23 11, 2019

Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview

By |2022-09-17T22:25:58-04:00November 23rd, 2019|Admissions Interview, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, The Harvard Admissions Interview|0 Comments

Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview

How to Prepare What to Expect

So, you’ve been offered your first Ivy League college admissions interview.  Congratulations! Though, of course, now you actually have to do it.

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 interview.

Even if you’re not applying to the Ivy League, this will work for any other competitive top to mid-tier colleges, too.

So, whether you’re applying to Harvard and Princeton, Penn or 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, so nothing — and I mean 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 currently have a 10 page ebook titled “Ivy League Interview Tips” available for download on my website.  This short book highlights all of the top Ivy League interview questions and strategies you need to succeed. Click here to get my interview tips eBook today!

Buy Interview Tips Book

Still want more help?

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad, and  I currently run the Ivy League college essay admission consulting firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com.  

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 today for more information, and get into the school of your dreams!

Rather listen to this article?  Click below to watch the video!

18 11, 2019

Ivy League Interview Tips

By |2022-09-17T22:28:36-04:00November 18th, 2019|The Harvard Admissions Interview|0 Comments

Ivy League Interview Tips

College admissions interview advice from a former Harvard Interviewer

Applying to college this year and looking for college interview tips?  Are you shooting for the Ivy League? Already have your first, or maybe second, interview scheduled?

Do you need advice? Do you feel like you’re maybe in over your head?

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad.  Let me tell you (the students) and you (the parents), that if you’re a regular reader of my Ivy League college admissions blog, you will come to understand EXACTLY what will give you the best chance at getting in.

Overall, Ivy League universities want to see that you are solid in yourself. That you know who you are.

They also want to see that you are able to carry on a calm, confident, and interesting adult-level conversation.  They want to see that you know what you want, and know what your goals are (even if they change once you get into college).

In other words, just start out with something!

The admissions committee wants to know that you are driven, ambitious, competitive, and looking to intellectually and academically become the most successful person you can be!

Conveying that interest and intellectual curiosity to the adcom, and that is going to get you pretty far.

If you’re applying to the most competitive schools in the country like Harvard University, for example, and that’s your goal, just keep in mind too, that Harvard likes students whom they feel might one day be the voice of the next generation.

In other words, no matter your field: famous.  A leader. That’s the level of competition, focus, drive and determination that Ivy League interviewers and college admission committees are looking for at the highest level.

Be that person, and don’t give the admissions interview or the admissions committee a single reason to say no.

Want to know the questions most commonly asked during a successdul Ivy League college admission interview?

My new interview eBook is now for sale (for $20 USD) at www.IvyCollegeEssay.com. Buy the ebook today, or check out all the free advice and info found throughout my Ivy League college admissions blog, and get into the school of your dreams!

Here are some other articles from my Ivy League Blog that you might find helpful!

How to Get into Harvard

Your College Admissions Interview

 

I’m a former Harvard interviewer, and Harvard grad and currently run the award winning Ivy League college admissions firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com. Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the Ivy League!

1 05, 2017

Applying To An Ivy League College? The Top 5 Books I Recommend!

By |2022-09-13T15:26:16-04:00May 1st, 2017|Brown, college, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League College, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn, Yale|0 Comments

Applying To An Ivy League College? The Top 5 Books I Recommend!

Applying to an Ivy League college this year?  Good.  Now let’s actually see if you’re competitive for the schools you’re targeting.

Did well in high school?  Check.  Strongly involved in your extracurriculars?  Check. Aced your AP exams, and scored pretty high on your SAT / ACT  and are in an IB program (if your school offers one)? Triple check.

More than likely if you fit the above, then you probably have at least some aspirations to get in to an Ivy League college.  Maybe you’re not sure you’ll get in, but you definitely have the hope.  The dream.  If only you could MAXIMIZE your chances.  If you only knew what you could possibly do to just push your Ivy League college application and essays just a little bit more, so you can secure that acceptance.

But where is this secret knowledge???   Who has this secret insider information?! How can you find out EXACTLY what else you can possibly do, sit down this year to apply to your list of schools?

Read.  That’s my answer, to parents and students alike.  Read the right books. Find out all you can from the right people. The ones who have credentials. Research the right information.

As a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad, I know what it takes to successfully apply to an Ivy League college. The following books are the top 5 books in their field, and 5 of my favorites, which give you many, many examples of what a successful Harvard, Yale, Princeton or  Stanford college application essay actually looks like — and there are lots of examples within these books 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.

Because, believe me, the admissions officers at all of the top schools are aware that these books are out there, and they are not only familiar with the essays these books contain, but they are REALLY familiar.

You must make your college application essays DIFFERENT, both in structure and certainly content, but that said, understanding what exactly makes a strong (i.e. successful) Ivy League admissions essay, can be a very powerful first step towards your  college and Ivy League 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:

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 helpful Ivy League college admissions tips and advice to help you get into the Ivy League, such as “How To Get into Harvard”
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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!
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://ivycollegeess.wpengine.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!

7 05, 2016

What Each Ivy League College is Known For

By |2022-09-17T14:14:57-04:00May 7th, 2016|Brown, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League College, UPenn, Yale|3 Comments

What Each Ivy League College Is Known For

Each Ivy League university has its own niche, it’s own “brand”:

In other words, each Ivy League university is known for certain things in terms of reputation. Understanding this in regard to college admissions, and Ivy League university admissions in general, is important.  This knowledge lets you target which school is the best fit for you, as well as which college is actually where you become the best fit for THEM.

This is only going to increase your chances of getting accepted.

The following list is a very brief compilation listing each Ivy League university, and what specific programs or majors they are best known for around the world!

Allow me to add as well, that all 8 of the Ivy League colleges mentioned here, as well as the ones I classify as “Ivy League competitive schools” like Stanford or MIT,  are all excellent universities. They truly do offer an extensive, wide-reaching, liberal arts education that will leave you extremely well-educated and intellectually respected for your college degree around the globe.

In other words, you can’t go wrong with any school in the Ivy League.

However, knowing what each Ivy university is known for, will give you an advantage.  Some of the schools are known for certain specialties more so than the others, and if you pay attention to that fact, you will have a better chance of receiving that acceptance letter and finding a better intellectual  and cultural fit.

And so, without further adieu…

WHAT EACH IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE IS KNOWN FOR:


1. Yale is known for turning out dramatists, poets, and CIA officers (government and international relations).


2. Harvard is Harvard (also strong in government, engineering, philosophy, languages)

3. Princeton is known for mathematics and physics (Einstein used to teach there).

4. Brown is known for its creativity and artist types (including poets, writers and playwrights)

5. UPenn is known for its proximity to the Wharton school and hence, business and finance.

6. Cornell is known as one of the easier Ivy Leagues to get into and has a strong business/hospitality school link via its grad program.

7. Columbia is known for literature, religion, psychology, languages and its proximity to Wall Street.

8. Dartmouth is known for liberal arts majors, as well as those wanting to get into the Tuck school of business post-graduation.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, you also have what I call “Ivy-like” schools, or “Ivy Equivalent” by which I mean, the schools’ level of difficulty and competition in terms of getting in. Here, I include schools like:
  1. MIT (obviously known for science, math, computer science  and engineering),
  2. Stanford (look up it’s proximity to Silicon Valley and it’s niche for business),
  3. Duke and Johns Hopkins (both famous for their medical school and thereby pre-med programs).

So, there you have it! 

Just a sample list of the Ivy League universities that tell you which college you might want to target if you’re looking at the Ivy League for this coming admissions cycle.

Understanding what I’ve listed here, and then tailoring your applications appropriately when making your school selection list, can truly make all the difference. Especially when choosing which school to apply to for Early Decision.

Need more free admissions tips and advice?  Check out my award-winning Ivy League college admissions blog for more on how to get in to an Ivy League university — and, if you’re thinking about Early Decision (HINT: you should be!)  then you may also like my article: Early Decision: Choosing the Right Ivy League College

You can also join my Ivy League college admissions discussion on Reddit at: https://www.reddit.com/r/ivyleaguecollege/

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate 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!

10 11, 2015

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

By |2019-01-03T18:51:33-05:00November 10th, 2015|The Harvard Admissions Interview|0 Comments

Harvard Library

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 (like I was), it’s even more nerve-wracking to not know if you’re really going to get to go to a top-tier, super-elite school like Harvard, Princeton, MIT or Yale and have your future and career almost completely laid out for you, or if you really even have the slightest chance of 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 20-40 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 admissions firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com out of New York.  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 college of your dreams!]

8 06, 2015

Top 5 Ivy League College Admission Essay Books to Buy Today!

By |2019-12-01T14:30:40-05:00June 8th, 2015|The Harvard Admissions Interview|0 Comments

Are you a high school student applying to college this year?  Is it your dream to go to an Ivy League school and one day graduate from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia ,Brown,  Dartmouth, Cornell, or UPenn? Or maybe you’re interested in one of the many other extremely competitive and excellent “Top Ten” schools in the country, such as MIT, Stanford, Duke, etc., etc.

The below are the top 5 college admission essay books I personally recommend.  They give you a great overview of the types of essays that actually work, and get you in to the Ivy League!

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Need more help and advice? Contact me today for a free initial consultation. I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard graduate, and currently run the Ivy League college admissions firm, www.IvyCollegeEssay.com. get into your dream school today!

31 05, 2015

How to Prepare Your Kids For An Ivy League College Education

By |2019-01-03T18:53:43-05:00May 31st, 2015|The Harvard Admissions Interview|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:  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.

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 teacher recommendations, and a nice interview all help complete the admissions package, but instilling in your student a desire to learn, about everything and anything as they go forth…that’s what Ivy League admissions officers look for the most, and THAT will help them get in!

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

21 09, 2014

The Common App: How to Write a Great College Application

By |2022-09-17T23:25:21-04:00September 21st, 2014|Berekeley, Brown, college, College Admissions, Columbia, Common App, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Ivy League, Ivy League Advice, Ivy League College, MIT, NYU, Princeton, Standford, Stanford, UCLA, UPenn, Yale|3 Comments

The Common App Essay

How to Write a Great College Application!

The season is upon us: college applications, and right now is a good time to start working on your Common App.  You’re a month into the new school year, you’ve settled in, and now the Common App essay is staring you in the face.

Where do you begin?  You know you have to start writing it…but HOW?

You try to forget about it, but you can’t.  How can you write the absolutely best college admission essays possible when you have no idea what to write about or where to begin??

Similarly, neither do you know what the college admission committee is even looking for, nor what will make a really strong college essay and application.  This holds true for all colleges and universities, but ESPECIALLY if you’re applying to the Ivy League.

Oh yeah, and did I mention your entire future appears to depend on this?

Don’t worry though, because I am going to walk you through the process.

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad, and I know how to do this well.  I’m going to tell you how you can master the Common App essay and application and make the most of your college applications.

To be more to the point, I’m going to help you get into the best schools possible.

This includes the Ivy League: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, UPenn, and Cornell. The top. I mean, what if you want to go there?  How can you tackle the Common App and catapult your way to the apex of education?

Let’s start with the questions.  These are the choices for your Common App Essay:

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Which one to choose, you say? Which one will be the best one to write about?  Here’s what I say:  go with the one that is going to contain the most EMOTION.  Emotion is powerful, good or bad, and the examples you choose, if they have a certain emotional weight to them when you think about it, that will add weight (and admissions committee engagement) to your essay.  In other words, emotion or powerful experiences (which is really what I mean) serves to ENGAGE your reader, and an engaged reader is going to not only remember your essay, but feel that you truly conveyed a mood, and environment, and an experience.

In other words, they will feel they got to know YOU just a little bit more than if you had written about something “less powerful” that didn’t engage.

Go with the powerful emotions.  The experiences and examples for any of the above, that convey some kind of emotion, and make you feel, because that is going to translate to your essay.

More tips and advice to come…

[I’m a former Harvard University admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate.  I currently run the College Admission Essay firm: IVY LEAGUE ESSAY, out of New York, and specialize in helping students get in to the top schools and the Ivy League.  Please contact me for a free phone consultation today: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com ]

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