Entry into an Ivy League school is difficult. But if you start early, you can be successful. But there are certain things Ivy League schools specifically look for in students. Here are some things that will assist you in building a successful and unique application.
1. Take a tough course load
Ivy League schools are very demanding. They expect the best to apply and by taking advanced placement courses in high school, you will start improving your application early. Show the university that you are not afraid of a challenge, and that you constantly challenge yourself, no outside help needed.
2. Test, Test, Test.
If at first you don’t succeed…All students must test to get into college. To be considered for an Ivy League school, a 2100 on the SAT is a must. So, start studying for the SAT or ACT as early as possible. Then, start testing early. Take the tests repeatedly if needed in order to improve your score. These tests are offered in home countries and may be waived for certain students.
3. Watch your G.P.A. Ivy League schools look for a candidate’s G.P.A. and they expect a 4.0 or close to it. Remember, these schools have the luxury of being choosy. If your G.P.A. is a less than 4.0 don’t worry, there are ways to counter balance it.
4. Volunteer or Join clubs. Ivy League schools look for extra-curricular activities, and the more the better, so long as it doesn’t affect your G.P.A. Volunteer in the community. Join the debate club, the football/soccer team, or the English language club. TheIvy League schools want well-rounded students.
5. Show You’re a Leader. While you’re volunteering and participating in activities, take on leadership positions. Don’t just join the pack, stand out from it. Be the captain of the team; create an organization that does volunteer work in the community.
6. Essay time. Entrance to any university requires a well written essay. When applying to an Ivy League school, show your originality, and ability to think out of the box when writing your essay. You want the professors reviewing your essay to remember it, so make it stand out. Many times this is the only way they have to judge you on your character.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Experiences. Have you had unique experiences most people haven’t? In some cases, an unusual experience or how you overcame adversity shows your uniqueness, your ability to adapt, and your intercultural abilities.
8. Brag a little. When filling out the application for college, brag a little. It’s the one time no one will tell you not to. Describe your accomplishments without down playing them. Talk about the things you excel in.
9. Get to Know Your Teachers. All Ivy League applications are going to want references and recommendations. By getting to know your high school teachers well, and excelling in their classes, they will be able to provide you with excellent recommendations and discuss your work and academic habits.
10. Find an Alumnus. Find someone who has been there and done that and ask them to mentor you. An alumni recommendation can go a long way. It’s even better if you can locate an alumni/mentor who was also in your degree program. Reach out over the internet, or find someone in your home country.
Ivy League schools are highly competitive and have the luxury of being extremely selective. Be unique, and work beginning your freshman year in high school focused on the Ivy League goal.