Prospective parents always ask us what we can do to help ensure their kids get into the Ivy League. As hardworking and bright as we’re sure they all are, those with B+ (or less) averages don’t always like our answer: If you’re knocking on the Ivy door, they’re not going to answer for you.
It’s hard pill to swallow. You’ve worked really hard. You know your potential is limitless. So why wouldn’t your other qualifications shine past your above-average GPA? It’s true that colleges want to see a well-rounded candidate with strong values, demonstrated interests, and a great personality. But those things come second. Grades and scores are the troll under the first bridge to Ivy League admission and you shall not pass. Nothing replaces grades and scores.
The part of the job where we have to tell kids to take a good look in the mirror isn’t our favorite part, but it’s a really important one on the college acceptance journey. You might have extraordinary potential, but you can’t expect to reap the rewards if you didn’t put in the work. Also, going full-steam in the 11th hour isn’t the answer, either.
Don’t Throw Away Your Real Chance
At this point in the year, there is always that student who thinks that, in spite of the fact that their GPA doesn’t fall into Yale’s average, they should give it the old college try, anyhow. They spend their one opportunity to hedge their bets with an early decision on Yale’s single-choice early action. They inevitably end up disappointed when they don’t get in. If you are a senior, don’t waste this chance. Wasting your one ED single-choice early action option on a school where you don’t have a real shot is a mistake.
A Cautionary Tale
If you are a sophomore, let this post be a lesson to you. You have some time, but not as much as you think. The time to start getting competitive about college admissions was last semester. If you are serious about contending for the Ivies and your academic average is currently below an A, you have to get going and do what it takes to get to the top of your game.
Are you a high school sophomore? We are great at helping kids prepare for the admissions process. Call us here.