21 01, 2020

Thinking of Transferring to an Ivy League College? (It’s easier than you think!)

By |2020-01-21T12:10:46-05:00January 21st, 2020|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Yale|0 Comments

Though most of my Ivy League college admissions blog posts center around high school seniors applying to the most competitive and elite US universities, every year I also work with students who are already in college, and are thinking about transferring (or thinking about trying to transfer) into an Ivy League school.

Did you hear that correctly? YES, YOU CAN GET INTO AN IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE, like Harvard, Princeton, or Yale…by transferring.

And, I’ll tell you another secret:  it’s easier to get in.

Each year, I get students into some of the top colleges in the country as transfers.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you need to have done really well your first semester at whatever school you did decide to attend, but I have had students who got completely rejected from Harvard (for example) — as in, not even deferred if they applied Early Decision — not even waitlisted, who ended up going to not another Ivy League school, but say some “easier” or mid-ranked college that is not even in the Ivy League (someplace like NYU, Boston College, Emory University, “Seven Sister” schools, or even state schools like Georgia Tech) who end up applying as transfers to Harvard (our example) and actually GETTING IN.

The theory is that since there are WAY less transfer applicants than regular freshman high school applicants, if you have done well your first semester (that’s all you need) at your college of choice, you actually have a really good shot.

In other words, if you need that spelled out — it’s easier to get in to the Ivy League, and the Ivy League’s top schools (Princeton, Harvard, Yale) as a transfer student.

You need to have good grades, and you need to have decent test scores, but the Ivy League colleges are more interested in how you did your first semester in college, than anything you previously did in high school (including your SAT scores).

I have gotten kids in as transfer students to Harvard, who absolutely would have been passed over and rejected if they applied the previous year while they were high school seniors.

How you present yourself though, as a transfer applicant, is very important.  You need to think about how you want to craft your story, your narrative.  You need to think about your reasons for wanting to transfer to an Ivy League college.

You’ll also be leaving your first school behind — any friends you’ve made, etc.  Most of all though, you need to craft that narrative in a way that will sound like a valid reason for transferring to the school.

And getting straight A’s your first semester doesn’t hurt.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to transfer into an Ivy League college, and not just give up on your dreams, please contact me today for a free consultation.

Transfer applications are due March 1.  I’m working with all kinds of college transfer students now.  Don’t think it isn’t possible to transfer into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Brown, UPenn, or Cornell because it is.

If you’re not thrilled by the school you got into, if you got rejected from the Ivy League either Early Decision or regular try, know it is STILL possible.

You just need a strategy and a plan, and that’s exactly what I do: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com

See you in the Ivy League!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the top-rated IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS FIRM: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com . Contact me today for a free consultation, and get in to the school of your dreams!]

19 01, 2020

Your Harvard College Admissions Interview (+ other Ivy League Schools)!

By |2020-01-19T12:43:37-05:00January 19th, 2020|College Admissions, Harvard, Ivy League, The Harvard Admissions Interview|0 Comments

Hello 2020 Ivy League college applicants! This is my first Ivy League college admissions blog post of the new year, and we’re going to touch on everything!  First things first, your college interviews, and specifically, your Ivy League college interviews — as if you applied to college this year, your interviews should be quickly approaching!

The question now is:  how to best prepare? You spent so much time on your college applications, not to mention all the years and years of your life trying to do well in high school, and amassing extracurriculars, and trying to get your SAT and ACT test scores up, and doing interesting and unique things with your outside school time, and your summers, and your mind, and your personality, just so you can GET INTO A GREAT IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE.

In other words: don’t blow it now.

There is too much at stake.

Educate yourself.  Know what to EXPECT from the interview process, and you’ll be so way ahead of the game!

To help out the students who worked with me on their essays this year, as well as help out those students just finding my blog now, I’ve put together an extensive “Ivy League College Admissions Interview Prep ebook” for only $20 USD, that will expertly guide you through the entire college, and Ivy League interview process.

You can get that downloadable ebook here today!  Seriously, don’t go into your college interview without being prepared.  My ebook is filled with EXPERT tips and advice on everything you can expect, from how to dress, to specific questions asked, and how you should best respond. I am a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate. This is the best insider advice you can get!  BUY EBOOK HERE

I am also offering this year, as my schedule allows, an 1 hour MOCK INTERVIEW Prep.  This “mock” or practice interview will walk you through what an exact Harvard (or Ivy League equivalent) college admissions interview will be like.  Don’t think the interview doesn’t matter, because it matters A LOT.  An awful lot: especially if you’ve been deferred from Early Admissions/Decision.

This year, I’m offering phone or FaceTime interviews ($350 USD/hr), as well as interviews in person at the Harvard Club of NYC  if you are in the NYC area ($750 USD/hr).  Please contact me through my email, if you are interested in setting up an interview session: IvyLeagueEssayInfo@gmail.com

Meanwhile, check out the ebook above, and GET INTO THE IVY LEAGUE!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard grad and currently run the top college admissions consulting firm: Ivy League Essay (www.IvyCollegeEssay) out of NYC.  Working with student all over the US and the world, I help the best of the best achieve their dreams and get into Harvard and like-minded Ivy League schools.  Contact me today, for a free consultation: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com ]

For more Ivy League college interview tips, check out my article here: https://ivycollegeessay.com/2019/11/23/ivy-league-college-admissions-interviews-how-to-prepare/

16 12, 2019

Rejected Early Decision? Ivy League College Admission Help

By |2019-12-16T14:02:05-05:00December 16th, 2019|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Yale|0 Comments

A lot of students this week got rejected from their early decision (ED) schools, and the heartbreak is horrible. Maybe it was a “reach” school, maybe it was Princeton or Harvard or Brown University, or maybe you just really, really wanted to go there from the time you were 8.

Getting rejected from your first choice college though, doesn’t mean you can’t still get in to a really good school — it does mean however, that you want to take a serious look (or have someone like me) take a serious look at your previous application and essays, to make sure you don’t make the same mistake TWICE.

Often, the essays are the reason people get rejected from their Early Decision schools, when everything else in their application (their stats, SAT scores, grades, extracurriculars, rec letters, etc) are stellar and up to par.  It comes down to the writing, and more specifically, usually your topic choice for the Common App essay, or way it is written.

This is good news and bad news.  The good news is, you can change or revise your essay now, before you submit to your other schools and make the same mistake twice.  The bad news is, you have to be confident enough to know that maybe you don’t know how an essay really “reads” via the college’s admission office, and you should seek out someone who does know how things work, so pure pride and “but I liked my essay” doesn’t get in your own way.

I will repeat myself: most often, when everything else in a student’s background is “good” or even “excellent” and at the level it needs to be for the school targeted, the reason for the college’s Early Decision rejection is The Common App Essay, and how it is written = not as good as you think.

So, my one piece of advice to any of you who were just rejected by your Early Decision school, and are now maybe panicking a little as you apply to your other schools, if you have the resources, take the time to reach out and have someone like myself (a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad) look over your “rejected” Early Decisions application, and tell you what you need to do or change, so you don’t get rejected again.

A huge number of my students go on to get in to ALL of their other schools.  The worst thing you can do if you were rejected my friends, is nothing.  If it didn’t work the first time, something needs to change.  My advice = figure out what that is.

A Early Decision rejection is a warning shot.  Heed it, and make the changes.  Otherwise, you’re only throwing the same dart at the college or even Ivy League college board, and just hoping it will stick.

[I’m a former Harvard interviewer and Harvard grad, and currently run the top Ivy League College Admissions Firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com out of Manhattan.  I work with the top students all over the world.  Contact me today for a free consultation, and get into the school of your dreams!]

 

 

 

2 12, 2019

The Ivy League College Admissions Essay That Will Get You Into Harvard

By |2019-12-02T10:32:05-05:00December 2nd, 2019|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Yale|0 Comments

This is one of the best examples of a successful Ivy League college admissions essay that I have ever read, in my many years of working with the best high school students in the country, to help them gain admissions to the Ivy League.

The essay was written by a student named Calvin Heiman, to give credit where credit is due, and he now attends Columbia University.  However, as a former Harvard admissions interviewer, had this come across my desk (and if everything else in his application was super strong) he would have gotten in.

Here is the essay in its entirety. It has everything I was trained by Harvard admissions to look for: originality, heart, serious challenge, adversity, and yet his positive outlook comes through, and he creates a great, thoughtful conclusion at the end that ties everything together. He paints a great picture with words.

Furthermore, this Common App essay really gives us a sense of who this person is: what he values, the tastes and flavors of his world, and once again, his positive outlook, despite real hardship going on in his family.

And now for the essay, so you too can see a prime example of what a great essay looks like, if you’re trying to get in to the Ivy League college this year.  Here it is!

I love pasta.

I’m not Italian, nor do I know anyone who is. I’m a half-Polish, half-German kid from Boulder, Colorado. I should instead crave perogies, wienerschnitzel, or maybe vegan avocado toast sprinkled with microgreens.

So why exactly do I love pasta? Memories.

When I was seven, my favorite restaurant, Noodles, had mac-n-cheese that was legendary. However, it played second fiddle to Pasta Fresca, my little secret that hid down on the bottom right of the menu. I would order it every time, exactly the same: extra tomatoes, half spinach, double feta. Perfection.

But with my insatiable desire for perfection, came complications; it was impossible for a seven-year-old to routinely find his way to Noodles, come up with $8.50, and convince the cashier that No, I am not lost, and Yes, I know the feta will cost extra. Therefore, I had to get creative. Armed with a to-go menu and one brief shopping trip later, I attempted to make Pasta Fresca. I unfortunately learned, however, that an ingredient list alone contains no indication of measurement; a teaspoon quickly turns into a tablespoon. The result was a soupy, vinegary mess. That magic touch, that fresca, was missing. In fact, calling it Pasta Fresca would’ve been a crime. But it was my own–I made that pasta and there was something powerful in that.

Five years later, that warm glow of pride of my foray into Pasta Fresca was long gone. I had hit rock bottom. It was winter and I was living with my best friend. Sledding, snowball fights, and hot cocoa filled our days. So, how does a twelve-year-old living his dream hit rock bottom?

Cancer.

My brother Klaus was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood sarcoma that forced my family to New York City for treatment, while I was stuck in cold Colorado. Days bled into weeks, weeks into months of simply grinding away at school, craving the comfort of sleep, where I could forget my anxiety for a while. My sole comfort, the one thing that turned the worst of weeks into something bearable, was Gruffalo Pasta. Contrary to the name, it contained no mythical beast; it was simply penne with meat sauce, and yet there was something magical about it. Every Friday night, my friend’s family and I would sit down and eat Gruffalo Pasta with their famous garlic cheesy bread (worthy of its own essay). Laughs rang out as we played games, watched movies, and went sledding–we would be a family. Although my real family was thousands of miles away, every Friday night, home felt tangible.

When my family returned, spring gave way to summer, and with it came neverending afternoons of skinned knees, balls lost over fences, new neighborhood friends, and Mac n’ Cheese. We ripped through box after box, new faces cycling through the kitchen as mac n’ cheese lunches became a neighborhood tradition. There was a sense of independence that came with it, as us kids cooked it ourselves–exactly how we liked it. We added extra butter and milk, peas, chicken, bacon; whatever our little hearts desired. The days seemed infinite, brimming with possibility and spontaneity, with the comfort that there was always a mac n’ cheese lunch at someone’s house to look forward to.

Pasta continues to weave its thread through my life, from the Christmas dinners of Pasta Puttanesca, my pesto business started in 8th grade, gifts of exotic pasta and sauces for my birthday, to the cross-country team’s pasta parties. Pasta is a narrative tightly intertwined with that of my own. It’s been said that one should look for good in the world, whether it be memories, hope for the future, or simple joys, find that good that drives your every day. I say you need look no further than what is in front of you. I found that goodness in a bowl of pasta.

[Applying to college this year?  I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and Harvard grad, and run the award-winning Ivy League college admissions firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com Contact me today for a free consultation, and get into the school of your dreams!]

Are you a parent looking for Ivy League college help?  Check out my blog article here, especially for parents!: https://ivycollegeessay.com/2016/06/23/how-to-prepare-your-kid-for-an-ivy-league-college-education/

29 11, 2019

Things You Can Do to Boost Your Ivy League Application!

By |2020-01-19T12:26:19-05:00November 29th, 2019|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, The Harvard Admissions Interview, Yale|0 Comments

If you’re applying to an Ivy League college you already know that high grades, tons of AP classes, stellar SAT scores, unique extracurriculars, and fantastic teacher recs can all play a role in your application and acceptance to some of the most prestigious colleges in America.

The following are top ten tips though that you may not have thought of that when, combined with the standard qualifications above (i.e. stellar GPA, etc), can actually serve to help you get in!

  1. Social Media:  Schools check.  So, that said, you want to make sure that there is nothing crude or lewd on your facebook page and you’re not making extreme non-pc comments all over twitter.  It’s okay to show yourself having fun with your friends, and you certainly don’t have to show yourself as 100% scholarly and serious (it is a social outlet, after all), and you’re even allowed to have an opinion that maybe other people don’t necessarily agree with, but just keep in mind that the college admission officers are trying to get a sneak peak and quick overview of who you might be online. If you think your fb page shows you as an all around great person with dedicated intellectual and creative interests and great humanitarian projects under your belt (and on your page) then let them look.  It could help you.  More often than not though, it won’t.  Personally, I’d set my fb page to private right now to block anyone who isn’t a known friend. After all, why take the risk?
  2. Send your interviewer a thank you email: This is another tip that some might think of, and some won’t.  Sending a very BRIEF thank you, if you do in fact have your interviewer’s email address (some schools do not make this available) this is a sign of having good manners, which translates into a sign of strong upbringing and class.  The Ivy League especially is deciding whether you fit into their school culture, not only if you have the grades to succeed.  Sending a thank you (just 2-3 sentences at most- don’t go longer) can leave a positive impression in your interviewer’s eyes, and that translates to a positive feeling when they sit down to report on their interview with you, that can help to get you in!
  3. Mention legacy:  Do you have a family member who went to the school?  If not that that particular college, did they go to another college within the Ivy League.  If so, mention it.  Don’t feel like you’re bragging.  The Ivy League universities value “legacies” highly, so even though it’s usually a question on the application, mention it during your college interview, as well. The Ivy League in particular loves tradition and preserving and honoring family lines.  If your mom went to Columbia and your dad is a Harvard grad = mention it.  Believe me, it will help.
  4. Mention 1st Generation: As an alternative to the above, perhaps you’re the first one in your family to ever even go to college!  If this is you, don’t worry, MENTION IT – somewhere in your essays.  Again, this will only help you.
  5. Are you a twin? Yes, I know this one isn’t going to apply to most people, but it’s worth mentioning. The Ivy League in particular loves admitting twins who are equally ambitious and have the required credentials.  So, if you’re a twin – identically or fraternal – this should be everywhere in your college essays, and specifically at least mentioned in you Common App.   The colleges like anything and everything that makes you unique, and having a twin or sibling that is going to be in the same incoming calls puts you in that “special and unique” category, especially if you’re special and unique and can stand out in others areas, as well!

Those are just a few helpful tips that you might not find elsewhere regarding how to make your college applications, and especially your Ivy League college applications stand out even more.

Stay tuned in the coming days for even more, and check out my other Ivy League Essay articles, here: https://ivycollegeessay.com/2017/05/01/top-5-books-to-read-before-applying-to-an-ivy-league-college/

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the Ivy League Essay college admissions firm: www.IVY COLLEGE ESSAY.com  Contact me for a free consultation today!]

23 11, 2019

Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview: How to Prepare!

By |2019-12-01T13:48:34-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Yale|0 Comments

Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview: How to Prepare, What to Expect!

It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to have to go into a room and have a stranger decide your future.  If you’re also a top student, it’s even more nerve-wracking to not know if you’re really going to get to go to a top-tier, super-competitive school like Harvard, Princeton, MIT or Yale and have your future and career laid out for you, or if you really even have the slightest chance of even getting in at all.

That’s why I’ve laid out the top questions students often hear during their Ivy League college interviews. Even if you’re not applying to the Ivy League, this will work for any other competitive top to mid-tier college, too.

So, whether you’re applying to Harvard and Princeton, or Boston University and NYU, studying these questions will help you be more prepared in terms of what to expect from your college interview, and how to be more confident during the interview itself, because nothing will take you by surprise.

As an overview though, college admissions officers want to know that you have the maturity to speak clearly, that you can be comfortable even in a nerve-wracking situation, that you can look them in the eye, smile, chat, have a solid “adult” conversation on an adult level, and are clear in terms of who you are at this point in your life and where you want to go.  These questions will help you get there:

1. “So, what are you interested in studying in college?”

What college interviewers are looking for here, is an answer that reveals your academic and possible future professional plans and interests, but also shows uniqueness and a background (however slight it may be) related to your answer.

In other words, just saying you’re interested in pre-med is fine, but saying you’re interested in pre-med because you spent time interning over the summer at a make-shift hospital in India, or at an inner city hospital in Chicago, is better because it shows you have actual experience to back up your goals. .

The main thing that will get you bad marks here on this question?  Being too vague – that’s what this question is trying to screen for.  Your college interviewer wants to make sure that you have the focus and ambition needed to truly succeed in a top Ivy League college (and in life).  They want to make sure you’re someone who has a plan and has a direction…even if that direction later changes course.  Just show them that you have an initial thought-out plan.

 So, if they ask you this question, pick an academic subject and back it up, even if you end up changing your major 4 times once you’re in.  First, get in!

2. “What high school accomplishment are you most proud of?”

Here, your college admissions interviewer is trying to get a sense of what you value, as the accomplishment you are most proud of will not only show off your best strengths academically (or extracurricularly, as could be the case) but will show him/her what things and pursuits you actually  identify with, in your own life – and that gives them great information about YOU.

The main thing that will get you bad marks on your college interviewer’s report with this question? Not showing a real passion or energy behind your answer.  You can’t expect someone to be excited about what you’ve done in life, if you yourself aren’t that interested.

3. “Tell me about your family background? Where did you grow up?”

What the admission officer is looking for here, is a sense of trying to place you = what I call, trying to paint a picture of your home life in their mind.  Did you grow up in a big city, a suburb, a rural farm?  Were you home-schooled, or did you attend a highly competitive science magnet in your area?

They are trying to place you, but they are also trying to discern how you yourself feel about your background.  There’s no wrong answer here, except a one-word answer.  That will get you a bad mark on the interviewer’s report, and you don’t want that.  If someone asks you a question, expand and expound!

4. “What is an example of something difficult you’ve had to go through, or an important event perhaps that took place in your life in the last few years?”

Here, as with the question above, the admissions committee (through the college interviewer’s report that they will write about you)  is simply trying to get a sense of who you are, what you value, and what stands out in your mind.  They are simply trying to understand who you are as a person, and how you see yourself in relation to others.

The one thing that will get you bad marks on this question?  Not having a strong and solid answer.  It’s really not so much what you say with any of this, but how you say it.  Always speak with confidence and self-reflection = that’s what they really like.  Don’t be afraid to show them who you are as a thinker and a person.  The fastest thing to get you dinged on all of your questions is, again, a weak, one-word response!

5. “Why Harvard” or “Why Princeton?” or “Why Columbia?” or “Why Berkeley?”…

Most likely, you already wrote an admissions essay covering this question, so I strongly suggest you review all of your essays before going into your college interview.  Your answer “Why Harvard, or University of Pennsylvania, or Columbia, Brown, Duke, UCLA, MIT, or NYU?” (just to name a few), should focus on that particular school’s program, core curriculum, professors, classes and extracurriculars that are specific to your interests.

The focus should be academic at the core, but don’t be afraid to let your personality and true interest in a school’s outside extracurricular activities also shine through.  Do your homework and understand the differences between different programs and how they’re set up with their own unique flavor, especially when we’re talking about the Ivy League colleges and universities.

In the end, your college admissions interview should be conversational, interesting, educational and engaging!  In other words, just try to have a very real and connected conversation. Most interviews last 30-45 minutes, and if you’ve gotten this far, it’s a very good sign that you are already on your way!

 

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate.  I currently run the Ivy League college essay admission firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com out of New York City.  I provide expert advice on college essays and applications to students all over the world, and specialize in the Ivy League and “Top Ten” schools.  Feel free to contact me for more information, and get into the school of your dreams!]
1 05, 2017

The Top 5 Books To Read If Applying To An Ivy League College!

By |2019-12-01T13:53:20-05:00May 1st, 2017|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Yale|0 Comments

Did well in high school?  Check.  Strongly involved in your extracurriculars?  Check.  Aced your AP exams, and scored pretty high on your SAT’s?  Double check.

More than likely if you fit the above, you probably have at least some aspiration to go to an Ivy League college.  Maybe you’re not sure if you’ll get in, but you have the hope.  The dream.  If only you could maximize your chances.  Do whatever you could do to just push your Ivy League college application just a little bit over the edge.

But where is this secret knowledge?  What is this secret insider information? How can you find out EXACTLY what else you can possibly do, when you turn on your computer and sit down this year to apply to your list of schools.

Read.  That’s my answer, to parents and students alike.  Find out. Research the information.

The following books are the top 5 books in their field which give you many, many examples of what a successful Harvard, Yale and Stanford college application essay actually looks like — and there are lots of examples from which to access and learn.

The important thing to remember though, is that while I do recommend reading these books, in the end, you need to read and then DIVERT from what you just read.  In other words, you need to be unique in your own approach.  An individual in terms of what YOU decide to talk about in your essay and reveal.

Believe me, the admissions officers at each of these schools are aware that these books are out there, and are familiar with the essays they contain. You must make yours DIFFERENT, both in structure and certainly content, but understanding what exactly makes a strong (successful) essay, can be a very powerful first step towards your Ivy League college application success!

So, with no more delay, the following are the top 5 books I recommend all rising college seniors read, or at least flip through, as they begin their college application process this summer.

Click on the books themselves for the larger links. And, the winners of this year’s recommended Ivy League College Admissions books are:

Book #1:

Book #2:

Book #3:

Book #4:

And, Book #5:

Remember, these books are just a jumping off place.  A starting spot.  In the end, you need to find what exactly makes you stand out on your own, and what makes YOU unusual and unique.  Try to think about what makes a college admissions officer want to say, “Wow, this student BELONGS here, and I would hate to lose him or her to another rival Ivy League school.”

 See, each school wants the next generation’s leaders and visionaries to be associated with their university. So, take my advice, read some books, and let that future be you.
Also, check out some of my other great Ivy League college admissions articles here: https://ivycollegeessay.com/2013/06/10/getting-into-the-ivy-league/
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I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the Ivy League college admissions firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com.  Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the school of your dreams!
23 06, 2016

How to Get In To An Ivy League College (For Parents!)

By |2019-11-18T09:49:18-05:00June 23rd, 2016|Brown, college, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, MIT, Princeton, UPenn, Yale|0 Comments

If you have always dreamed of having your son or daughter graduate from an Ivy League college — which, to define the term, are the eight schools that make up the Ivy League and including: Harvard, Princeton, Yale (the “Big Three”), as well as Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania —  there are many thing you can do that will help your teen succeed in the Ivy League college admissions and college application process.

#1.  Make sure they take as many AP courses as possible:  College admissions officers, especially Ivy League college admissions officers want to see that your student is not only challenging themselves by taking the most challenging courses possible at their particular school, but they want to see that they are ALREADY fully immersed in college-level classes, before they even get to college. So, if your student’s high school DOESN’T offer any AP course work, make sure they get it somewhere else (like enrolling in a community college at night).

This shows that they will be able to handle the work-load once they get in to a highly competitive school.  It shows they have the intellect and can take the pressure, and that kind of proof is what makes admissions officers happy, and lets your high school student actually pass the test and get in!

#2: Make sure they have extracurricular activities that are interesting and different:  By different, this means something more unique than piano, violin, or swimming.  Oh no!  What if you’re saying, “but my kid is taking piano, violin and swimming!”

These activities are fine if they’re either a musical prodigy, or an Olympic medalist, but in case they’re not, try…just try…to branch out and have the, expand into other activities that will make them stand out more than their friends and become even more unique to college admissions officers – again, especially Ivy League college admissions officers.

Schools like to diversify their class, and they like students who have done, or are doing, incredibly interesting things.  So, branch out.  Do something different – on top of the regular “smart kid” activities like classical music or Model UN.  You don’t want to just do what every other smart kid does: ESPECIALLY for the Ivy League!

#3: Let them choose their own, real interests:  Really.  Don’t push your kid to go into Engineering or Finance as a potential major in college if they’re sincerely telling you they want to study Greek, or eventually get a Ph.D in Microbiology.  The college admissions officers want to know what REALLY interests your student, again, especially for the Ivy League, and what they don’t want to see is someone who’s been programmed by their parents to say something that simply sounds like the hot thing to study right now, or with the only purpose of setting your student up for a (perceived) well-paying job.

The Ivy League schools in particular like to admit students who want to study something DIFFERENT.  Remember, they employ a lot of professors, and they need to fill the Greek classes, too.  The Ivy League colleges often admit students who have a WIDE VARIETY OF INTERESTS, especially in the humanities.

These are also the students who might later go on to law school, or medical school, enter a policy program in foreign relations, and/or get their Ph.D.

The Ivy League colleges in particular like students who appreciate the value of a broad education — one that will leave them post-graduation with a full and solid understanding of today’s world.  In other worlds, the Ivy League colleges are more interested in graduating people who will always be “well-educated” by anyone’s standards, and that means being able to speak on a wide variety of interests and topics at some depth.

What they are NOT interested in, are people who are simply looking at college as a way to get a job.  They try to weed those “non-intellectuals” the “non-scholars” out.  Those students honestly are better served by going to a state school or one of the more highly competitive science or engineering schools like MIT.

#4: In summary, Ivy League colleges are for students who appreciate learning…about everything!  They are students who have a passion for new things and intellectual topics, and understand and are well-versed in a wide-variety of literary, artistic, political, and academic possibilities.

If you can encourage that mindset, your child has a chance to get in.  Strong essays, high grades, good SAT scores, glowing high school recommendations, and a impressive college interview will all help complete the college admissions package, but instilling in your student a desire to learn, and to convey that attitude about learning in everything and anything as they go forth…THAT’s what Ivy League admissions officers look for the most, and that is the “secret sauce” that will  help them get in!

While you’re at it, check out the rest of my award wining Ivy League college admissions blog for more free information! And, make sure to get my new IVY LEAGUE INTERVIEW PREP GUIDE here! https://ivycollegeessay.com/interview-tips/

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the Ivy League college admissions consulting firm: www.IVY COLLEGE ESSAY.com  Contact me for a free consultation today, and get into the Ivy League college of your dreams! Email:  IvyLeagueEssayInfo@gmail.com ]

9 06, 2016

How to Improve Your Ivy League College Application

By |2019-11-18T10:41:31-05:00June 9th, 2016|Berkeley, Brown, College Admissions, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, Michigan, MIT, NYU, Princeton, UCLA, UPenn, Yale|0 Comments

If you’re applying to an Ivy League college you already know that high grades, tons of AP classes, stellar SAT scores, unique extracurriculars, and fantastic teacher recs can all play a role in your application and acceptance to some of the most prestigious colleges in America.

The following are top ten tips though that you may not have thought of that when, combined with the standard qualifications above (i.e. stellar GPA, etc), can actually serve to help you get in!

  1. Social Media:  Schools check.  So, that said, you want to make sure that there is nothing crude or lewd on your facebook page and you’re not making extreme non-pc comments all over twitter.  It’s okay to show yourself having fun with your friends, and you certainly don’t have to show yourself as 100% scholarly and serious (it is a social outlet, after all), and you’re even allowed to have an opinion that maybe other people don’t necessarily agree with, but just keep in mind that the college admission officers are trying to get a sneak peak and quick overview of who you might be online. If you think your fb page shows you as an all around great person with dedicated intellectual and creative interests and great humanitarian projects under your belt (and on your page) then let them look.  It could help you.  More often than not though, it won’t.  Personally, I’d set my fb page to private right now to block anyone who isn’t a known friend. After all, why take the risk?
  2. Send your interviewer a thank you email: This is another tip that some might think of, and some won’t.  Sending a very BRIEF thank you, if you do in fact have your interviewer’s email address (some schools do not make this available) this is a sign of having good manners, which translates into a sign of strong upbringing and class.  The Ivy League especially is deciding whether you fit into their school culture, not only if you have the grades to succeed.  Sending a thank you (just 2-3 sentences at most- don’t go longer) can leave a positive impression in your interviewer’s eyes, and that translates to a positive feeling when they sit down to report on their interview with you, that can help to get you in!
  3. Mention legacy:  Do you have a family member who went to the school?  If not that that particular college, did they go to another college within the Ivy League.  If so, mention it.  Don’t feel like you’re bragging.  The Ivy League universities value “legacies” highly, so even though it’s usually a question on the application, mention it during your college interview, as well. The Ivy League in particular loves tradition and preserving and honoring family lines.  If your mom went to Columbia and your dad is a Harvard grad = mention it.  Believe me, it will help.
  4. Mention 1st Generation: As an alternative to the above, perhaps you’re the first one in your family to ever even go to college!  If this is you, don’t worry, MENTION IT – somewhere in your essays.  Again, this will only help you.
  5. Are you a twin? Yes, I know this one isn’t going to apply to most people, but it’s worth mentioning. The Ivy League in particular loves admitting twins who are equally ambitious and have the required credentials.  So, if you’re a twin – identically or fraternal – this should be everywhere in your college essays, and specifically at least mentioned in you Common App.   The colleges like anything and everything that makes you unique, and having a twin or sibling that is going to be in the same incoming calls puts you in that “special and unique” category, especially if you’re special and unique and can stand out in others areas, as well!

Those are just a few helpful tips that you might not find elsewhere regarding how to make your college applications, and especially your Ivy League college applications stand out even more.

Stay tuned in the coming days for even more, and check out my other Ivy League Essay articles here! https://ivycollegeessay.com/2016/06/23/how-to-prepare-your-kid-for-an-ivy-league-college-education/

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the Ivy League Essay college admissions firm: www.IVY COLLEGE ESSAY.com  Check out my website or send me an email: IvyLeagueEssayInfo@gmail.com, and request a free consultation today!]

 

8 05, 2016

How Do Prep Schools Groom Students for the Ivy League?

By |2019-12-01T14:03:35-05:00May 8th, 2016|College Admissions, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League College, Princeton, UPenn, Yale|0 Comments

Applying to college and ever asked yourself this question?  Let me provide an answer:

Since the prep schools are usually extremely well financially endowed they, first of all, have a very large assortment of AP classes available to their students (more than usually offered at a public school).  The more AP classes you take, the more qualified the Ivy League schools see your candidacy.

The prep schools also have teachers and guidance counselors who, more than likely, are Ivy League graduates themselves and so know what is required in terms of achievements and classes, and try to guide and mentor their students accordingly.

Prep  schools also usually have MUCH smaller classes, which means the teachers really get to know their six students, for example.  Think about the difference that could make when writing a recommendation letter = having SIX students you know well who are applying to college, versus 30 in a class.  That’s part of the difference.

Furthermore, the schools themselves, especially if you’re talking about the elite prep boarding schools in New England, or the top private schools in NYC, have intense admissions criteria themselves, that ensure that only the top students who apply are even offered this “best-of-the-best” opportunity.

The prep schools themselves also are usually very active in extracurricular sports and activities (sometimes at the Olympic level) that bring recognition to the school nationally.

Then there’s the fact that the admissions officers at Ivy League schools have come to know that any student who went to such-and-such academy is going to be a likely candidate for the Ivy League, otherwise they never would have gotten in to their current prep school.  This makes the admissions committee’s job easier, as they see a student from that school and they immediately go to the top of the pile for serious consideration.

Schools like Harvard and Princeton and Yale also maintain close relationships with guidance counselors at the top prep schools and basically recruit there.

I, myself, though got into Harvard from a public school!  It is possible and a lot of my friends at Harvard went to public school, too.

Hope that helps!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions officer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the Ivy League admissions firm www.IvyCollegeEssay.com  Contact me today for a free consultation, and  get into the Ivy League!