Get into your First Choice College
I signed up with Jose and Caroline’s Ivy Central in January 2012, and right from the beginning, I received highly specific advice regarding my preparation for the college application process. Whether it was university summer programs or potential summer internships to pursue, Jose and Caroline had a way to clearly identifying an applicant’s strengths and recommending opportunities that allowed those strengths to flourish.I personally found the college matching process that Ivy Central uses to be the most integral to my final college decision. After making a note of particular attributes I wanted my college experience to have, Caroline prepared a personalized list of schools that fit my criteria. I received information regarding the average student at these schools, average class sizes, social life, ethnic diversity and more. Additional resources included a break down of what different aspects of college life entailed, and helped me decide what was right for me.As my list of potential schools narrowed and I began my application essays, Jose and Caroline gave me tips on focusing my argument, presenting my strengths effectively and standing out through my writing. Writing resources that Caroline had prepared were also very helpful. When the time finally came to interview for schools, intense daily Skype interview sessions with Jose gave me the confidence I needed to tackle any interview question calmly and effectively. I’m currently enjoying my second semester in my top choice school, so I would say the skills and resources I acquired with Ivy Central definitely paid off! I would most certainly recommend Jose and Caroline, simply because of the effort they take to focus not only on an applicant’s academic goals, but also the social environment in which they feel most comfortable. It is this holistic attention to detail that makes the matching process the most affective, and the applicant’s college experience the most memorable and enjoyable.
Mr Jose and Ms Caroline: the perfect complements. But, they aren’t merely the average “good cop” and “bad cop”. In fact, they are so much more. During one of the most painstaking processes in my life, they effortlessly oscillated between encouraging counsellors and harsh critics to blatant interviewers and comforting friends. With a contagious passion and a constant uplifting spirit, they supported me in every step of the way of the seemingly insurmountable journey of applying to colleges. Mr Jose and Ms Caroline challenged me to push beyond the limits and constraints I had set for myself in my own mind, and lifted me to a level I didn’t even know I was capable of reaching. No words can suffice to express the immense gratitude I have towards this wonderfully harmonious pair.
What sets Caroline and Jose apart is that they never made me feel like just another name in their file; they took the time to get to know me and made me feel like we were in this together. They made this huge, stressful task of applying to college into smaller, digestible chunks that I could accomplish. They helped me identify my strengths, work on my weaknesses and showcase myself in the best light. But they also helped me deal with the anxiety and uncertainty of the whole process and guided me towards pushing myself, so ultimately they helped me not only to gain a place in a good university but to actually deserve that spot.
It’s as if it were just yesterday when I walked into Ms. Caroline’s office in my big black t-shirt and low self-esteem. It was the summer after my IGCSE board exams and I had no idea of what I wanted; being the kind of person who is sometimes too easily overwhelmed, I approached her with the hope of assurance and trust. It wasn’t too long before Ms. Caroline had me figured out, and very soon I found myself applying to a host of small liberal arts colleges across America, with Brown as my top choice. While I had acknowledged my aptitude for creative writing and photography, they were, for the most part, categorised under the “hobbies” heading. It was numbers, the kind that you saw on report cards, that would get me into college — not pretty photos and words borne out of experience. And while university applications do require the digits, they also pose in front of us seemingly tricky essay questions that many of us answer in the hopes of ‘cracking the question’, but really, they’re looking for your perspective. As seemingly one-directional college application processes may seem, it’s crucial to remember that colleges, too, are looking for the right personality to fit their temper. Caroline and Jose both forced us to think. After some thorough delving into each and every individual student, they discussed our strengths and pasttimes, family and friends, motives and ambitions — we had to ask ourselves questions that we easily overlooked, such as why we wanted to go into college in the first place! Caroline helped me extensively and tirelessly throughout the essay writing process, providing numerous rereads, word checks, and philosophies. Needless to say, my correspondence with Caroline and Jose continued throughout college and after. The two of them always made time to meet me when I requested them to do so for quick meetings (if we were in India) and over Skype. The fact that they remain my academic mentors is indicative of their dedication and commitment to each and every student. I am forever grateful to them for providing me with the opportunity and resources to shoot for the moon.
Ivy Central does much more than just “send” their students to a selective institution. They focus on building a solid foundation by encouraging their students to challenge themselves (socially, physically and intellectually) such that they are better prepared for what a university education has to offer.Both Caroline and Jose believe in helping their students accelerate their intellectual development. They do so by raising the bar for their students by encouraging them to take the most challenging courses offered to them. This allows them to induce the development of extra-curricular motivations and inculcate a love of learning in their students. I am of the opinion that all students enter high school with great potential; Caroline and Jose inspire them to “realize” that potential in both senses of the word.To put succinctly: If you are looking for advisors who will bring out every student’s full potential, explain the application process concisely yet thoroughly, and inspire those working with them to be progressive, hardworking and responsible, Caroline and Jose are undeniably the best.
They are the most experienced counselors you could ask for. Not only were they completely dedicated in helping me with the application process, but they were also so insightful in finding ways to showcase my talents, and really bring out the best in me. From giving me brilliant advice in choosing colleges, to really pushing me to strive for my best, and more importantly making the entire daunting college application process much less fearful, they have truly played a crucial role in getting me to where I am now: attending the college of my dreams!
Ivy Central is not affiliated with any university or college and is an independent organization. Ivy Central is not affiliated with, or approved by, The Ivy League or its member universities.