Most of us who aspire to study abroad, have our eyes set on Ivy League universities. For those who are unaware of what Ivy League universities are, they are a group of universities on the Eastern side of the United States that hold very high social and academic prestige. The Ivy League universities are Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Brown University and the Columbia University. These Ivy League universities are considered to be the best universities for students to pursue higher education. Equipped with the best facilities, infrastructure and having established connections with industry leaders, these universities offer superb opportunities to students, preparing them to take up challenging leadership roles in industries ranging from politics to entertainment. Given the level of prestige and value attached to these universities, it is understandable that securing admission at these universities is not easy. Here are 6 tips that will help you in achieving admission at your dream Ivy League university:
1) Become a part of the initial application rounds
According to a study; Harvard admits 21% of the students who apply in the early admission rounds and only about 3% of the applicants who apply later. Sending early applications to Ivy League universities is the best way to show them that you are clear about your goals. However, it is important for students to understand that when they apply to Ivy League Universities in the early application round, they would not be able to reject the offer from the college (in case their application gets accepted) and would have to accept the admission offer from the university. So the applicant must be serious about wanting to secure admission at the university if they are part of the early application rounds.
2) Reach out to the Admission Officers before applying
Every Ivy League University has a designated team of admission officers who you can get in touch with before you start your application process. Communicating your interest in the university to these officers is a great way to let them know about your zest to join the institute, while also giving them an idea about your profile. Usually, the contact details of the university’s admission officers are specified on their official websites, so make sure you get in touch with them while applying. You could also ask the officers about their expectations from student applications, about what draws their attention to applications and even put forth your request to visit the university, to speak to the professors, as well as the students.
3) Be more emotive in your essays
The admission officers at Ivy Leagues go through tons of applications, all of which highlight the students’ grades, test scores, courses, extracurricular activities and contact details. The best opportunity to break out of the ordinary applications is through your essays. Begin by making a layout and listing down pointers about all the facets of your life that you want to include in your essay. Once you have a rough outline of the essay, start drafting your essay, making it as interesting as possible. One of the best ways to make your essay appealing is to put it in a story format. The point of the essay is to give the officers an idea about your personality. Be emotive and make the readers experience what you felt during the particular incident by adding some emotion to it but make sure you don’t state incidents in an over dramatic style only to make your essay more gripping.
4) Get assistance from a professional counsellor
As much as you think you can manage the college applications by yourself; it is a good idea to consult a professional counsellor. While this might turn out to be a little heavy on your pocket, it will definitely aid your understanding of the application procedure and about the documentation. Counselling professionals not only have a better familiarity with these applications but also have better knowledge about what you should include in your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and your essays.
5) Find your strongest skill and capitalize on it
It is a long-held idea that universities prefer students who are ‘all-rounders’, but this does not imply that admission at an Ivy League University is easier for well-rounded students. Before you start writing your application, introspect and make a list of all the skills, talents and abilities that you think you have. These skills or talents don’t necessarily have to be very high-ordered. It could be anything, right from creative writing, playing football for your school to even mentoring young students. The idea is to highlight and capitalize on this skill, making it one of the strongest aspect of your profile. Adding these skills to your application shows the officers that you know your abilities very well and helps them in perceiving you as a fitter applicant, compared to a regular applicant.
6) Participate in community service and extra-curricular activities
There is cut-throat competition among students to secure admission at an Ivy League and that is one of the primary reasons for you to begin preparing from an early age. When you are in college or school, seize all the opportunities to engage in extra-curricular activities like sports, theatre, debates, performing arts or anything else that interests you. Ivy Leagues also look out for students who have a record of community service. For this, make sure you take the efforts to work with NGOs that are driven towards community betterment.
Ivy League universities are the most sought-after institutes mainly because of the kind of learning and earning opportunities that they offer. If you are also keen on securing admission at one of the Ivy League universities, keep these tips in mind when you start applying. For everything else, there is Auxilo!