It's time for me to share with you the #1 secret on how to get into an Ivy League school! Thanks to this advice, I got into Princeton, UPenn, Georgetown, and several other top-25 universities. This college admissions life hack will teach you how to get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, or pretty much any other top school. Watch the whole video to find out how to get into an Ivy League college.
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- I discovered this crucial information halfway through sophomore year. And without it, I don't think I would've been accepted to my dream school, Princeton.
- Now, if you're at all like me, you've spent hours on the College Confidential forum, watching YouTube videos like this one, and spamming your college guidance counselors, teachers, and parents with questions about college admissions and things like that.
- I'm an upper-middle class guy with no legacy connections, no under-represented minority status, and no compelling life story. I'm not a recruited athlete, and I haven't won any national awards.
-This year, there were 31,056 people who applied to Princeton. Of those, 12,435 had a perfect GPA, and 13,800 of them had a 1400 or above on the SAT. That means that roughly 45% of Princeton's applicant pool was completely qualified to get in. Yet, only 6.1% got the golden ticket. So how do admissions officers determine which 14% of awesome applicants to let in, and which 86% to reject?
- You're probably thinking "Do as many extracurriculars as you can, sign up for all of that volunteer work, you know you can do it." And honestly, I can't blame you. I'm sure that's the advice your guidance counselors, parents, younger sisters, and goldfish have been telling you all this time.
- Well... colleges don't care how many random activities you can slap on your application. When going through their applicant pools, admissions officers at top colleges don't really look for well-rounded students; they look more for a well-rounded class. That means x-many jazz musicians, x-many lacrosse players, x-many public speakers, you get it.
- How do you develop a passion? Let me take you back to sophomore year. I was involved in theatre, my school's a capella group, mock trial, track, I was volunteering in a soup kitchen, I was part of China club, and I was studying both Spanish and Chinese. I wrote down all of my extracurriculars on a piece of paper and tried to divide them into two distinct passions. The two that I came up with were performance and study of Chinese culture.
- I completely dropped track and I stopped volunteering at the soup kitchen. I dropped track junior year and instead became more heavily involved in theatre, and I even joined the school's theater board. Instead of volunteering at the soup kitchen, I actually started my own community service club at my school, where student musicians could go out to our local city and perform on the street to raise awareness and funds for a local charity. I dropped Spanish and focused fully on my study of Mandarin Chinese. With the help of my Mandarin teacher, I was able to study abroad in China for a month. In the summer after junior year, I got an internship at a translation and globalization company with a lot of clients in China, and I was able to talk about that in my essays as well.
- You have to take an honest look at what you're doing and how you're spending your time, and then cut down certain things, so you're only focusing on one or two specific areas.
- Because I took the time to do that, the admissions officer who was reading my application didn't just see a kid with great scores that was signing up for a bunch of clubs simply to get into x, y, or z school. What they saw was a student who had multiple interests and was willing to pursue them at a very deep level.
- Come up with one or two things that you actually really do enjoy. And brainstorm extracurricular activities based on those interests. Literally anything can be a passion-- you just have to be creative.