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The biggest secret you will ever learn about Ivy League admissions

by John

College admissions tips to get into YaleIt’s the stories, not the scores.

It’s the stories, stupid.

This is one of the biggest secrets that I share in my guide to elite college admissions.

Students are doing it ALL WRONG. They focus on the WRONG THINGS – things like an extra 50 points on the Math section of the SAT; 2 more AP tests; joining another language club at school.


Here’s why:

Students fail to put themselves in the shoes of application readers and admissions committees.

Admissions committees review THOUSANDS OF APPLICATIONS. There are thousands of valedictorians. Hundreds of perfect 2400 SATs. Hundreds of national champions in every conceivable sport or subject.

Regardless of how accomplished you are – there are people who are more accomplished.

What does this mean?

It means you need to stop focusing on the small things. You need to PUT YOURSELF INTO THE SHOES of people who ACTUALLY MAKE DECISIONS.

Here’s the secret: Admissions Officers love stories. They love GETTING TO KNOW the candidates. They love understanding a candidate’s passions, fears, hopes, and dreams.

No student does this well – they focus too much on promoting scores and successes, not on relating to the readers.

So focus on that! Focus on activities that develop your passions. Focus on essays that describe how your experiences have made you who you are.


It’s about depth over breadth, always. That’s the one college admissions tip that you need to know.

In future posts, I will go into the details about how to build these stories. But the simple secret is – stop worrying about your SAT. It will never get you into Harvard or Princeton.

Want to attend Ivy League schools? Check out my insider’s course and guide to getting into Harvard, even with a 1360 SAT from a public high school. Comes with 50 ACTUAL apps and essays from students admitted to Brown, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and more!

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