On a beautiful hot summer day at an Ivy League university, some parents of incoming freshmen are at a garden reception to welcome them and their students to the school. There are cheese and crackers, freshly baked cookies and lemonade, and the parents are catching their breath after moving their kids into their dorms.
The topic of conversation between the parents soon become how many schools the kids applied to and how they were accepted to this top Ivy League school. It turned out that both students took advantage of admissions consulting services.
The dirty little secret of Ivy League parents is that many of them use admissions consultants, but they won’t let you know until their kids are already attending the school of their choice. When their kids are applying, they will not likely let you know for fear of competition. It is after their kids are attending the schools that they start trading notes. Ivy week came and went, and there were many tears from parents and kids who didn’t get in. What went wrong? You didn’t know what you were doing!
I recently received this mailing from Solomon Admissions showing the 2020-2021 average acceptance rates of students to top schools with and without Solomon’s consulting:
As you can see from the above, there is definitely an advantage to hiring a consultant. A consultant will guide the student throughout the admissions process. The schools are looking for passion and the consultant can help find that passion and make the student’s application be the best it can be.
One parent we interviewed paid over $10,000 to Solomon for their services. Was he happy with the results? Well, his kid didn’t get into Harvard (the student didn’t apply). However, the student did get into one of the Ivy League universities listed in Solomon’s mailing. The parent’s only regret is that Solomon did not get involved sooner. If Solomon had started guiding the student during her freshman year in high school, she would not have wasted time on less important things like science Olympiad, which she was not passionate about, and instead focused on her passion, which was sports and fitness. But to tell you the truth, how can normal teenagers be expected to know what their passion is? It’s all a crapshoot anyway. The college consultant just makes your student sound better than the rest. And that is the dirty truth no one wants you to know until their kids get into the top schools.
One reader who attended an Ivy League college but grew up not so affluently in Queens said that his classmates would ask him, “Where do you summer?” He joked, “Summer? Flushing Meadow Park?” Summer is a verb to some Ivy Leaguers. To prepare for the Ivy League, we suggest reading True Prep, to learn that summer is in fact a verb and other ways to talk the talk and walk the walk of Ivy Leaguers.
The Social Climber’s Bible: A Book of Manners, Practical Tips, and Spiritual Advice for the Upwardly Mobile– very good and interesting tips on how to win rich friends:
Born Rich Documentary: Highly entertaining video about rich kids, the type you might encounter in Ivy League schools (after viewing Born Rich, see where the rich kids are now):
The One Percent Documentary: by Jamie Johnson, Johnson & Johnson heir who made Born Rich, see above.
Why am I passionate about my child attending an Ivy League college? Because I have seen the things Ivy Leaguers can get. It is a private club that few can get in, but once you are in, you can have access to better jobs, make more money, network with a certain group of people (other Ivy Leaguers who have gotten these benefits and are now powerful), get wined and dined by companies just looking to recruit Ivy League students. One reader sent in this story:
When I was a law student, I got into a program that assigned me to a prestigious internship with a federal judge. I personally did not attend a top law school, but the judge assigned to me was an alumnus of Ivy League schools and only hired clerks who attended prestigious schools. This is the case with most Federal judges; they all want the best. I was lucky that I was part of the program, so I was vouched by the program organizers. While in chambers, I was able to see that these Ivy League clerks had it all: federal clerkships, large bonuses as a result of the clerkship in the guaranteed jobs in large law firms eager to hire them. I did not have access to any of these perks because I was not part of the club. The other interns chosen by the judge who attended top law schools talked about the wining and dining by law firms. They attended several recruiting events a month. It is really a different world for Ivy Leaguers.
Lower-Tier Law Mom
What about you? Please post your experiences, hopes and dreams in the comments below.
One of my readers told me that the classmates at his Ivy League college would ask where he summered. Summer is a verb to many Ivy Leaguers! Summer? Flushing Meadow Park?’
In this video, a Columbia student who is on scholarship describes her Thanksgiving scrounging around for food because all the campus food service was closed and she couldn’t afford to fly home for turkey. She also said that one of her classmates posted on the Columbia University ClassConfessions Facebook page that she needs to be a sugarbaby/escort in order to survive.