Monday, February 25, 2008

How to Get Into An Ivy League School - Part 1

Some kids (their parents too), have an overwhelming need to see that acceptance letter from an Ivy League School. That’s right; I am talking about one of those eight elite institutions known as the Ivy League. They are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Brown and Dartmouth. If you covet one of those fat, welcoming envelops, you have come to the right place to learn how to succeed.


This creature is one tough sucker. It means Grade Point Average but the term average can be deceptive. I mean, if you get 100 one year and 80 the next you have a 90 average right. But don’t be fooled! The Ivy League disdains that nasty little 80 you got stuck on during your sophomore year when for the life of you, you could not figure out how to get that clay to stay on the wheel during ceramics class. So you failed ceramics but you managed to scrape through slightly in Chinese, never mind that you demolished all your other subjects viz. Calculus, Honors Chemistry and Honors Literature. Of course come hell or high water, you will have to head to China the summer before Junior year to do a Chinese immersion Program to ensure that you will ace Chinese and try to convince the Admissions Officers that that horrible score in Sophomore year was just a fluke.


Now if you have a high GPA it does not necessarily mean that you will get a high SAT score. If you think there is any correlation between the two think again! The SAT is designed to trick you. So you are in AP Calculus BC and think that you are a Math genius, well you are in for a shock. None of your skills gained in your AP Calculus class will help you. You heard the new name: SAT REASONING Test. Get rid of all the math formulas you crammed into your head over the last two years, sign up for one of those expensive test prep courses, purchase all the materials sold on The College Board website (the SAT prep company can’t copy and distribute them to you or else they will be sued), find your friend who is now at the Community College after taking the SAT 10 times and ask to see his old Question and Answer tests (QAS) which he had purchased from The College Board and do all 10 practice tests in addition to the 8 in the Official College Board blue book. Beg or borrow an old copy of the 10 Real SAT. Good, you have 28 practice tests to do. Take your vitamins, toss down some salmon, sardines and tuna, they are brain food, then do every single test - twice, plus the online test at College Board and do over all the questions you got wrong. Remember one wrong math question can cost you 10 points. Learn all the tricks, buy a new dictionary and learn every single word. Excellent you are ready! Drat you took the first test in January and you managed a 2290 – I told you about that one wrong math question - not good enough bearing in mind the evil 80 you got in Sophomore year! You will have to take the SAT again. If you cannot muster 2300 you aren’t in the running. Good luck!


If you do not have a varsity sport in your arsenal then you are fighting a losing battle. If you are not yet a high school student then start training, learn to swim, play basketball or tennis better yet football. Again vitamins are important and proteins too; remember you need strength as you will have to do these sports every evening after school and on Saturdays to reach varsity level. If you have one varsity sport, don’t think that you are ahead of the game, you would have to be a tri-varsity athlete to be so confident. If you only have one or two then you have to show your talents elsewhere. You can’t get to the Ivies unless you show some passion and no I am not talking about your love life, you have none! You have to be obsessed about theatre, dance, painting, writing, music or some such thing and of course you have to be recognized, preferably nationally, in your field. The only way you can escape this demanding requirement is if you are a Nobel Prize winner just waiting to be discovered. Yes if you have performed ground breaking research on why the bees have disappeared or how to eliminate HIV and of course you did this during the summer at a renowned institution alongside a recognized expert, then you can smile and think, yesss Harvard here I come!

These are just some of the methods necessary for you to chart your course to attain those heights you seek in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League. But don’t be fooled. By no means is the list exhaustive, there are other things to think about, I may tell you about them later. Meanwhile remember you are not doing this for yourself alone, you are doing it for God, for your country and for the Ivy league. May good fortune shine upon you on your journey.


Sherry said...

I still don't understand why people obsess with Ivy-League. There are plenty of good school with good-quality education and affordable price. Why it always have to be an Ivy-league? What's the difference except you got your ego inflates and your pocket deflates?

Elizabeth said...

There are other great non-Ivy League schools. However, let us review the facts and correct your assumptions. Number 1: Those who graduate from an Ivy with an elitist mentality had one that was cultivated largely before they came there. If anything, due to the fact that you are surrounded by others just as smart or smarter than you, an Ivy would kill your self-esteem. Number 2: The Ivies have the best financial aid. Period. For a good portion of them, if your household income is under $60,000, then you will go to school for free. Number 3: Most of the Ivies are in the top ten for school rankings. This means as far as the world-renown professors, research opportunities and percentage of alumni who have gone on to accomplish marvelous things. There is a reason schools such as Princeton & Harvard are tied for number 1. Number 4: Graduating with an Ivy-League degree gives you a leg up on competition. Especially if you are a minority attempting to work in corporate America, seeing that you got a degree from Princeton gives you more of an equal footing.

Speaking as someone who goes to an Ivy, believe that you cannot generalize all the Ivies nor can you generalize all Ivy students. My parents make less than $60,000 a year, I went to a public school & being at an Ivy has only made me more aware of how average I am compared to others here. So please, next time, get your facts straight.

CEOmum said...

Just to remind readers that this was meant to be a satirical posts.

Elizabeth makes some excellent points and minoritites are encouraged to pay attention. Some of my friends are shocked to hear about the financial aid programs available at the Ivy League.

Kids don't think that because it is the Ivy league you shouldn't aspire towards it. Never underestimate your abilities. Strive for the stars.