7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Advice on Ivy Leagues?

This may be a better question for any Ivy League students/graduates or admissions counselors, but regardless I'll ask here. Does anyone have advice on how to stand out in Ivy League apps? Is a Passion Project really such a great idea? I know places like Columbia (my top choice) and Yale, etc., say they look at applications holistically and it's best to just focus on your interests, but if anyone has anything else to say I'd appreciate it. My grades are pretty good— unweighted GPA around 3.8/3.9, plan on taking about 3 Honors classes and 7 APs by the time I graduate. I'll be editor of our school newspaper next year (my senior year) am currently VP of Thespian Society and plan on being President next year, am a JV Tennis captain, and work backstage on theater productions outside of school. I have a part time job, babysit, and work as a camp counselor in the summer. I don't think my chances are too good as they are... is there anything specific anyone would recommend besides doing things I'm interested in?

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7 months ago[edited]

If you are female, then I would also recommend that you apply to Barnard College besides Columbia University because they are in the same family. As a Barnard student, you can take many of the same Columbia courses and even opt for various BC/CC dual degree programs. Also, your diploma will say Columbia University. While a 6.5% is still super competitive, it's better than a 4% admit rate.

Personally, I think Columbia has institutional priorities like mutual fit. So it's very important that you do your research about the kinds of programs and resources these Ivys offer and try to align your supplemental essays and short answers to address that you've done your homework about Columbia or Yale or Barnard and show them in words that you are good fit for them. (not the other way around).

I think the Editor, VP Thespian, and Theater stuff are good but I'm not so sure that the JV tennis is impressive. I'd keep it nevertheless.

Keep in mind that schools like Columbia and Yale are super hard once you land on campus. Your peers will be a mix of super entitled legacy/recruited athletes as well as some of the smartest young people on the planet. If you are not equipped to perform at a sustained intense level, these institutions are not forgiving. They take a toll.

My 2 cents is to make sure you have a long list of other Reach/ Target schools where you can thrive and achieve your academic goals but also have a good social life and continue the ECs you enjoy. I would look at Hamilton, Colgate, Vassar, Wellesley, Mt.Holyoke, Smith, Trinity College, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Bates, St.Lawrence, Reed College, Middlebury, Colby, Williams, Swarthmore, Amherst, Davidson, URichmond, Wake Forest as well.

Good luck.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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