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5 Steps to get into the Ivies
- August 17, 2018
- Posted by: admin_edge
- Category: Insights
5 Steps to get into the Ivies
Are you thinking of applying to an Ivy League university but do not have the required grades?
There are many ways you can make your application stand out, even if some areas of it are average (or below average). However, the lower your grades and test scores are, the harder your enrollment to the Ivies.
Applicants need to have high test scores and top-notch grades to land a spot in the Ivy League. The average SAT Critical reading score among freshman was just shy of 724, while they scored an average of almost 737 on the Math section, out of a total 800. The average ACT score was 33, out of 36.
Thankfully, there are some Ivy Leagues that are easier to get into than others. Most importantly, it is about finding your best-fit college. If that is not an Ivy League, there are heaps of fantastic universities around the world that can still make you very happy.
In this article, we list down five steps to enhance your chance of getting into the Ivy League.
Step 1: Submit your application in advance
Acceptance rates are easiest to figure out which Ivy Leagues are more straightforward to enroll. Do take note that these acceptance rates are not always what they seem.
Overall Acceptance Rate 2017:
- Brown: 9.2%
- Columbia: 6.9%
- Cornell: 15.2%
- Dartmouth: 10.0%
- Harvard: 5.8%
- Penn: 12.1%
- Princeton: 7.3%
- Stanford: 4.65%
- Yale: 6.7%
According to these numbers, Cornell and Dartmouth are by far the easiest Ivy leagues to get into.
We collate the statistics of early decision.early action (ED/EA) acceptance rates as seen below:
ED/EA Rates 2017:
Brown: 18.5% ED
Columbia: 19.2% ED
Cornell: 29.%% ED
Dartmouth: 29.4% ED
Harvard: 18.4% EA
Penn: 24.9% ED
Princeton: 18.3% EA
Stanford: 9.5% (2016) EA
Yale: 14.4% EA
While there is no proof that applying early will tremendously increase your chances of getting into an Ivy (these stats are often skewed due to recruited athletes), showing interest in specific unis early on will definitely help you.
Step 2: Always improve yourself
Everyone’s definition of average grades is different. If your grades and test scores aren’t in the top 5% or above, you will need to figure out a way to make the academic portion of you application shine.
Universities love to see your grades improve over your high school career and they want to see students who take more difficult classes year after year and really push themselves. If you got a C- in algebra freshman year and earned a B+ in AP calculus senior year, you are on the right track.
Take difficult classes in subjects you are passionate about (because you will be more motivated to put in the hard yards), work really hard to do well in subjects that you are not so good at, and do better every year.
Ivy Leagues care about students’ stories tremendously and will consider any difficulties you may have had in school, so don’t be discouraged if your grades are not where you would like them to be.
Have your teachers write about them in their letters of recommendation. This will let admissions officers read about your hardships from the perspective of someone who has seen overcome your struggles and achieve great things.
Average Ivy League GPA/Test Scores:
Ivy league school – average grades at Ivy Leagues
Brown: 4.08/SAT: 1500, ACT: 32
Columbia 4.16/ SAT: 1530, ACT: 34
Cornell: 4.04/SAT: 1480, ACT: 32
Dartmouth: 4.06/ SAT: 1500, ACT: 32
Harvard: 4.1/SAT: 1540, ACT: 34
Penn: 3.93/SAT: 1510, ACT: 32
Princeton: 3.9/ SAT: 1520, ACT: 33
Stanford: 4.18/ SAT: 1520, ACT: 33
Yale: 4.19/ SAT: 1540, ACT: 33
Do not be disheartened by these numbers. Universities take students with lower scores and students with higher scores. Show these universities that you are not afraid of failing by taking up classes, find an awesome course in economics or attend a writing summer programme.
Step 3: Discover your passion
There is a way you can be considered by an Ivy League as an average student: extracurricular activities.
Find a passion outside of the classroom and become obsessed with it if you think your grades do not meet the expectations. Ivy League universities want to produce world leaders, thinkers, and others, and the only way they can do that is by accepting students who have great potential.
Do you love science? Enroll in international competitions. Do as much as you can and prove to the admissions officers why you are going to be the best scientist ever.
Step 4: Stand out from the rest in your Essay Writing
The only time admissions officers get to see your personality is when they read your essay. If the rest of your application is subpar, your essay could be your saving grace. Give the admissions officers a glimpse into your life.
Below are some tips for you:
- Find a creative idea and run with it.
- Be authentic
- Be emotive with your writing. The more you make the admissions officers feel something, the better.
- Give the admissions officers a reason to fight for you.
Step 5: Consider alternatives
Perhaps the Ivy League is not for you. Even some of the best students don’t get in.
Fret not, there are many other excellent universities. They may not be Ivy Leagues, but they are guaranteed to challenge you just as much, if not more.
- University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) – Berkeley, California
- John Hopkins University (Hopkins) – Baltimore, Maryland
- Carnegie Mellon (CMU) – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Babson College – Babson Park, Massachusetts
- Williams College – Williamstown, Massachusetts
However, if you are an average student and you are dead set on attending an Ivy League, the sooner you start strengthening your candidacy, the better chance you will have. Be realistic but don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars.
If you need a deeper consultation with your university admission consultation, feel free to contact The Edge Learning Center at 6265 5054 or you may click here to find out more of our University Admission Consulting