What do you think of admission consultants?
It’s like rankings. You don’t want any outsider telling people who you are. We want to be the ones to fly that flag and we think we’re the best people to do it. I answer any and all questions from candidates that I would from consultants.
But you don’t have a problem with an applicant hiring a consultant to guide them through the admissions process.
I’m indifferent about it. My opinion is whether you say they are a consultant or not, most people are going to have somebody review their application. It could be their father or their sister or a colleague at work. Somebody is helping you in a way that we think an admissions consultant would do that ethically. Obviously, we don’t like it when they say they know us and they are inserting themselves in the process. I don’t know any admissions director who would say they have any communication with a consultant about a specific applicant. They can be familiar with us. They can ask us about what we are looking for in an essay. But they are not asking us whether we are going to admit someone.
So your best advice to an applicant this year would be what?
There is so much you can say but I will go with my pet peeve this year: be really clear about what you want to do. Have some true goal clarity. That takes a lot of introspection and conversation. Challenge why you want to do what you want to do. I ask people all the time, ‘Who do you go for advice?’ It’s not to trip them up. It’s because I really want to know if they have a strong family base, or is it a personal board of directors that you’ve built up over the years? It’s those kinds of things I want people to think about.
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