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What should/can i do now to prepare me for an Ivy league college?

its is a dream/goal of mine to attended an Ivy League college, and i was wondering if i could do something now to aid me in reaching that goal. :)

+25 Karma if successful
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Subject: Career question for you

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Paul’s Answer

I noticed, that when I was assisting students to apply to Ivy League schools, that their admissions committee's seem to like volunteerism, or volunteer activities.

The activities were oriented towards something related to a future major, career or an occupation.

This might be an indication to them of your intent to follow through on your future major or the intentions mentioned in your admissions essay.
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Karina’s Answer

Hi Emma,
Going to a top University is a great goal to have. How you spend your time in High School and prepare for the application process can help drive you in the right direction. From my experience as an Ivy League graduate, I focused on the following things in High School:
Tell your story: Think about what is important to you and how this relates to your academic/professional interests and passions. Try to relate this to your career goals, extracurricular activities and academic profile to your passions.
Grades and classes: Aim to have a high GPA, take challenging classes like Honors, AP and IB and build relationships with teachers you can ask for letters of recommendation. Where applicable, study and prepare for standardized tests (SAT/ACT). The application process is very competitive and the majority of students who go to top schools have very strong academic backgrounds.
Extracurricular activities: Join clubs and organizations that are interesting to you and aim to have a leadership role in them. You can also start initiatives in your school or community that relate to what's important to you. Try to involve volunteering/community service in your extracurriculars.
Distinguish yourself: What do you want admissions to remember about you? What makes you unique?
Research the schools you are interested in: When it comes to writing your application, make sure you can point to specifics of why you are interested in a certain school, look at fields of study and opportunities available, campus community, extracurriculars etc. The Ivy League schools are all unique, find what resonates with you and speak to that.
Applying and preparing for college application is a lot of hard work, remember to persevere and know that hard work pays off. Best of luck with the process!
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Arianna’s Answer

I hope you're doing well! I see that you're aiming high and setting your sights on getting into an Ivy League school – that's awesome! It's never too early to start preparing for your dream, so good for you for starting. Here are some tips to get you on the right track:

Academic Excellence: First and foremost, focus on excelling academically. Aim for top grades in challenging courses, as Ivy League schools prioritize academic excellence. Take advantage of advanced placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs if available at your school if you have them.

Extracurricular Activities: Ivy League institutions look for well-rounded candidates who excel not only academically but also in extracurricular activities. Get involved in activities that genuinely interest you & demonstrate your leadership, initiative, and passion. This could include clubs, sports, community service, research projects, or artistic endeavors.

Standardized Testing Preparation: Start preparing for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT early. Consider taking preparatory courses or using study materials to improve your scores. You can find alot of this online! Additionally, some Ivy League schools may require SAT Subject Tests, so be sure to check the specific requirements of each university.

Seek Mentorship and Guidance: Don't hesitate to reach out to teachers, counselors, or mentors who can provide guidance & support throughout your journey. They can offer valuable advice on course selection, extracurricular involvement, and the college application process.

Research Ivy League Schools: Take the time to research each Ivy League school to understand their academic programs, campus culture, and admissions criteria. Visit their websites, attend virtual information sessions or college fairs, and reach out to current students or alumni for firsthand insights.

Stay Informed About Admissions Requirements: Ivy League schools have highly selective admissions processes, so it's essential to stay informed about their specific requirements and deadlines. Pay attention to application essays (maybe do some practice ones & ask people you know for feedback?), letters of recommendation (Start thinking about who will be great to get these from!), and any supplemental materials required.

Explore Financial Aid Options: Ivy League schools are known for their generous financial aid packages. Familiarize yourself with the financial aid process and explore scholarship opportunities to make your Ivy League education more affordable.

Stay Persistent and Resilient: Remember that the journey to Ivy League acceptance can be challenging and competitive. Stay persistent, stay focused on your goals, and don't be discouraged by setbacks or rejections along the way! You choose your path.

As you embark on this exciting journey, remember that the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and pursue your passions wholeheartedly! If you ever have any questions or need advice, don't hesitate to reach out - best of luck & let's make those Ivy League dreams a reality!
Thank you comment icon thank you, this is both informative and encouraging! Emma
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Steward "Tony"’s Answer

Many of these colleges also have free courses that people can take virtually. Selecting one would require some extra study of course but a completion certificate may afford you the opportunity to be recognized as alumni when placed on your application to stated school, Atop your other qualifications of course.
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Emma,

I don't like the term Ivy League very much, because what's considered a top university depends on your major. In Engineering e.g., some top universities are MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Purdue, Carnegie, Mellon, Georgia Tech, Caltech, University of Michigan Ann Arbor and University of Texas Austin. And that list doesn't even include some of the best universities. None of them are Ivies. And their place in the ranking would even depend on the particular flavor of engineering you want to study. No one good university is top at everything.

KP
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Martha’s Answer

Hi, Emma - my daughter and I went to Ivy League colleges and loved it so I understand your goal. What year of high school are you in? That would influence my advice. But, generally:

- Take the most challenging courses you can in your school and do well in them. Don't worry if there are not many AP courses; college admission officers get reports about what courses are available
- If you haven't already done so, identify a few interests and pursue them so you could show growth and potentially leadership. They are looking for quality of involvement, not a long list. These could be in school, but also could be in the wider community
- When it is time to write your Common App essay, think first what you want the readers to know about you that they can't learn from elsewhere in your application. Also, don't use buzzwords or fancy words that don't fit your meaning just to impress them; it will do the opposite.

But also remember that there are many wonderful colleges/universities, and you could have a great experience and set yourself up for success at many places. As a corollary, there are so many applicants to the Ivy League that talented students may be admitted to one institution and not another or maybe to none at all. So don't take it too hard if you are not admitted.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Hi, Martha, im a 9th grader. i appreciate your advice thank you so much. Emma
Thank you comment icon You're welcome, and I appreciate your follow-up. It is terrific that you are beginning to prepare in 9th grade! This gives you time to plan your academics and identify extra-curriculars. Your first key standardized test will be the PSAT in the Fall of 11th grade so you have time before you have to prepare for that. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions. Martha Kramer
Thank you comment icon Thanks you been extremely helpful to me!! <3 Emma
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Connor’s Answer

Hi Emma,

Ivy League admissions are difficult to successfully pass, as I am sure you are familiar. So there are many cases when well qualified students do not get admitted. I'd like to submit a few ideas on how you can get an edge.

1. Understand your own story: This will be applicable for any interviews or college applications. You want to be able to tell your own story and how you have worked hard up to that point to get into that particular school and how that particular school is going to help to achieve where you want to go specifically. Being able to thoughtfully convey a unique story is important.

2. Stand out: This came come in a variety of ways. Some things that I have seen to stand out on a college application or a resume is starting their own business, winning competitions associated with intellect or other skills, playing a part in charitable/environmental organizations, personal projects that have resulted in some knowledge gained or lead to some opportunity. Standing out in a way that is aligned with your future goals pos-college is a good way to align your story to your experience in a unique way. It is also easier to stand out in an area where you already have passion because pursuing things you are passionate about are easier and you are likely to have a higher impact.

3. Hit all the marks: This means that otherwise you should hit all of the standard things of those who typically get accepted to Ivy League schools. Get good grades, participate in extra curriculars, and ensure you score high on standardized tests (ACT/SAT). Getting letters of recommendation is also a good idea here as part of showing you are well rounded in all the other areas. There are many times that we are reviewing resumes and they have valuable and unique experiences but we cannot take them due to low academics or other standard measurements.

At the end of the day, you can only do what you can do so go out and try to make an impact in our world and do well in school!

Goodluck
Thank you comment icon Hi, Conner, this is very helpful, thank you! Emma
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