How ivyO Works — Overview
Every US college-bound student knows that it’s tough to get into an Ivy League school like Harvard, Princeton, or the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, far too many students don’t realize that they make the task much harder for themselves by submitting profiles that are simply uninteresting — solid academics, social sports, play a couple of musical instruments, with some participation in school-based clubs and community service, all of which are assembled to display their “well-roundedness” for admissions officers (AOs) at their desired universities.

But AOs at top colleges receive tens of thousands of these indistinguishable applications each year. Little wonder the vast majority of them end up in the “Deny” pile.

When it comes to US college admissions, at ivyO, we focus on one thing — helping our students stand out from the crowded applicant pool. That's it.

We help our students stand out by presenting their authentic and unique profiles to their best-fit universities and gain admission. And we do it at the lowest cost possible for families. Our students strategically showcase such compellingly captivating profiles that AOs love to have our students on their campuses.

How ivyO works
Here’s a quick look at how ivyO works to get you admitted to your best-fit university:
But don't forget — when it comes to US college admissions, the name of the game is that your student must stand out from the incredibly crowded applicant pool. Whatever you do, make sure that your student doesn't submit vanilla applications as a "well-rounded" candidate to highly selective institutions. That's a recipe for disappointment.

It's just as important that your student learns how to successfully navigate the US college applications process and avoid the pitfalls dangerously hidden among course planning, curriculum rigor, standardized tests, activities, essays, demonstrated interest, etc. Failure to do so could lead to undesirable outcomes with regard to your student's college options.

Get it right with ivyO, and your student will be on track of getting into the “Admit” pile at his/her dream school.

Back to the infographics shown above:
  • The first picture at the top of the page illustrates how a parent (or guardian) gets things started by completing the simple My ivyO Registration and becomes a registered user of our website. No credit card is required. Once you're registered, feel free to invite your student(s) to join ivyO.org. Again, it's free. Parent and student(s) are provided with individual logins which promotes independence for the student(s) throughout their ivyO journey.

  • After you've added your student, you'll have full access to the ivyO Solutions page, on which the ivyO service offerings of your choice can be acquired. Students don’t have access to the ivyO Solutions page as financial transactions on our website should only be made by adults. Your student and all visitors to the site can view details of our service offerings under ivyO Bundled Solutions.


  • ivyO Compass is an optional service designed to help parents and students breeze through the TrailMap Questionnaire (TMQ). It works particularly well for some international families or busy parents. The ivyO Compass consultation can be conducted in English, Mandarin or Cantonese. If you’re a native English speaker, or your English language skill is strong, you won’t need ivyO Compass.

  • When you're ready to acquire your customized TrailMap, we highly recommend that you select an ivyO Bundled Solution that incorporates the BaseCamp which perfectly complements the TrailMap, and you'll enjoy the savings. Check it out! It's a smart move to sign up for BaseCamp where an ivyO counselor will guide your student and help to put the personalized TrailMap into action.

  • Once you’ve acquired the ivyO Bundled Solution, or the TrailMap on its own, you’re ready to start your ivyO journey with our proprietary TMQ. Both you and your student will need to complete your respective TMQ. Remember that the TMQ is not a test for the student or the parent, there is no need to do anything to prepare for it. The TMQ can be taken in a single sitting or over several short sessions, whichever is easier for you. When you’re ready, submit your completed TMQs individually.

  • Shortly after that, 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. 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.

  • Following your TMC1, it takes ivyO’s team of dedicated counselors about 21 days to meticulously prepare your student’s personalized TrailMap. Once it’s ready for download on your and your student’s ivyO Portals, we will notify both of you by email.

  • Soon thereafter, we’ll again contact you by email to schedule your 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.

  • Here at ivyO, we’re all about giving families real choices, flexibility, and exceptional value. With the ivyO TrailMap in your hands, you will have a nice decision to make, as multiple options leading to your student's best-fit university will open up:

Option 1: Armed with the tailored ivyO TrailMap which is a standalone solution, as a family, you can confidently stride ahead towards your student's best-fit university. By managing the application process yourselves, you won't have to spend another dollar on college consulting fees.

Option 2: Every now and then, you would like additional guidance and support from ivyO regarding specific matters in your student's college applications but prefer not to commit to a long-term counseling service contract. We’ve got you covered — ivyO BaseCamp is your perfect match. No contract; just pay-as-you-go for counseling you actually need. It's like a bite-size service arrangement but without any long-term financial commitment. Nice. When we say that we always act in our students' best interest, we mean it.

Option 3: If your student wants ongoing, personal attention with regular check-ins, ivyO Summit is the ideal choice. We'll be there, every step of the way, guiding your student in the college admissions journey. And remember, the ivyO Summit's service contract is uniquely simple, reasonable and equitable.

Now, you can always start with Option 1, then swing over to Options 2 or 3 whenever you like. Your call; flexibility at its finest.

And know this — whichever ivyO option you choose, your family will get top-quality, personalized, and focused advice on how your student should be strategically positioned and rise above the rest.

Get it right with ivyO, sign up for your student's personalized ivyO TrailMap today!
NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling

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