Getting ready to use to Ivy League and different high faculties is a frightening course of for college students and fogeys alike. The admissions course of is changing into more and more selective — Harvard and Columbia universities admitted record-low percentages of candidates (each lower than 4%) into the category of 2026.
The repute, rigor and in depth networks supplied at these extremely selective faculties make all of them the extra fascinating, and due to this fact all of the extra aggressive.
Which means that college students face higher strain early of their center and highschool careers to set themselves on the trajectory for admission to high universities.
Nevertheless, most dad and mom don’t know assist their college students put together for the aggressive Ivy League admissions course of, which begins as early as freshman 12 months. Studying disruptions brought on by the pandemic have additionally offered further challenges for college students and additional difficult the faculty admissions course of. Research present that even in the very best circumstances — at faculties which had been outfitted throughout the onset of the pandemic for on-line studying — college students misplaced “the equal of seven to 10 weeks of math instruction,” based on Thomas Kane of the Middle for Training Coverage Analysis at Harvard. That accounts for nearly one-third of a typical college 12 months.
In gentle of those challenges, how can dad and mom assist their baby put together a aggressive software? What steps ought to college students and fogeys take to make sure that pupils will submit aggressive purposes?
The solutions to those questions differ broadly, based mostly on the kind of college during which your scholar is enrolled and the accompanying assets accessible to them.
Non-public faculties sometimes bake into the price of tuition a wide range of extracurriculars and actions outdoors of the classroom, equivalent to tutoring, alternatives for analysis, service tasks and internships, and make use of a staff of school counselors to information college students via the applying course of. Nevertheless, relying on the actual area and faculty, college students at public or constitution faculties could should do analysis and hunt down these assets independently.
In both case, there are myriad organizations and actions to select from, and with out correct path, it’s straightforward to turn out to be overwhelmed. College students ought to suppose strategically about what they need to become involved in and the way they’ll tailor their involvement to meaningfully convey who they’re to Ivy League faculties when it comes time to use.
Getting ready for Ivy League admissions begins with constructing a robust tutorial profile and standardized take a look at scores. Elite establishments like Harvard and Stanford need to be sure that college students are outfitted to deal with the demanding tutorial workloads, so it’s crucial for college students to take probably the most difficult programs supplied, whether or not AP, IB or Honors and to earn high grades in each class.
Whereas all the Ivy League faculties have maintained test-optional insurance policies instituted throughout the pandemic, probably the most aggressive candidates are typically those that submit SAT or ACT scores inside or above the median vary of accepted college students printed by every college.
Follow is vital to scoring nicely on these assessments, so dad and mom ought to encourage their college students to take mock assessments and probably search outdoors tutoring starting their sophomore 12 months, when most highschool curricula have lined the subjects that seem on the assessments.
Whereas lecturers are vital, they aren’t all the pieces; the applicant pool for Ivy League faculties is brimming with academically gifted college students, so elite schools need to see college students’ demonstrable pursuits and passions, too, via dedicated and sustained engagement in associated actions, reasonably than shallow involvement in a wide range of topic areas and actions. It’s important that college students display their distinctive passions and pursuits to tell apart themselves from different candidates. Depth is extra vital than breadth.
So as to uncover the guiding ardour that may present a succinct and compelling image of themselves, college students ought to spend the early phases of highschool exploring their pursuits by becoming a member of golf equipment and actions supplied via their college or via unbiased organizations, and suppose critically about which topics and disciplines they discover compelling. Dad and mom might help college students by encouraging them to interact meaningfully with a wide range of golf equipment and actions to develop their horizons early on. As soon as college students have recognized their space of curiosity, dad and mom ought to encourage their college students to focus their engagement of their most popular actions, pursuing high quality over amount. This may be sure that when it comes time to jot down the non-public assertion and compile the actions record, college students may have a transparent and demonstrable ardour that may inform a novel story of their software.
Lastly, every of the Ivy League faculties has a definite character, completely different tutorial choices, and distinctive campus character, so whereas all are aggressive and rigorous, not all are a very good match for each scholar. Dad and mom ought to assist their kids to suppose critically about their tutorial targets, their desired location and most popular campus neighborhood as they craft a school record. This may push college students to analysis the faculties on their record and study the particular causes that they want to attend their high faculties, yielding important info that they’ll incorporate into their supplemental essays and talk about of their admissions interviews.
With the best plan, making use of to Ivy League faculties doesn’t should be overwhelming for college students or their dad and mom. Beginning early and implementing a transparent technique will empower dad and mom to assist their college students navigate this aggressive course of with self-assuredness, readability and function.
Christopher Rim is the founder and CEO of Command Training, an elite schooling and Ivy League school consulting agency based mostly in NYC and Miami.