Ivy League School Information
ivy league

    Start early. Aim to be a well-rounded achiever. A slacker who decides to start making good grades late in high school probably won't be admitted. You should have a consistent history of high scholastic achievement.


    • There are sometimes exceptions as colleges also love to see improvement. If your problems were due to circumstances beyond your control, you could attach a supplement to your application about what they were and how you succeeded in spite of them.2


    Challenge yourself. Seek out the most demanding and rigorous opportunities at your school, especially in the academic arena. It's often preferable to do well in a challenging program than to be exceptional in an average one. If your school offers advanced courses, especially those for which college credit is offered, an Ivy League school will expect you to have taken them.


    • It's most helpful to take difficult classes and work hard in subjects you expect to continue with in college, because they'll also make good grades there easier.


    • Schools can't factor difficult teachers into their decision.  They can only go off your transcript.  Look for classes that will be recognized as difficult, but preferably without overly difficult grading.



    Have an excellent GPA. Having a GPA in the top 10% of your class is essential, and being ranked among the top few students dramatically betters your chances. Keep in mind you're applying to institutions where many of the other applicants are valedictorians at their school.4

    Have excellent standardized test scores. This is a critical part of your overall application because it's the one area where you're on equal footing with everyone else. Aim for attaining at least a 700 (out of a possible 800) points on each section of the SAT (and on individual SAT II tests), or a composite of 30 on the ACT for a reasonable chance of being admitted. Bringing these scores up to 750+ on each SAT section, or a 33+ composite ACT, will give you solid scores that need not be improved.


    • Do not repeat the test more than three times. According to Chuck Hughes, a former senior admissions officer at Harvard, the admission panel will notice this and your repeated attempts to get a high score may come off as too focused on scores. [1] Get good before you take it.


    • Take a test-preparation class or get a few books and practice. Speed and accuracy on these tests is a unique skill which needs to be learned. Start preparing early and keep at it diligently until you can solve the problems without much thinking.5


    Get involved in extracurricular activities. Ivy Leagues want to see a well-rounded applicant who didn't lock themselves away for four years to get good grades. Join a sports team (even if it's just an intramural team), join a club or two and get involved with the theater department.6

    Volunteer. Think on a national or international scale; don't just limit yourself to the opportunities in your home town. Spending a summer helping raise funds to build a school in Peru will mean more to them than raising funds for your local church.7

    Lead in the areas where you excel. Look for opportunities to take on additional recognition and responsibility as a leader. This can range from becoming class president to cheerleading captain, or even an officer for a club you participate in. Take your job as a leader seriously because the lessons you learn in this role can be the experiences that set you apart from the crowd when you write your essay or get interviewed.


    If you have your heart set on one in particular upper tiered school, THAT is the school you should apply to early. Some statistics show that you have a higher chance of being accepted Early Action/Early Decision than if you apply regular action. You have a smaller pool you are up against as well, you are showing the school you are serious about attending there. But be sure that it is the school you want to attend and to check out their rules for applying early.

    Early Action: It is non- binding. You can apply and I you do change your mind, you do not have to accept admissions there. But there are some Ivy League schools that if you apply EA to their school, you cannot apply EA to any other school. While MIT allow EA but you can apply to other schools EA as well. So be sure you check the rules for ALL the schools you are applying for.

    Early Decision: This is binding. If you apply ED, you MUST attend that school unless the financial aid does not turn out to be what you expected (so for financial reasons). Stanford is an ED school.



    Overall what you should expect to have is:

    • at least a 1380 or better SAT. Not necessary, but definitely helps. Remember, you can take the test more than once.


    • Minimum 3.75 GPA. A 4.0 is not necessary, but you really do need at least something close to it.


    • Leadership experience. Whether it's team captain or a club officer, you need something that separates you from the crowd.


    • A solid well-written essay. The written essay in your application is extremely important. Revise as many times as needed and take your time. The essay is pretty much the only part of the application an admissions officer has to judge your personal character, outside of letters of recommendation.


    • Admissions officers look for distinctive achievements, devotion to academic and nonacademic pursuits, and good character with intellectual curiosity and academic excellence being the most important factors. So make sure you really stand out. Have more to show than a high SAT and good grades. Be well rounded!
    • What you want to do is really show an interest in learning. A university will see this as an individual who wants to continue the learning process. Many college applicant reviewers consider it a promising sign when students challenge themselves with advanced courses. Taking advanced honors classes and a full, rigorous high school program overall will really show your commitment to learning