Hacks for Getting Admit from Ivy League Schools- Getting into an Ivy League college is the dream of hundreds of high school students, yet to achieve that is a huge challenge. Trying to get admission to these colleges may turn out to be a whole different ballgame for these teenagers, becoming the cause of a change in their attitude to their goals in life.
The Ivy League, a group of eight institutions on the northeast coast of the USA, includes Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College. All these schools are more than a century old and seven of these were founded in the Colonial Era of the USA. They are counted among the best universities in the world and figure without fail, among the Top ranked universities of USA every year.
These eight institutions are known for their excellence in academics, teaching standards and research facilities, and low ratio of student to faculty. While all these factors make them the most sought-after schools to get into, it also makes admission to them equally tough and highly competitive.
The first question to answer is- what is it that the Ivy League schools look for in the applicants. Then an extensive plan has to be drafted for building an application which is unique in character and compels the reader to read through and consider.
The major components of the application are:
- Test scores
- Extracurricular activities and awards
- Recommendation letters
- Personal statement
The schools hope that every fresher aims to make a positive impact in the world with his/her academic and other achievements and not just earn a degree. But how do the schools determine the future capabilities of prospective students? Most schools measure past achievements as the best indicators of future accomplishments. Your application should speak for itself and show how you have been a consistent achiever in academics and extra-curricular activities which would assure them of your superlative performance in the future.
The first area to gain control over is your school grades and GPA. Consistent excellent performance in your school examinations cannot be ignored. Then comes the SAT score. Even if you have to sit for the exam more than once, the aim should be Score above 2050 in the SAT. With a GPA of above 3.5 and the SAT score of 2100, you can comfortably shift your focus on the other aspects.
The colleges gauge you for your capacity to succeed and not necessarily the field you achieve that in. They encourage you to have multiple interests with the belief that you would show growth- related change. Your application need not show how you are an all-rounder, but it should focus on your strength. Every part of your application should be consistent with your strengths- your GPA, SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation and your personal statement. If you are a writer, the application has to reflect your talent and achievements in writing, even if it shows that you are weak in maths. If you are a sportsperson, your application may show ordinary grades but extraordinary achievements in sports. Similarly, for an incredibly smart science student or a geek, the application reflects strong skills in maths and science even he is not that great in English. Yet nobody should feel that academics in these schools are less than rigorous- you need to be strong academically to ensure your survival through college.
Since other components are more or less of similar standards for most applicants, it is the extracurricular activities and awards which make you stand out. Exemplary achievements demand passion, hard work and relentless focus. That is why publishing a book or articles in the newspaper, winning the Science Olympiad, being a national level sportsperson or the pivot of a charitable organisation, are valuable on the application.
You would also need letters of recommendation from your high school teachers. These letters are proof not only of your actual achievements, but also of your attitude to academics and other activities and the environment. The essay and the personal statement, are further reflections of yourself and your life. You might be asked to write about past experiences, family, community, choice of area of study, future goals or expectations from the college. The colleges search for your understanding of the topic and the ability to put your thoughts clearly on paper within the prescribed word limit.
When you apply for any of these colleges, the thing to be kept in mind is that
not all Ivy League universities have high-ranking degrees for all the subjects. The student has to be certain about where the course he wants is the strongest.
A considerable number of winners of the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences have been the alumni of these colleges. An interesting point to note is that the last four presidents of the USA, for some time in their student careers, were the alumni of the Ivy League schools. George H.W. Bush- Yale undergrad, Bill Clinton- Yale Law School, George W. Bush-Yale undergrad, Harvard Business School, and Barack Obama- Columbia undergraduate, Harvard Law School.
Going to an Ivy League school gives you an unimaginable exposure to resources, knowledge and opportunities. However, even attending such a school does not guarantee you success. Admission is just the stepping stone and your success completely depends on your own focused hard work throughout your career.