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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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What key factors do Ivy League schools look for in applicants?

Hi guys! I'm a high school junior planning to apply to a few Ivy League schools next year. I was wondering if anyone has any insight into the main factors these schools look for in their applicants? Thanks in advance!

9 months ago

Hi! It's great that you're already thinking about your college applications. Ivy League schools, like most top-tier institutions, tend to look for a combination of factors when evaluating applicants. Here are a few especially important elements of your application:

1. Academic performance: Strong grades and challenging courses (AP, IB, or honors) are important, as they show that you're academically prepared for the rigor of an Ivy League education.

2. Test scores: While some schools have gone test-optional due to the pandemic, high SAT/ACT scores can still help strengthen your application, especially if you maybe have a couple of weak points on your transcript (for example, a comparatively lower grade or two).

3. Extracurricular activities: Stellar grades and test scores aren't enough – admissions officers also want to see that you've been involved in your school and/or community, as that shows them you'll contribute to their campuses in a variety of ways. Leadership roles, volunteering, or participation in clubs or sports demonstrate well-roundedness.

4. Personal statement/essays: Your essays provide an opportunity to showcase your personality and experiences, giving admissions officers a sense of who you are beyond your grades and test scores, and allowing them to envision how you would fit into their campus community as a friend, roommate, etc.

5. Letters of recommendation: Strong letters from teachers or other adults who know you well can help confirm your qualifications and character.

6. Interview: While the interview is unlikely to be the single thing that swings your application one way or another, you'll still want to be sure to prepare and put your best foot forward if you are offered one.

These are just a few factors to consider. The Ivy League admissions process is highly competitive, so be sure to give it your all. Best of luck with your applications!

9 months ago

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