The dreaded exams, essays, and details required make the admissions process a grueling one.
What does it really take to get into the Ivy League?
Extracurriculars This is the foliage of destiny. While tests and grades are the most important part of your application, they alone are not enough to distinguish you from all the other kids who are applying. This leaves the admissions officers with a problem: Thus begins the applications arms race of extracurriculars, personal essays, recommendation letters, etc.
So, what are they looking for? You have to be able to get people to like you if you want to be successful. For each activity you do, admissions officers are looking for three additional dimensions: Some colleges give you an entire page to list your extracurriculars: With extracurriculars, less is actually more.
You do need to do those few activities for real though.
This is the most important dimension, and the least complicated to achieve. Leadership comes in many forms. Leadership mostly applies to clubs or organizations to which you belong. Colleges like it when you have some official position in at least one of the organizations you participate in — for instance, getting elected President of one of the clubs in which you participate is a classic and highly desirable option.
The kind of success that admissions officials are looking for often includes having impressive titles, making decisions, and bossing people around in real life after college, and they think that being President of a high school club might indicate future success in that direction these admissions officials make many such leaps of faith — but with so many applicants they have to choose somehow.
Getting elected to a position also shows an ability to get people to like you, which is a big plus as well. Recognition is related to leadership, but it usually takes the form of prizes, awards, and accomplishments. Winning an award in one of your activities is a way to try to prove you are actually good at it that is easy to document on a resume or application.
The trick here is to take whatever you like to do in your spare time and make it sound prestigious on paper. You just have to make it fit the format that they are looking for. You should also look for summer programs dedicated to your activity. Anything you can put down on paper is your friend.
American gymnast Nastia Liukin won gold at the Olympics in The athletic type is pretty straightforward: If you belong to a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or some other religious community, this is often a good place to find volunteering opportunities religious youth groups can also be a good place to get leadership points, since leadership positions may be less competitive than in school clubs.
There are many non-denominational ways to find volunteer opportunities as well, of course, and there are probably numerous clubs and organizations for volunteering at your school. For instance, if you love to play the piano, you might volunteer to play at a hospital or retirement home once a week.
The important thing is to pick something and do it regularly all four years of high school to show commitment. So, what did I actually do as far as extracurriculars?
Quiz Bowl is another tried and true Ivy League favorite for extracurriculars. That was the main stuff. The Whiffenpoofs at Yale are the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the U. For your other activities, try finding a small club at your high school that you might be interested in, and be a member of it for all four years of high school.
Also, remember that the more intellectual or prestigious sounding your activity is, the better. Also, professional experience can also count as an extracurricular especially if you do one of your creative activities professionally.
The main thing is to show commitment in whatever it is you do. Do your time and take advantage of any leadership or award opportunities that come along. Also, always remember that grades are more important than extracurriculars.
Never sacrifice grades for extracurriculars. I hope that was helpful.I know why I want to study my chosen major (math), but there is no particular reason why I would like to go to UPenn, other than the fact that it has a top math program. According to sources online, I am supposed to convince the reader why Penn is the "only" school for me, which to me sounds ridiculous, because its not even my top choice.
Here is a second college essay example of how a student answered the Why Penn college essay prompt for the supplement component of the application. Get started! Learn about why tennis is great for all ages and abilities.
Penn's supplemental essay question is a classic why-this-school essay. In the essay, you need to prove to the admissions officer that you know a decent bit about Penn and that your specific goals and interests align with Penn's programs. Enjoy your summer at one of the nation’s top universities.
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