If you want to go to an Ivy League college, you’re not alone. The competition is stiff and intense. There is literally no way to guarantee admission to any of these prestigious schools, but we can offer some helpful tips for when you begin your journey.
Attending an Ivy League school isn’t a decision you can make your senior year. You need to have already been thinking about it since your freshman year. These schools will look at your entire high school career so they know you’ll be able to meet their qualifications in the long term. When it comes to applying, you should also start as soon as you get your junior year transcripts. Going Early Decision or Early Action will show a school that you really want to go there. Plus, you’ll be sure to get your application in the door before most of the spots are already filled.
Make Sure Your Grades are On Point
There’s no way around it, you need to have good grades. Because the competition is so stiff for most Ivy League schools, admissions officers are looking for any reason to eliminate people. Don’t give them one. Do whatever you can to get the best grades possible. You’ll be up against huge numbers of students who have perfect G.P.A.s, so it’s important that that be your goal. The same goes for your standardized tests. Get tutoring if necessary, but you’ll need to have extremely competitive scores to make the cut.
Take Challenging Classes NOW
If you’re planning on attending an Ivy League college, you need to constantly take the most challenging and advanced classes. That means starting your freshman year you should be in all honors or advanced placement classes when available. If you go to a school that doesn’t weight their grades, you’ll need this kind of distinction on your transcripts to show that you’re cut above the rest educationally. That said, you should do that anyway. This kind of work ethic will serve you just as well if you wind up going to Hofstra University and plan on a masters in project management online afterward.
Excel in Your Extracurriculars
It isn’t just enough that you do a bunch of extracurriculars (actually, it could hurt you to do too many). You need to distinguish yourself in what you do. That might mean you’re captain of the football team or it could mean that you led your chess club to successive tournament wins. It could also look like you starting your own organization that will live on after you graduate high school. Ivy Leagues appreciate leadership, so show it wherever you can. If you need to reduce a number of activities you do in order to make sure you excel at one or two, that’s the best course of action.