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What Gets Ivy League & Top-tier College Admissions Officers to Say YES

So it’s time to start writing your essay for your college application. This is it. The ONE that’s going to get you into your dream Ivy League/Top-Tier school. As you start typing your first draft, you have so much you want to say. Or maybe you actually have nothing to say. With your college essays, you want to make sure the admissions officers are convinced that you’re an exceptional student. Because you are. You just don’t know how to say

The Ultimate Do’s & Don’ts for Getting Accepted Into Your Dream Ivy League & Top-tier College (Without Feeling Overwhelmed and Confused)

We often look to our parents for advice. As an immigrant family, however, there was one life experience my parents couldn’t advise me on: the college admissions process. When I started looking for ways to stand out on my college applications my junior year of high school, I was completely clueless about where to start. So, I took the advice everyone gives: “Get involved!” Boy, was I involved. I was an active member of many extracurricular clubs and activities, while
Who ACTUALLY gets into Ivy Leagues?

Who ACTUALLY gets into Ivy Leagues?

Do you think that Ivy Leagues are students with straight A’s and perfect SAT scores with pages and pages of extracurriculars and accomplishments? If you said yes, I’ve got news for you... Ivy Leagues reject more near-perfect and perfect applications than they accept! (This is straight from a Harvard admissions officer!) What they’re really looking for is something much more valuable… Ivy Leagues want personality. Here’s an example from a current Harvard senior, Catherine Zhang: “In high school, I was one of

5 biggest takeaways in 2018 (college admissions version)

Today is the last day of 2018 (and also, my birthday!) I love that my birthday is the last day of the year because it gives me another reason to reflect: What worked in 2018? What didn’t work in 2018? What did I learn in 2018? What about 2018 am I most grateful for? Likewise, I’d like to apply this to my college consulting practice as well. Today, I want to share with you the 5 biggest takeaways in 2018
Your Child's New Year's Resolutions

Your Child’s New Year’s Resolutions: Setting up a year of success

Back in high school, I never really reflected back on what I accomplished, what mistakes I made, or how I wanted my next year to look like. I never set specific goals...instead, they were vague and too “hyped up”. For example… “I want to do well in school” (but never asked the question, “what does “well” mean to me? And why do I want to do well in school?”) “I want to stop procrastinating next year” (but never actually identified

3 Big Mistakes Students Make on College Applications: The most important college admissions criteria now mean less

Wake up. Attend classes. Eat lunch. Come home. After-school commitment (i.e. soccer practice, Robotics club, etc.) Complete homework assignments. Study for quizzes/tests. Eat dinner. Study more. Sleep at 1 am. REPEAT. To beat the college admissions competition, high school students are overloading AP/IB classes, taking on more commitments than ever before, and staying up past midnight to make sure they ace their tests. Even if your child gets good grades on quizzes and exams, it just feels like a checkbox
The Activities Ivy Leagues Want to See

The Activities Ivy Leagues Want to See

I’ve lost track of how many times parents have asked me: “What are we missing?” You’re probably wondering the same. Just when you start to feel confident about preparing your child for success, you hear through the grapevine that one of her classmates just got accepted for a summer internship. And you wonder, should we be looking for internships now, too? Is my child doing enough? So you start to research pre-college summer programs, internships at local start-ups, community college
The WORST College Admissions Advice You’ll Ever Get

The WORST College Admissions Advice You’ll Ever Get

Two years ago, one of my seniors insisted that he wanted to apply to more than 12 schools. Because he entered my senior application program later than my other rising seniors, he already had a preliminary college list, which he had personally cultivated over the previous 3-4 years. After reviewing his choices, I warned him that applying to 12 or more colleges would be a lot of work, especially because after our two sessions, I found out that he wasn’t


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