FAQs



The ivyO Difference
How does ivyO differ from other US college consulting companies?


In comparison to some of the other US university admissions consulting companies, paraphrasing Seth Godin, ivyO stands out like a “Purple Cow” because of ivyO's remarkably innovative service offerings spearheaded by the ivyO TrailMap, ivyO's remarkably transparent and equitable pricing structure, and The ivyO Difference which is encapsulated by the 4 C's:


Competence

ivyO students and parents only work with qualified US university admissions counselors who are NACAC members. Undergraduate students on ivyO staff are not involved in counseling families.


Cost

Parents Beware: Don't fall victim to unscrupulous operators who try to lock you into draconian contracts costing tens of thousands of dollars, with poor prospects of getting a refund if things don’t work out. At ivyO, you pay as you go only for services your student actually needs — better value, fairer terms, much easier for families.


Confidentiality

ivyO does not use students and parents' personal information for marketing or promotional purposes.


Clarity

ivyO helps students and parents cut through the maze, the mess, and the myths of the US college admissions process; showing families new perspectives, with crystalline clarity, of the trails that lead the students to their best-fit university.

ivyO TrailMap
What is the ivyO TrailMap, and what does it do?


The ivyO TrailMap is a personalized Strategic Action Plan individually tailored for Grade 7-12 students who aspire to stand out from the crowded applicant pool and gain admission to a highly selective university in the US.


If that sounds like you, the TrailMap could well be all you need for your college admissions journey. It's your personalized and comprehensive Strategic Action Plan of no fewer than 50 pages of customized analysis, strategies and recommendations. It will:


  • Empower you, step-by-step, on how to find, develop and showcase your college admissions X-Factor; be strategically positioned head and shoulders above other applicants, and present your compelling and captivating story to admissions officers at elite institutions like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, USC and UCLA.
  • Show you how to skillfully navigate around all the pitfalls hidden in the college applications process.
  • Match you to your tailored list of 12 colleges for application, evaluation, or research purposes subject to your current school year.
  • Come with two Zoom consultations of 90 minutes each with an ivyO college admissions counselor who is a member of NACAC.
How do I get started with the ivyO TrailMap?


As a parent (or guardian), simply complete “My ivyO Registration” in order to become a registered user of the website. You can then invite your student to join ivyO.org. The parent and student are then provided with individual logins which promotes independence for the student throughout the ivyO journey.


As the parent, you have full access to the ivyO Solutions page, on which you can select and acquire the ivyO Solution(s) of your choice. Students can view the costs of all ivyO service offerings under ivyO Bundled Solutions.

What research should we do before we sign up for the ivyO TrailMap, and take the ivyO TrailMap Questionnaire (TMQ)?


None, it's perfectly fine for you to sign up for the ivyO TrailMap and take the TMQ without doing any research or reading beforehand.


Based upon your responses, our analysis of your input and material uploaded, as well as the TrailMap Consultation One (TMC1) and other communication with you, we'll prepare your uniquely tailored ivyO TrailMap for you.

Who should take the ivyO TMQ, the parent or the student?


Both. The parent and the student each have their own separate TMQ. The reason for this is that while it is the student who is the one going to college, their parents are invariably the greatest supporters of the student's endeavors. As such, it's imperative that we attain a clear understanding of the parent's perspective of their student's college admissions journey.

Is the ivyO TMQ like an exam or test?


No, the ivyO TMQ is not an exam or test at all. It is a diagnostic tool designed to give us a good picture of the student’s academic capabilities, the level of extracurricular accomplishments where applicable, their personal preferences, college aspirations and goals.


There is also a questionnaire specifically designed for a parent or guardian of the student. It serves to give us the parental view of the student both as a college candidate and as an individual, as well as the parent's perspective of their student's college applications process.


The best advice we can give you is to relax, be yourself, and take the TMQ as you are.

How can we maximize our chances of giving the right answers in our ivyO TMQ?


Don’t worry about that at all; in fact, there is no right or wrong answer as such. The best answer you can give is your honest and concise response.

How long does it take to do the ivyO TMQ?


It varies. Some families take 2 to 3 hours, others might take longer. The process will be smoother if all the relevant documentations such as transcripts, test scores if applicable, and awards are readily available for upload via your ivyO Portal.

How much time are we given to complete the TMQ?


There is no time limit; feel free to take as long as you like.

Do we have to complete the TMQ in one single session?


Not at all, you're welcome to take the TMQ in several short sessions if you prefer, simply save your responses on the ivyO TMQ platform as you go.

After I complete my TMQ, how long does it take for the ivyO team to prepare the TrailMap?


After the ivyO team has received both the student's and parent's TMQs, ivyO will contact you by email and schedule the TrailMap Consultation One (TMC1). Subject to your availability, the TMC1 will take place approximately a week after your TMQs have been submitted.


After TMC1 has been completed, the preparation of the ivyO TrailMap will take 21 days.

What is the TrailMap Consultation One (TMC1)?


The TMC1 is a 90-minute Zoom meeting, its primary purpose is for the ivyO Counselor to gain further insight about your student, and to build on the information gathered from your TMQs. Your ivyO Counselor will listen, ask questions, and listen some more. At TMC1, our aim is to get to know the student and the family really well.

What is the TrailMap Consultation Two (TMC2)?

TrailMap Consultation 2 (TMC2), another 90-minute Zoom meeting. At TMC2, your ivyO counselor will take you through your student's tailored college admissions strategies, clarify any queries you may have, and ensure that your student derives maximum benefit out of the TrailMap.


Furthermore, your ivyO counselor will explain to you, face-to-face, critically important aspects and nuances of the US college admissions process, and how your student can avoid the pitfalls with confidence, as well as your student's all-important X-Factor and how your student should be strategically positioned in order to shine in college applications.


TMC2 is held after your student's personalized TrailMap has been completed and available for download via the ivyO Portal. A member of the ivyO team will reach out to you then, and arrange a convenient time to hold the TMC2.

Is acquiring the TrailMap the best way to start our engagement with ivyO?


Yes, it is. In fact, students cannot sign up for other ivyO Solutions such as ivyO BaseCamp or ivyO Summit until they have secured their own ivyO TrailMap. Note that the TrailMap and the BaseCamp can be acquired at the same time as one of the Bundled Solutions; it’s great value and highly recommended. Check out ivyO Bundled Solutions.

ivyO Compass
What if our English isn’t strong, can we obtain additional services from ivyO for our student?


We have the perfect solution for you, check out ivyO Compass on our site.

We would like to take the ivyO TMQ but our student is in Grade 7, can we get additional services from ivyO?


Yes, take a look at ivyO Compass, that’s the ideal navigational companion for your student.

Our Grade 8 student wants to take the TMQ, but as his parents, we’re simply too busy. Can ivyO assist?


Yes, we’ll be happy to help. Sign up for ivyO Compass and we’ll take care of it. However, please note that there’s a brief TMQ for a parent to complete.

If we sign up for the ivyO Compass, will the Compass consultant complete the TMQ for us?


No, your Compass consultant will guide you through the TMQ; but your Compass consultant will not complete the TMQ for you.

ivyO BaseCamp
Who should sign up for the ivyO BaseCamp?


While the ivyO BaseCamp is not mandatory, it’s highly recommended that students and their families who plan to acquire their personalized ivyO TrailMap also sign up for a 2-hour BaseCamp consultation. The smartest way of getting to BaseCamp is to sign up for an ivyO Bundled Solution; it’s great value!

ivyO Summit
Can we sign up for the ivyO Summit without getting the ivyO TrailMap first?


Sorry, you can’t. Please refer to "Introducing ivyO Summit".

Why isn’t ivyO Summit available to clients like us who are happy to sign up immediately and pay for the services but without having to get an ivyO TrailMap first?


Here at ivyO, we believe that the level of college counseling services should match the needs of students and their families. We don't want families to pay for services that they don't need, regardless of their financial capacity. It's not how we work.


With the strategic advice provided through their personalized ivyO TrailMap and additional guidance available at ivyO BaseCamp, many students will do a good job in taking control and ownership of their college applications process. Parents or guardians can always book additional BaseCamp consultations to ensure that their student is progressing well and remains on track in regard to his/her college admissions goals.


Hence, in working with ivyO, students should always start with the ivyO TrailMap instead of seeking full counseling services straightaway. As such, it is self-evident that one of ivyO's priorities is to drive college counseling costs down for families.

If we get the opportunity to sign up for ivyO Summit, would we be locked into non-cancelable and non-refundable service contracts with ivyO?


No. One of the main differences between ivyO Summit and other "Packaged" services in the marketplace is that the ivyO Summit service contract is uniquely reasonable, equitable, and client-friendly; pro-rata refunds are provided on unused services in the event of contract termination with due notice, and is subject to each family’s individual circumstances.

ivyO Outreach Scholarship
Does ivyO provide pro bono services?


Yes, we provide pro bono services under the ivyO Outreach Scholarship program.

General
Our student is highly intelligent with top school grades, can ivyO guarantee that our student will be admitted to Harvard, Yale, Stanford or Wharton?


No. ivyO does not give any guarantee that a student will be admitted to any particular institution.

Will ivyO write the college essays for our student?


No. We help our students maximize their chances of gaining admission to their best-fit university through proper, legitimate and ethical means. In the context of college essays, we help our students brainstorm topics; provide guidance on how to structure and outline such essays, and we’ll edit the essays. However, writing essays for students is unethical, and we do not engage in such conduct.

Does ivyO have its own “secret sauce” in getting our student into the Ivy League?


No. Here at ivyO, we deploy great strategies in helping our students stand out from the crowded applicant pool and gain admission to their best-fit US university which could be an Ivy League school or other selective institutions.


But we don't sell any "secret sauce" or "magic potion". If you're still after "secret sauce", may we suggest that you try your local hot dog stand.

NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling

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