Preying on Your Parental Fear

Your email inbox is probably overflowing like mine…West Elm’s dining table clearance, DSW’s $5 off coupon, Williams-Sonoma’s newest recipe, about fifty more like this daily. You’ve probably also received invitations to webinars where you’ll learn the ‘secret’ to getting your kid into the Ivy League, or his/her ‘dream’ college.

I’m gonna pop that balloon for you.

There are no secrets. There are no shortcuts.  There are no side doors.

There are no ‘Ivy League Whisperers.’ There’s no miraculous 6-step checklist that will make getting into a top-ranked college a stress-free guarantee.

Especially if your kid doesn’t have straight As and top – I mean TOP, not close to top – test scores. And a hook doesn’t hurt either.*

You’re a parent. You love your child and you’ll do anything to make sure they’re happy. You may not be in the same category of people who bought access to top colleges in the Varsity Blues scandal last spring. But unfortunately, there’s no shortage of people who claim a magical, mysterious expertise in this process, knowing that you’re willing to pay them to share it with you.

There are no certifications or licensure to call oneself a college counselor. So there are people whose kids were admitted into one highly selective college who think they know what it takes to get yours in as well. Heck, there are college kids who’ve thrown out their shingle. The market is flooded with people selling you snake oil.

The college counselors in our practice are all trained to guide you and your teen through the maze, with the primary goal of dialing down the hype. We’re not here to sell you the magic beans that will get your kid into Harvard, Stanford, or any of the other fancy names. In fact, we’re here to help you and your high schooler see the broad array of options out there, to understand they’ll have job (or grad school) options even if they don’t graduate from a top-ranked college. We’re here to help them do real research – beyond ranking and reputation – to find the colleges that are the best fit for them, academically, socially and emotionally. We’re here to make sure that in the spring of their senior year, your child has actually choices, choices they really like.

There are 2,200 four-year colleges out there. Might as well look at more than 2% of them, and help your kiddo feel like LOTS of colleges want them, in the process.

Our counselors all have a certificate in college counseling from one of the reputable programs, and we’re all members of professional organizations which give us the opportunity to visit colleges, meet with college admission representatives and help find those hidden gems. Our clients attend colleges all over the country, thriving not only at big-name colleges but also ones we helped them discover.

In fact, I’m actually writing this from seat 9C on a little regional jet, next to my colleague Debbie, who’s been working with Magellan for 7+ years. We’re on our way to Knoxville, TN, where we’ll meet up with colleagues Diane and Lesa and tour 8 colleges in the next few days, before spending a few days in Louisville, KY at the largest college admissions conference of the year, NACAC.

You can fall for that click-bait email and spend $149 for the ‘How to Get Into Yale’ webinar, but in all likelihood, you’ll not only walk away not knowing how to get your kid into Yale, but also listening to a hard sales pitch on why you need that presenter’s (more expensive than $149) services.

Our philosophy is different. We give away lots of information on our blog and on our Facebook page. We individualize our work with each student because each student’s college search is different, and each student (and parent) needs support in a different way. Our team meets regularly to support each other, so you not only get your lead counselor, but you get the rest of our team’s experience as well.

The only guarantee we make is that we’ll make the college search and application process more organized and less stressful. If you feel like we’re a good match for what you want for your high schooler, please feel free to reach out for a free phone consult.

* what does ‘hook’ mean? Students who have a legacy connection, or a long family history of philanthropy with a particular college, or who have an extraordinary talent at a top level could be considered to have a ‘hook.’ When we say ‘top level,’ we don’t mean four years of the same extra-curricular activity, something that other high school students do (think marching band or robotics, or other very popular activities). We mean in training for the Olympics, or an international award only given to a handful of people, or significant published research.


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