what these consultants are doing is not only unethical but it could well ruin lives.
The student with the fraudulent transcript and fraudulent letters of recommendation probably won’t be able to excel at MIT. Maybe he or she will be expelled for lackluster grades. Maybe the student doesn’t even speak or understand English fluently. Do you know the kind of stress a student would be under if she has to take a high-level economics course but can’t even understand basic English phrases? That’s the type of situations these unethical college consultants in China are putting these students into. It’s just not right and something has to change.Categories: China University Admission, College Admissions, College Consultant, Ivy League Tags: China and Ivy League Admission Help, China and Ivy League Consultants, China and University Consultants, Chinese College Consultants, College Consultants and China
There was a great article yesterday up on “Global Post” about U.S. universities and China and how students in Asian nations applying for admission to U.S. universities cut every corner possible by cheating their way into universities. How so? They hire unethical college admissions agents in China who give them a pile of essays from which they can choose one to submit with their U.S. college application. These same unethical admissions agents make up awards for them and even rework their transcripts! The students even hire other students to take the SAT for them (maybe this is where those Great Neck, Long Island students got their inspiration!).
This is nothing new. We’ve reported on the unethical Chinese admissions agents before. And there isn’t much that can be done to stop these unethical individuals from compromising the college admissions process in the United States. Or is there? What if these unethical agents didn’t receive commissions from U.S. universities if their students got into a school and attended? What if U.S. universities just said “no more?” Wouldn’t that be something! But instead, U.S. universities are dragging their feet, unwilling to take a stand against these gross violations of ethics. In no uncertain terms, in many though certainly not all cases, they look the other way!
Want to know why? Because U.S. universities have something very important to gain from admitting and ultimately matriculating these Chinese students: money, money, money. Chinese students are seen as “full-pays.” They pay the full cost of tuition. Universities don’t have to offer these students financial aid like they do for American applicants. So U.S. universities will gladly take their money, look the other way at these gross ethical violations, and run. We’re calling on U.S. universities to reverse this policy, to take a stand at the blatant corruption in China. We’re calling on U.S. universities to put their money where their mouth is.Categories: China University Admission, International Students, University Tuition Tags: Chinese and US Universities, US Ivy League Admission and China, US Universities and China, US Universities and Chinese, US University Admission in China
As you may know from reading our blog or from your familiarity with the trends of international students applying to universities in the United States, it’s China, China, China. Yes, and India. Indeed the fastest-growing group of international applicants to universities in the United States is the Chinese. According to a “New York Times” article by Dan Levin on Chinese students at US universities, “In 2008-9, more than 26,000 were studying in the United States, up from about 8,000 eight years earlier, according to the Institute of International Education.”
But what is it like for these Chinese students once they get to the United States to begin their university studies? Is there a culture shock? In short, yes. As the article on Chinese students at American colleges points out, many Chinese students have a difficult time adjusting to the social atmosphere…one that often includes quite a bit of drinking. They also often have time learning the English language. What they learned as the proper pronunciation of a word in China doesn’t necessarily fly when their professor hails from Mississippi! Plus, learning a language in a classroom is a far cry from leading your life in that language, from conducting all of your daily affairs in that foreign language.
It’s worth mentioning the literature on ethnic identity formation as well. For Chinese students studying at universities in the United States, it’s often the first time in their lives when they’ve truly felt like minorities. This isn’t the case necessarily for Chinese American students as they’ve grown up in America where the vast majority of people aren’t Asian. So what’s it like to go through ethnic identity formation during one’s university years? In the coming months, we’ll be hearing from Chinese students as they adjust to life at American universities. We hope you enjoy the series.Categories: China University Admission, International Students Tags: China and US Universities, China and US University Admission, Chinese at Ivy League Colleges, Chinese Students, Chinese Students at Universities, Chinese Students at US Universities
Many admissions agents in China are unscrupulous. This isn’t news. We’ve written about college admissions agents in China before. They hand students completed essays that they’ve given to hundreds of other students. They have a vested financial interest in sending students to certain universities in the United States because those universities pay them commissions. They aren’t bound by any code of ethics. A few months ago, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (to which The Ivy Coach is a member in good standing) proposed banning such financial incentives for international recruiters. We at The Ivy Coach applauded this stance.
But during the summer, NACAC shied away from this stance on admissions agents in countries like China and India. According to a “FOX News” article on international admissions agents, “The group had backed away from the ban, acknowledging a ‘lack of alternatives’ for dispensing information about American higher education in many parts of the world. It plans to study the issue for up to two years.” Two years? That’s two years worth of students applying to American universities who are getting scammed because the people advising them have ulterior motives. Their motive isn’t to get students into the best college(s) possible for them. Their motive is to make the best financial incentive possible.
If you’re a student in China or India, avoid admissions agents at all costs. If they give you an essay, throw it in the garbage. Burn it. Turn it into Origami. But whatever you do, don’t submit it to colleges…because a few hundred other Chinese students may have well submitted the same one. Not to mention it’s entirely unethical to submit an essay to a college that you yourself did not write!
Check out this post on US college admissions in China and let us know what you think about admissions agents in China by posting below!Categories: China University Admission Tags: Admissions Agents in China, China Admissions Agents, China University Admissions Agents, Chinese Admissions Agents, Chinese Admissions Help