15 12, 2023

What to Do if You Are Waitlisted – Ivy League College Admissions

By |2023-12-15T12:34:29-05:00December 15th, 2023|College Admissions, Early Action, Early Decision, Harvard, Ivy Leage Admissions, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, Waitlisted|3 Comments

What to Do if You Are Waitlisted – Ivy League College Admissions

Letter of Continued Interest: The College Waitlist

What to do if you are waitlisted?  College waitlists can be a frustrating experience for students. After putting in countless hours of hard work on their college applications, being put on a waitlist can feel like rejection. However, being waitlisted is not necessarily the end of the road. In fact, there are steps  students (i.e. YOU)  can take right now to increase your chances of getting off the waitlist and accepted — one of which is to write a letter of continued interest.

A letter of continued interest is exactly what it sounds like – a letter that expresses continued interest in attending a particular college or university.

It is a way for students to update the admissions committee on any new (read: impressive) developments since they submitted their application the first time, as well as reiterate their desire and commitment to attend the school if allowed to attend.

Here are some tips on how to write a good or effective letter of continued interest, and yes, it is something you should absolutely do. ++ I help with these letters for a flat rate of $150, if you want to contact me directly via the contact info at the top of my website: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com


Now, here is how to write your letter of continued interest:

1. Keep it concise and to the point

Admissions committees are busy and have a lot of applications to review, so it’s important to keep your letter brief and to the point. Start with a short introduction and then get straight to the updates you want to share. Make sure you express your continued interest in attending the school, but avoid repeating information that was already included in your original application. Your letter should not be more than 1 page, and ideally, not more than 1-2 paragraphs tops.

2. Highlight any new accomplishments or achievements

This is important!  Since submitting your application, have you won any awards, received any special recognition, or taken on any new leadership roles? Use your letter of continued interest to highlight these accomplishments and explain how they demonstrate your continued commitment to your education and personal growth.

3. Be specific about why you want to attend the school

Use your letter of continued interest as an opportunity to reaffirm why you want to attend the school in question. Be specific about what draws you to the school and what you hope to gain from your education there. Do some research on the school’s programs, faculty, and resources, and use this information to tailor your letter to the specific school.

4. Show enthusiasm and passion

Admissions committees want to see that you are truly excited about the prospect of attending their school. Use your letter to demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for your field of study and your desire to learn and grow as a student. Be genuine in your tone and avoid sounding too rehearsed or formulaic.

5. Follow up appropriately. Appropriately being the key word!

After you’ve sent your letter of continued interest, it’s important to follow up ONLY if you have additional, significant updates since your last letter. Be mindful of the admissions committee’s time however as more than 2 letters post-waitlist, unless you’ve published a book, or won the Noble Prize is really being too aggressive. The adcom is BUSY.  We all know you want to go to your targeted school more than anything, but don’t be too desperate — as in dating, it will get you rejected.

In conclusion, being waitlisted can be a disappointing experience, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the road.

By writing a well-crafted letter of continued interest, you can increase your chances of getting accepted off the waitlist and ultimately achieving your goal of attending your desired school. Keep these tips in mind when crafting your letter, and remember to be genuine, passionate, and specific in your communication. Good luck!

[Want more help with your letter or your college application essays in general?  Contact me for a free consultation today at www.IvyCollegeEssay.com and get into the school of your dreams!]

Check out these other blog articles as well:

  1. How to Get Off Harvard’s Waitlist
  2. Want to Transfer to an Ivy League College — There’s Still Hope!
  3. The Best Ivy League College Admissions Blog
6 11, 2023

College Admissions: EA vs ED vs EDII?

By |2023-11-06T01:22:06-05:00November 6th, 2023|College Admissions, Early Action, Early Decision, Harvard, Ivy Leage Admissions|0 Comments

College Admissions: What is the Difference Between EA vs. ED vs. EDII?

The college admissions process can be an overwhelming and confusing experience for both students and their families. Among the many decisions to make is whether to apply under Early Action (EA), Early Decision (ED), or Early Decision II (EDII). Each of these options comes with its own set of rules and benefits, and understanding the differences between them can help you make the best choice for your college application strategy.

Early Action (EA)

Early Action is a non-binding admissions option offered by many colleges and universities. Under this plan, students submit their application ahead of the regular application deadline, typically in November, and receive an admission decision in December. Early Action allows students to apply to multiple colleges without having to commit to attending if they are accepted. This flexibility makes it a popular choice for students who want to keep their options open while potentially receiving an early acceptance.

One of the primary advantages of Early Action is that it allows students to relieve some of the stress associated with the college admissions process. Knowing that you have at least one acceptance in hand early on can be a significant relief. It also gives you more time to compare different schools and financial aid packages before making a final decision.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all schools offer Early Action, and the application deadlines and notification dates can vary significantly. Some schools have a single Early Action deadline, while others may offer multiple rounds of Early Action, each with different deadlines.

Early Decision (ED)

Early Decision is another early application option, but it comes with a significant commitment. When you apply under Early Decision, you are committing to attending that particular college if you are accepted. This means that you can only apply to one college under an Early Decision plan. If you are accepted, you are bound to enroll, provided the financial aid package is acceptable. It is essential to understand this commitment fully before applying Early Decision, as breaking this commitment can have serious consequences.

The major advantage of Early Decision is that it can significantly boost your chances of being admitted to your top-choice school. Colleges like to see that you are committed to attending their institution, and they often admit a higher percentage of students through the Early Decision pool. Additionally, if you have a clear first-choice school and are certain about your decision, Early Decision can be a strategic move.

One important consideration for Early Decision is the financial aspect. Be sure to research the school’s financial aid policies and only apply Early Decision if you are confident that you will receive a feasible financial aid package. If you are accepted but unable to afford the cost of attendance, you may be released from the Early Decision agreement, but this can be a complicated and emotional process.

Early Decision II (EDII)

Early Decision II is a variation of the Early Decision option. Like Early Decision, it requires a binding commitment to attend the college if accepted. However, it has a later application deadline, typically around January 1, which can be beneficial for students who missed the Early Decision deadline or who want to apply to more schools after considering their options.

The primary advantage of Early Decision II is that it provides a second chance at binding early admission. If you apply Early Decision and are not admitted to your first-choice school, you can consider applying Early Decision II to another school without the need to commit to the first school you applied to. This can be particularly useful if your top-choice school’s Early Decision pool is highly competitive.

Comparing EA, ED, and EDII

To summarize the key differences between Early Action (EA), Early Decision (ED), and Early Decision II (EDII):

  1. Binding Commitment:
    • EA: Non-binding, no commitment to attend if accepted.
    • ED: Binding commitment to attend if accepted.
    • EDII: Binding commitment to attend if accepted, with a later application deadline.
  2. Application Deadlines:
    • EA: Earlier than the regular application deadline, typically in November.
    • ED: Earlier than the regular application deadline, usually in November.
    • EDII: Later than the regular application deadline, typically around January 1.
  3. Multiple Applications:
    • EA: Allows you to apply to multiple colleges.
    • ED: You can only apply to one college under Early Decision.
    • EDII: Like ED, you can apply to only one college.
  4. Acceptance Rates:
    • EA: Varies by school but generally less advantageous than ED.
    • ED: Often offers a significant boost in acceptance rates.
    • EDII: Provides a second chance for binding early admission.

Ultimately, the choice between Early Action, Early Decision, and Early Decision II depends on your personal circumstances, preferences, and the specific colleges you are interested in. It’s crucial to research the policies and deadlines of the colleges you are considering and to carefully evaluate your own academic and financial situation before making a decision.

No matter which option you choose, it’s essential to put your best foot forward in your application to increase your chances of admission to your dream school.

Need more help with your college applications?  I’m a former Harvard interviewer + a Harvard grad.  Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the Ivy League!



Check out my other related Ivy League admissions posts, as well:


30 10, 2023

The College Admissions Activity List

By |2023-11-01T19:22:01-04:00October 30th, 2023|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Early Action, Early Decision, Extracurriculars, Harvard, Ivy Leage Admissions, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn, Yale|0 Comments

The College Admissions Activity List:

Your college admissions activity list is a crucial component of your college application — especially if you’re applying for the Ivy League. It provides admissions officers with a comprehensive overview of your extracurricular involvement and accomplishments, offering them insight into your character, interests, and potential contributions to their institution. Creating a compelling and well-structured activity list can set you apart from the competition and help you secure a spot at your dream school. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of crafting an effective college admissions activity list.

Step 1: Start Early

The process of preparing your college admissions activity list should begin well in advance. By starting early, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of activities and document your achievements and experiences over time. This will help you paint a more comprehensive picture of yourself as a well-rounded and dedicated individual.

Step 2: Be Selective

Admissions officers aren’t looking for quantity; they’re looking for quality. It’s better to list a few significant activities with meaningful involvement rather than a long list of superficial engagements. Choose activities that you are genuinely passionate about and that demonstrate your skills, leadership, and character. The more unique the activity the BETTER as this will make you stand out.

Every good student will have “National Honor Society” or “Beta Club” on their list of clubs, and that is just going to make you one of many.  Better instead to list more unusual and unique activities whenever possible.

Step 3: Prioritize Involvement

When listing your activities, prioritize your level of involvement and commitment. Include information about any leadership positions, awards, or honors you received within each activity. Admissions officers want to see that you’ve made a meaningful impact and taken on responsibilities in the activities you’re passionate about.

Step 4: Show Diversity

Your activity list should showcase a diverse range of interests and talents. Include activities related to your academic interests, community service, sports, arts, or any other area where you have excelled or shown dedication. Demonstrating your versatility can be a strong selling point in your application.

Step 5: Quantify Your Achievements

Wherever possible, use concrete data to quantify your achievements. Instead of simply stating that you volunteered at a local animal shelter, say that you volunteered for 100 hours over the course of a year, demonstrating your commitment and dedication.

Step 6: Highlight Personal Growth

Don’t forget to describe how each activity has contributed to your personal growth and development. Admissions officers are interested in understanding how your experiences have shaped your character and prepared you for the challenges of college.

Step 7: Be Honest and Accurate

While it’s essential to present your activities in the best light possible, it’s equally important to be honest and accurate. Exaggerating or misrepresenting your involvement can harm your credibility and chances of admission. Stay true to your experiences and achievements.

Step 8: Seek Feedback

It’s a great idea to seek feedback from teachers, mentors, or college counselors when crafting your activity list. They can provide valuable insights and help you refine your descriptions to make them more compelling.

Step 9: Organize Effectively

When presenting your activities, organize them in a clear and structured manner. Consider using bullet points or short paragraphs for each activity, making it easy for admissions officers to skim through and grasp the key details.

Step 10: Proofread Carefully

Lastly, ensure that your activity list is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Attention to detail matters, and a polished list reflects your commitment and professionalism.

In conclusion, your college admissions activity list is a vital part of your application, providing admissions officers with a snapshot of your interests, accomplishments, and character. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can craft a compelling and well-organized list that effectively communicates your unique qualities and strengths.

Remember that your college application should reflect your authentic self, so choose activities that genuinely resonate with you. Be passionate, committed, and honest in your descriptions, and you’ll be well on your way to making a strong impression on the admissions committee.

Want more help with your college essays and application?  Applying to a top school this year, or maybe you have your eyes set on the Ivy League?  I  invite you to explore more tips and strategies for creating a standout college application on my website, www.IvyCollegeEssay.com.  As a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, I’m here to support you in your college journey and help you present your best self to the admissions officers at the very top schools.

Contact me for a free consultation today, and get into the school of your dreams!

For expert guidance on your Ivy League college applications and personalized assistance, contact me at IvyCollegeEssay.com. I am committed to helping you stand out among applicants and achieve your dream of attending an Ivy League college.

Contact me for a free consultation TODAY and take the first step towards achieving the school of your dreams!


11 05, 2023

How To Get In To Columbia University

By |2023-05-11T10:14:55-04:00May 11th, 2023|College Admissions, Columbia, Early Action|2 Comments

How To Get In To Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the more competitive Ivy League schools located in New York City. With an acceptance rate of just 6.1%, it is a dream for many high school students who aspire to attend an Ivy League college.

If you’re interested in applying to Columbia, there are several key areas you should focus on in your applications to increase your chances of acceptance.

Academic excellence is one of the most important factors that Columbia University looks for in its applicants. This means having a strong academic record with a challenging course load.

Applicants should also have a high GPA, competitive standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), and a demonstrated passion for learning.

Columbia also considers class rank, rigor of coursework, and academic achievements such as awards, honors, and research experience.

However, academics are not the only factor that Columbia considers. They are also looking for students who are well-rounded and have a variety of interests and talents.

Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, volunteering, internships, or leadership positions. These activities show that the applicant is dedicated, responsible, and able to balance multiple responsibilities.

In addition to academic and extracurricular achievements, Columbia University also looks for personal qualities in its applicants.

This includes intellectual curiosity, creativity, leadership, and a sense of community. Applicants should have a strong sense of their own values and be able to articulate them well in their application essays. Columbia also looks for applicants who are open-minded, tolerant, and inclusive, as the university values diversity and multiculturalism.

To apply to Columbia University, applicants must submit several components, including transcripts, standardized test scores, recommendation letters, essays, and an activity list.

These components should all be strong and demonstrate the applicant’s academic and personal achievements. The application essays are especially important, as they provide an opportunity for the applicant to showcase their personality, interests, and writing skills. Columbia requires several essays, including the Common Application essay, a Columbia-specific essay, and several short-answer questions. These essays should be well-written, engaging, and authentic, showcasing the applicant’s unique perspective and voice.

In summary, to get into Columbia University, it is important to focus on academic excellence, extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and a strong application. It is a highly competitive process, so it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to prepare and put together the best possible application. If you are accepted, you will be joining a community of highly accomplished and driven individuals who are making a difference in the world. Good luck!

[Looking for more help on your Ivy League college applications? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, and run the Ivy League college admissions firm IVY LEAGUE ESSAY. Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the school of your dreams!]

Check out this important article, too on the top college ranking list for the U.S.:


Also, these additional helpful blog articles!  Get into the Ivy League!

  1. How to Get Into An Ivy League College:
  2. What Each Ivy League College Is Known For


7 11, 2022

Deferred From Early Decision?

By |2022-11-07T13:31:12-05:00November 7th, 2022|Brown, college, College Admissions, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Early Action, Early Decision, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, MIT, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn, Waitlisted, Yale|0 Comments

Deferred from Early Decision or Early Action?

Have you been deferred from Early Decision or Early Action?  By now, everyone who was applying for college Early Decision for the Nov 1 deadline has gotten everything in and is in a holding pattern.  In other words: just waiting.

Some of you are already getting invitations for interviews, while others are sitting on their hands trying to not get too anxious while they wait it out for the one decision that could determine their entire future.

But, what if you don’t get rejected OR accepted for Early Decision or Early Action?

What if you get DEFERRED?

What does being “deferred” actually mean, and what everyone really wants to know:  what are your remaining chances?

Here’s the good news:  being deferred, while not the full-out acceptance you were looking for, is GOOD!

Take that in for a second — in lieu of a full-out acceptance from Harvard, Princeton, Stanford or MIT, being deferred is actually not a bad thing, and this is why:

Being deferred from college Early Decision or Early Action, especially when you’re talking about the Ivy League or Ivy League “equivalent” schools means you actually have what it takes.

In other words, it means you have what it takes to be competitive, not only at the Ivy League, but at that particular school.

That’s HUGE news if the college you applied to is in the top 20, let alone the top 10 or even top 3!

If Harvard defers you, that means the Harvard admissions committee thought you were good enough to put “on hold” for the moment, as they wait to compare you to the rest of the regular admissions applicants.

That’s what’s going on when you get deferred.  You are deemed “competitive” enough, because otherwise you would have been flat out rejected outright.  Admissions officers don’t need to make even more work for themselves.

The fact that you were NOT rejected though, means they thought you “competitive enough”.  That’s GREAT NEWS in terms of your opportunity.  It means regardless if you don’t get in to this particular school, you now know in your heart that you are at the level this TYPE of school is looking for, and you’re making the cut.

So, if you get deferred from Columbia, for example, that means that comparable level schools like Brown, Dartmouth, or UPenn might still find you interesting.

That means if you get deferred from Stanford, MIT just might want to snatch you up!

Don’t let a deferment dampen your spirits as though it’s not the ultimate that you were looking for, you are STILL IN THE RACE!

And, yes, that’s a race that you absolutely can still win.

I get many students into top Ivy League colleges every single year who were initially deferred.  Your hope is delayed, NOT shattered by any means.

So, what can you do if you get that deferment notice?  Contact me and let me help you navigate the new situation.  You have to know how to respond to a deferment properly (as in sending the “right” kind of follow up email),

AND, you need to now maximize your strategy for all of your other regular decision schools.

Want more information?  Contact me today for a free consultation.  I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard graduate and run the award-winning Ivy League College Admissions Firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com

Contact me today, and get into the school of your dreams!

You might also like to read these articles here on my blog:

20 09, 2022

Early Action or Early Decision: Ivy College Admissions Consulting

By |2022-09-23T23:07:25-04:00September 20th, 2022|College Admissions, Early Action, Early Decision|1 Comment

Early Action or Early Decision: Ivy College Admissions

Choosing Early Action over Early Decision can be confusing. Make sure you’re making the right choice!

Early Action and Early Decision are both college application STRATEGIES.  In other words, by getting your application in early, you will actually gain an advantage over students who apply regular decision.

How much of an advantage, you ask?  That depends on the school, but in my experience it is usually quite a boost — up to a 10% increase in the chance that you’ll get in.  When you’re talking about schools like Harvard, Princeton or Yale that adds up to be quite significant.

It’s hard to understand the difference between these two “Early” strategies though, and to make it even more difficult, each school has its own definition of the terms.  That’s why it’s always important to look on the school’s actual website so you understand what exactly you will be committing to, should you get in.

Early Action versus Early Decision: The Definitions

  1. Early Action is the less “committed” of the two choices, and you can choose more than one school for EA. In fact, you can apply EA to as many schools as you want. It is non-binding, which means you still have full control over where you want to attend, and can wait to make a decision once all of your other EA application results are in.
  2. Early Decision is binding, however, and for that reason you can only pick one college as your Early Decision school.  You usually find out if you got in mid-December and at that point will have to withdraw all of your other applications.  Only pick ED if you KNOW you would be thrilled to go to your school!

To make things even more confusing, there are also categories like ED 1 and ED 2

All you have to remember is that ED 1 is the earlier November 1 deadline, and ED 2 is basically the exact same thing but in December, if you’re just not ready in November to submit your application.

Then, there’s Single-Choice Early Action (SCEA)

Also known as Restrictive Early Action.  SCEA or REA is also non-binding, meaning you don’t have to go if you get in, however, you cannot apply to other schools’ EA or ED until you receive your decision from the school to which you applied SCEA.

In restrictive early action policies, however, you CAN still apply to public or state universities EA.

Now, some universities offer Single Choice Early Action or Restricted Early Action, which LIMITS your choice even more that the “rules” stated above, which is why it is very important to look at each school’s individual webpage first, to make sure you understand what you are and are NOT committing to.

I usually don’t recommend students apply SCEA or REA for this reason, and keep things simple by applying ED or EA alone.

So, should you apply early?

I think yes. It does give you an advantage, it allows you to receive your college acceptances (or rejections) earlier, it helps you make other plans if you get waitlisted or deferred and it give you more peace of mind.

Personally, I tell my students to do ED only, but that’s for another blog post another day!

If you are currently applying to college and looking for expert tips and advice from a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad, contact my Ivy League College Admissions Consulting Services today, and schedule a free phone consultation to get into the school of your dreams!  www.IvyCollegeEssay.com

Check out my other Ivy League College Admissions Consulting blog articles too, for even more tips + advice, such as:

I work with all colleges and universities, but I specialize in the Ivy League, and Ivy League competitive schools!

  • Harvard
  • Princeton
  • Yale
  • Dartmouth
  • Brown
  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • UPenn
  • MIT
  • Stanford
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