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.

Supplementing Your Ivy League Application


Wait List

The following is an excerpt from the Waitlists chapter of our Best Book.

Video editing was a personal interest, but I realized that I could leverage it into something that would help me on an application. I would enter art contests where I would render 3D scenes. At the time the technology was fairly new. It was a personal interest that I coincidentally later realized was unique and helpful in finding opportunities in research.

I applied to a lot of schools. I applied to maybe 20 schools overall, not just to three. I got accepted to MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell out of the Ivy League schools. I was actually put on a waiting list for MIT. Even after I was put on the wait list I was getting awards, so I sent a letter with a tape recorded concert of me playing the violin in a contest, I sent in the Westinghouse semifinalist award I had won, and I sent a letter expressing how much I wanted to got to MIT, along with another couple of recommendations. That made a big difference.

I did what I could to stand out on the waiting list, because that list is essentially a queue. You have a place, so whatever you can do to get higher up on that queue increases your chances of getting admitted.

I sent all of that material at once. I figured if I sent it in small chunks it would get filed away and be lost, or that it wouldn’t seem impressive. I was lucky enough to have those things stocked up, and I put them in an envelope and sent them in all at once. It was one shot. I don’t think I waited very long between sending that in and getting in. I sent it in within two weeks of having found out I was on the wait list. These extra material helped to give me that extra push that I needed to get off the waitlist.

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