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Ivy League schools

Why being rich can hurt your chances of getting into Harvard

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It’s ironic but the fact of the matter is if you’re rich you may ask to have a harder time getting into Stanford and Harvard. The reason for this is because the entire stereotype behind Ivy League schools being dominated by rich white males have simply changed the way that  people these days are very […]

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How to get into Harvard in 30 minutes

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Take care of your GPA from freshman year This is a no-brainer but should be said anyway. Some students like to slack-off after middle school – it’s a new environment, you may not have a solid group of friends, you’re still getting use to everything. But a poor freshman year GPA can kill you. You […]

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How to get a Stanford-caliber letter of recommendation for college admissions

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Letters of recommendation are probably the most underlooked (and consequently underutilized) tools in the college admissions process. There’s a fundamental reason why – high school students are afraid of their teachers/bosses/coaches. They’re afraid of asking for what they really want – an outstanding, glowing letter of recommendation that highlights strengths and re-affirms the student’s story. […]

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Low GPA? 3 tips on how to get into Ivy League schools

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Low GPAs are a common problem. You sail through middle school, and then you hit high school. Everything is new, you don’t know where your classes are, you don’t have a core group of friends, and you honestly feel lost. The teachers are new, the classes are tougher, and all of a sudden, you find […]

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SAT secrets: what colleges look for and how to prepare

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The SAT test is a rite of passage for all high school students. Score too low, and you face an uphill battle to get into Harvard. You’ll spend hundreds of hours studying for, worrying about, and taking the exam. Here, I’ll discuss two key questions on your mind. One, what do colleges like Stanford look […]

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How to write an Ivy League admissions essay in 5 steps

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The Common App has limited space to express yourself. Your only opportunity – outside of supplemental materials – are the essays (both generic and school-specific) that you must write. Here are 5 basic tips to writing a quality college admissions essay for top schools: 1. Market yourself, not a story. What I mean is – […]

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5 Secrets Of Ivy League Admissions

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Ivy League schools look for careers, not another “I went to Sri Lanka to build homes” college essay Very very important. Just because you went to Africa for 2 months to promote AIDs awareness does not make you a global citizen. It does not make you a committed public servant. You need to show more […]

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College admissions help: a unique way to set yourself apart

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Are you interested in the internet? Technology? Business? Are you simply looking to standout in college admissions? Challenge yourself to a new opportunity? Here’s an out of the box idea that will help your quest to get into Stanford: offer to be an intern at a startup! It’s easier than you think – it requires […]

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4 tips in picking the right college now

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While the focus of Hopeless To Harvard is elite college admissions, a broader discussion of college selection criteria is important for every high school student. Not only are the Ivy League schools different from each other (say, Brown vs. Yale), but beyond the Ivies there’s a whole world of different options. Here are the biggest […]

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Taking a year off after high school – will it help you get into Ivy League schools?

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I was asked this question recently by a reader – he specifically wanted to know if it was a good idea to spend a year on a volunteer program in Africa before reapplying for top schools like Stanford and UPenn. My answer: a qualified yes. Why a “qualified” yes and not outright yes, yes, yes? […]

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