College 101

Here’s What It Really Takes to Get Into the Ivy League

 -  -  50

Ivy League schools are the dream of many a hopeful high school student. These selective and competitive schools accept the most attractive candidates based on a number of factors. Excellent grades earned in challenging classes, impressive extracurricular activities and a true sense of self are some of the qualities found in admitted applicants. See the tips and strategies below to understand what it takes to get into the Ivy League.

A Stellar Personal Essay

The personal essay on the Common Application for the Ivy League is one of two chances you will have to tell Admissions who you really are. Your personal essay should show what you are interested in, what your passions are, and what’s important to you. Write about something that isn’t on the application, keep it simple, and be yourself. Admissions officers read thousands of personal essays; the memorable essays are those that make you laugh, empathize, or entertain when read. A stellar personal essay is thoughtful and self-reflective, free of errors, and free of cliche topics.

A Successful Ivy League Interview

An alumnus of the university will conduct your Ivy League interview. This interview is your second chance, after the personal statement, to make the right impression. Practice for your interview by preparing answers to possible questions related to your interests and reasons for applying to the Ivy League. Be polite and personable during the interview, and remember that it’s meant to be a friendly exchange with your interviewer. Stumbling over answers or not having an answer will damage your application, so take the time to prepare so you can ace your Ivy League interview with confidence.

How you dress for your Ivy League interview is also important to succeed. When you dress for the role you are hoping for, it gives you a confidence boost. White House Black Market has a wide selection of chic women’s fashion for all occasions, from tailored white dresses for women in business and smart basics to casual dress for weekends. Explore new arrivals for summer and enjoy free shipping on best sellers within the continental U.S. Shop for the perfect interview outfit and take advantage of deals and final sale prices on fashion finds at White House Black Market.

Impressive Grades and Test Scores

Ivy League universities consider your high school accomplishments only, meaning you need to thoughtfully craft your high school curriculum. Take the most challenging classes available to demonstrate that you are prepared to succeed in university. Advanced Placement classes and foreign language classes look impressive on high school transcripts, but in moderation. Focus on core academic areas where you are certain to excel. Taking on too many AP or honors classes may backfire if you can’t keep up with the workload demands.

The Ivies want to see high grades achieved in challenging classes on high school transcripts. Most Ivy Leagues use an unweighted GPA when reviewing applicants, given how strong the applicant pool is. SAT and ACT scores will carry weight along with your high school transcripts, which means test prep with a tutor or education services is important.

New York City-based Zinc Educational Services offer ACT and SAT prep programs for high school students who need the motivation to raise their verbal, science, and math scores. Zinc tutors work closely with students to help them prepare for all content areas of standardized tests, and students also have access to resources in Zinc learning labs. This summer, Zinc’s education services are going virtual so that students can participate in intensive, two-week online programs from the comforts of home. Formerly known as Veritas Tutors, educator and author Matt Bardin founded the program to help students of all backgrounds achieve their educational dreams.

Extracurricular Activities

Focus on highlighting the depth and achievement of your extracurricular activities to make your application shine. There’s nothing wrong with dabbling in several extracurriculars, but Ivy League Admissions want to see a student who shows passion through commitment. As long as there is depth and demonstration of passion in the activities you choose to participate in, any extracurricular can make your application shine.

Keep these useful tips and strategies in mind when preparing for your future at an Ivy League school.

50 recommended
bookmark icon