Ivy League Admission Tips: What to Do During Senior Year

Senior year is one of the most demanding stages of high school, but it is also one of the most exciting and rewarding.

Your main responsibilities during senior year will be to keep your grades high and submit your college applications on time. Eventually, you will receive each college’s response. If you are accepted through early decision, then your college decision will already be made. However, if you receive multiple regular decision acceptance letters, you’ll have to choose between the schools that accepted you.

So, what steps must you take to receive those coveted acceptance letters? The following Ivy League admission tips will help you strengthen your applicant profile during senior year.

Academic Planning

As you select your course load for senior year, strive to make it as demanding as possible. To gain admission to top colleges, you will need to take a number of specific AP courses or their equivalents: English, a foreign language, history, math, and science. You have likely taken some of these classes already; if not, be sure to take them this year.

Admissions officers will examine your grades during senior year, so now is not the time to take it easy. Keeping your grades high during senior year will show the admissions staff that you are responsible and determined to succeed.

Standardized Testing

If you aren’t satisfied with one or more of your standardized test scores, you’ll have one last chance to improve your score in the fall of senior year. Taking the ACT or the SAT in your senior year is generally unadvisable; still, if you spent considerable time preparing for the test over the summer, you will likely be able to improve your score.

Extracurricular Activities

If you have not yet made your extracurricular activities stand out with a major accomplishment (such as founding a community project, creating a business, or entering a major competition), try to do so early in your senior year. The first few months of senior year will be the final opportunity to include an impressive accomplishment on your college applications. Keep in mind that you will still be able to update the admissions officers on any new achievements after sending your applications.

College Applications

Before finalizing and submitting your applications, you should schedule a meeting with your high school guidance counselor. During this meeting, discuss your list of potential colleges and ask for feedback on your application essays.

If you are applying through early decision or early action, you’ll have to send your applications before the deadline, which is typically in early or mid-November. For regular decision applications, which are usually due on January 1, you’ll have a little more time to finish writing and reviewing each section of the application. As you enter December, focus on making sure that your applications are complete. If possible, review and proofread your applications early in the month. Then, submit them before January 1, preferably several days before the deadline.

College Decision

If you are admitted through early decision, then you’ll already know which college you’ll attend! Similarly, if you are offered admission through early action, you’ll have at least one secure option. At this point, you should contact the other colleges you applied to and let them know about this early admission offer.

On the other hand, if you applied regular decision, you’ll have to wait until late spring to hear back from the colleges. Then, with one or two acceptance letters in hand, you’ll have to make a final decision. Discuss the pros and cons of each college with your parents, considering the school’s academics, financial aid offers, and other factors. Then, be sure to submit your decision before the May 1 deadline. Congratulations!

Evidently, the college admissions process takes a lot of hard work, but the thrill of receiving acceptance letters from top schools is well worth the effort. Book an initial consultation with Ivy League Prep to learn more about how we can help you succeed and gain admission to the most prestigious schools.