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Tips on getting into Ivy League Colleges

Tens of thousands of students from all over the world apply to Ivy League Colleges each year. To improve chances, a student must understand the admissions process and make a real commitment to academic and extracurricular activities. As with most things, knowledge is power. Here are some tips for students striving to get into the Ivy League Colleges:

1. Start early.

A college admission is a process. One of the biggest downfalls of college applicants is starting too late. In all four years of high school, students need to get good grades, participate in extracurricular activities, and do community service. The earlier a student starts the process, the more information the student will have on their application, and the better the chance of acceptance.

2. Know the Ivy League colleges.

The Ivies are very different from one another. Cornell offers a traditional public school feel and a larger student body. Columbia may not be the right fit for a student looking for a strong on-campus social scene. Students should focus on applying to the college that would be the best match for them.

3. Spend time on essays.

Essays give students the opportunity to tell the admissions committee how and why they are different from everybody else. Students need to write about themselves and tell a positive story. And make sure to answer any optional essays – they are not optional!

4. Consider applying early.

Applying early can maximize a student’s chances to get into a College; however, students must read the policies carefully. When a student applies Early Decision, the decision is binding, meaning that the student agrees to attend the college if it accepts you and offers adequate financial aid. Early Action is non-binding, has few restrictions and benefits the student by allowing them to hear early from a College.

5. Study for Standardized Tests.

Like it or not, the SAT/ACT will most likely help to determine which colleges a student is able to attend. Don’t discount the test as simply one of many factors that will be considered, or believe that it is not very important. The reality is that it plays a major role and it makes sense to get the highest score possible.

6. Lead in areas of excellence.

Students should aim to get recognized for the skills and-or interests that set them apart. This could mean sports, music, video games or really anything. Opportunities for recognition include leadership roles like class president, winning a national competition, or organizing a community service project. The best experiences will set a student apart from his or her peers.

The process can be overwhelming and stressful. Students should seek help from counselors, teachers, and parents.

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