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Ivy League School Admissions
Old 12-16-2014, 09:08 AM   #1
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Ivy League School Admissions

So a good friend just called to say his son did not get into the first school of choice (early admissions). Was "deferred" which cuts his odds from slim to none.

Upon further discussion he explains how hard the TWO of them worked on his son's essay. Turns out Dad basically wrote the essay. And he did this because when he did it for his niece two years ago, not only did she get accepted - she got a full scholarship to an ivy league school.

So - tongue in cheek - I asked if he hired out someone to take the SATs for his son. To which he answers

"No, that would be crossing the line. Besides, you have to come with 2 picture ids. The student's picture is now on the test ticket. They closed that loop hole."

So I said "But you can still cheat on the essays"

He said "IT'S NOT CHEATING! There are agencies that will tutor applicants to help write the best essay. I "tutored" my son. If you're NOT doing this you'll ALWAYS be on the outside!"

So fess-up ... how many parents submitted THEIR work on their kids college aps?
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:16 AM   #2
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No for us. DD insisted on doing it herself and that we were too out of touch to provide a credible essay that admissions people would believe that she wrote. DS didn't have an essay for tech school as I recall.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
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I never even read any essays my daughters submitted with their college applications. They had other adults (teachers) proofread for them.

Not that it is necessarily germane to the thread, but FYI: the Ivy League schools do not give merit scholarships, only need-based. So if your friend's niece got a "full scholarship" to an Ivy League school it means she (her parents ) had a very low EFC and couldn't afford to pay for college. If one of my kids attended an Ivy I might brag a little but I wouldn't broadcast the financial aspect.


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Old 12-16-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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Never had to write an admission's essay, but then I only went to Poison Ivy League schools...
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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Yep, I wrote the admissions essay that got my daughter into a highly rated local community college. She should be finished with her very marketable AA, let's see, she's 30 now, by the time she's 35 or so.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Yep, I wrote the admissions essay that got my daughter into a highly rated local community college. She should be finished with her very marketable AA, let's see, she's 30 now, by the time she's 35 or so.

Looks like another good use of 3M's Post-It Notes.


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Old 12-16-2014, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
...Not that it is necessarily germane to the thread, but FYI: the Ivy League schools do not give merit scholarships, only need-based. So if your friend's niece got a "full scholarship" to an Ivy League school it means she (her parents ) had a very low EFC and couldn't afford to pay for college. If one of my kids attended an Ivy I might brag a little but I wouldn't broadcast the financial aspect. ...
I recall someone once claiming that if a student was good enough to get admitted to an Ivy League school that more often than not they will somehow find a way to make it affordable.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:58 AM   #8
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None of my kids attended schools that requires admission essays. They started at community college. One of them decided he did not want to attend school and left. The second transferred to a state university that did not require an essay. The third is at CC now.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:01 PM   #9
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I got admitted into Brown and I left the essay blank...
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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Where I went they let anybody in who can pay the (heavily subsidized) tuition and fill out the forms. Of course to stay in you have to keep the grades up but that's another subject.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:38 PM   #11
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We did not help any of our three daughters write their college essays. None of them
asked for help, nor was it offered. All of them managed to qualify for their first choice
of mid-western public universities.

At the time (2006-10), I knew a few very anxious parents who were open about the help
they offered their children, and I recall one mother admitting she had written her son's
essay. I remember thinking how wrong that was, and I still think it is wrong.






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Old 12-16-2014, 04:38 PM   #12
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My parents couldn't afford to send me - it was $12K a year in 1982 and we didn't qualify for financial aid.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #13
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The annual cost at my Alma Mater is about $60,000. Four years... nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
While the subject is essay, the policy for admission varies... for instance:
My school does not require that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores for the purposes of admission. The College has been "test optional" since 1969.

This policy allows applicants to decide for themselves whether or not their test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential. For candidates electing to submit them, test scores will be reviewed along with other indicators of academic ability.
Around 30 percent of matriculants (in the class of 2018) chose not to submit scores.
.................................................. .................................
more: The College strives to attract a diverse, multitalented, intellectually adventurous student body. In selecting the first-year class, the Committee pays close attention to a variety of factors; these include a student’s academic achievements, extracurricular involvements, and potential to contribute to the college community.
.................................................. .................................
and: Students have the opportunity, through the personal statement and the supplement, to reveal the quality and depth of their thinking, their ability to communicate ideas in writing, and how they approach learning and the opportunity to interact with others. Students also detail the activities that have captured their interest, areas of accomplishment and recognition, and how they have focused their energies outside the classroom.
.................................................. ..................................
and: The college is committed to affordability. Nearly half of the enrolled students receive grant assistance and the College stands firm in its decision to eliminate student loans from financial aid packages.
.................................................. ..................................
and: More than 48% of last year’s entering class received a school grant. Financial aid students enjoy all the same privileges and responsibilities as other students. No special rules or limitations apply. No one pays much attention to who receives financial aid. Nearly 75% of all students take advantage of some kind of financial aid program to pay college costs.
.................................................. .................................
SO... the question comes down to the actual acceptance. The acceptance rate is 15%... The decision comes from evaluating the total person, and performance over the previous years. Yes, an essay may carry some weight, but by itself, not a make or break factor.

But that's my school's policy. My grandsons will be competing for acceptance and possible scholarships in College for one, and Graduate School for the other. The moral question about assisting in or editing an essay IMHO is a forced life/death type of decision. The matter of a few hundred words influencing the decision on a young person's entire future is grotesque.

A personal decision for sure... but more in line with the question: Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan View Post
So a good friend just called to say his son did not get into the first school of choice (early admissions). Was "deferred" which cuts his odds from slim to none.
I realize you aren't asking for input on this...but from my recollection, just because you don't get early admission (which forces you to go to the school if they accept you early admission, before they start reviewing everyone else's applications) doesn't in any way mean you have no chance of regular admission. They only have so many spots reserved for early admission candidates.

Perhaps if they were a weak applicant and that was their 'best chance', I might be worried, but if he was otherwise qualified, I wouldn't be worried in the least about getting accepted in the general admission.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan View Post
So fess-up ... how many parents submitted THEIR work on their kids college aps?
I filled out all of my college application materials without help from anyone.

In fact, in an odd case of 'flashback', I filled them out and signed many of them on the night of my birthday. Where it asked for "date" next to the signature line, for some reason my brain decided to write in my birthday (complete with the year), instead of the correct year at the time - since, 99% of the time I have ever written that date, its' for my DOB, rather than that particular day.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandemlovers View Post
We did not help any of our three daughters write their college essays. None of them
asked for help, nor was it offered. All of them managed to qualify for their first choice
of mid-western public universities.

At the time (2006-10), I knew a few very anxious parents who were open about the help
they offered their children, and I recall one mother admitting she had written her son's
essay. I remember thinking how wrong that was, and I still think it is wrong.

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I was a graduate from CC in my late 20s, then later a graduate from a state U in my late 30s, so a bit older (no, I didn't say more mature...) than the general student population, but I was appalled by the quality of essays and projects that many students turned in. But it made me look good, Bell Curve wise.


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Old 12-16-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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Got accepted to Ivy League undergraduate and medical schools but chose a top tier non-Ivy League instead. Got no help from my parents in writing my personal statements and gave no help to my children when they applied. Seems a bit dishonest to me.....
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:44 PM   #17
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I read all this and wonder how this whole process has changed. In my mind, it seems like marketing. My parents never went to college and my dad never finished high school. So, all they were hopeful for was a college graduate in the family.

When I chose college, as far as I knew, there were two to chose from, both state schools. One was for the good students and the other was going to be for me and many others like me. That college accepted anybody. When I look back, depending on how it is measured, the university choice did not seem to matter much. There were some remarkable kids in my high school who, if I told you their names, you would likely say, I know about him/her. Some went to Ivy league, most to state schools. Virtually all of the people I graduated with have done well in terms of income and reputation in their chosen field.

My kids on the other hand, made the lists. Visited the campuses. Worried about their choice. In terms of their SATs (as one measurement of their desirability to universities) their scores were just short of perfect. So, what happened. They are both doing very well but not remarkable given all of the angst, SAT scores and class ranking. My son actually dropped out of college and landed a great job anyway. My daughter ended up with a major that was not helpful (career wise) and went to graduate school. In the meantime, to qualify for graduate school, she spent a year in a technical college to take science class requirements, at a reduced price, to qualify for graduate school. She also has ended up with a great job and career as a result of her graduate degree. She would have ended up in the same place no matter the undergraduate college she went to.

While I know there are some people who benefit from the right college, I expect for the vast majority, the time, effort and expense to select the perfect college has not had the expected return. A good in-state school with the right focus and expense would be my vote, for an undergraduate. If they are good enough for the Ivy League, it is likely the state school would be happy to have them. And, if they want to leverage a college with a good reputation, do it in graduate school.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:22 PM   #18
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It seems to me that there is an ever escalating arms race to get into the Ivy League at all costs, and that is not healthy for students or their parents. Here are the admissions rates for the 12 most selective colleges in the US in 2013
Quote:
1. Stanford University: 5.69%
2. Harvard University: 5.84%
3. Yale University: 7.05%
4. United States Naval Academy: 7.35%
5. Princeton University: 7.41%
6. Columbia University in the City of New York: 7.42%
7. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art: 7.74%
8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 8.15%
9. University of Chicago: 8.81%
10. United States Military Academy: 8.96%
11. Brown University: 9.18%
12. Dartmouth College: 9.78%
To be quite blunt about it, most parents are not going to have kids who are in the top 5-10% of applicants to these colleges. That is especially likely to be the case where the child cannot even write his or her own application essay. And even if by some fancy footwork you could get your nice, sweet, responsible, but only academically average kid into one of them, would he or she be happy? Or would your child struggle with the competition, get discouraged and come home? There are many, many colleges in this country where a good, hardworking, decent kid can find happiness and academic success. Going to a college where they will fit in with their classmates, both socially and academically, is far more likely to lead to a successful life than going to a place where they are, in effect, strangers in a strange land.

The schools on the list above are all good, no doubt about it, but they are not the be all and end all of academia. I've been to two of them, one for undergraduate and one for law school. But every day I work with, and for, people who didn't, and I can say without a doubt that they are every bit as well educated and successful as me.

Finally, in addition to the practical issues I've already noted, I have to ask - what are you teaching your child by writing his or her college essay? That the ends justify the means? That it's acceptable to pass off the work of another as your own? That mom and dad will always be there to pull him or her through? And, maybe even more damaging, that your child cannot possibly be expected to succeed on his or her own?
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:48 PM   #19
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There are a lot of parents who get a little TOO involved.

I coach FLL robotics. The coaches and parents are CLEARLY told that the kids do the work. At the qualifying tournament there was one group of adults (dads) standing around a practice table, no kid team members with them, discussing possible improvements, running the robot, the programming screen open on the laptop. They didn't even bother to have a kid there as a "beard". At the regional competition there was one robot that had a mission score of 540. The next highest score was 340ish. The robot was amazing to watch run the missions but there is NO way that it was completely designed and programmed by the kids. Apparently the judges felt this way also since they were NOT one of the teams that moves on to the world tournament. (Usually the high scoring robot's team has a very good chance of moving on, even though it's only one aspect of the judging.)

On the college admissions front - I know a family that's son is a senior. They hired a consultant a few years ago... so they had their son take the SATs a year early - got advice on which schools to apply early admission, which ones for regular admission. I would not be surprised if they didn't have a hand in the essays. Or had a hired consultant help with the essays.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #20
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I got admitted into Brown and I left the essay blank...
Didn't work for me. I did write an essay for Brown, but I didn't get in. Your method would have been better. Mine was 100% my own work, didn't even ask anyone else to proof read or comment on it. Luckily I wrote other essays for the other schools I applied to, also all my own work with no outside assistance or even proof reading, and did get in at least some of those schools (including Ivy schools). I don't think the whole admissions consultant thing was a big business back then.

No so for my own kids. We started getting solicitations for test coaching, school selection consultants and essay writing "assistants" as soon as they hit high school. Plus the high school had active college admittance clubs, weekly essay review session with the English teachers and lots of assemblies, brochures and suggestions to hire essay consultants. I'm sure many parents (and students) did. My own kids were so turned off by the whole circus that they did their essays and didn't ask me any any off these helpers to review them either. 100% their own work, and they ended up admitted to good schools of their own. But it does seem like a different process with as much professional guidance being part of the system now.
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