IvyGate’s Guide to Admissions: Part II
Getting into an Ivy League school can be likened to winning the lottery: Pencil in a bunch of scantron bubbles, cross your fingers, pray to be struck by lightning. But instead of winning millions, you’re rolling the dice for the opportunity to impoverish your parents. (Or ruin your credit rating, or both!) Nevertheless, aspiring Ivy is a time-honored American pursuit, and no matter how improbable, impractical, and ultimately unpleasant the prize may be, thousands attempt it every year. Mostly, we do it for the free t-shirts.
What follows is IvyGate’s foolproof, guaranteed, 100%-success-or-your-money-back step-by-step guide to swindling your way into the school of your dreams.* Be warned: It isn’t always pretty, and a few of these steps (#3, section ii, second option) might make you go to hell.
1. Have perfect SAT scores, an off-the-chart GPA, amazing extracurriculars, leadership positions in everything, and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Duh. This one is a given, a prereq, if you will. Even the richest kid in the world won’t get in if he’s apt to flunk (or, more likely, drop) out.
2. Be from an insanely wealthy and/or well-connected family, preferably one with an Ivy League legacy. Apply early. While legacy admission standards aren’t as hilariously low as they used to be, a study by Princeton SOC professors Espenshade and Chung equates legacy status with a 160-point SAT boost (on a 1600-point scale) to the privileged few who definitely need it least. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. To guarantee admission, you need to be the child of a major donor, the kind who write seven-digit checks to their alma mater and have buildings named after them. One such Ivy Leaguer, the grandson of a prominent university trustee, told us about his admissions process, starting with an unconventional and star-studded campus tour:
my grandad flew to meet my dad & i [at the university], and i just figured that it was going to be a regular day of tours & walking around. however, when we got there we were met by a super friendly admissions guy. he took us on the regular tour, but then we ditched it because he said “it’s completely useless” (ironic, considering how much energy & money the university pumps into those tours) he took me around campus, and then brought me to meet a representative from the most popular department at the school, which i claimed to be interested in it. (later, i realized that he was one of the senior professors and chair of the undergraduate program) then they shuttled me over to the president’s office. i didn’t really GET that it was the president until they told me after we met. the meeting was brief, but looking back, it was quite an unbelievable opportunity. after lunch, we wandered around campus with another admissions rep, who told me all about undergraduate life.
After the jump: Anonymous Silver-Spooner (ASS) (Don’t be mad, ASS! We tease because we love/hate) continues his story and we offer five more tips for getting in. Read the rest of this entry »