How to submit a competitive application to an Ivy League school

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Many students aspire to attend an Ivy League school. The prestige that comes with attending an ivy league is very attractive. Attending an ivy league allows students to be mentored by world-class professors who are experts in their fields, they get access to new research opportunities and unmatched student support resources. Also, Ivy League students form crucial peer networks and go on to become industry leaders, joining the prestigious Ivy League alumni that span the world and provide a variety of career opportunities to new graduates. Continue reading to examine some admissions factors and take an in-depth look at how to submit a competitive application to an Ivy League school.

  • Act beyond grades

Having outstanding grades is required, but they are not sufficient. Emphasize in your application the characteristics and aspects that you feel set you apart as a person. Your accomplishments, awards, experiences, goals, and so on are all examples of your selling points. Passion for an activity, inventiveness, creativity, a distinct point of view, and maturity must all be visible in every aspect of your application. Admission committees should be able to obtain a glimpse of the unique talents you offer to the program. If these subjective things are really good, they may even compensate for a few Bs or Cs on your transcript.

  • Essay writing and In-depth proofreading

It is essential to describe in depth why the institution is the best fit for you in your application essay. Identifying why you are drawn to a particular school is a vital part of your application. Describe how the school as a whole appeal to your interests and goals for a campus community. Also, explain why you wish to attend a specific graduate school. If you’re applying to multiple Ivy League schools, make sure you explain why each one is the best fit for you, whether it’s because of the faculty, program, or concentration offered.


Before submitting your essay or personal statement, be sure it has been thoroughly proofread. Although this advice is excellent and should be followed, students applying to Ivy League schools must meet or exceed the expectation. Share your essays and application to others e.g. educational consultants for feedback. In addition to grammar and sentence structure, candidates may require assistance with the tone and general content of their writing, which an outside opinion may supply.

  • Select your recommenders carefully

Letters of recommendation can also help you construct an outstanding application, and the best way to do so is to carefully pick your recommenders and supply them with all of the information they need about your application. When choosing recommenders, choose people with whom you have a good relationship, who believe in you, and who want the best for you. Rather than a reputable name that may disappoint you or send in a template. Although getting a recommendation for alumni from that particular school is a plus, they have to know you and have worked with you well enough for their recommendation to be effective. Also, if possible, proofread the letters of recommendation before sending them to the school.

  • Take advantage of the early admissions cycle

Applying early can increase your chances of admission. Admission into Ivy League schools is very competitive, applicants often turn toward the early admissions cycle to help increase their chances of admission. Although the acceptance rate varies from school to school, some schools often consider the early application as a positive reflection of the student’s preparedness and interest. Students who choose to apply early will get their decision letter early which gives them time to plan the best next steps moving forward and they also have a higher chance of securing substantial scholarships. Students who want all the help they can get should strongly consider applying early. While this is no guarantee, it doesn’t hurt to try.

  • Have a Plan B

Regardless if you have exceptional grades and test scores, an amazing professional background, and engage in important, relevant extracurriculars, acceptance rates to Ivy League graduate programs are still extremely low. It is critical to consider what you would do if you are not accepted. If you don’t get in the first time, you should have a backup plan. If you wish to reapply to one of these eight schools or other top schools in the world such as Stanford, Duke, Oxford, etc, it is advisable to update your application to demonstrate how much you’ve grown and/or done in the time you were rejected to when you reapplied.


While there isn’t a perfect formula or a guaranteed way for you to get accepted to an Ivy League school, the above-mentioned are strategic ways for you to maximize your admissions odds. Don’t let assumptions or glass ceilings confine you. Ivy League schools prioritize accepting applicants who will enhance their cohort and raise the school’s profile. Therefore, even if your grades don’t seem to support your desire to attend an Ivy League university, your dreams may still be realistic. Don’t give up without trying. All the best!