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Private counselors’ services can be extensive, from providi

iding several versions of edited application essays to setting students up with internships and volunteer opportunities.

Nicole Shen said she paid a counselor $12,000 to edit seven or eight of her daughter’s c

ollege application essays. She also regularly takes her daughter to private tutors who charge $180 per hour.

“It’s very normal (to hire private counselors and tutors) among Chinese parents (living in th

e San Francisco Bay Area),” Shen said. She is in several WeChat groups, each having hundreds of parents.

Shen said it is easy to find a counselor. “You just pst in the groups, and somebody will quick

ly respond with recommendations. I know many parents easily spend over $150,000 on the counseling or tutoring.”

The San Francisco Bay Area has a high concentration of private college admiss

ions consultants. Tutoring schools and consultancies with Chinese signs can be seen in shopping malls.

A popular consultant is IvyMax, which bills itself as the “largest, most influential US

premier college application institution serving the Chinese-American community”.

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