Getting into an Ivy League school is both rewarding and very demanding at the same time. Having great test scores in high school won’t be enough to get you through the doors of one of the finest schools in the country. You will have to work hard on other aspects of your education. Also, develop yourself as a person and present your value to the school.
So, how do you achieve all of this and secure your place among the best and the brightest?
1. Be One of the Best
Success in high school consists of a lot of achievements, not just having good grades. Having that in mind, having an excellent grade point average is imperative for boosting your chances of being accepted into an Ivy League school. So, do your best to be among the top 10% of your class.
Secondly, you will have to challenge yourself. Nothing looks better on your college application than a list of academic programs you’ve participated and excelled in. An Ivy League school will expect you to take advanced courses that offer college credits. Look for classes that are recognized as difficult. But that doesn’t have a particularly difficult grading system.
Be sure to start early. Achievers and winners are made over time. And if you slack off until your final year, you won’t stand a chance of being admitted into a school that expects to see a record of excellence from day one. So, be sure to have a consistent history of scholastic achievements in your record.
If there are valid reasons you couldn’t achieve any of these prerequisites, be sure to supplement your application with a detailed explanation of the matter so that an exception can be made in your favor.
2. Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
First, aim for an excellent standardized test score as it will prove to be a critical part of your overall application. You should aim to have at least 700. If not more, on your SAT scores, or a sum of 30 on the ACT for a reasonable chance of being admitted. Having a total of at least 2250, or more than 33 on your ACT will give you a score that needn’t be improved further.
Start preparing early for the test and take preparation classes in addition to practicing on your own. Speed and accuracy will be vital during the test. And these are skills that take time to learn and master. Do not repeat the test more than three times as the admission panel will notice the history of repeated attempts and it will be interpreted as you being too focused on scores.
Secondly, get involved in extracurricular activities. Rather than viewing it as an added chore, think of it as extra points in your application. You should prove to the admission officer that you not only care about developing your test scores. But that you care about developing your strengths, working on your weaknesses and being a better person overall. So, make sure you join a sports team, a club, or a theatre department.
Remember to volunteer in your local community, and if you can, go national or international. You want to show that you are a person who cares for others and can devote their time to helping those in need. Whether you are raising funds for a school in another country during the summer, or you are feeding the homeless during the winter, the admissions panel will recognize your charity work.
3. Ace the Application Process
Now that you have covered all of the prerequisites for a viable shot at the Ivy League, you will need to pass the university admissions process. In order to apply for the right schools for you, you’ll need to do some research.
Search for schools based on location, education methods and opportunities, student communities, professors and other criteria. Make sure to visit the campus and sneak into a few lectures if you get the chance.
To boost your chances, have the teachers you know from your high school write your recommendations.
Then, start polishing your application and preparing for your interview. Your application will be all about showcasing your personality through essays and interviews. Make sure you start writing your essays early and focus on telling the stories that will show how you have grown as a person and how certain experiences have shaped your life.
When the interview rolls along, make sure you are dressed appropriately, and be your (more mature) self! Act natural, and practice the interview process with family members beforehand.
And the rest will be history. Getting into the top schools in the country requires hard work and dedication, and with these guidelines, you will have a concrete plan of action that will ensure you make your Ivy League dreams come true.