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It's that time of year again. Grade 12 is in full swing and students across Canada are planning to apply to their school of choice. For many, their goal is to study in Canada but for others, they have their sights set on an Ivy League School. But what does it take to make it to one? How early should you be preparing? What are some possible considerations that I should look into before investing time and money into applying?
I talked to some of my friends who actually applied to some and here are their answers to some common questions.
1. How early should students be prepared if they are considering Ivy League schools?
The majority of Ivy League schools take the entirety of your high school experience into account when they make admissions decisions. This means that, beyond keeping your grades up, it is important to be involved in activities that you are passionate about from the very beginning of high school. For many of my friends who applied, they were actively involved in DECA, debate and varsity sports. So if you are considering going down this path, starting as early as grade 9 is crucial.
2. What are the steps to applying?
First, you need to take either the SAT or the ACT, depending on which you feel more comfortable writing. There are differences between the tests that can be found in detail online. Some students do poorly on the SAT but score extremely well on the ACT, and vice versa; this just means that it's important to find your niche and go from there. During the application process, you will need to write essays based on questions or prompts and I would advise you to get your teachers/guidance counselors to check it over for you before you submit it. In addition, you should also have contacted some references that are willing to write a letter of recommendation. When I applied, I had a variety or references ranging from teachers to coaches to church pastors.
3. Realistically, what are some other considerations students should consider before applying to Ivy League schools (e.g. finances, etc)?
It's important to consider where you want your life to go before you apply to Ivy League schools. There are great programs at home in Canada and abroad that can offer realistic career success and satisfaction in the future without the associated financial costs of attending an Ivy school. For many Canadians, we need to pay international tuition and live in a potentially expensive city. However, there are scholarships for international students but the amount and quota differ from school to school. Weigh the costs and benefits before applying; there's no point in putting yourself through the American application process if your goals can be achieved in a less expensive, more local way.
Are you considering applying to an Ivy League School or have any more questions? Comment below and I'll relay them to my friends who have been through the process!
Has anyone applied or will apply to a writing program here? I'm just curious. I'm a writer and I'm interested in these programs especally creative writing. But, of course, I'd have another major with it.
I've noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions about applying to schools in the US. As someone who just went through the process and did a lot of research, I'd love to answer any questions and help clear things up :)
I was also admitted to other Ivies, Waterloo BME and CS/BBA, U of T EngSci, Western Engineering + Ivey, among others, so I can answer questions about those as well.
1.5. California Institute of Technology, Columbia U, Cornell, University of California Berkeley , University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, ICL, Brown University
Tier 2 2.0. University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University College London, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, UCLA, UMichigan, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Boston University, Dartmouth College, University of Southern California
KCL, University of Wisconsin, University of Melbourne, UCSD, UCSF, Washington Uni in St. Louis, McGill University, University of Edinburgh, UC Davis, Penn State,Georgia Institute of Technology, UCSB, Emory University
Nobody cares where you went, don't expect people to respect you for your undergrad education. Your personality will help tho.
"And associated" referring to schools such as Caltech, Duke, MIT, Stanford, UChicago, UPenn, and the like, usually mentioned in the same breath as Ivies but not actually one of them.
[And yes, I am aware CollegeConfidential is a thing.]
I'm just wondering how many presumably Canadian folks here have applied to one of these schools and if you guys have any thoughts on the admission process. Alternately, if you've been accepted, that's awesome and congratulations.