application strategies

What Are My Chances at the Ivy’s?

As we’ve stated before, we do our best to answer the emails we receive from our readers. Recently, we wrote a blog post titled “Which Ivy League Should I Go To?” and in that post we kindly requested that our readers stop asking both that question, and variants of it. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you should know that we do not subscribe to the theory that everyone needs to go to an Ivy League school.

How Do I Choose a Major For My College Applications?

Choosing a major to write about in your college applications is important, but we’ll get to that in a moment. What’s way more important to understand is that it’s completely, totally, absolutely normal to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life. At 17 or 18, it’s rare to have everything figured out. It’s rare to have everything figured out, ever. You might have goals and ideas, and those goals and ideas might change more than once. That’s fine, too. Most of the students we work with panic when they tell them they have to choose a major before writing their supplement, so you’re not alone if trying to choose yours is causing you stress. We understand how scary it sounds, but it’s an effective application strategy and there are multiple reasons why:

Which Ivy League School Should I Go To?

Subject: College choice

Message: Hi! I’ve read your website and it seems like you’ve helped a ton of people get direction on their university choice. I was wondering if you could help me out too? I really have no idea where I want to go and I’m in my senior year of high school. I want to get into one of the Ivy’s but I don’t know particularly why or which one.

When Should I Start The Common App?

It’s about that time of year when we start fielding questions about timelines, essay topics, and the Common App. It’s also the time of year when students find every excuse in the book not to keep things moving regarding the college process. The dreaded task of studying for finals might even seem more appealing than creating your Common App account, or perhaps you’ve deemed rewatching every season of Game of Thrones more important than opening up the Common App homepage.

Getting Into an Ivy League School with C’s?

Recently we got this email:

Subject: Getting into ivy league with C's??

Message: Hi, I am currently a junior in high school and I was never really interested in studies and getting into good colleges back when I started 9th grade. But now, I finally found the motivation but I feel like its too late. Is there anything I can do with the time I have to boost myself?

How To Get Into Stanford

Before you decide that you absolutely positively must attend Stanford, you need to get clear on why. “Because it’s Stanford!” is not a reason. While it’s impossible to characterize the entire school, we’ve spent years helping students apply (and get into) Stanford. Generally speaking, students who get into and thrive at Stanford have the following three qualities:

What Should I Do in the Summer Between Junior and Senior Year of High School?

There is no shortage of ways you could fill the summer between junior and senior year: sitting on the couch and watching all of Riverdale, sitting on the beach and playing on your phone, and sitting by your friend’s pool and sending snaps are all things you could do. But none of those things are going to get you into college. Fear not. We have a few thoughts on what will.

Tips for Junior Year of High School

Junior year is a lot. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. However, there are myriad ways to make all of the ancillary college process items more manageable. So, before you dive-in head first, it’s really important to get organized, create a strategy, and stay on track. That way, when things feel chaotic, you have a plan to refer back to. In this post, we talk about ways in which you can forge a clear path for junior year.

How to Transfer to Cornell

We recently wrote a blog post on transferring into an Ivy League school and Cornell was a very clear outlier. When looking at the transfer acceptance rate chart from the post linked above, you might think “I want to go to a better school, Cornell is an Ivy, I’m going to apply there!” But in the grand scheme of things, an acceptance rate below 20% is not high. It’s only high when compared to the rest of the Ivy League schools. And it turns out there’s a reason for that figure, explained below:

When Do I Send My Deferral Package?  

Getting a deferral is not ideal. But it’s also not game over. We’re sorry in advance for the corny sports analogy, but sometimes, you just need to take a Rudy approach to life and give it the old college try.  If your coach benches you, the last thing you want to do is accept defeat. The moment you are sidelined is the moment to give it everything you’ve got. Train harder than you’ve ever trained, keep up the drills, and get back on that high-protein diet. In this post, we talk about what you can do to stay in the game and how to make sure your timing is on point.

Community Service Requirements for College Admission

We have been conditioned to believe that there is a very specific checklist of requirements to get into a great college. First comes the mandatory minimums of excellent grades and scores, followed by knockout essays. On the second tier lie the extra-curriculars, the recommendations and of course, the impressive hours of community service you’re supposed to somehow cram in instead of sleeping. But one thing on the list is not like the others; colleges require you to submit test scores, grades, essays, recommendations and a resume, but what a lot of kids don’t realize is that contrary to popular belief, community service can really be extra.  

Supplement Strategies for College Applications

The odds of you getting into a school where you don’t fall into the range for GPA or scores is slim. But if you’re on the cusp, having great essays can tip the odds in your favor. They are an absolutely crucial part of the application and something we are very rigorous with in helping our own students. In this post, we discuss strategies for writing killer supplements.

How Easy is it to Transfer Into the Ivy League?

We want to start this post by drawing an important distinction that is often overlooked: going to a community college or state school for two years and then transferring to a top tier school doesn’t work. That system can work if you’re transferring from a satellite campus to a main campus, but won’t get you from Temple to Penn. Here’s why: