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


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

  • OrcinusOrcinus Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    edited April 2017
    @BobShaw - Sorry! Didn't mean to be a stalker. I jumped right in. Should have introduced myself first. Probably confused AnnMarie74. I've been clicking on the banners on the home page that take you to the featured discussions to check out what people are talking about. It's interesting. College selection is hard! Can't make up my mind between the two women's colleges. I'll be visiting both soon. Will I be seeing your daughter there? I think she said she's visiting Scripps. Wasn't sure if she's going to Philly too. Thank you so much for asking!
  • BobShawBobShaw Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    @Orcinus - I'll PM you. Don't want to hijack a thread for side conversations. ;-)
  • BobShawBobShaw Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    @oldfort - I agree that's true of many top private schools, but not all of them attract people for their academic rigor, and not all public schools are the same, especially when they have multiple tracks for the core subjects. Not sure where you live, but the East Coast private academies and prep schools probably fit your description. I had a lot of sharp, prepared classmates at my Ivy League school from Phillips Academies Andover, Exeter, etc. Another thing that's more prevalent on the East Coast than in California, I have found, are the selective magnet public high schools and specialized high schools (like the nine in NYC - Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, etc.). I know of relatively few examples of that in CA. I think they have a lot of those in Texas too, especially in the Dallas area.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,002 Senior Member
    Your top public may have gotten clobbered because another, less top hs, put forth amazing kids. It's not just quantitative. Ime, when academic choices and performance are close enough, it's so qualitative. That's where hairs are split. And it's brutal. No, I don't mean awards or the simple facts of your back story.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    @collegemomjam Your post is very informative, thank you.

    Most public schools have state mandates on accepting in state students if they receive
    even a small amount of aid from their state legislature. Even in Colorado, where we largely fund our public schools with donations, OOS tuition dollars from international students and California students, and federal dollars, we have rules about how many Colorado students must be served. It may become a fight in Colorado, as our best public schools think about privatizing, to try to force our state to pony up more and more funding.

    I know Georgia Tech does mandate how many Georgia students it must serve in the undergraduate population. This may apply to Chapel Hill, you can look that up to understand what North Carolina laws say about in state percentages that must be served there.

    U of Michigan, its not been a "Michigan" school for years. Its a school populated now with northeastern students and Chicago students, California students and Texas students, who may feel its better than their in state flagship. And maybe it is, probably depends on which state we are comparing it to and for which major. Clearly for musical theatre, Michigan may really be better. For many other majors its just an expensive "away" experience.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    @collegemomjam It makes no sense to me to study math, though if one is interested in marketing, supply chain, or sales, or entrepreneurship. Math is a hard major at most colleges, and leads to a very discouraging four years. I am not certain Villanova would be that way though. Maybe direct more students to Case Western Reserve University instead of Villanova, where they can study what they want. Georgia Tech also would allow students to study math or business, up front. So would MIT. The schools that tell you business is HARDER than mathematics, are wrong , so its really too bad that so many schools, such as U of Colorado Boulder and apparently Villanova tell students this lie.
    The fact that Arts and Sciences is a "catch all" for students who have lower stats, is a huge problem in the USA. It does not take more brains to study business than most science and math majors in arts and sciences. I think it may be the reason that so many students are misguided and lost after four years at a university. They are told "just get into Arts and Sciences" and they flunder.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,544 Senior Member
    I'm not sure how the last bit of conversation goes to the private counselors' conversation, but I have a PhD in an applied math field, began my career teaching at one of the tippy-top business schools and still teach a week or two a year in executive education course at a couple of top schools. Plus, I have a son who was a triple major (math/econ/behavioral econ) and is now getting degrees in computational and mathematical engineering and in business at a tippy-top school. Based upon this experience, it would be very hard to justify the assertion that business courses are harder than a mathematics courses. So, @Coloradomama, I completely agree with your first point. I think studying math contributes meaningfully to people's capacity to structure arguments leading to premises to conclusions and being careful about assumptions, but most sales careers do not require an undergraduate degree in math. There are some people in marketing and especially in supply chain optimization for whom an undergraduate background in math could help.

    My concern about undergraduate business courses is that they don't teach people to think very well. I have a very bright nephew who was an econ major (I think) at McGill who took a couple of business courses and called them econ appreciation -- in the same way as you don't learn how to make art or think like an artist in an art appreciation class, you don't learn to do econ or think like an economist in an econ appreciation class. Because you don't understand the underpinnings of the economic models, you don't necessarily know how to use that way of thinking properly as you move to novel situations.

    I fear that many things that do not involve complex thinking or serious relationship-building will be automated over the next decade. I wonder if undergraduate business majors will be more vulnerable or vulnerable sooner. I don't think private counselors would necessarily have a lot of leverage with respect to those judgments, but I wonder if they push back on people trying to be undergrad business majors. And, other than Wharton, Stern or Ross, would parents hire a private counselor to help their kids get into a business or accounting major in Indiana or West Virginia?
  • gr8pl8gr8pl8 Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    @BobShaw Total agreement. Son was lazy at high performance and high ranking public HS but took hard classes because of the better half. Son's HS is ranked significantly higher then the nationally recognized private K-12 school in our part of SoCal, very unusual situation where the private school kid's parents send them to the public HS when they reach 9th grade. Son is getting a higher gpa now as a college student then when he was at HS.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,707 Senior Member
    "And, other than Wharton, Stern or Ross, would parents hire a private counselor to help their kids get into a business or accounting major in Indiana or West Virginia?"

    Yes, they do. Whether they SHOULD is open to debate, but they do.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,544 Senior Member
    Thanks @Hanna. I'm a bit past this game. But, if they are doing so, things have really gotten out of hand.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    Many schools do not admit by major... so the choice of major has no decision on whether to hire a consultant.

    Also, there are plenty of good schools with business programs (Emory, Georgetown, ND, etc.) - so let's not start on the business bashing on this thread (please).
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    @Coloradomama and @shawbridge thanks for your replies. For the record, my client isn't really sure what she wants to study in college or with her life after college, as many 17 year olds feel. She likes Math. Lots of people that like Math consider business degrees....or Math degrees. I think both paths can be just fine and can lead to many different careers, both in business, and both not in business.

    I agree a math major could be more challenging than a business degree (but maybe not), but that doesn't have anything to do with the admissions competitiveness.

    In many cases, as of lately, it is more difficult to get in to a school's business school than their liberal arts school (same for engineering). And for schools that offer it, It can be especially challenging to get direct admit to schools like Kenan-Flaglar and Ross (Ross has gotten a little easier as they are now taking most business students as freshman). So if you don't get direct admit and you really want to go to UNC or Michigan....you might just take your chances. At Wake Forest and UVA, you cannot even apply as a business major until you are a sophomore. So students that want business take their chances.

    Why has it gotten so hard to get in to business schools? The demand is there. Students are looking for a what they perceive to be a more practical path to employment. I'm not saying it's necessarily right, but that is what's going on.

    I have a daughter who is a sophomore at a top ranked business school in the northeast. Her head is spinning from all of the recruitment going on. She already has an offer from a big four for her JUNIOR year summer (even though she is only a sophomore). She is planning on doing the whole interview thing for banking as well (she is doubling in accounting and finance, a popular thing to do these days).

    You definitely don't need a business degree to go in to business and I agree a liberal arts degree has many advantages (critical thinking, creativity, etc.), although most B school programs have very well rounded liberal arts cores, especially at the Catholic colleges. HOWEVER, if you don't have a natural interest in finance and follow financial market, I don't see how you could possibly make it through the rigorous "super-day" interview process with the banks. Obviously, there are lots of other business jobs that are NOT financial or on Wall Street, but if you have your sights on Wall Street and you are a liberal arts major, I would think you need to make sure you are in some business clubs, and that you are keeping up with what's going on in the world of finance because it's my understanding that this knowledge is tested during the interview process.

    With that said, I am not sure all of this professional focus is such a great idea now that I have a daughter going through it. There is a lot of stress involved. She is choosing to double and go still go abroad so she is causing herself more stress than maybe she needs to be
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    So as it relates to hiring a college counselor for a B school other that Wharton, Stern, or Ross?....might be more necessary than a student applying liberal arts.

    The competition is STEEP for programs at Notre Dame, Georgetown, BC, Villanova, USC....Even Kelley at Indiana has much higher standards than the rest of the school (although at Kelley they have GPA and SAT or ACT cut offs). And the recruiting at these schools starts early and is intense. Doesn't mean it's the only path to Wall Street...but is surely a popular path these days.

    As was stated above, this isn't a debate over what is better, liberal arts or business. It's for admissions and the competitiveness for pre-professional programs is steep, often steeper than for liberal arts.

    And @Coloradomama for the record my client did apply to Georgia Tech (deferred EA then denied). Case Western would have been a HORRIBLE fit for her as she is looking for a different type of social environment and student body. Villanova, even as a math major, will afford her business opportunities if she decides to pursue business because they have strong recruiting even for non business majors.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    Hiring a private counselor....here was my "private counseling" advice to her that I'm not sure she and her mom would have been able to come up with on their own....not that it's rocket science, but it ended up working:

    My Villanova Client:

    Because of her mediocre SAT score, she was borderline for liberal arts at Villanova. Not to mention, we knew Villanova would be much harder this year (and it was).

    B school would have been a no....not sure they had any idea how much more competitive to get into b school was.

    So her other options were Math or Econ in liberal arts (two areas that interest her).

    She didn't do that great in AP Econ in her HS....one of her lower grades and she didn't do well on the AP so she would not report it on the common ap...not a big deal but the fact that she is leaving it off would lead them to believe it was a 3 or even lower or that she didn't take it...either way not showing that Econ might be an area she succeeds in.)

    She really like Math and has her best grades in Math. Is taking AP Calc now and doing well (as shown on her midyears). THERE IS A PUSH FOR GIRLS IN STEM FIELDS.

    She got in to Villanova as a Math major. So it worked. And she is NOT committed to Math. She can switch to Econ (but switching to business might not happen...there's a slight chance, but small).

    So for purposes of this thread, I think the little they paid me (I don't charge a lot, I'm not in it for the money and don't believe that charging an insane amount of money is worth it for private college counseling, just my opinion) was worth it. She is thrilled to be going to Villanova, as are her parents.

    Not sure she would be going with Villanova if we didn't strategize the way we did.

This discussion has been closed.