The time has finally come to apply to college. No doubt you’ve been anticipating this moment for years. Perhaps you have a list of dream schools you’d like to study at, but you know that the competition will be intense—thousands of students apply to the top schools each year.
For instance, the Ivy League colleges and universities had an average acceptance rate of 7.3% for the Class of 2024—an all-time low. That means that only one out of every 13 applicants was accepted.
So, how can you make your college application stand out and increase your chances of admission? Without a reliable strategy, you won’t be able to craft a compelling application.
Ivy League Prep is here to help! These Ivy League admission tips will help you craft a compelling application that will make you stand out.
First, let’s discuss what parts of the application are most important.
What to Focus On
College applications contain several generic fields—information such as your name, address, and high school, among others. These generic fields don’t have any real strategic value. All you have to do is make sure that the information you provide in these sections is accurate.
Other fields, however, require you to make specific choices or write brief explanations. These are the sections of the application that require special focus. You can craft a strong application theme and personal narrative by carefully filling out these sections.
For example, the activities you list—and the order in which you list them—say a great deal about what you value.
Now, let’s look at three strategic considerations for filling out your applications.
Carefully Proofread Everything
You should carefully examine your application for mistakes, looking for misspelled words, grammatical errors, typos, factual errors, inconsistencies, and unclear or wordy phrases. The application should be polished and pristine.
Admissions officers are likely to notice mistakes. However, a single mistake, depending on its nature, might not matter all that much. Particularly egregious or frequent errors, however, could really lower your chances of admission.
You should ask someone trustworthy with a strong command of English to proofread your applications.
Provide Complete and Cohesive Responses
Your application should paint a complete picture of who you are and outline your goals and interests. Each response should clearly point to your overall theme, and, wherever possible, the application should help develop your unique narrative.
For example, this means that you need to do more than include your most prestigious and noteworthy honors and awards. You must also present each honor or award in such a way that it fits in with your application’s theme and narrative. To accomplish this goal, you can explain your achievements in more detail in your personal essay or additional information section.
You should highlight diversity wherever possible in your application. This includes underscoring your ethnic diversity, unique perspectives, rare opportunities, highly specialized abilities, or any other experience or background that is likely to set you apart from other applicants.
Admissions officers at top colleges place a high value on diversity—they want a well-rounded class formed not by well-rounded students but by a wide variety of students with diverse experiences.
If you follow these Ivy League admission tips on how to complete your college applications, you can be sure that the admissions officers will want to know more about you. Still, gaining admission to the most prestigious schools and universities requires much more than a well-written application.