Horace quotes, “Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even.” High expectations are held for students applying to Ivy League and highly ranked universities. Admission to these schools mean going above and beyond the set standards. In today’s era, admissions are seeing an all-time high. Securing a spot is usually characterized by involvement, athletics, and clear-set goals. Keeping an even mind is crucial along the way.
Contrary to some beliefs, the process of applying to colleges such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton do not start junior or senior year. The path begins early on. Entering high school should include developing a plan. From research, I have concluded that students should begin taking the SAT freshman or sophomore year to gain experience. Also, choosing a challenging course selection and having productive summers are recommended. As the years pass by, reading books from college lists and preparing for the SAT and ACT are important. When senior year arrives, sending applications to colleges are crucial.
Many resources have stated that admissions are looking for certain characteristic regarding potential students. Even though this is true, every year brings new expectations and perspective. One year, Stanford may be looking for a top student who is involved with acting while Harvard is looking for their next basketball star. Above all else though, it is important to stand out in a special way in applications. Universities are not only looking to build great school with top students, but a community of diverse individuals. Essays are key opportunities to showing individuality. At most Ivy League schools, essays and applications are only guaranteed to be read once. Making a lasting first impression is crucial. After reading several essays from Stanford alumni, I came across one that really stuck out to me. It started off stating, “Adolf Hitler applied twice to the Academy of Fine Arts...[his] application did not just turn into a rejection, both times. It changed world history.” The essay is very well thought out, but what grabbed my attention was the student’s way of molding in his personality and “voice” to the essay. There are many other key factors college admissions are looking for. For example, being passionate in one area is highly recommended. Whether it is band, baseball, choir, or even being an equestrian, having a passion for something and being a top competitor at it will definitely help.
Although schools may look for different interests and a unique voice, most students accepted to highly