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

LampoLampo Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
I want to know what YOUR story was, be as specific as possible. I know that many people have no idea how they got in because they did not expect it, and the decision is ultimately up to the admissions officers. But I want to know- what extracurriculars did you pursue? What was your "niche" and how did you progress through it? What was your journey? What were some of the challenges you faced?
Thank you

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

  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 7,536 Senior Member
    Other people's stories are interesting, but they aren't a formula that you can follow to get accepted to an Ivy. Pursue your own interests and make sure your application shows who you are. Then find the colleges that are fits for you and apply there.
  • LampoLampo Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    I know it's not formulaic, but sometime's when identifying an interest to pursue during high school, it's had to know even where to begin. Personally, reading how other people take their interest to the highest of heights serve as sort of an example for me, not a guiding formula.
  • Community2605Community2605 Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    My son - Yale '19

    Long story of his admissions process here:

    Main tidbits - white, middle-class male, public school, small town in the Midwest

    Education and test scores - IB diploma, all-A's, 3rd in the class, 2300 SAT, 35 ACT, glowing recommendations

    EC's - I think this is where he stood out. His EC's were many and varied. Sports, academic competitions, chess, tons and tons of music. Leadership experience was a little light.

  • PoliticsrulePoliticsrule Registered User Posts: 27 Junior Member
    @HyberTurbo I completely agree!
  • PoliticsrulePoliticsrule Registered User Posts: 27 Junior Member
    @HyperTurbo I completely agree!
  • doorrealthedoorrealthe Registered User Posts: 1,163 Senior Member
    I am a recent high school graduate who will be attending Dartmouth this fall. I am from a highly competitive Northeast school that sends approximately 30-50 students every year to Ivies or Ivy equivalents (Stanford, MIT, etc). I applied to all 8 Ivies. Got accepted by Dartmouth, transfer option from Cornell, wait listed at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, rejected from Brown, Princeton, and Penn (deferred ED and then rejected from Wharton).

    Completely unhooked, below a 3.9 UW GPA, 2300 SAT, 800 Math II, 670 Lit. I think I got in because my ECs showed I was passionate about an academic field. Having that "spike" helps a great deal. You want to be an ace at one trade instead of a jack of all trades.
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,648 Senior Member
    Son's profile:

    Excellent grades - 4.0 UW with extremely rigorous course load (17 AP's). Valedictorian

    Strong test scores - 35 ACT, 780, 790, 800 ST.

    Three primary ECs - nationally recognized community service, music (classical guitar), and competitive fencing.

    Overall he was a strong applicant, but what sealed the deal was his high national ranking in fencing. He was widely recruited and chose Princeton.
  • aoeuidhtnsaoeuidhtns Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    Graduated Wharton a few years ago. Class rank 3/500 from a public school; 99th percentile SAT; involved in several ECs with leadership and awards... but half the applicant pool sounds like that. I think I got in based on my quirky Why Penn essay that ended with the f-word.
  • LampoLampo Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    edited September 2017
    Thanks all for your answers!
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 1,011 Senior Member
    Daughter- recruited athlete.
    4.11 weighted/32 ACT very few ECs except her sport. We have no illusions- she would not have been accepted if not for her sport.
  • justliviglifejustliviglife Registered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    @Emsmom1 If your daughter had not been a recruited athlete, but had good ECs in another world, but with the same stats, I'm confident she definitely would have has a chance.

    I'm someone who gets very annoyed when athletes get recruited to ivies with extremely low grades and scores, but your daughter deserves to be there! She made the grades, made the scores, and was very passionate about something (sport).

    Congrats to her on her success!
  • justliviglifejustliviglife Registered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    @katliamom Haha...not me, but my friend's story is "grandpa is a billionaire"
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