“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of ambition, planning and execution; it represents wise choices from lesser alternatives. Choice, not chance determines your destiny. You are what you repeated do.”
How can you gain entry into one of America’s best colleges and universities?
The short answer is that it takes mastery in the art and science of admissions, plus a lot of luck! The bottom line is that there is no easy way or magic formula get into premier colleges. There are no short cuts. Moreover, hundreds of valedictorians are denied admission to colleges like the University of Pennsylvania each year. Even students with perfect SAT scores may not get into a single Ivy League school. So…. what does it take?
The Science of College Admissions
Obviously, it often requires certain minimum metrics, which depend on the particular school.
- High school diploma or GED
- Four years of English, Math, Science and Foreign Language
- Success in Rigorous Coursework
- SAT or ACT
- SAT Subject Tests
- AP Exams
- High GPA
- High School Transcript
The Art of College Admissions
- Early Decision or Restricted Early Action to show demonstrated interest
- Standout personal essay
- Impactful Leadership
- Meaningful Service to Humanity
- Authentic Voice
- Unique Special Point or Talent
- Entrepreneurial Spirit
- Intellectual Vitality
- Social Intelligence
- Uncommon Vision
- Passion in an area of interest
- Compelling Story
- Strong and supportive Letters of Recommendations
The more accomplished you are, the more you impress and the more opportunities open up.
- The Smarter and more prepared you are, the luckier you get
- If your GPA approximates the average for the target school you seek, and your SAT/ACT is in the middle 50%ile for last year’s entering class, you are “in range” and have a competitive chance for acceptance. This doesn’t mean that it will be easier or that your chances are higher. However, if you are a specialist and not just broadly talented, you increase your luck. Elite colleges don’t look for well-rounded students. They want to build a well-rounded class.
- In summary, there is an art and a science to get into great schools, never blind luck.