Many parents and students often ask us why we prefer that they fill out our free 30-minute college consulting form prior to calling us. The answer is a simple one. We are more than happy to provide a free consultation to parents and students — regardless of whether or not they ultimately choose to use our services — but students and parents should a.) have an idea of the college consulting services we offer prior to our conversation so that we don’t have to waste these valuable minutes describing our services, and b.) we’ll have a better understanding of your child with the information you present to us on the form. We won’t have to ask a question like, “What grade is your child in” or “Where are you from?”
Does it make more sense now? Once you fill out the form for the free college admissions consultation, we’ll promptly write you back. In our email back, we’ll delineate our college consulting services and fees. We’ll outline our various packages and give you a better understanding of the value we add to your (or your child’s) case for admission to a highly selective college. In the twenty years that The Ivy Coach has been in business, we find that this system is the most effective, one that makes the most students and parents happy and satisfied.
So if you’re interested in our college consulting services, fill out the form and we’ll get back to you right away to schedule your free college admissions consultation. It’s that easy. If you call us directly without filling out our form, that’s OK — we’re just going to ask if you’ve filled out our form so that we can schedule the consultation. So fill one out today!Categories: College Admissions, University Admissions Counselors Tags: College Admissions Consultation, College Consulting Services, College Counseling, College Counseling Services, Services in College Counseling
Parents and students often ask us if college admission officers know the other colleges to which a student applies. It would be easy to say no but it’s not exactly true. Do college admission officers call admission officers at other universities to find out if Johnny also submitted an application there? No. Has it happened? Yes. But, typically, college admission officers don’t do this. They simply don’t have the time. And, frankly, they don’t care. They know you have to apply to other colleges if you’re applying Regular Decision. They know you’re not just depending on getting in at their university.
But remember we said it’s not exactly true. So how can college admission officers know the other universities to which you applied? Well, in your college alumni interview, maybe the alumni interviewer flat out asked you. It’s not necessarily an appropriate question to ask an applicant but, in most cases, alumni interviewers aren’t trained. They don’t have a predetermined set of questions to ask and sometimes they pose questions like this.
These alumni interviewers could then write down in their report on your interview the other universities you’re applying to…and then college admission officers will know this information! Of course, sometimes students volunteer this information during the alumni interview unprompted. We advise against this (see what else college applicant’s shouldn’t do on college alumni interviews). It’s none of the college’s business where else you’re applying!
Check back in a future post to learn if the same is true for applicants who apply Early Decision. Do colleges share that information so they know who committed to a school? Find out soon. And have a look at this recent “Main Street” press article on college applications in which The Ivy Coach is featured.Categories: College Admissions, University Admissions Counselors Tags: College Admission Officers, College Admissions Officers, Ivy League Admission Officers, Ivy League Admissions Officers, University Admission Officers
There’s an opinion piece by John McAuliff of “USA Today College” that came out a couple of days ago that paints an interesting perspective of university admissions officers and the highly selective college admissions process. Unfortunately for readers, that picture is entirely inaccurate. You see, Mr. McAuliff seems to think that college applicants to highly competitive colleges with great SAT scores, great grades, and rigorous coursework with limited extracurriculars gain admission and students who devote themselves to an activity with only good grades and good SAT scores are denied admission.
Mr. McAuliff is basing this assertion on statistics from a 2008 National Association of College Admission Counseling survey with this finding: “Extra-curricular activities and work are important to just 6.5 percent and 1.9 percent of officers respectively.” There’s an old saying that goes nicely with this: “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.” Any good scientist must know the sampling population from which you’re aggregating your data. The 2008 NACAC survey is not simply a survey of highly selective college admissions officers. At the highly selective colleges, activities sure do matter and students with perfect or near perfect grades and SATs are denied admission all of the time!
In fact, the following image that Mr. McAuliff puts forth of the student who gets in is entirely false: “So what kind of person does a college admissions officer really want to admit? I’ll try to paint a picture. Student X has fantastic grades, excellent scores and has worked really hard to get there…Their SAT prep class forced them to drop their community service. They’ve never had a job because they’ve never had the time. In fact, student X hasn’t had the time to get out much at all. Every time they find something they’re is passionate about, mom and dad remind student X that the ideal student does nothing but study.”
The student who does nothing but studies in fact doesn’t stand a very good chance at all of getting into a highly selective college. And as for college essays, those matter too…contrary to the “USA Today College” opinion piece by Mr. McAuliff. What a student writes in college essays can mean the difference between getting in and getting denied. A college essay about working on your three-pointer so hard and eventually nailing a big three in OT isn’t going to cut it. Neither is a college essay about your grandmother’s death. And a college essay full of typos – much like the aforementioned opinion piece – says a lot about the student as well!University Admissions Counselors Tags: College Admissions Officers, Ivy League Admissions Counselors, Ivy League Admissions Officers, University Admissions Counselors, University Admissions Officers
Some people think that contacting college and particularly Ivy League admissions counselors is unwise. They may think these admissions counselors don’t want to be bothered, that doing so should be reserved exclusively for the sycophants. They’d be wrong. Establishing a personal connection with regional Ivy League admissions counselors can truly boost one’s chances for admission. It’s a way of showing interest in a college. It’s a way of establishing a personal connection that can go a long way.
But that doesn’t mean a student’s parent should be making the contact. And that doesn’t mean the student should ask questions that are answered in college guide books. The questions should parlay a student’s interest in the college and, ideally, his/her intellectual passions such as asking about a research program the student read about online.
One may wonder how much contact is too much contact. A student should not be contacting an Ivy League admissions counselor every day. That student will only be regarded as annoying. They should not show up unannounced at the admissions office and ask for a personal meeting with the regional admissions counselor. These kinds of tactics will only hurt – not help – your chances for admission.
But putting a face to an application typically helps a candidate. That personal connection can go a long way. And don’t assume a regional admissions counselor will remember you simply because you sat in at a panel when the counselor presented at your high school. Ask smart questions. Show what you can bring to the college. Ivy League admissions counselors are human and people tend to want to help those they know over those they don’t.
Check out our related blog on showing interest in universities. And let us know your thoughts by posting below!Categories: Ivy League, University Admissions Counselors Tags: Admission to Ivy League, Ivy League Admissions, Ivy League Admissions Counselors, Ivy League Admissions Officers, Ivy League College Admission
When crafting college applications and college essays, a student’s audience is college admissions counselors. When you watch “Modern Family” on ABC, the target audience is adults 18-49. That’s the key demographic for advertisers. You’re not going to see ads for prune juice during the baby show “Yo Gabba Gabba!” It just wouldn’t make sense. In college admissions, it’s important to keep your audience in mind when you make statements in activity essays, personal statements, or supplemental essays.
Does this mean that you should write what you think admissions counselors want to hear? Absolutely not! You should be truthful. You should dare to be different. But knowing who is reading and evaluating your college application really can’t hurt and can only help. So we’re going to try to give you a little overview of college admissions counselors in the hope that it’ll give you a better understanding of the person on the other side of the college admissions process at Ivy League colleges.
College admissions counselors at Ivy League colleges tend to have a passion for higher education. Why else would they take jobs that aren’t exactly the highest paying and happen to be quite a bit of work? Politically, they also tend to be liberal…though you will rarely be discriminated against should you write a conservative-leaning essay (since college admissions counselors value diversity above just about all else).
Many of the junior members of the team (aka Assistant Directors of Admission) are fresh out of college. A good portion of them attended the very school that they’re now working at. After all, who could sell a school better to prospective students than an alum who loved attending that school? Many college admissions counselors as you move your way up the ladder have worked at a variety of schools. Typically, admissions counselors have to move around a bit in order to get to that next coveted level.
So, basically, knowing your audience can never hurt! Does that mean you should adjust what you would write so they will like it better? No. You should absolutely not write what you think admissions counselors will want to read. But just as the writer of “High School Musical” will try to get into the headspace of a teenager, it couldn’t hurt to read your essay after it’s written from the point of view of a college admissions counselor to see what they’d think about it.Categories: University Admissions Counselors Tags: College Admissions Counselors, College Admissions Officers, Ivy League Admissions Counselors, Ivy League Admissions Officers, University Admissions Counselors
A study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education points out that the percentage of college applicants who have college consultants providing college admissions assistance to them is on the rise. This should come as no surprise. In fact, the author of the study, Alexis Brooke Redding, finds, “’22% of all freshmen at private, four-year colleges [in 2006] have used IECs [independent college consultants]. IECs are becoming an integral part of the revised admissions process.”
If the notion that 22% of freshmen at private, four year colleges used college consultants strikes you as high, consider that this study was as of 2006 and since then the number is significantly higher. One reason that you may think that this statistic is unlikely is because most students and parents rarely, if ever, admit to using college consultants. A student doesn’t want to admit to his friend who got into Yale University that he had help in gaining admission to that very college. And a parent doesn’t want to admit to the parent of a child’s peer that they didn’t do it all on their own. What’s ironic is that both parents may well have used college consultants for guidance in the admissions process. It’s everyone’s deep dark secret. It’s no wonder that The Ivy Coach often works with siblings and cousins of previous clients, but rarely gets referrals of friends of clients.
Other research, points out Mark Sklarow of IECA, indicates that 26% of high-achieving seniors used a college consultant. And think of how many students and parents aren’t included in that statistic because they didn’t want to admit they had admissions assistance! The role of the college consultant is to work behind the scenes so that no one – not the high school guidance counselor, not parents of fellow students, not college admissions counselors – are aware that students had assistance in the college admissions process. College consultants who are members of NACAC (The Ivy Coach is a NACAC and IECA member) – the only consultants you should use – abide by its Principles of Good Practice. And confidentiality is a key component.
So next time you’re picking your son up from soccer practice and a mother of another kid on the team is bragging about how her son got into Duke University all on his own, know that there’s a good chance that he had some help along the way. And that help may well have included a college consultant.
Sklarow, Mark. “New Harvard Study Examines Educational Consulting, Notes IECA’s Leadership Role.” 11 August 2010. Web. 19 April 2011.College Admissions, University Admissions Counselors Tags: College Admissions Consultants, College Admissions Consulting, College Consultant, College Consultants, College Consulting
The target demographic for a movie like “Tron” was not senior citizens nor was the target demographic toddlers for “Scream 4.” What does this have to do with the college admissions process you ask? Well, it has everything to do with it. You must know your audience. When filling out the college application and particularly when writing your college essays, it’s important to know who is reading your application and essays. If you’re really intent on attending a particular college, you should know the name of your regional university admissions counselor and make contact with him/her. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about knowing what kind of person is reading your essays and deciding whether or not you should gain admission.
To put an entire group of people into a category is to stereotype. And that is exactly what we are going to be doing right now. Hey, at least we own it. Social psychologists will point out that stereotypes are in fact often based on truth. Anyway, a university admissions counselor tends to be interested in pursuing a career in higher education. Many assistant directors of admission are right out of college — some went to the very university that they now represent as an an admissions counselor. And still others just love the world of college admissions that they aren’t looking for another type of job in higher education. Maybe they want to move up the ranks and become a dean of admission. University admissions counselors also often come from diverse backgrounds — much like the students they are recruiting and later evaluating.
We hope that gives you some insight into who is reading your application and college essays. Read about the admissions process at Amherst College and about mistakes on the college application.Categories: Admissions Process, The Application, University Admissions Counselors Tags: College Admissions Consultant, College Admissions Consulting, College Admissions Counseling, College Admissions Counselor, University Admissions Counselor