To Gerald and Lily Chow, education consultant Mark Zimny must have seemed like the answer to many parents’ prayer: Please let my child get into Harvard University.
The Chows, who lived in Hong Kong, knew little about the US educational system, but they did know that they wanted an Ivy League education for their sons. And they had money to spend on consultants like Zimny, who, they believed, could help make the dream come true.
What transpired, however, turned out to be a cautionary tale for the thousands of parents who are fueling the growing global admissions-consulting industry.
Zimny, whom they met in 2007, had credentials. He had worked as a professor at Harvard. He ran an education consultancy, IvyAdmit. And he had a plan to help the Chows’ two sons, then 16 and 14.
First, Zimny’s company would provide tutoring and supervision while the boys attended American prep schools. Then, according to a complaint and other documents the Chows filed as part of a lawsuit in US District Court in Boston, Zimny said he would grease the admissions wheels, funneling donations to elite colleges while also investing on the Chows’ behalf.
According to the suit, Zimny warned the Chows against giving to schools directly. “Embedded racism” made development offices wary of Asian donors, he allegedly advised them; better to use his company as a middleman.
Over two years, the Chows gave IvyAdmit $2.2 million.
Now, they are charging that Zimny lied to them repeatedly, committing fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and several other transgressions — and they want their money back.
If only the Chows had been regular readers of iSteve, they would have known what the real Harvard Number for getting your kid into Harvard is, and that anybody asking for only $1.1 million per child is a palpable fraud.
Speaking of all the useful information you learn from reading iSteve, I gratefully announced last night that the first full day of my first fundraising drive in 14 month was most encouraging.
UPDATE: It turns out the next paragraph was based on a wrong assumption. It turns out that Amazon simply turned off my account without mentioning it to me when I check in to my account on their website. They've sent me an email demanding I answer the exactly same questions I answered the last time they turned off my account in the middle of Sunday night, which is why I posted their questions and my answers on my Amazon page.
UPDATE: A reader emails:
I tried to send you another $10 (wish it was a lot more), but when I clicked on the one-time $10 donation button, I was taken to a page that says this:
An Amazon Payments Business account with verified email address and
credit card is required to accept payments using Amazon Simple Pay.
Which I provided last weekend.
This is extraordinarily frustrating. Here you have Amazon, a company with a $100 billion market capitalization and it can't seem to not break down every day or two.
You might almost think it's personal.
Nor does Amazon go out of its way to publicize where to call or email when it decides to stop working.
So, for the moment:
Here's what is still working at present:
Second: You can make a tax deductible contribution to me via VDARE by clicking here.