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Ivy League students- how do YOU think you got in?

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Replies to: Ivy League students- how do YOU think you got in?

  • midwestsahmmidwestsahm Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    All the Ivy matriculants from my daughter's high school the last few years were obvious profiles: Top 10 overall ranking (out of 200), great but not perfect test scores, super involved at school, charismatic, outgoing, and always obsessive readers.

    And if shut out of the Ivys, the "worst" they end up at is Northwestern or Notre Dame. That's why I don't buy the random or luck aspect so many parents complain about. Cream rises to the top.

    great but not necessarily* perfect test scores
  • kaiabunkaiabun Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Probably the best advice would be to be as unique as you can without coming across as weird but at the same time well rounded! :D
  • PremedieheadPremediehead Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    All of these stories, while not always applicable, definitely provide comfort. Thank you to everyone who has shared thus far!
  • freshmesh167freshmesh167 Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    Hi everyone, I was admitted to Cornell University during the Regular Decision round on March 28th and wanted to share my story. I am an Asian male who attends a large public school in Austin, Texas and was accepted into the Global and Public Health Sciences major at Cornell.

    About five days before I was admitted to Cornell, I was waitlisted by Rice so I had absolutely no expectations leading up to Ivy Day. Quite honestly, I wasn't expecting a waitlist offer from Rice either since it was a school with an acceptance rate around 13-14%. As you read through many of the threads on College Confidential, it is easy to get intimidated by the many different applicants who appear "better" than you, especially when it comes to test scores. Don't let these posts intimidate you. I never broke the 1500 SAT barrier and barely scored a 30 on my SAT. I definitely made up for it with the rest of my application. I was a leader of several different organizations both on-campus and off-campus, had hundreds of community service hours, and expressed my passion and determination to succeed in my essays. I guess my whole intent on posting this is to say that even if your test scores are far from the average scores of admitted students, don't toss immediately toss the college of your list. I believe Cornell looked past my mediocre test scores because the rest of my application was filled with passion and made me a fit for the university.
  • 1sttimethrougj1sttimethrougj Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    My son was accepted to Penn - he has a little over an A average - 4.167 unweighted (the school's weighting average is convoluted), the most rigorous schedule available to him with about 15 APs, an 800 Math2 and an 800 Bio, is somewhere in the top 3/300 - our high school has stopped ranking, and he has many varied EC including community service, music and science activities. He was admitted to several highly competitive schools, but was rejected from several of the other Ivies. I would argue that his Penn admittance was helped greatly by the personal aspect of his "Why Penn" essay. His essay about Penn described what Penn meant to him personally and to our family as we live in the area and the University of Pennsylvania is a much-vaunted institution here. The University of Pennsylvania is a standard of excellence, especially in the Philadelphia area, and he was able to articulate that in personal anecdotes. I don't think his essays for the other Ivies were as personal or distinct.
    Someone told us at the beginning of the process, take lightly the colleges' supplemental essays at your peril. I think that is sage advice Your essays likely won't get you into the school on their own, but they could make or break you even if all your other criteria are exceptional.
  • dansmoaustindansmoaustin Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    Son was 14th out of almost 700 at one of the top public high schools in Texas. Most rigorous classes available - 12 APs. High SATs....leadership, internships....the usual, right? He was a 6/5" tight end from a top football program so he got in because of his athletic prowess coupled with his academics. Also accepted to UT engineering, Notre Dame, USC and Rice (Half merit scholarships at the privates), but wanted to play football & get a good education. Graduates in a month with an engineering degree. Football was his "hook" but he was academically equal to the rest of the class IMHO (deans list, academic awards). He also wrote a really good essay that showed another side to him. It involved plane spotting and his love of In & Out burgers lol.
  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    Anyone whom the school decides to admit "deserves" to be there. I'm not exactly sure what gives you the right to be "annoyed" at anyone's admittance. That recruited athlete evidently brings something to that school deemed valuable.
  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    @thebetterhawkeye your post comes off a bit condescending and slightly obnoxious. You do realize there are sports where the recruited athlete or has scores, EC, and talents that are comparable or exceed many Ivy admits. Don't you?
  • dansmoaustindansmoaustin Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    Was there another post that I missed @ShanFerg3 ? Or referring back to the original post? Anyway, I totally agree with you.....but I am obviously biased.....I actually think that recruited athletes, dancers, fencers, singers, actors, journalists, coders, political activists, etc all make the the experience really interesting. My son has met some incredibly smart and accomplished kids at his school and many of them play a sport....or sing.....or dance....or write or code.....and there are as many kids that did not get in that are just as capable going to their chosen school.
  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    @dansmoaustin I was responding to the person in post #19. She implied that recruited athletes aren't as qualified for admission as the typical admit. In certain sports like fencing, crew, squash, golf, etc..the student is every bit as high achieving academically, in many cases more so. I also find this to be more impressive because of the time commitment it requires to be an athlete that competes at the level it takes to be best in the country, in some cases the world, and considered for recruitment.
  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    @dansmoaustin I was responding to @justliviglife in post #14. She stated that she gets annoyed when athletes with low scores get admitted. 1) I'm not sure what she would consider low scores or how she would be privy to this info. 2) I don't think she appreciates the commitment it takes to become an athlete worthy of recruitment. To put in those hours while maintaining a high academic standard is something one has to witness to understand how incredibly difficult that is and how motivated/hard working/gifted that student athlete must be. For her to say she gets annoyed shows a basic lack of understanding how amazing these kids are and an innate sense of entitlement/judgement that I found annoying.
  • dansmoaustindansmoaustin Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    @ShanFerg3 Thanks....missed the thread lol. Agree by the way but I am biased. It is really hard to play a sport in HS and have the rigor, grades and test scores to even apply to any of the top schools. But to do it in college is truly a challenge....having witnessed what my son and his teammates went through. Daily practices, team meeting, weightlifting, etc is on top of the same exact classes, work load, tests, midterms, papers, labs etc and with our experience, no special treatment. They just sleep less than the non-athletes. Employers sure seem to love recruiting them.....because they are team players who know how to lose and and get back up again. I know I could never have done it....so I agree. They impress me a lot. And the fencers by way are top in the world....some are olympians. So impressive.

  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    @dansmoaustin I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Thanks for the input.
  • justliviglifejustliviglife Registered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    @dansmoaustin @ShanFerg3 Obviously there are athletes that get in that deserve to go, however, all the athletes that have gotten recruited from my school, except 1, had profiles far, far, far below the average. They're now struggling at those schools.

    Your observations are also flawed. There are ECs that take up just as much/more time than sports (even in college). The activities simply go unnoticed because they're not appealing to the general public. I get about 4 hours of sleep per night.
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