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How to Get Into an Ivy League College—Guaranteed

Steven Ma of ThinkTank Learning says he knows what it takes to get kids into top colleges. And he'll refund your money if he's wrong
Steven Ma, founder, ThinkTank
Steven Ma, founder, ThinkTankPhotograph by Damien Maloney for Bloomberg Businessweek

The academic transcript looked like a rap sheet. The 16-year-old had dropped out of boarding schools in England and California because of behavioral problems and had only two semesters left at a small school in Utah. Somehow, he had to raise his grade-point average above a C before applying to college. His confidence was shot, and though his parents didn’t openly discuss it, he knew they were crushed at the thought that he might not get into a reputable college. What the boy didn’t know was that back home in Hong Kong, where his dad is chief executive officer of a big publicly traded investment company, the family was calling in a miracle worker.

Behind this week's cover
(Clockwise from top left) Courtesy Matt Albian/Random House; Michael Gottschalk/Photothek/Getty Images; TPG/ZUMA Press; Lional Hahn/Abaca Press/MCT/Newscom; Scott Eells/Bloomberg; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; David Hartley/Rex Features/AP Photo; AdMedia/Splash News