It is important for parents and students to understand that college admissions is anything but fair. In the Inside Higher Ed article, “Silver Spoon Admissions,” Scott Jaschik writes,

“So perhaps it’s not surprising that when then-Hollwood übermogul Michael Ovitz’s son wanted to enroll in 1999 [Brown University], Ovitz (father, not son) sent word to Brown administrators. As described in a book about to be released, Brown admissions officers found the academic record of the younger Ovitz not close to what would be appropriate for an offer of admission. But they were pressured to admit him anyway, with top administrators far more concerned about the abilities of the elder Ovitz—to host receptions for Brown administrators to raise money, to bring movie stars to campus, and presumably to help build Brown’s endowment.”

Such favored admission status for America’s elite is also profiled in the book, “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges –and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates” by Daniel Golden and the Inside Higher Ed article, “Legacy of Bias” by Scott Jaschik.

The children of alumni are referred to as legacy applicants. Such children whose parents graduated from the college can have a significant advantage over other applicants, for example:

  • Princeton admitted 41.7 percent of legacy applicants and less than 10 percent of applicants for the general pool of students
  • Notre Dame’s legacy admissions is double that of regular applicants

With high school counselors being overburdened, college admissions being hugely competitive, and with privileged, legacy, and well-connected families snatching up more and more of the precious few admissions slots at America’s top colleges and universities, it is more important than ever for parents and students to have a plan. Not just a good plan, but a great plan! Begin by reading Daniel Golden’s book,The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite colleges—and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates so that you have an appreciation of how competitive and how unfair the college admissions process can be. Then read my book,A High School Plan for Students with College Bound Dreams and develop a comprehensive plan to increase the changes of getting accepted into your top choice colleges.