Applying to an Ivy League School? Here’s 10 Things You Should Know

Ivy League

With such prestigious reputations, it’s understandable why so many people wish to study at an Ivy League school. From the state-of-the-art facilities to the unique research opportunities – you can find everything you need to reach professional success. However, before you start the application process, it’s important to do your research.

With limited placements available, you’ll need to plan to increase your chances of acceptance. Interested in learning more? Then keep on reading. Below we are going to discuss ten things that you should know before applying to an Ivy League school.

Be true to your application

While you may be tempted to tailor your application to be the “ideal candidate”, you should avoid this at all costs. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, as this can damage your reputation later down the track. Authenticity is key, and universities are looking for people who are unique and memorable.

Amongst the thousands of essays, you want to stand out with your originality, not blend in with the others. It’s worth reaching out to experienced college consultants, like the team at Going Ivy to guide you through this process. They will help you identify your unique characteristics, as well as the skills that make you shine.

Demonstrate interest

Applying to multiple schools is a smart strategy, but don’t make it seem like you care less where you end up. Engage with the top schools on your list, visit if possible, and connect directly with their admissions officers. Even something as simple as following them on social media and exchanging emails can show your interest. Passion is critical and helps diversify you from the rest of the applicants.

Don’t brag

The admissions team can quickly identify those who are all talk and have no evidence. While your personal essay may be all about you, it shouldn’t seem as if you are bragging about your life’s accomplishments. Your goal must be to identify your character with clear examples. Don’t include self-praise or try to label yourself as better than others. You’re competing for a spot, but you never want to put fellow students down, especially those who don’t have access to the same resources.

Timing is everything

You may want to wait until your application is perfect, but it’s better to be early with your entry. Most Ivy League schools have strict deadlines, and anything late will not be accepted. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should throw together a basic essay. You just need to focus on time management and put aside non-urgent tasks. Trust us when we say, you’ll be thankful for it.

Recommendations are essential

Before applications even start, it’s wise to get to know more about your current teachers and mentors. A good letter of recommendation is everything, as they are the ones who will highlight your best qualities. Invest time into building relationships with those who can provide insight into your character, work ethic, and potential. The earlier you approach them, the better.

Grades aren’t the most important factor

While your grades and scores are essential when applying to an Ivy League school, it’s not the only thing that matters. Admissions officers want to see passion and commitment, which is shown through extracurricular activities. That being said, signing up for multiple clubs and projects won’t do you any favors either. It’s best to excel in a few different areas that actually spark your interest. You must show what you can achieve in the real world, not just in the classroom.

Leadership is highly desired

While it’s not an official requirement, Ivy Leagues are known to adore leaders. Yes, regular involvement in extracurricular activities is a great start, but being the captain or showing any type of leadership will place you above the rest. Try and think of situations where you have had to step up and take control. It doesn’t have to be at school either, it could be during a personal experience or even at your part-time job.

Prepare well for the interviews

Most Ivy League schools conduct interviews as part of the application process. You must use this as an opportunity to make a great first impression, so practice really does make perfect. Be prepared to discuss your essay contents in-depth, as well as other personal factors.

Having a mock interview is a great way to build up your confidence before your official meeting. Have your friends or family judge you based on first impressions, attire, and overall preparedness. From here, you can use their advice to make improvements. Remember to take criticism lightly, as they are only trying to help you succeed.

Connections are powerful

It’s not just about who you are, but also about who you know. A kind word from someone who works or attends the school can make all the difference with your application, but it can also cause problems. Instead of using your connections to try and convince others, use them to seek advice and gain father insight. The better you understand the school’s values and visions, the stronger your application will be.

Understand the financial reality

Finally, and perhaps the most important thing to understand is the financial reality of gaining a college degree. These universities are known for their hefty price tags, but they also have different financial aid options available. Don’t be discouraged by the cost until you have assessed the entire situation, including your current personal finances. There are also resources that can help you estimate your aid before you’re even accepted.

Final Words

As you can see from the above, there are a lot of steps to take before you gain entry to your dream school. Try to stay positive throughout the process and prepare yourself with extensive research. While it can seem never-ending, your dedication and commitment will pay off. Each step you take will push you toward your end goal, and you’ll be on your way to classes before you know it.