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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?

  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    I would ask around your community for some personal referrals from people that have had the success you are looking for. And I'm sure you already know how crazy competitive Ivy league admissions can be. If your daughter has any Ivy legacy, I would strongly consider using that. But if it's Harvard (guessing this based on your name?), that may not be as good as legacy at Penn or Cornell. But I'm sure you knew all of this already.

    If your daughter is "hookless" it's going to be that much more difficult. I hate to sound negative, but as a counselor I get worried when I think an applicant has his/her heart set on an Ivy or the like. They deny so many qualified applicants each year. And if you are from the northeast or another area where there are tons of strong applicants, it gets even harder.

    Good luck!
  • HarvardinaHarvardina Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thanks, she actually does have Harvard legacy, as my husband is a graduate. I'm afraid to "ask around our community" though for a consultant referral, as both my daughter and husband think it's a bad idea to broadcast that we're seeking this kind of help. Also, collegemomjam, are you saying that legacy doesn't help much at Harvard, but only at the other Ivies?
  • HarvardinaHarvardina Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    ...also, if I posted some of the consultants I googled can anyone tell me if they've used them (or would that be against the forum rules?).
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    @Harvardina well, it's Harvard. It probably still helps, but you don't hear as much about Harvard legacy being helpful as you do at some of the others. Unless there are major changes next year, if your daughter seriously wants an Ivy, she probably will need to pick ONE and do ED or SCEA. Not that she cannot get in RD (my daughter ended up getting in to Dartmouth RD this year which surprised us), but you increase your chances of acceptance by letting your top choice know they are your top choice...but it is still no guarantee, of course. And the magnitude of the "advantage" of applying SCEA or ED is debatable and varies by college.

    You might want to spend some time on the Harvard threads to get a feel for how much legacy seems to help there. There may even be some Harvard "experts" out there that can give you a better answer. Maybe you can private message some of them.

    In the meantime, have your daughter visit the schools and take notes on what she likes about them so that she can demonstrate a genuine interest and connection in her "why x college" essays. Maybe have her sit in on some classes and connect with some professors and students in her academic subject areas of interest. These top schools are looking for students that really want to go there for all of the right reasons and the better you can convince them of your genuine interest and ability to contribute to their campus (whether it be academically or in an extra-curricular area), the better your chances of admission.

    I don't know if paying top dollar for an expensive Ivy-esque counselor will help or not and don't know of any. I know plenty of kids that have gotten in to Ivies and many of them have some kind of hook, but not all. Good luck!!!
  • keiekeikeiekei Registered User Posts: 134 Junior Member
    Pretty sure legacy is helpful at all the top schools besides MIT and CalTech. Certainly the Harvard Crimson takes it for granted that legacy helps at H, arguing that legacy preferences should be ended and citing a paper that estimates legacies at top colleges have more than 3x the chance to get in compared with other applicants with similar qualifications (this latter point is critical).
    There is a lot of handwaving by admissions offices to pretend preferences don't exist. For example, a couple years ago Yale bragged that its legacies had SAT averages only a couple points below the class average. This is laughable when you consider how much whiter and higher SES the legacies are compared to the class average. The proper comparison would be against applicants of the same race and SES. Non-legacies would need higher qualifications, but Yale won't admit this.
    As admit rates have fallen for all applicants, so they have for legacies. Whereas legacy admit rate at H might have been 40% in 2001, maybe it's 15-17% now, vs 5% overall rate. Legacies, for a variety of reasons, likely have better qualifications than the average applicant, but the abovementioned study (and others like it, mentioned in the study itself) adjusts for qualifications and still finds the 3x legacy advantage. In the real world what I think this means is, if an unhooked H admittee has to basically walk on water, the legacy admittee gets a bit of a break—maybe test scores are great and grades are great, but the ECs are not quite as strong. Or maybe ECs are strong and grades a little weak. You still have to be in the top 15% among a strong crowd.
    Another thing I would look at is if the legacy school provides any kind of special interview with admissions. I know Williams does this for legacies. Not sure if Harvard does.
  • NCMOM24NCMOM24 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    @Harvardina Don't hesitate to ask around...you don't have to ask specifically for Ivy League help you can ask around for essay help or someone who can help choose schools that way no one knows your intentions. It's the best way to get good referrals. I am a college consultant (NOT soliciting already booked for the class of "18 & '19 and prefer to work local so I can meet in person with clients and get to know them) but I only work by personal referral and don't advertise. So ask people you trust and also in addition to Harvard find your D some schools that are a step or two down from the ivies to love...it's tough out there.
  • janjmomjanjmom Registered User Posts: 332 Member
    @Harvardina there are two national professional organizations for educational consultants: IECA and HECA. You can go to their websites to search for consultants. It's no guarantee that they are good (ask for references), but at least you will know that they abide by the ethical guidelines for the organizations (and the industry) and that they have met the requirements to join (experience, training, etc).
  • HarvardinaHarvardina Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thanks everyone, much appreciated!
  • shine11354shine11354 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    You did great job. I highly agree what we need is application strategy and essay brainstorm. I am looking for private counselor for my S. Can you give me contact info. of the counselor who you were working with? thanks.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    @sal255 what a great and unique approach. I agree you can get great results if you are open minded and resourceful. Congrats to your daughter!!
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    @keiekei I believe U of Chicago did away with legacy being helpful to applicants many years ago, and I don't think legacy helps anymore at Harvard U either. Stanford still counts legacy though, strongly, I have heard. Now if a student's mom or dad teaches at the Ivy school that they want to attend, that may help a student get admitted. Faculty children, if they are admitted, are offered a full tuition waver at most Ivy schools plus MIT and many other private colleges across the US.
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 13,041 Senior Member
    ^^The Ivies raised the waiver? We have friends who were Ivy faculty kids and they got a 50% tuition waiver. Of course, this was back in the 80s when the dinosaurs roamed!
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,570 Senior Member
    @Coloradomama , Stanford guarantees legacies that their apps will be read by 2 readers, so no capricious rejections by a cranky single reader. They also will give a bump to large (very large) donors. In some situations, this is helpful, but it's not a strong boost for most. They are pretty upfront with alumni about what to expect.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    Columbia offers a 100% tuition waiver for employees and employee children:
    This may extend to non faculty employees at some universities:

    MIT offers this plan to employees:


    New strategy for parents, get a job at the school your child wants to attend!!!

    I did not look up all the Ivys but I think many US universities, including Case Western Reserve University
    offer free tuition to faculty children.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    MIT sends a letter to all alumni parents with children applying to MIT, spelling out that legacy does not count for anything in the MIT admissions process. I believe U of Chicago sends a similar letter, according to a relative I know, who's kids applied to her alma mater.
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