blog | 10min Read
Published on February 6, 2023
Getting you to the Ivy League : A Comprehensive Guide to Getting into the Ivy Leagues
A young American high school student gets into 7 out of 8 Ivy League Schools and still feels horrid about missing that 1 school, leading them to question their worth. Sound familiar? Maybe that’s because there have been more than a few movies and TV shows that have used this trope. Still makes for an interesting movie though. Ivy League universities have fascinated students for generations. But why are Ivy League Schools so darn sought after?
There are 8 Ivy League universities, all of which have been around since the 1950s and are located in America. They are known for their reputable education, status, exclusivity, and not to forget – their notoriously low acceptance rates. The powerful alumni networks, world-call and leading research material, great starting salaries and a solid headway on your career path make Ivy League universities extremely sought after for most students.
So if you want that head-start in your career with an Ivy League school, this article is just for you! We’re going to tell you all about how you can crack that admission to the Top 8 schools in the world.
The key to getting into your dream school lies in early prep.
The Ivy League colleges are some of the most selective and prestigious institutions in the world, attracting a large number of applicants, on average about 23,000 applicants each year. By starting early, you’ll have more time to research the colleges and gather the necessary materials to make your application stand out. Preparing early for Ivy League college applications will increase your chances of being admitted and ensure that you have a smooth and stress-free, (that you will need) application process.
So what are the stages of Ivy League college applications?
Now that you’re here, getting started on your journey of Ivy League applications isn’t the most important step, but it is the most crucial one in your application process. This step is the one that will put your organizational skills to the test. Get those excel sheets out and start planning.
Start by researching the Ivy League colleges that interest you and learn about their admission requirements, application deadlines, and unique programs and opportunities. Don’t worry too much, because this step takes a LOT of time. We want you to do the course you’ve always dreamed of doing, and nothing short.
Another important component to note while doing your research is to excel or plan out the weightage each of the 8 universities places on the different components of the application process. Some universities place greater importance on your letter of recommendation, while some place more weight on your statement and essays. So, plan, research, and write accordingly. Remember, they will ALL need to be customized for each university.
Once you are clear on your shortlisted colleges and courses, make clear and concise notes of the specific requirements for each college you’re interested in, including the required materials and application fee for each of them.
Then you will need some time to gather the necessary materials for your application. This includes transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and any other required materials. We’ll get to a few of these in more detail, in a bit. Give your teachers and counselors ample time to write strong letters of recommendation.
It’s super important to keep following up with the colleges. Keep track of your application status and follow up with the colleges if necessary, once you are done submitting all your documents.
Then comes the big wait: receiving admissions decisions. We’re sorry, but the wait might just take the life out of you. But you can expect to hear back from the universities with their decisions between December and April.
Now for the last and final straw of your application process: making a final choice. After you receive your admissions decisions, compare your options and make a final choice based on your goals, financial situation, and overall fit with the university. You can also talk to the alumni of your chosen universities and get a good understanding of your cultural fit in the college.
Let’s break down the components and weightage of Ivy League colleges
The components and weightage of Ivy League college applications vary depending on the specific college. We suggest getting that excel sheet you made at the beginning to understand the different weights for each college. But typically, they include the following:
Academic performance and transcripts: This is the most important component of the application, and it is usually given the most weightage. Colleges will look at your grades, courses, and academic record to assess your academic ability and potential.
Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT): Ivy League colleges usually require either the SAT or ACT, and test scores are typically given a moderate weightage in the admissions process.
Extracurricular activities and leadership experience: Colleges are interested in applicants who are well-rounded and have demonstrated leadership and involvement outside of the classroom. This component of the application is usually given a moderate weightage. We’ll discuss this in more detail in some time.
Letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, and other professionals can provide valuable insight into your character, abilities, and achievements. The weightage of letters of recommendation varies depending on the college.
Essays and personal statements: Essays and personal statements allow applicants to showcase their personality, interests, and goals. The weightage of essays and personal statements also varies depending on the college, but they are often given a moderate amount of weight. We’ll discuss this too, in the next section.
Now, how do you write that perfect essay and personal statement?
Your essays and personal statement for Ivy League college applications are essentially a reflection of you. They want to know you, they want to know your goals, your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. What moves you? Why should they choose you, out of the 22,999 applications they get?
Writing the perfect essay and personal statement for Ivy League colleges can be a challenging but rewarding task. The process of writing a personal statement and essay, also allows you to understand yourself better. Yes, this is challenging, but think about the bigger picture. Who are you? And what will you bring to the world? Here are some tips to get you cracking on that perfect essay or personal statement.
Know the prompt: Before you start writing, make sure you understand the topic you’re being asked to address. Read it carefully and make sure you know what the college is looking for in your essay. Take your time to read, understand, research, and write. But most importantly, write in a way that shows who you are.
Be yourself: The essay is an opportunity for the college to get to know you better. Be authentic and honest in your writing, and avoid trying to impress the admissions committee with overly formal or grandiose language.
Show, don’t tell: Instead of just telling the admissions committee about yourself, use specific examples to illustrate your experiences and achievements. This will help bring your essay to life and make it more memorable. Set the context, use references, and paint pictures through your words.
Highlight your strengths: Use your essay to highlight your unique talents, experiences, and accomplishments. This will help set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your potential as a student.
Be concise: Ivy League colleges always receive a very LARGE number of applications, so it’s important to be concise and direct in your writing. Avoid excessive use of unnecessary words or sentences and focus on the most important information.
Proofread: Before submitting your essay, make sure to carefully proofread it for any typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes. A well-written essay is important, but a flawless one can make a strong impression on the admissions committee.
Seek feedback: Finally, consider seeking feedback from a trusted teacher, counselor, or mentor before submitting your essay. They can help you identify any areas for improvement and provide you with constructive criticism. Also send it to your friends and family, those who know you, to see if your essay is a true reflection of yourself.
How can you budget to attend your dream school?
We all know that attending an Ivy League isn’t cheap. While colleges, in general, can be expensive, there are several financing solutions to help take you through your determination of graduating from an Ivy League school. Look at scholarships and grants, there are several of them available. You can also take a look at financial aid opportunities offered at your dream Ivy League school.
It’s important to start thinking about finances early in the college application process to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the cost of attendance and your options for funding your education. Remember to factor this in your excel sheet while deciding on schools. Seeking guidance from a financial advisor or college counselor can be extremely helpful in navigating the financial aspect of attending an Ivy League college.
Ivy League colleges are among the most expensive in the country, with high tuition, and room and board costs. Before applying, make sure you have a clear understanding of the cost of attendance for each college you’re interested in and determine if it’s within your budget. Don’t forget to also factor in your boarding, living expenses, and all of the things you’ll want to do there. But the good thing is that Ivy League colleges offer financial aid and scholarships to help offset the cost of attendance for students who demonstrate financial need. To be considered for financial aid, you may need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also get student loans and financial aid options to cover part or all of your expenses. Be sure to keep an eye out for these in the early stages of your application, as you will need to write a few essays, and statements and show proof of financial aid.
Many Ivy League colleges offer work-study programs, which allow students to earn money while attending college by working part-time on campus, which is a great option if you decide to apply to go to school mid-career. If you’re not able to pay for college through financial aid, scholarships, or work-study, you may need to take out student loans to help cover the cost. Make sure to thoroughly research and understand your loan options before borrowing.
If you’re a student dependent on your family for funds, your parents may be required to contribute to your college expenses. Make sure to have a conversation with your parents about their expected contribution before applying to Ivy League colleges.
Between all of these options, we’re sure you’ll be able to figure it out!
Now, how can you come across as a well-rounded individual in your essays and personal statements?
The extracurricular activities highlighted in your essay and personal statement have tons of weightage in the admissions process. The admissions committee is looking for folks who take part in extracurricular activities that align with their goals and dreams. They also compare your extracurriculars with your scores and tests, because a marker of a well-rounded individual is their ability to balance workload with extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities demonstrate that a student is well-rounded and has interests and skills beyond academics. This can help to round out a student’s profile and give the admissions committee a better understanding of their personality and character. They also demonstrate a student’s passion for certain interests and how dedicated they are to pursuing them. This can demonstrate leadership, initiative, and a strong work ethic, which are all qualities that Ivy League colleges are looking for in applicants.
A student’s extracurricular activities can also give the admissions committee an idea of their potential for future success. For example, involvement in a sports team may demonstrate teamwork skills, while involvement in a club may show leadership abilities. Extracurricular activities can also help to bring diversity to a college campus. Ivy League colleges value students who bring a unique perspective and background to the campus community, and extracurricular activities can demonstrate this.
Essentially, extracurricular activities are an important part of the Ivy League college application process because they help the admissions committee to understand the applicant as a well-rounded individual with a range of interests and skills, and potential for future success.
Final thoughts and advice for Ivy League applicants
Always start early. The Ivy League college application process can be competitive and time-consuming, so it’s important to start preparing early. This will give you enough time to gather all the necessary information, write a compelling essay, and submit your application by the deadline. And don’t forget to have a master sheet with all your research in hand.
Research everything about each Ivy League college! If you’re interested in a few colleges, do a ton of research to determine if you are a good fit. Think about the academic curriculums, the cultural fit, and the extracurriculars you can pursue on campus. See if they align with your goals, visions, and dreams.
If you aren’t tired of hearing this already: be yourself. In your essays and throughout the application process, be yourself and let your unique personality and experiences shine through. This will help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate why you’re a good fit for the college.
Show your achievements. Make sure to highlight your achievements, both academic and extracurricular, in your application. This will demonstrate your potential as a student and help you stand out from other applicants.
If you’re feeling stuck, ask for help. If you need help or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to college counselors, teachers, or other trusted adults for guidance. They can provide you with valuable advice and support throughout the application process.
While it’s important to take the Ivy League college application process seriously, it’s also important to not stress too much about it. Focus on doing your best and let the admissions committee determine if you’re a good fit for their college.
By following these tips, you can put your best foot forward in the Ivy League college application process and increase your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice.