Close

09/04/2019

I have Ivy League questions… please help?

QUESTION
I have Ivy League questions… please help?
I’m a student from Eastern Europe (Poland) which now belongs to the European Union, which gives us more prospectives. I attend an IB school, I just finished my freshman year and I plan to go to one of the Ivy League universities, if I get in.

1) My academic results have been great so far. I finished with a 6.1 average, out of possible 7.0. I did very good on my final exams, scoring 5/6 and 6/6 on all of them except one, where I had 4/6. I got an award for outstanding achievement in art, math and humanities. I participated in photography club, drawing skills and sets and props club. In the coming years, I’m planning to do even better academically and do even more after school to widen my interests (drawing, painting, writing, learning about medicine, windsurfing, community and service). Do I have chances of getting in based on this? I know it’s not the entire thing, but if I continue this way until I’m a senior, would I?

2) I know that I would have to take the SATs apart from my IB exams. How long does the preparation take? Are they hard? I heard you need at least 2100 overall points to enter any Ivy League university. Would I be able to get that with an IB education?

3) I know that Harvard grants you a full scholarship if your family income is less than $60,000 a year. What about other universities?

4) I work quite hard to achieve my results and I have everlasting stocks of enthusiasm and I will work until I achieve what I want. I know that I can work even harder than that to achieve a good score in the SATs. Are those values important to Ivy League? I heard they are.

5) I associate my future with med school, but if I get into an Ivy League uni, I would do something concerning business or economics, maybe human resources or even internal design. I might continue with medicine, I don’t know yet.

6) Except for good academic results, a lot of extra-curricular activities, good SAT scores, personal essays and recommendation, what else is there that Ivy League universities appreciate?

THANK YOU! 🙂

ANSWER
1. Getting into a super selective college is more than just grades — are you also involved in community service? Do you have leadership roles? Will you have strong letters of recommendation? How about your personal statement/essay — and what about the college interview! There are a lot of factors that go into college admissions. While any college likes to see a student involved and with an award or two — it’s not the only thing they will look for.

2. A big part of the SAT Test is just knowing what to expect! That is why test prep pros recommend that the test is taken twice — because knowing what to expect can actually give your score a slight boost the second time around. There are many free online practice tests for the SAT — take them! It will help you know what you need to work on and what you have a handle on.

3. There are many colleges and universities with no-loans, free tuition, or full rides for low-income students, besides Harvard — see link below.

4. Just letting a college know how bad you want “in” can help you — see link below. Connect on Twitter or Facebook — don’t be a pest about it, but let admissions put a personality to a name.

5. Many students do choose an “undecided” major for a reason — it gives them a chance to branch out a bit and to sample a variety of subjects to see where they fit in. Nothing says you have to decide tomorrow on what you want to study. It’s okay to figure it out as you go.

6. I guess I covered this one already but here it is again: letters of recommendation, SAT/ACT scores, leadership roles, community service, GPA, class rank, awards, extracurricular activities (think quality though, not quantity!), college interview…to name a few!

Also — it’s not just about rank. Make sure you that you can take the time out to visit a few colleges and universities — the best ranked college in the world won’t do you much good if you absolutely hate the atmosphere and are completely miserable. Take the campus tour, talk to students about what they do for fun, sit in on a class if you can, if you like swimming, what’s the condition of the pool, do they have a swim team? — and make sure to try the food. Four years is a long time. Making the campus visit can let you know if the schools you have narrowed down will be the right fit for you — and your interests.