The applicants that are approved by Ivy League admissions offices all have outstanding academic records and numerous accomplishments. In order to differentiate yourself from the many other students who want to attend one of these schools, you have to find ways to stand out. Here are some tactics that might work in your favor.
Approach the Application Creatively
What better place is there to show your creativity than on the college application itself?
Most applications to Ivy League schools and other colleges follow a straightforward form. You submit test scores, an official transcript, some basic biographical information, a resume of sorts, and one or more essays.
In a pile of applications that all are formatted the same, one that's truly creative will stand out. The creativity might not result in an automatic admission, but it'll at least ensure the admissions officers notice your particular application in the pile of papers.
The number of ways that you could creatively approach your application is limited by only your imagination, and you have to come up with your own idea to really make this strategy work. To prime your brainstorming efforts, however, here are a few suggestions. You could turn the application into a story, make it into a work of art, or add your unique cultural flair.
Excel in One Niche Area
When it comes to Ivy League applications, most of the people who apply have long lists of extracurricular activities that they've participated in. Simply joining lots of clubs, sports teams, and music groups isn't likely to make yourself stand out.
Instead of joining a broad array of groups during high school, focus your extracurricular efforts on one particular area. The niche you pursue doesn't matter so much as the fact that you become one of the best people at it. Whether you're a high-level athlete in your sport, play a mean jazz flute, or are the state champion in dice is irrelevant. The Ivy League schools want the best people across all fields.
Give Back to Your Community
On your resume, you need a way to show that you're concerned about the welfare of others. A college is intended to be a community where people live, learn, and help one another grow, after all.
One way to show that you're concerned about people other than yourself is to give back to your community through volunteering on a regular basis throughout your high school career.