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Does having connections w/ wealthy people and alumni really help ur college app?

NOBAMA NATIONNOBAMA NATION Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2009 in College Admissions
Do connections such as these really help students get into college...

- Knowing wealthy, affluent alumni that will write letters (They may or may not donate to their school, I haven't asked them)

- Having connections with a state representative that is also willing to write a letter of recommendation

- Belonging to a very wealthy family


...Please keep in mind that these circumstances are for college applications to top selective universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, NYU among others.

(This question is completely hypothetical and I'm not saying any of this applies to me at all. I'm just curious I don't need a bunch of "haters" in here.)
Post edited by NOBAMA NATION on

Replies to: Does having connections w/ wealthy people and alumni really help ur college app?

  • Hillary2012Hillary2012 Posts: 332Registered User Member
    Of course they help...ever heard of Harvard's COAR?
  • absentabsent Posts: 485Registered User Member
    Knowing wealthy, affluent alumni that will write letters (They may or may not donate to their school, I haven't asked them)

    Could help, but these would have to be big donors, and they probably only help their own children and relatives most of the time.
    Having connections with a state representative that is also willing to write a letter of recommendation

    Won't help unless this person actually knows you and could write something that couldn't be known simply from reading your resume.
    Belonging to a very wealthy family

    Helps if the school is need aware. Tippy-top colleges are generally need-blind, though, so check each school's policy.
  • vincehvinceh Posts: 2,287Registered User Senior Member
    Does chicken soup actually cure the common cold?

    Hey, couldn't hurt.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    "Knowing wealthy, affluent alumni that will write letters (They may or may not donate to their school, I haven't asked them)

    - Having connections with a state representative that is also willing to write a letter of recommendation"

    Probably not. Public officials will write letters of recc for probably anyone who asks them who isn't a felon. Wealthy alum probably have extr pull only for their own kids -- and that would be true only if the alums have been big donors to the school.

    "Belonging to a very wealthy family"

    Only if that family is at least, for instance, multimillionaires, and has made large donations or promises to do so if you're admitted.
  • SynthSynth Posts: 265Registered User Junior Member
    A top 5 school admittance is like a major award. Would you give a major award
    to someone because they 'knew' someone? only under the remote chance that
    'the acquaintance' is going to go bat for the applicant in a major way. This
    will likely not happen with politicians or neighbors.

    Belonging to a wealthy family (as in being the scion) will have a major impact.
    ... But then you would probably not be on CC trying to learn how to get an
    advantage would you? ;)

    I do know an admitted student who was 'the cousin' in a family that had donated
    a 'wing' to a HYPS school. He was waitlisted and eventually admitted when some equivalent
    peers from my HS were admittted straight away. Equivalent peers on the waitlist
    apparently did not get in.
  • NOBAMA NATIONNOBAMA NATION Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    Like i said Synth i'm not saying this question is my situation. And just a side note, i don't know why CC wouldn't be a resource for the wealthy along with middle and lower class. It is a large well known source of information and one of the top results from google when searching for info about college.
  • SynthSynth Posts: 265Registered User Junior Member
    With a $300 mm** net worth, Junior will have a college counsellor with
    a pedigreed admittance record helping him out typically from his
    soph year.

    Also Junior would have already been put on an athletic or research
    track in his freshman year in hs to ensure that the family scion will end
    up in the right college.

    **An arbitrary number- $300 mm - the kind of net worth that could possibly turn
    heads at top 5 schools- not the mill of the run millionaire practioners of medicine
    or others.
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    Synth has a point. Most of the wealthy I know work with top private counselors which are a way bigger advantage than letters.
  • alexandrafitzmoralexandrafitzmor Posts: 744Registered User Member
    Go hire Michele Hernandez or Katherine Cohen, OP. Much better use of your money.
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    ^Don't know if you need to go that far, the Hernandez boot camp was $14K for 4 days this year! There are equally good people for much less.
  • MorsmordreMorsmordre Posts: 680- Member
    Even though I obviously have no experience in this (if I had that kind of cash why go to college lol?) if someone promised to donate one or two million dollars to a school in return for acceptance wouldn't the top schools love it if the applicant is reasonably qualified? Especially with the lack of liquidity top schools have in their endowments and the fact that one million dollars alone would be able to fund twenty full need kids' expenses for a year wouldn't these schools be willing to do it? It seems sort of odd that people are mentioning 300 million net worth, but then again, maybe the price of these spots is actually really high?
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    99% of colleges would take a million. They don't hide the fact. Duke accepted Ralph Lauren's kid with the promise of a gift and then only got half a million....so far anyway.
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