getting into the Ivies

I am in the Northeast. I know it is a very competitive area, especially regarding the Ivies. Here’s my question. I know a girl who is desperate to be recruited by one of the schools in the Ivy League. She isn’t up to the level of play needed. I am unsure of her grades and scores. Her parents do have a great deal of money. They are putting up on every social media platform that she has moved from her elite Northeast private school, in the last week to a public high school in Idaho in her senior year. Is this legal? I can clearly see it isn’t ethical? I am really off put that people can do things like this, especially after the whole scandal out in California. Are our kids still being affected by people essentially buying/stealing their way into the top schools?

Is this a concern for you because???

The parents can move her to wherever they want.

The admissions officers will see her transcript and are wise to lots of “tricks”.

I wouldn’t worry.

It’s a concern for me because I have watched many kids work hard and struggle for years doing it the right way, including my own child. I have told my child the truth about what colleges she’s able to get into and play for. I feel for the kids who have had spots taken from them.

There’s your answer, assuming your assessment is accurate.

In the wake of Varsity Blues, you should assume that there will be more internal checks and balances at an Ivy League college.

Posting on social media is neither illegal nor unethical. Nor is moving schools. And unless the kid is playing the same sports as yours, she’s not taking your kid’s spot.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Collegekid1 had a classmate whose family supposedly did dodgy things to help her get into a famous name college. Everybody ‘knew’ this to be true- except it turned out that it wasn’t.

So, maybe it is as you suppose: they are banking on her being a star from an underrepresented state and she will get into Famous U. But she could also be staying with a relative because something has imploded at home. Idaho could be the new Swiss boarding school (the kind unexpectedly pregnant schoolage girls used to be sent to in stories). All this social media stuff could be coverup & distraction. Or not. The point is: nobody outside the family really knows. And, as you only know that she isn’t recruitable, but not her grades or scores, she could well be super qualified for admission w/o being recruited- so if she gets into Famous U, it is not necessarily a sign of successful cheating. Equally, if she doesn’t get in, it’s not a sign that the main goal of going to Idaho wasn’t achieved.

Did she move to Utah to be near a coach in her sport ?

Was her move to Utah for family reasons ? Religious reason ? To improve in a sport such as downhill racing (snow skiing) ?

Regardless of the answer to the above questions, it is a decision made by the student and her parents which is a personal family matter even though shared on social media platforms.

Many students take a PG year to improve at athletics and/or in academics. This may just be an adventurous senior year “study abroad” type endeavor. Seems fine to me.

Switching from an elite private school in the NE US to a public school in under-represented Idaho could make the student a more interesting person with a newly found perspective on many matters. Certainly has the ingredients for an interesting college application essay.

Reminds me of a student in Atlanta, Georgia whom I met well over a decade ago. His mother was an administrator at a prestigious Atlanta area private school. He chose to attend a public school comprised of students of a different race partially in an effort to bolster his chances for admission to elite colleges and universities. Was this wrong ? Or was it adventuresome and evidence of a willingness to understand a different socio-economic perspective ? I don’t know the answer, but I would love to read his college application essays.

It’s not illegal to pay out of district fees at public schools. I don’t think it matters where she plays her sport. She’s either good enough to be recruited or she’s not.

According to your other thread you have a child who’s been offered full support for her ED application due to her sport. There are people who think that is an unfair advantage. If your family can use a sport to increase your daughter’s chances of admission, why do you object to another family using geographic location to try to boost their child’s chances?

I don’t understand why it’s unethical? First, the reason for the move is not known definitively. Second, no elite school, with an admit rate of <10% is going to admit a kid “just because they are from Idaho.” Nor is a coach going to recruit a kid who isn’t up to the level “just because they are from Idaho.” So I don’t see the problem. ?‍♀️

I have to say, having watched two kids play both soccer and basketball and one also play lacrosse, some of those sports in national finals, coach’s opinions NEVER totally make sense to parents. ? There are always kids on the team that the parents shake their heads over and wonder why. Often different parents shake their heads because of different kids. Coaches pick whom they pick and (sadly for us ?) don’t have to explain themselves to the parents.

That doesn’t make sense. Students from elite Prep Schools have a higher chance to get admitted to an Ivy than a Public School student. One can be a Valedictorian from a PS and not be admitted. My daughter’s Prep School sent 40% of the graduating class to an Ivy.

Not disagreeing with you, @ShanFerg3, and the OP wasn’t explicit about the logic, but if I am reading between the lines correctly, the thinking is that what is ordinary at the elite prep school (ie, the good students who are not in the top part of the class) will be extraordinary at a public school, especially in an under-represented state, which in turn will make the student in question stand out to ivy schools and increase the odds. I agree that it seems an extraordinary gamble, and wonder where the student is in all this- and I stand by my first read of it, which was essentially that you can’t know what all is going on inside a family.

(fwiw, only a handful of even the elite prep schools have 40% of their grads go to Ivies- bet I could guess within 3 tries what school your daughter went to!)

I have read very different accounts in the “Prep School Parents” section on CC

Either someone is bad at math or has a different definition of “Ivy” or daughter graduated in 1952, but I am unaware of any school that fed 40% to the Ivy League in this decade.

Regardless, no HS is a guaranteed ticket to the Ivy League.

@skieurope has good info & perspective.
@irish2121 & @ShanFerg3
I tend to take what I hear from parents as well as students, coaches, the general public as far as recruiting and admittance, especially to top elite schools, with a grain of salt.
I had a kid that was recruited, received a LL to a top Ivy and what I often hear from others is contrary to what we heard and experienced from the school(s).
I even once had someone tell me about my kids scholarship that was no-where close to being accurate and the funny part is they never heard it from us/the family. I assume that it was the general scuttlebut by some parents around the school/gym/fields.

This is generally believed not to be true (I know it has been argued on CC what seems like endlessly). Many of the prep school kids who go Ivy are either strong legacies or recruited athletes or first gen college students. Those are strong hooks that “normal” kids don’t have. So if you are a “normal” smart kid at a prep school where Harvard is going to take a double legacy, a soccer stud, and a first gen student, you might not make the cut. If you were at a LPS and were able to shine even more in comparison to your peers you might have a better chance.

I wish there was a “laugh” instead of just agree, like, or helpful. It must be very strange to hear the gossip about your kid’s situation repeated back to you and have it be so wrong!?

Sounds like you parents don’t know the facts and real reason for the move.

If she is “not up to the level of play” needed, then no amount of changing of schools is going to change that fact. Secondly, the ivies are not going to be impressed with an applicant who left an “elite” private prep school to attend an “average” Idaho public school. This move could really backfire on the student if this were the reason.

Lastly, she is currently a senior so how is moving to Idaho her senior year going to help this kid get into an ivy? other than maybe she needs a break from the competitive nature of the NE prep school environment? Coaches and adcoms are making decisions for recruited athletes this fall, you really think that spending a few months in Idaho is going to move the needle? Don’t you think the coaches pretty much know the make-up of the athletes they want on their team and have been recruiting for some time now?

I would be shocked if she attends an ivy league based on being a recruited athlete or because she moved to Idaho.

I would let it go…

@one1ofeach “I wish there was a “laugh” instead of just agree, like, or helpful…”-that would be good add!. When I think of it I still chuckle.

I’m sure the Ivies admit more students that fit the profile of what you described than Prep School kids. But, that’s because they’re more of them. Odds are much better being admitted from a leading private Prep School.

The Brearley School, Trinity in NYC, and The Collegiate School