College Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our FAQs below. Still not finding the answer to your question? Please send us a message


1. How will I meet with my Ivey College Coach? Will my Coach be able to meet with me evenings and weekends?

Because we work with applicants all around the United States and the world, your Ivey College Coach will work with you "virtually" rather than in person. We set up a password-protected collaboration website for each of our clients that serves as "project headquarters" and where we post messages, drafts, questions, and documents for each other, and you will also meet with your Coach by phone or Skype. We know that high school students are not available for meetings during the school day, so your Coach wil be available to meet with you evenings and weekends.

2. When should I start working with you?

You should start working with us whenever you are ready. We will begin working with you as early as the beginning of 9th grade, and as late as the beginning of 12th grade. Most applicants choose to start working with us sometime between January 1st of 10th grade and February 1st of 11th grade.

3. Should I wait until I have my SAT/ACT scores before I contact you?

It's best if you begin working with us before you have your scores. We can give you our advice on test prep options and timelines, and we can tackle bigger strategy questions long before you have a score. The earlier we start strategizing together, the more time you have to implement your strategy.

4. How will I be matched with my Ivey College Coach?

We focus on matching you with the Ivey College Coach who will work best with you. We consider your personality, interests, and personal circumstances (including schedule and time zone) in choosing your Ivey College Coach. If you want to work with a particular Ivey College Coach, we will do our best to accommodate that request.

5. I'm probably not in the running for admission to a top college. Will you still work with me?

Absolutely. All we require of you is motivation and ethical behavior. That said, our expertise lies with helping applicants who want to get into one of the 500 or so selective U.S. colleges. By "selective," we mean those colleges that admit only a percentage of their applicants and that use a holistic admissions process ("holistic" in an admissions context means that admission is based on more than just GPA or test scores). If you are not aiming for a selective college, we probably don't have enough value to offer you, and you might be better served by others.

6. Do you have experience working with international students?

Yes. Every year, about 40% of the applicants we work with are international students, and they come from all over the globe — Europe, Africa and the Middle East, South America, and Asia. Our only additional requirement for international students is that they read, speak, and understand English well enough to work with an English-speaking Ivey College Coach.

7. How long will the coaching sessions last? If I don't use the time allotted to my coaching session, can I use that time later?

We do not structure our work with you on an hourly basis. Instead, we structure it around a set of tasks to be accomplished, and your coaching sessions will last as long as necessary to accomplish what is scheduled for that session. In our experience, each coaching session lasts between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. Because we do not work on an hourly basis and there is no fixed time allotted to each session, you cannot "use that time later."

8. I just want some help with my essays. Is there a package for me?

No. We won't work with you on your essays alone, because your essays are just one component that an admissions officer will consider when deciding whether to admit you. We are committed to helping you in a way that will actually improve your chances for admission, and the best way to do that is to help you think about and work on your essays in the context of your whole application.

9. What if I want to work with you through all phases of the application process? Do you have a package covering all years of high school that I can purchase upfront?

We are happy to work with you through all phases of the process. We do not offer a four-year package, because you are the best judge of how much help you will need, and it can be hard for you (or for us) to predict what your needs will be three or four years in advance. We do not want to lock you in and sell you services that won't end up adding value for you. Rather than asking you to commit to purchasing a package spanning three or four years, we allow you to purchase smaller packages and add on additional packages when the time comes. That gives you more flexibility if you're starting earlier in high school.

10. Do you write essays for your clients?

No. Our goal is to help you submit the best applications of which you are capable. Our clients produce many rounds of material and are prepared for honest feedback. We will push you... and push you... and push you to do your best work. Think of yourself as an athlete in training, and us as your coaches - you'll still run your own laps and lift your own weights, while we help you train for the big competition.

11. Can you guarantee me admission to a particular school? What is your success rate?

No, we don't guarantee admission to any school. Anyone with first-hand admissions experience knows that only the admissions officers who make the final decision on your applications can guarantee you acceptance to their schools. Nobody else can. Furthermore, to offer some kind of "guarantee," we would have to pre-screen prospective clients ruthlessly and turn down anyone who might hurt our "guarantee" or the appearance of our "success rate."

All of our clients are different. They come from all walks of life, with different talents and challenges in their backgrounds. Success means different things to different people. For one person, only an elite school is worth the time and expense of working with us. For another, a somewhat lower-ranked school with a big scholarship is a huge success. For students with problematic records, getting into a selective college is a big win. We want to add value no matter what your baselines and measures of success are.

We would never turn someone away as a potential client just because he or she is not likely to go to a top school or because someone has real challenges. We love working with superstars, but people who have experienced bumps in the road are just as important and interesting to us. As long as you are willing to work hard on the application process, we consider it a privilege to collaborate with you.

Here's how we measure success: You get into the college that is right for you, the college where you will thrive, the college where you want to be. By this measure, our clients are remarkably successful. In recent years, at least 90% of those we have coached have gotten into one or more of their top choice schools.

12. The counseling process involves a lot of personal details. I'm nervous about sharing them with a stranger.

We know that we can give you the best advice only if you feel comfortable being completely honest with us, and we promise clients that we will keep their information—and even the fact that we are working together—confidential, unless you decide to put us in communication with someone else to discuss some aspect of the application process or the working relationship.

13. I'm embarrassed about some really stupid things I've done.

If you've done some stupid things, we have a couple of reactions:

We've all done stupid things. We are not here to judge you. We stay agnostic about your stupid things, and we see our job as helping you deal with them ethically and effectively in the application process.

The admissions process makes you shine a spotlight on some of your stupid things, and that's not a pleasant experience. However, you'll need to know how they will affect your applications and even your longer-term plans.

Don't fudge. You don't want to spend this important time in your life worrying that something you lied about will come to light later. Colleges can and do revoke offers when they discover dishonesty in the admissions process. It's better to confront those issues now and figure out the best way to deal with them sooner rather than later. We can't be as helpful to you if we don't have the full picture.

14. Can you come to my school or organization to speak to our group?

Yes. Anna, Alison, and other members of our team routinely give talks and are happy to tailor the content to the interests of your audience. Please contact us about availability.

15. Where can I find out more about your team's background?

Click here, which will take you to our team bios.

16. I have additional questions. How can I get more information?

Please send additional questions to us through our online contact form, which is the fastest way to reach us.

Contact our admissions experts to Get Started

To get started, please send us a message below to schedule a brief, free pre-engagement consultation by telephone or Skype to answer any questions you have about our services and working with an Ivey Coach. We typically reply within two business days.

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