IVY League Consultants – Five Admissions Secrets from Top College Admits

Gaining an admit to an Ivy League school has for decades been considered a formidable challenge. And the recent surge of international applicants has made this prospect even more difficult every passing year. There is a steady rise in the number of Ivy league college applications every year which makes it a necessity to make your application stand out. Besides compelling academic performance and grades (usually Top 1-2%), students must find ways to present a unique application that stands out from the rest. 

With Admissions team representatives spending merely a couple minutes on each application, there must be a big spike factor and uniqueness quotient in your application that distinguishes you from others. Solid extracurricular activities, positively impacting society through volunteering initiatives and participation in global competitions are just some ways that high-schoolers are building their profile, to create a stand-out application. 

We asked our top college admits for their advice on getting into Ivy League colleges and here are 5 secrets the Ivy League consultants shared:

1. Start as early as you can

It is important to understand what it takes to be a strong candidate for an Ivy League college application and for that, you need to start as early as middle school. While only impeccable scores and GPAs are not enough, they are important to your application. 

The colleges want to see that you can take up the rigorous coursework, earn good grades, and are academically capable of competing in a challenging environment. Students should finalize their list of colleges atleast 3 months prior to ED application deadlines, as most colleges list their requirements by then, and it will allow them enough time to work on their essays. 

2. Take time to research thoroughly

College research is one of the most important steps in your college admission journey. Students must check out course offerings, take campus tours (virtual or in-person), attend college fairs and online admissions information events, and browse the website in detail. It is important to ask questions and understand how you will benefit from a certain course and college. Also read up about the existing student experiences, and life at an Ivy League college, so you are truly aware of what you are getting yourself into.

Most schools ask questions like “Why our college?” and your answer can tell if you are genuinely interested because your values and goals are aligned with the college or not. Hence, as suggested by Ivy League consultants, it is all the more important to understand the colleges you are applying to and connect the dots with your academic plans. 

3. Write strong essays

A good college essay for an Ivy League school requires that you provide an authentic overview of your unique personality, the lived experiences, passions, and perspectives. Not only should it be well-written and engaging, but it must bring out your character traits, values, and aspirations. The best essays often get published by the colleges and if you review them, you will find how prior successful applicants have demonstrated self-reflection, resilience, and the ability to contribute meaningfully to the university community.

Writing essays can be the most time-consuming process and you mustn’t leave that at the last minute. Besides writing well, it is important to find teachers and mentors who read the essay and provide constructive feedback in terms of both content as well as presentation before you go for submission. 

The best consultants for Ivy League admissions often connect you with a competent mentor who can help you bring out your story through compelling essays.

4.Be selective with your recommendations

Even though all your teachers may have the right intentions, not all recommendation letters will be effective when it comes to seeking admission to an Ivy League college. 

Go for a recommendation that is not only personalized but also highlights your passions and strengths. A teacher who has a deep understanding of your capabilities and has worked with you for a significant time would be an ideal choice. A principal’s recommendation would also weigh heavily and may go a longer way, in communicating your visibility and merit to the Ivy league admissions team. Ensure you share your intended program major clearly with your recommenders. Do ensure that you ask for the recommendations as soon as the school year begins, allowing your teachers and school counsellors sufficient time to position your candidature clearly to your prospective college.

5. Focus on leadership, unique roles, and impact

When working on your essays and supplements, don’t forget to mention volunteer work, extracurricular activities, leadership roles played, and any other specific accomplishments that may have impacted society significantly. It is also important that your application emphasizes what matters to you, and how your involvement can positively impact you. 

The highly competitive landscape of Ivy League admissions demands that students who demonstrate the potential to become future leaders in various fields are more likely to be selected. Applicants who have inspired others, driven positive change in their community, and taken bold initiatives, highlight the qualities that are most valued by these prestigious universities. Additionally, highlighting experiences that reveal your ability to innovate and think creatively, would align well with Ivy League values of caring for excellence.

Admission Secrets from top colleges admits - LilacBuds

Bonus tip:

Be honest and genuine in your application

There is no perfect student and admission counselors are aware of that. Most Ivy League admission counselors are interested in a student’s academic scores, accomplishments, and unique talents but they are equally interested in their willingness to learn, capacity to grow, and their character. Whether working on the essay or preparing for the interview, you must strive to present yourself most genuinely and honestly. 

Final word

It is never a single quality or accomplishment or an essay that leads to an acceptance in an Ivy League college but a combination of various factors and qualities. The colleges reach out to all students irrespective of their grades and it is hence, advised to do what you love and be who you are. 

LilacBuds is a leading independent education consulting firm in India that offers the best guidance and advice to families and students who are applying to Ivy League colleges. With decades of experience and an expert panel of Ivy League consultants, you can be assured of getting the college recommendations that are fit for you and tailor-made strategies will give you an extra edge to get into your ideal dream college.


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