So you’ve submitted your applications to Harvard, Stanford, or any of the Ivy Leagues. Now you’re waiting to hear back and anxious about the result. Some of you have been waitlisted after Early Action.
I went through this process awhile back – and was accepted at Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and other Ivy League schools. I also worked in the Admissions Office for 3 years – you can find out more here.
Here’s what you MUST DO when sending a mid-year update to the school of your dreams.
1) Don’t send more than 3-4 high-quality pages detailing REAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS since your full application. Did you become President of a major club at school? Include. Did you break several district and state records in baseball? Include. Did you raise $500 for a weekend outing with the Cooking Club? Do not include
2) Don’t send any additional teacher recs unless specifically asked. I know how nervous you guys are. I know how badly you want to show them that you’re qualified. But sending too much information at this point is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Don’t do it – even if that teacher rec is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Admissions Committees will at best briefly look over it, and at worst be irritated that you were so pushy
3) Only send additional portfolio work if it’s professional quality. For instance, if you wrote a 25 page research paper on the Downfall of the Roman Empire, only include that report if you’re either SPECIFICALLY ASKED, or if that report was published in a major, professional publication. Do not include it just because your History Teacher gave you an A+
4) This is your last chance to make a definitive impression, so I would SPEND A LOT OF TIME making things look good, proofreading and spell-checking, and getting a few secondary opinions.
Most people think the Mid-year report/Mid-year update is simply grades and a form for the counselor. But it’s a great opportunity to showcase how you’ve improved over time, and to give Admissions Committees the little bump that may put you over the edge.
Hope that helps!
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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.