Attending an Ivy League is the dream of many, but only a few make it. So what does it really take to get into these prestigious colleges? The answer is simple. Hardwork, determination and some strategy. To get into an Ivy League, one needs to begin their preparations early on. Ivy leagues only offer students a seat if the applications are well rounded and with an equal importance laid on academics, extra-curricular activities and sports. With the average acceptance rate of 9 percent and lower, Ivy Leagues are among the most selective schools to study in. To be very frank, there are about three categories’ of students you’ll find in an Ivy League college.
- Student’s belonging to the elite category
- Performers ( Child actors, top tier athletes and published writer’s)
- And students who are well connected to the elite (Children of leading politicians, royal families, and rich and wealthy donors)
Hence if this list sounds exclusive, it is because it is. People who find a way into the Ivy Leagues without belonging to any of the three categories’ are either very meritorious or talented. Studying with the best not only motivates one to perform better, it automatically exposes students to a network of professionals that are very well reputed across the world and candidates develop a zeal to make it big. Other than this, these colleges offer very distinct benefits to students like mentorship by distinguished members of the higher councils, access to the leading research projects and form a respected network of peers who will inspire you at every step and go on to become the CEO’s of the leading companies in the world. They will eventually join the Ivy League Alumni community that encompasses the globe and is highly venerated. Ivy schools receive more than 400,000 applications every year, and only the choicest are selected. Hence the chances of applicants making it to an Ivy League are slim if they don’t start with their preparations beforehand.
Hence in order to get a seat, the students GPA would be the primary factor in acquiring admission at an Ivy League according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselling. Even though some Ivy League colleges never release the GPA of their students, it is estimated that they require a minimum GPA of 4.0 which implies, students at Ivy Leagues mainly secure A’s with little to no scope for B’s. Even though its mandatory for student’s to get straight A’s, it is not the sole criteria for entry to an Ivy League. Hence only scoring high would do little to impress the selection committee. Applicants are therefore advised to take advanced courses that highlight a student’s critical thinking abilities. For example, Columbia University expects students to “avidly pursue intellectual growth with a rigorous course load”. Hence to prove one’s merit, one should make the best use of the advanced courses being offered at their high-school.
But pushing oneself too hard can make your dream of studying at an Ivy slip away as easily. Burdening yourself with advanced classes can make you lose grip of your academics which is a dangerous thing.
Hence while choosing the dual enrolment AP or IB classes; one should keep the following things in mind: 1. If the class holds any relevance to one’s career 2. If the class holds the student’s best interests 3. If this class is worth one’s time. Hence strategising is the key. You need to make sure that you flourish in both your academics and extra-curricular activities, without dampening your spirit.
Wondering if you can still make it to an Ivy League College if your grades are average?
Most of the students who enrol themselves for an Ivy League education have outstanding academic grades; however, challenging and unlikely, certain students with average grades also find entry into these prestigious colleges. Here are some tips and tricks, if you seek entry with average grades:
- Choose less selective Ivy Schools- As, Cornell has the highest rate of acceptance 8.7 % its more likely that you’ll get a place at Cornell rather than Harvard which has an acceptance rate of 4 %.
- If you have any significant reason, you can explain why your scores are average in your application.
- Grades are only one among the many factors that decide your entry into an Ivy League college. You can still have an amazing record at sport or other extracurricular activities to impress the board.
- Consider your chances of being transferred to an Ivy League college- Even though this route is quite complex, some students get transferred mid way in their careers to Ivy Leagues from community colleges with the rate of transfer being as low as 3%.
Even though these might be the exceptions, we still recommend having an exceptional academic record and high scores in both extra-curricula’s and sports. Even then you would still be required to explain why you deserve to be an Ivy League student.
What are the perfect scores to get into an Ivy League?
Candidates ACT scores and SAT scores carry a lot of weight while applying for an Ivy League hence an average of ACT score of 35 for the 25th Percentile and an average of 36 for the 75th Percentile is expected. For the SAT scores, an average of 25th percentile: 1480 and 75th percentile: 1580 is expected.
Summer activities you should choose: You don’t have to enrol for superior summer programmes or look for internships abroad to make your way into an Ivy League. Instead, all you need to do is focus on your area of interest and deepen your passion for the subject. For example you can conduct a meaningful research, start a non-profit organization and develop an instrumental app. Other than that you can also volunteer, take up college courses, or attend elaborate summer programmes to find a way into an Ivy League college, as long as it represents your true passions and interests.
What makes a good letter of recommendation?
- Use of clear and powerful language.
- Positive attitude throughout the essay
- Reflecting on the students character outside the classrooms
Who to go to for a Letter of Recommendation
Generally Ivy Leagues require one LoR from a counsellor and two from teachers. But if you’re wondering if you’ll need an extra letter of recommendation, reach out to your admission panel. If you are wondering who you should go to for a letter of recommendation, choose people who have a profound knowledge about you, people who know about your passions and people who can influence the admission panel by talking about your strengths.
How to write an application essay?
After all the hard work and preparation comes the application essay. The college application essay is a very vital document and hence needs to be carefully phrased and strategically edited. You need to explain to the admission committee as to why you’ve grown passionate about your area of interest. It needs to tell the application panel why you’re different from the rest of the students, and why you deserve a place at their reputed institutions.
What are the best topics for an Ivy League College Essay?
You will have to write a common essay of about 650 words and a supplemental essay that your college expects you to write. The Ivy League supplemental prompts have a diverse range of topics. Hence to write good essays, you will need to have a personal and profound relationship with the topic you have chosen. You can share it as an anecdote to make it interesting and appreciated.
General tips for writing a good essay:
- Start the essay with a hook or imagery that captivates the readers that makes them committed to it.
- You have to make sure that your essay sounds neither too formal nor too casual. You have to find the perfect balance and write the essay accordingly.
- You have to show them why they should select you while reading the essay. It should reflect your writing capabilities, while also highlighting critical thinking abilities, and your passion and zeal to excel.
- While being confident, you will also have to sound humble and find a distinct voice of your own, which tells the panel your willing to learn under the supervision of the best and have much to improve during your stay.
These were some of the tips that you could incorporate in your application process, to make your application as unique, impactful and meaningful as possible.