If money can’t buy it, just lie.
From faking learning disabilities to pretending to be black, a New York City tutor revealed some of the tricks parents play in order to get their kids into Ivy League schools, the New York Post reported.
Lucy Crawford, an independent college applications counselor for 15 years in the United States and Europe, said New York City parents were the most cutthroat of all.
Crawford said children are placed on an Ivy League fast track and parents will stop at nothing to keep pace. She said if a child shows any academic weakness, a tutor will be brought in. If the child’s grades do not recover, parents will try to identify a learning disability or handicap to explain less-than-perfect academic performance.
The university a teen will attend is picked two years in advance, usually with the parents’ alma mater or “legacy school” at the top followed by where the family has the most “influence.”
Crawford’s job was to help kids with college application essays, but she said many of the youth she worked for are uninspired and unconfident.
She recalled one student breaking down into tears one night.
“It’s hopeless,” the girl sobbed. “I’ve got nothing.”
Crawford said these kids never do anything for themselves and suddenly are faced with college applications, personal essays and statements of purpose.
“Faced with that blank page, the students panic,” she said. “They freeze. Their entire lives have been pointed toward this one test of their worth. Who wouldn't suffer writer's block? The parents yell. Everyone sobs.”
Most parents do not even trust these teens to write their own essays.
“From 2000-2010, more than 90 percent of my students were accepted at their top-choice schools,” Crawford said. “My name was shared among wealthy families who would not have dreamed of hiring one of the big college application consulting shops; they wanted exclusivity, someone other students couldn’t have.”
But parents often micromanaged the process and took liberties wherever they could. She recalled a conversation with one woman who put on her white son’s application that he was black.
“My ex-husband, he’s not seeing the application, so we’ll say what we want," the woman said. "We lived four years in Senegal. Our name is exotic. So, we will check the box and say he is black.”
Crawford advised her against lying.
“Why not?” the mother persisted. “Can they ask for proof?”
The boy was not admitted.