How Opal Metha Got Desperate, Got Hustled, And Blew Thirty Grand
Of all the things written about Opalgate - schadenfreude over the failings of an overachieving Ivy League student, the stereotype of hyper-driven Indian kids, the role of book packagers, Ambien-induced writing (or whatever her excuse was) – the one that got the least attention, and that I’m still stunned by, is the $30,000 her parents dished out on a college admissions guru – let’s call her the Harvard Whisperer – to nab a place in an Ivy League school for their daughter. Thirty thousand freakin’ dollars!
Now perhaps college admissions have changed since the girls (and by girls I mean the lovely R&R, although I’m still not sure if that’s one or two people) and I went through that hell. Maybe now you have to create a series of haikus in Latin explaining why you are the superior choice for admission to Yale. Maybe a short feature is now required, shot on digital that captures the essence of your favorite director and genre. I guess that might justify throwing a few bucks at IvyWise. But, should they still be using the same crappy three essay question format that I endured, I’d ask for my money back if I were Mama and Papa Viswanathan. I mean, do you really need to pay someone to help you craft your “How I Worked Hard To Make the Junior Varsity Soccer Team Even Though I Knew I Wouldn’t Play Much Because It Would Build Character” or “Serving Homeless People On Thanksgiving Is Not Just A Cheap College Admissions Stunt But Something I Care Deeply About” essay? And that jaunty section at the end where you fill in “fun facts!” about yourself, such as favorite movie, favorite thing I own, cast member of Dawson’s Creek I’d bang. (ok, maybe that last one wasn’t included). Do you really need to pay someone to tell you what you like?
Nope. IvyWise is IvySnakeoil. You simply can’t justify paying someone to tell you which uneventful high-school activity you should write about on your application. The people at IvyWise are frauds. Like, worse than Ms. Cleo (you remember, the psychic who had the hysterical late night ads and was later hauled off to prison. Didn’t see that coming, did ya Cleo?) So keep your chin up, Kaavya. This too shall pass. And call Elliot Spitzer. He lives for this stuff.