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Acing the College Application to an Ivy League School

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You can ensure a better career in the future by making your way to an Ivy League school. But this is not easy. The competition in the application process is so tight that you have to exceed the minimum qualifications in order to get better chances for admissions.

Double Journey shares some ideas on how to ace the application to an Ivy League school. Read on.

Get excellent grades on the hardest subjects

I want to emphasize hardest, because A’s in classes that aren’t challenging just don’t carry as much weight. You don’t have to get straight A’s (I didn’t. Got a handful of B’s) and you don’t have to be number 1 in your class (I was number 8) but it doesn’t hurt. Your record has to demonstrate that you consistently challenged yourself and that you excelled in those challenges. Ivy League schools are looking for people who know how to tackle problems, get things solved, and aren’t afraid of what might come their way.

The A is not the only thing that matters. The subject where you got that A is also a factor that the admissions panel would consider. The admissions committee wants applicants who excel not just in every subject, but very challenging subjects.

Engage extra-curricular activities

Obvious but important. However, don’t join every club for the sake of joining a club. Top schools prefer it much more if you can show you were committed and exceeded in a few areas than you spending an hour a week in twenty different clubs. This of course flies in the face of what I did, as I wasn’t particularly talented in any one thing. Everyone at Princeton, besides being smart, tended to have one really good talent whether it be playing an instrument or being good at sports. Be well-rounded.

The admissions panel wants applicants who are active and have the initiative, and who can contribute to the community through academic and non-academic ways.

Be original

This will come out in your application. These people read dozens of applications a day. Believe me, they all start to sound the same. If you have some unique talent or some special life experience, make sure it comes out in your application. However don’t write about how winning the big game made your realize blah blah blah. They’ve heard it all before. At the same time, don’t be too cute either. Chances are, among the thousands of applications over a dozen years, someone has tried the same tactic. Just be honest, and yourself.

You can show your originality through your admissions essay and interviews. It is important to be sincere in your essay and interview answers. Check out the Online Degree site and get some more pointers. Here’s an excerpt:

Stay honest. Faced with a blank paper, it?s very tempting to embellish facts and events. Hold yourself back from doing so. Anything you write should be verifiable. Fantastic tales that no one can confirm will only arouse suspicion as to your sincerity.

You have to keep in mind that the admissions panel can see through your lies and embellishments. So if you really want to impress the committee, you have to speak through your own voice.

Again, if you want to ensure your slot in an Ivy League school, you have to prove that you can excel in challenging classes. You have to participate in out-of-school activities. Aside from these, you also have to make sure that you are original and honest on your application.

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