The Best Book On Ivy League Admissions

Want to get into Harvard, Stanford, and other Ivy League-caliber schools? Ashley Artmann, Tyler White, and other Ivy League grads share their tips and tales.

Supplemental Materials

In addition to the essay and application, some schools will provide supplemental questions for you to answer. Sometimes they are optional, but you definitely need to make use of any blank space to try and demonstrate who you are. So don’t think of the supplementary materials as optional. They are a chance to show what a great applicant you are.

In addition to all the applications, there’s one thing that’s not required but which I submitted anyway. It was a photo album of myself. I think these applications are all about words, and I’m a very vivid human being in person, so I created a photo album to set my application apart. It focused on all the extra curricular activities I had. The goal was to present myself well without words, so the admissions counselors had a great picture of who I was. So I put all the important things about me in this album.

For example, one page was about the student council and what I did. I had pictures of all the events I planned and things I did. As a class president, I had all the happy family class pictures and other things I organized. There’s another page for chess where I show pictures of me in Spain and all around the world.

People tend to like other people they are more familiar with, so this can be a great way for them to see you over and over and become familiar with you. It will help your impression and they will feel like they know more about you, so it will help your chances of getting into school. The fact that you spent all this time preparing the huge album shows that you really take the application process and the school seriously.

I also use a page tailored specifically to the school. For example, when I applied to Stanford I had a page all about why I love Stanford and everything about it. It gives a very personable feeling.

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College Admission Coaching Services

As far as individual coaches go, they can give you information that you may not otherwise get. If you have the opportunity to do so, there isn’t necessarily anything stopping you. However, you can get all the information a coaching service would give you in our ebook.

Coaching isn’t entirely necessary, especially for the price that those services will charge. But at the same time, there are a lot of people who’ll go through this information: they’ll read the e-book and they’ll get advice, but at the same time they’ll still think, Okay, well, you know, I understand what I’m supposed to do, but I want someone to force me to do it, and set deadlines for me, and I’ll pay for that.

Having somebody who’s experienced in talking about those kind of things can help. For a lot of people that might be somebody who they have to pay to find because they don’t have a mentor, or anyone knowledgable and informed to talk to. A coach or mentor could really help in this way.

It can be helpful, but I don’t think it’s something that you should feel like you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t have. I didn’t have it, and most of the people that I know at Stanford also didn’t have a coach or counselor.

I think the biggest secret is really just making sure that you live for whatever you’re about. Live your passions, live your values and what you stand for.

After you figure out what those are, or even if you don’t know specifically what those are—these are things that you like, that you feel like are consistent with you as a person—don’t just settle and sit around. Make sure you’re constantly taking action and doing.

If you’re really interested in education policy, constantly go forth and find new ways to expand on that. Make sure you are reading articles. I would read journals on education. When you’re in an interview, the interviewer will take an interest in what you’re saying.Oh, you’re really interested in education? Tell me a little bit about it.

And if you can say, The other day I was reading this journal about this, and they talked about this, and this really resonated with me because of this, and this meshed with something else that I’m doing, then somebody can get a feel for who you are as a person in your application because you’ve been living it, you’re able to illustrate what you’ve been saying you’re about. Your actions, your accomplishments, they’re all consistent with you and your “brand image.”

Showing what you’re about and what your passions are through your action, what you talk about, read, and engage in is the biggest secret to getting into an Ivy League school. Then it’s all about just translating that straight onto the paper, which is the easy part.




Visit these university-specific sites to get a sense for how the admissions process works, key deadlines, and resources to learn more about campus life and academics:

1. Brown University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

2. Columbia University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

3. Cornell University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

4. Dartmouth College Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

5. Harvard University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

6. Princeton University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

7. Stanford University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

8. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Admissions Website Undergraduate Website

9. Yale University Admissions Website Undergraduate Website


Campus visits are crucial – not only to get a sense of your next 4 years as a student, but to impress upon the AdCom that you’re serious about attending the school:

10. Brown University

11. Columbia University

12. Cornell University

13. Dartmouth College

14. Harvard University

15. Princeton University

16. Stanford University

17. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

18. Yale University


Some schools host online chat centers on their website, some have a Facebook group to provide answers from current students. Don’t be afraid to ask away!!

19. Brown

20. Cornell University

21. Dartmouth College

22. Yale University – Link to email a student


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