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Have you used a private admission consultant, if so what is your experience?

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Replies to: Have you used a private admission consultant, if so what is your experience?

  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    "What we saw is that of the 25 or so kids who were admitted to top 10 colleges, maybe 3 were like my son - strong stats, but no hooks. Everybody else was an URM, a recruited athlete or a legacy." [I would add to this list - first generation and low socio-economic class].

    This sounds about right. I bet that rate (12.5% of unhooked smart white kids get into top 10 colleges) is accurate no matter what high school you come from.
  • Southern5062Southern5062 Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    @notveryzen, may I ask which test prep program you used? I am not sure if you used a program online, a class, a consultant etc - but we are in search of SAT prep. When I search Google I get 100 different answers. We are not in a large city so it would have to be all online. My son got a great PSAT score but not doing as well as he needs to on the SAT. Thank you!
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,587 Senior Member
    @AnnMarie74 except that your son DID get in to one of his reaches??? Isn't that what we had been speculating before, that the private schools try to get the kids in to ONE of their reaches? And therefore, your son's experience was a success? Do you think he would have gotten in from the public high school without the GC possibly advocating for him???
  • AnnMarie74AnnMarie74 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    @collegemomjam you are right, I'm not sure. Maybe that was the deciding factor for him. It's just that when I was looking at their matriculation statistics, I thought that he only had to be in the top 10% grade wise to be admitted, but it turned out that most of the kids who were admitted actually had worse grades/test scores than he did. And there is a girl, who in my son's opinion was the strongest girl in the entire school and she was WLed at all her reaches. My point is that it may be just as much of a lottery at private schools for kids with no hooks as everywhere else.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,023 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    Collegemomjam, you said you do a little counselling, but seem uncertain how this or that is viewed. ?

    An irrelevant essay ia an irrelevant essay, whether from a prep kid or not. There's no epecial bye, at a TT, for kids who can't shiw what those adcoms need to see
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,023 Senior Member
    "I thought that he only had to be in the top 10% grade wise to be admitted, but it turned out that most of the kids who were admitted actually had worse grades/test scores than he did."

    Are you saying you thought his stats made him a shoo in? Not so, at elite holistic colleges. And holistic is more than race/ethnicity.
  • AnnMarie74AnnMarie74 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    I thought that strong stats from a private school that sends 25 kids annually to top colleges made him a shoo in. But I discovered that a private school doesn't necessarily give one an edge. I know and agree that strong academics are not sufficient to get into a top school. But I saw examples when they were also not necessary.
  • dragonmom3dragonmom3 Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    edited April 2017
    Sometimes people seem to forget that the high school experience is so much more than "getting in" to a top college.
    Academically, they need to be prepared...well prepared for the rigor of the curriculum and the brilliance of their fellow students. Some kids are accepted from "average" public schools who are going to be overwhelmed --I was one.
    My kids go to a private Catholic high school where they have all chosen challenging coursework and work hard. It's certainly not the highest "ranked " school in the area.
    They also LOVE their teachers and their school.
    I hope they will love their colleges, whatever their ranking or perceived prestige worldwide.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,587 Senior Member
    @lookingforward I'm not sure what you are trying to say by "...but seem uncertain how this or that is viewed..."

    I don't think any counselor, anywhere, would claim to ever know exactly how something is viewed. College admissions is mostly subjective, especially at these top tiers where so many of the applicants have the stats and then it comes down to things like essays and other variables. Admissions counselors within the same school probably look for different things...all you can do is send your best work and hope they decide to admit you.

    I think on one of the Harvard threads someone said they knew a Harvard admissions person who said one year they just needed a few more Physics majors....

    @dragonmom3 I agree that students need to be prepared for these top schools, especially students that were admitted with a "hook".

    However, when I was getting my certificate in College Counseling, I remember learning that there had been some studies done comparing the college successes of Public school students vs. Private School students. The studies reflected that the public school students often started off a little behind because they weren't used to the academic rigor, however, by the end of the four years they had either caught up or passed their "better prepared" peers because they hadn't really been pushed or challenged as much in the past, and hadn't yet reached their academic potential. This stood out in my mind because I have always been a public school advocate (still am). I do think there are MANY benefits to attending a private school, and many of them are non-academic. And I also agree that overall, like @AnnMarie74 said, that going to the private school doesn't necessarily give you better odds, and like @dragonmom3 says, "...the high school experience is so much more than "getting in"".

    There are so many different paths to success, and no right or wrong answers for these many talented students applying to these top schools....some will get in to their "top choices", some will not...but none of them need to be defined by where they are accepted.

    So back to the main point of this thread...I do think a reasonably priced private counselor can help a student and their parents (especially if it's their first time going through it) ensure that the student has the right list (realistically balanced) and can help them formulate an application strategy based on the current trends (which seem to change every year). And those of you that are in the top private schools....I don't think you need anyone but your school's counselors because you are probably best served by working with them on your strategy because they have relationships with a lot of the top colleges, and working with a private counselor may work against that. Just my OPINION. And of course, have some back ups because not everyone gets their top choice.
  • BobShawBobShaw Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    edited April 2017
    The studies reflected that the public school students often started off a little behind because they weren't used to the academic rigor, however, by the end of the four years they had either caught up or passed their "better prepared" peers because they hadn't really been pushed or challenged as much in the past, and hadn't yet reached their academic potential. This stood out in my mind because I have always been a public school advocate (still am). I do think there are MANY benefits to attending a private school, and many of them are non-academic.

    Depends on the public school and the private school in question. In our neck of the woods, the people who send their kids to the private schools do so for four reasons:
    (1) Fear of the public high school, because the competition and academic standards are higher than in any of the privates in the area (my wife once researched this for job interviews as a math teacher). The stress factor at the public high schools is severe. But these public school kids later tell us that freshman year in college was a joke.

    (2) More opportunity for breadth, because the privates seem to offer a more balanced, well-rounded approach to education, allowing students time to pursue extracurricular activities more intensively. The public high schools bury the kids in homework, much of it pointless busy-work.

    (3) A couple of privates in the area are favorites of the Ivies and Stanford for recruiting; they seem to have a pipeline. Students who were not performing so well academically in the public middle school and switched to one of these private high schools ended up at more "prestigious" colleges than many of their academically superior peers at the public high school. Holistic admissions? Being a member of a privileged group whose parents can afford to send them to exotic locations abroad for their summers for enrichment programs? Easier to stand out in a smaller pool of candidates from the same school? Knowledge that they will be full-pay students and always apply ED or EA? More personalized counseling at the schools? Who knows. There must be a good reason.

    (4) Status, i.e., yes, I can afford the astronomical mortgage here, supported by the awesome public schools, AND STILL send my kid to private school - ha ha. Hey, I don't blame them. If I could afford it, I probably would have done the same to minimize my children's stress. I'm also a fan of school uniforms. Then again, my children would not have been exposed to the socio-economic diversity in their public school or the realities of life when nothing is handed to you on a silver platter.
  • AnnMarie74AnnMarie74 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    @BobShaw I wonder how much socio-economic diversity can be achieved at a public school surrounded by houses with astronomical mortgages.
  • gr8pl8gr8pl8 Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    Don't use them...they are a waste of money. Your daughter will be much more satisfied by doing the research herself. It is not rocket science. Look hard enough and all the answers are available from the college web sites. They post their admitted student profile. You apply and write the essay to the best of your abilities and let the chips fall where they fall. We had a hard push by a consultant that she would be able to get my D into Stanford with her help. D did the application herself, without any help and was accepted.
  • OrcinusOrcinus Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @AnnMarie74 - Quota of students from one of the poorest cities, which happens to be just across the county line and over the freeway. The two neighboring cities are a case study in the growing income gap in America. Our city is mostly white and Asian. Theirs is almost exclusively Latino, African American, and some Pacific Islander. Closing the "achievement gap" is a major theme in our school district.
  • BobShawBobShaw Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    @Orcinus - Aha, nice to see you finally taking my advice and joining the forum! I was spooked when I saw someone else answer @AnnMarie74 's question accurately. I was thinking, who the heck knows where I live? Then I saw the username. :-) How is the college selection going?

    @AnnMarie74 - Orcinus is a young lady in my D's former high school, so she knows what I'm talking about. Like she said, we live in a place where there are a lot of income disparities because thanks to a lawsuit a while back, an adjoining community can send kids into our school district. That's a good thing for both sides. As can be expected, as the kids grow older, they become more conscious of the disparities. Some form good friendships across the socio-economic divide, whereas others stick to what they know. At least kids make an attempt to bridge the gap.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,303 Senior Member
    @BobShaw - teachers usually teach to the lowest denominator. Top private schools tend to test their applicants for admission to ensure their students could keep up with their curriculum. At those private schools the teachers also give out more writing assignments (research papers) and those papers were returned (with comments) sooner because private school teachers had more time to read those papers.

    Where my kids grew up, top private schools' curriculum were more rigorous and their facilities could rival some top tier colleges.
This discussion has been closed.