Friday, June 27, 2014

How Can I Get Accepted Into an Ivy League School?

2014 Ivy League Connection's Columbia Cohort
All this talk of getting a free, prestigious college education will not do you any good unless you can get accepted. Most Ivy Leagues are looking at the top 10-15% of students, so what can you do in your high school years to get yourself to that level.

Become a Serious Scholar:
Start by taking the most difficult courses offered at your school and doing well in them. You must embrace learning and pushing yourself academically as a life style. Whatever a teacher gives you, you must figure out how to do it in the best way possible. Don’t copy or cheat your way through your classes. Don’t be sloppy. Ivy League schools offer a rigorous curriculum and you must be up to the task. Lead a life that is constantly enriched; read books, write a blog, take summer classes, visit museums, research things you are interested in, take college classes, and be curious about the world. All of this will help you score well on your SAT’s, which along with grade point averages are the two primary indicators of your academic excellence.   

Develop Passion:
Students helping paint sets on the weekend.
Ivy League schools are looking for unique individuals who have the drive, passion and leadership qualities to be successful beyond the classroom, so you need to stand out as an individual. This means learning skills outside the classroom. Participate in extra curricular activities; join a club, play in the band, write for the newspaper or any other activity your school offers. Show your commitment by staying with a few things for a long time instead of joining everything. Demonstrate strength of character by becoming a club officer and/or joining your student body leadership. Volunteer in your community, become active in your church, earn your Boy Scout Eagle badge, and/or participate in service learning trips to foreign countries to demonstrate your commitment to the greater good. Apply to attend WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection where you will tour Ivy League schools, meet admissions people, and attend a summer school class at a major university. Ivy League schools want students who stand out as exceptional human beings so you must become one.
Getting involved with theater helps make you a better speaker.
Prepare for the Application Process:
Having a stellar application will be an important part of getting into an Ivy League school. You will need two letters of recommendations from your teachers, so start fostering those relationships early on. Demonstrate to your teachers what an outstanding individual you are by turning in fantastic assignments on time, taking part in all discussions in class, and by creating personal relationships with them outside of class time. You will also likely be asked to participate in an interview, so become a good public speaker by getting involved with mock trial, debate clubs or theater. Lastly, make sure that you become a compelling writer. You will not be able to write an incredible application essay unless you have pushed yourself during your high school years. Carefully consider comments your teachers give you about your writing, write for fun, and pay attention when you read to the writer’s style. Think of how awesome your application process will be if you are a terrific writer, have glowing recommendations, and can ace the interview process.

For more information about applying to an Ivy League (or any prestigious college) try this link:


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  2. This blog sums up the majority of the information we've learned from the students, admissions officers, and other staff members. I like that you emphasized that colleges are looking for unique individuals because there really isn't a formula for "the perfect student". Even though it's great for students to join clubs, take rigorous classes, etc, they should have a passion for the activities that they participate in. And of course, applying for the ILC is a great way to prepare for the college app process! Beyond the fact that it encourages students to apply to out of state schools, the program prepares students for college apps and the real world. Starting from the essays and interview process, students learn skills that they'll need later

  3. I enjoyed reading this blog and I do agree with Michelle that it is a summary of the many things that we have learned at our information sessions.

  4. Joyce, this is a great post, and definitely lends to a college-going culture for our students and anyone else who reads it. I have learned so much over the past few meetings with admissions' officers, and I will certainly impart that knowledge to my students. Thanks for sharing!