If you hope to get an Ivy League degree some day, then you should pay attention to these well-kept secrets of the Ivy League. Also, you must be ready to put up a fight since it’s harder and harder to get in. Six of the eight colleges and universities that make up the Ivy League have lowered their acceptance rate; for example, less than 7% of the students who applied to Yale and Columbia University were admitted this year and Harvard welcomed only 5.9% of freshman hopefuls. Even though these numbers might sound too daunting to overcome, getting into a top school is all about strategy just like in any other competitive sport out there. Here are 7 well-kept secrets of the Ivy League that will offer you some insight into the college application and preparation process:
1. They Cost Less than You Think
One of the most interesting well-kept secrets of the Ivy League is the fact that tuition and fees costs of a top school may actually be less than you think. You should try to look for the net price which is how much the college costs once you factor in grants and other financial aid. A study published by the Brookings Institute in 2012 showed that low-income students often wind up paying less in net price at highly competitive schools.
2. Your Competition Has Been Preparing for This from Middle School
Many college applicants start too late to pay attention to their grades and to get those extracurricular activities in during high school. Yet, most private school students start prepping for college in the 8th or 9th grade, so it’s not enough to pile on Advancement Placement courses in the 11th or 12th grade.
3. You Should Apply to at Least 9 Schools
When you apply to college, you should try to have a contingency plan and apply to at least 9 different schools. Most experts say that you should apply to 3-4 reach schools (colleges where you have less than 30% chance of admission), 3-5 target schools (30-60% chance of admission) and 1-2 safety schools (greater than 60% chance of admission).
4. Fees Aren’t Always Mandatory
You should know that application and fee tests ($35-$80) can be quite high for some families but you can always ask your high school guidance counselor for a voucher that can save you the cost of taking the ACT or the SAT. You can also save on application fees by visiting the college yourself.
5. Your Application Might Be Audited
If you want to get accepted into an Ivy League school, then you should keep in mind that if you lied about participating in certain clubs or if you plagiarized some of your essays, chances are that the people in the admission board will find out. Some colleges even ask for five essays, so you should start filling out your applications in your junior year.
6. Pay Attention to Your Social Media Profile
Experts say that a college can even withdraw an offer letter if they find something particular damning on one of their applicant’s social media profiles. You should also know that most of the college application officers are really young, so they are familiar with social networking websites and also, that there are quite a few ways to get around privacy settings.
7. High Scores Alone Don’t Guarantee Admission to an Ivy League School
Of course, high test scores can boost your chances that your application will be read by the college application officers, but don’t assume that high SATs scores will get you into an Ivy League School because this is not the case. If you want to rise above the competition, then the critical components are love of learning, institutional fit, teacher recommendation, grade point average and rank.
Getting accepted into an Ivy League school can be difficult but if you start preparing early for this challenge then you will be in a better position to achieve your objective. Do you know any other well-kept secrets of the Ivy League? Please tell us about them in the comments section!