That was a question that I was recently asked. 30 years ago it was not unusual for some of the most selective colleges to have relationships with certain counselors. The counselor might call up the college in question and tell them which students they should accept.
Besides the obvious unfairness of that type of action, college admissions now days is much more competitive. Colleges have so many strong applicants that they no longer need to rely on counselors to tell them which students they need to admit.
Do I know people in admissions at many of the competitive colleges? Yes. Do I use those relationships to “get people in.” No. I have relationships with admissions counselor so that I can have the most up to date information on what is happening in admissions at different colleges.
The days of getting students in because you know someone is gone. Some counselors might still try to affect the decision. But, if you don’t have the grades, test scores and everything else that is required for admissions to selective colleges these days, a phone call won’t make any difference.