Do admission officers at Ivy League schools seek the perfect applicant? Unveiling 4 key secrets of Ivy League admissions - Hindustan Times
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Do admission officers at Ivy League schools seek the perfect applicant? Unveiling 4 key secrets of Ivy League admissions

Jun 24, 2024 04:32 PM IST

Many high school students are mystified by the Ivy League admissions process, succumbing to this widespread misinformation.

Do you believe that Admission Officers at Ivy League schools seek the perfect applicant? The truth is that perfection isn't even a prerequisite. Many high school students are mystified by the Ivy League admissions process, succumbing to this widespread misinformation. This is further amplified by these elite schools' notoriously secretive admission practices.

The Ivy League institutions have attracted Indians for decades.(Reuters)
The Ivy League institutions have attracted Indians for decades.(Reuters)

Often, students believe that only applications with perfect test scores, impeccable grades, myriad extracurriculars, and a flowy essay have a shot. However, that's not the whole picture.

How a student must successfully apply to an Ivy League institution

I advise our students to focus on finding the right college fit, whether it's an Ivy League school or not. Numerous outstanding universities worldwide can match your goals and aspirations and translate them into a fulfilling university life.

That being said, I want to share with you some insights I’ve collected through my own personal experiences in the Ivy League admissions process and my consequent success:

Ivy League Admission Officers ARE NOT seeking the perfect student

They seek students who stand out from the crowd by showcasing pursued passions and making significant impacts in their communities - transforming their big dreams into even bigger realities. They value perseverance and the ability to learn from setbacks. So, even if it means you fail before succeeding, talk about how that failure drove you to success. This is how they assess who will positively contribute to their university community - future humble leaders who will bring accomplishment and recognition to the school, and share their knowledge to help fellow students accomplish their goals.

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Holistic Approach

Admission officers yearly review thousands of applications with impressive academic records. Show your multidimensional strengths—leadership, passion, and how your achievements align with your future goals.

Apply Early

Not only does applying early reduce competition, but it also allows the admissions committee to review your application more thoroughly, giving you a better chance of standing out among a smaller pool of applicants. In the 2023 admission cycle, Columbia University accepted nearly 5% more students into their Early Decision program compared to Regular Decisions! Plus, if you apply through Early Decision, you show the school they are your top choice, which could give you an extra edge in the admissions process. But remember, an early decision is binding. It's a strategy, not a guarantee, to boost your chances.

Find Your Best Fit University

Every student I’ve met has had a unique set of priorities on their university Wishlist. Some priorities contribute to the college experience, while others will be deal breakers. Similarly, universities often develop a personality based on core categories, such as sports, technology, performing arts, or community service. This personality will inform the social activities conducted on campus. By narrowing down the universities that match your personality and character, you can design your ultimate university experience.

Indian students are in deep mud in US

“Don't get fixated on a college just because it's an Ivy League school. Admissions teams know which students genuinely want to be part of the school and those who are only there for the university's fame. These elite schools appreciate both tangible and intangible qualities in students. When they review applications, they aim to learn everything about you, not just your grades or test scores.”

(Author Jamie Beaton is Global CEO and Co-founder, Crimson Education. Views expressed are personal.)

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