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Students of all ages use admissions consultant

Gerald Bradshaw

Gerald Bradshaw

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Updated: March 22, 2014 6:12AM



I was recently interviewed by a group of New York City high school students. The interview was conducted over Skype by the editor of the school’s newspaper.

Following are some excerpts from that interview:

Student: Why did you become a college consultant?

Bradshaw: I was an alumni interviewer for Harvard for 15 years before starting a consultancy. I also tutored students for the SAT and ACT exams for friends and family members.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I could put my experience to good use as a college admissions consultant.

Student: And it obviously paid off.

Bradshaw: My consultancy grew rapidly from helping students prepare for college in the area where I live to a national and international business. Now, over half of my clients are international students.

Student: When do you start working with students?

Bradshaw: Seventh- and eighth-graders are a growing segment of my business. Parents are sending their children to prep schools in record numbers and the admissions rate at top schools is even lower than the Ivy League.

Applying to Phillips Exeter Academy (Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s alma mater) is more involved than applying to Harvard. They require top test scores, essays from the student and his or her parents, teacher recommendations and school visits.

Student: How old is your youngest client?

Bradshaw: My youngest client is 7 years old and is applying to the third grade class at The Pringy School in New Jersey. He had to take the Educational Records Bureau’s CTP 4 examination (similar to the SAT), submit two teacher recommendations — one from his current teacher and one from the previous year’s teacher — submit transcripts and all standardized test results from the prior two years.

The young man also had to submit his grades for the current school year and spend a day at Pringy visiting with his peer grade (the second grade).

Student: Well, is all that time and expense really worth it?

Bradshaw: Good question. While graduates of top prep schools may have an edge getting into a top college, excellent grades and test scores at any school can put you in contention for a coveted admissions spot.

Student: What are your final thoughts on being a college consultant?

Bradshaw: I consider myself fortunate to work with some of the smartest students in the world, from Russia and China to Chattanooga, Tenn.

I consider my clients a crystal ball into the future. If they are the leaders of the next generation we are in supremely good hands.



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