4 Essential Ivy League Admissions Resources for Your Family

February 20, 2021
By AdmissionSight

4 Essential Ivy League Admissions Resources for Your Family

While Ivy League schools have a long-standing reputation for their exceptional academic offerings, these universities are just as well-known for their low acceptance rates. According to a report by US News, the average acceptance rate among colleges in the country is 68%. However, among the eight elite Ivy League schools, the average acceptance rate typically hovers below 10%. This massive difference illustrates just how competitive the admissions process is for this collection of prestigious universities. In order for parents to put their child in the best position possible, it’s vital to make use of the various Ivy League admission resources at your disposal.

family gathered in a room to check out ivy league resources

Given the highly selective nature of these schools, applying to the Ivy League can feel like you’re lost wandering in a desert with no sense of direction. Fortunately, there are some very insightful resources that can help you gain a better understanding of what these universities are looking for along with some actionable tips you can take to increase your child’s chances of getting admitted. But the challenge isn’t so much finding these resources as it is learning how to distinguish reliable sources from those that aren’t. That’s why we’ve put together the following list of resources to help you get your child into an Ivy League school.

Read on to learn about various resources you can use to learn everything you need to know about successful Ivy League applications.

A shift in perspective

It’s common for both students and parents to feel a little anxious about applying to Ivy League universities. As we discussed before, the level of talent these schools attract in combination with their selective acceptance rates makes for a challenging and daunting application process. While it’s easy to let these odds weigh you down, it’s important to shift your perspective before getting to work.

Young boy busy will college applications

Instead of focusing on all of the ways in which the application process can go wrong, it should be seen as an opportunity to demonstrate why you deserve to attend an Ivy League school. After all, that’s exactly what these applications are designed to do. They’re supposed to give admissions officers the best glimpse of each applicant in order to inform their ultimate decision. With this perspective, it’s easier to view applications as an opportunity instead of an obstacle.

4 best Ivy League admissions resources

Making this mental shift is a prerequisite for nailing a college application. However, in order to make the most of the Ivy League admission process, you need to seek out and take advantage of helpful resources. As a parent, even if you’ve been to college, things have changed drastically over the past few years, and staying up-to-date on these developments is critical. For students, all of the information you’ve gleaned from short lessons in school or half-hearted internet searches arent’ sufficient either. Together, parents and kids can make use of the following Ivy League admission resources to make the most out of an application.

1. The Internet

At no point in human history has there been so much information available to the average individual. What used to take hours of effort or special connections to know can now be found out within a few seconds. The same is true when it comes to information about Ivy League universities and their admission processes. If you have a question about applying to one of these world-class universities, there’s a good chance the internet can provide an answer.

Young girl in front of a laptop near a window

The key to finding helpful Ivy League admissions resources online is knowing where to look. Here are some places you can look:

Niche Forums – Forums are the perfect resource for finding personal testimonies from students who are applying to college, those who have successfully been accepted, and even applicants who were rejected. Hearing what strategies worked and which didn’t, what you can expect from the admissions process, and other information directly from the voice of students who are in the same position is incredibly eye-opening. Be sure to take everything you read with a grain of salt as each student’s experience can differ in the application process.

University Websites – For the most accurate, up-to-date, and reliable information regarding a university’s admissions process, you should go directly to its website. All of the eight Ivy League schools have a dedicated website where you can find informative newsletters, detailed requirements for admissions, important deadlines, event calendars, and more. There’s really no other online resource with so much authentic information about a particular Ivy League university.

Pro Tip: If you’re set on attending one school, be sure to sign up for a newsletter if it’s available. This way, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of all the university’s recent developments.

Dedicated Blogs & Videos – Many website blogs and video channels are dedicated to college admissions and everything involved in the process. The Admission Sight blog is a great example of the kind of helpful information you can find online. Whether you want to read about tips for writing your supplemental essays, some great summer programs, or general news regarding recent college admission developments, these resources will be your best friend.

Tips for getting Ivy League information online

It’s no secret that the internet is overflowing with information. However, just because you have access to a wealth of information, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valuable. In order to make the most of this resource, there are some helpful tips you can follow to make sure you’re not being misled with inaccurate or incomplete information.

Double-check hearsay.

If you’re getting information from a reputable source or one that’s not directly associated with a university, it’s vital to double-check the information with a reliable source. Whether it’s the deadline for applications, a special requirement, or something related to the application process, you don’t want to take it at face value. Snoop around the internet for a little while until you find at least a few more resources to corroborate the information to determine its accuracy.

Look at the website’s “about” page.

Another great tip for determining the efficacy of information you read online is to read the website’s “about” page. This section will help you determine whether or not the source is reliable. If you learn that the website is associated with a university directly or dedicated to helping students nail their applications, you can put a little more stock in what’s being said on that site. Keep in mind that this isn’t a clear sign that the information available on the site is reliable or accurate, but it’s a good place to start.

Go to the original source.

Information spreads like wildfire on the internet meaning you could read thousands of articles about the same subject. However, in order to make sure the information is accurate and reliable, you should try to find the original source, if possible. When you can hear (or read) something directly from the horse’s mouth, you have a better chance of determining whether it’s accurate or not. For example, if you read about Harvard’s supplemental essays on a forum, you can check the accuracy of the information by looking at the university’s website directly.

2. High School Guidance Counselor

While looking around for help when planning for college, it’s easy to forget what’s right under your nose. As the stepping stone designed to prepare you for the collegiate level, your high school is the perfect place to find resources. After all, the whole idea behind secondary school is that you gain all of the insights, capabilities, and personal skills you need to enter into higher education. Although certain teachers, students, and other resources at your high school might be able to provide you with some helpful tips, the most important resource is actually your guidance counselor. There are a few key reasons why this individual will be one of your most valuable resources when applying to the Ivy League.

Accessibility – The vast majority of high schools – both public and private – throughout the country have guidance counselors whose primary role is to support students throughout their academic trajectory. After all, the word “guidance” is built right into their title! Since your school is already employing these professionals, it’s quick and easy to gain access to this resource. All you have to do is request a meeting. You don’t have to drive anywhere special or pay out of pocket.

woman scribbling in a paper

Familiarity – Perhaps the most important advantage of a high school guidance counselor that makes these professionals ideal Ivy League admission resources is their familiarity with you. Most students have the same counselor throughout their entire time at high school. Throughout this time, the person has made it their job to learn about your personal interests, academic strengths, and college-preparedness. This personal insight makes them an indispensable resource when it comes to applying to Ivy League universities.

Experience – In addition to being easily accessible and familiar with your academic history, your high school guidance counselor is an excellent resource because of their experience with college admissions. One of the key tasks of a guidance counselor is to help students apply to universities. There’s no doubt that these professionals have some helpful insights and tips for those students like you applying to Ivy League universities.

Pro Tip: Don’t hesitate to schedule more meetings with your guidance counselor than your school schedules. These professionals are excellent resources who are available whenever you need help. You might as well take advantage of their expertise when you’re still in high school.

3. Alumni Networks

Alumni networks are another excellent resource that students and parents can both take advantage of when applying to an Ivy League school. There’s something reassuring about hearing tips and strategies directly from people who have succeeded at the very thing you’re trying to do. And, unlike looking things up on the internet, you’ll be able to have a two-way conversation about the admissions process. In fact, you might even get information from an alumnus that you hadn’t thought to ask.

Two women talking in a bench

What’s even better about this resource is that some Ivy League universities will consider this connection when assessing your application through what’s known as “demonstrated interest.” This essentially means that you’ve illustrated a willingness to go above and beyond to learn more about the university. College admissions officers love to see students are eager to attend the college.

With these advantages in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can connect with alumni to reap these benefits from the connection.

Ask friends and family.

Reaching out to your family and friends is a great place to start your search for alumni of the schools you wish to attend. Somebody in your close circle of relationships might have attended an Ivy League school without you even knowing it. However, even if you don’t know anyone directly who has, you can ask your family and friends to ask around to people they know. Before you know it, there are dozens upon dozens of potential leads.

Talk to the university.

If you don’t have any luck within your own network of acquaintances, you can always turn to the university itself. Each Ivy League college has a strong network of alumni who are always willing to help out each other as well as incoming students and applicants. There’s a strong sense of community within the Ivy League systems, something that’s a major incentive to attending. But, you don’t have to even be accepted yet to benefit from this connectivity. Some universities formally offer to connect people with alumni, although others will still do so when a request is made, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

4. Admissions Counselor

Of all the Ivy League admission resources, perhaps the most insightful and helpful is a dedicated admissions counselor. While the other resources we mentioned can give you pieces of what you’ll need overall to succeed in the Ivy League application process, a reputable admissions counselor is the total package. These experts combine the personalization of high school counselors, the accessibility of the internet, the connectivity of alumni, and adds in a level of professionality that you can’t get with the other resources. However, just because an individual or group claims to be an admissions counselor, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re reputable. Here are some tips for ensuring you’re working with a reliable specialist.

Proof  – Every great admissions counselor should have a proven track record of success getting students just like you into Ivy League schools. This not only shows that students have trusted this resource in the past, but it also illustrates the success of their services. If you can’t find this information online, feel free to request it from a specialist and be wary of any who are hesitant to provide such proof.

Versatility – When looking for a reliable college admissions counselor, you need to find one that’s multidimensional in its offerings. College admission processes, especially those for Ivy League universities are dynamic and require a versatile approach to ensure success. You’ll need to write supplemental essays, demonstrate your academic interests, prove your college-preparedness, and more. Working with an admissions specialist who can help you in each of these areas is key.

Specialization – Although there’s some significant overlap between the admissions process at a standard university and that of an Ivy League institution, the differences matter for applicants. If you rely on an admissions counselor who’s only ever worked with students applying to state schools, then you’re probably not getting the advice or support you need to succeed at the Ivy League level. That’s why it’s paramount that you work with experts – like those at Admission Sight – who specialize in helping students prepare for the Ivy League specifically. This hyper-specialization will make it easier for applicants to tailor their applications to the high standards set forth by these world-class universities.

Get more advice on Ivy League admissions

Admission Sight is an expert in the college admissions space. We’ve helped countless students achieve their dream of attending some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Our services are designed to guide students in the application process to ensure their chances of getting accepted to their dream schools are maximized. Here at Admission Sight, we’ve developed a deep understanding of the college admissions process that other people simply don’t have access to.

When your work with us, you’ll have access to insider-knowledge, unparalleled resources, and excellent services. Whether you need help perfecting an essay, choosing the right extracurriculars, attending the right summer program, or guidance on choosing the best college for you, we’ve got your back. Contact us to learn more about what Admission Sight offers and how you can benefit from it.

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