There is still time for The Ivy Coach to review your Personal Statement and supplemental essays for the November 1st Early deadline (photo credit: Gavin Huang).
It is not too late for The Ivy Coach to review your (or your child’s) Personal Statement and supplemental essays for Early Decision or Early Action. Yes, we are fully aware that the deadline is looming. It’s October 29th…it’s nearly November 1st. The last day of the Major League Baseball season is today when the upstart Kansas City Royals look to win their first World Series in 29 years by upstaging the San Francisco Giants on their home field. But it’s not November 1st quite yet and year after year, students and parents come to us in these final days. While it’s not ideal, hearing our critiques of essays and listening to our proposed changes can greatly improve a student’s odds of admission. And, yes, we are available over these next couple of days to help you shape your revisions into outstanding essays.
If you’re interested in last-minute college admissions essay help, we recommend emailing us at email@example.com as soon as possible so that we can schedule a one-hour consultation to be conducted via Skype or phone — whichever you prefer. Submitting that essay about grandpa is a terrible idea, even if you already wrote it. It’s not the most difficult thing in the world to rework an essay in a couple of days. There’s no need to stress about it. We help students get it done all of the time. It is what it is. There is no coming back from an essay about grandpa, no matter how well you think it is executed. The same is true about that foreign travel essay. Or that sports, violin, or volunteering essay. Such essay topics are unredeemable and we at The Ivy Coach can help you come up with great topics and direction even in these final days before the deadline.
So email us today to help you pinpoint a fantastic essay topic for you. The best essays, as we’ve said on the pages of this college admissions blog for years now, are about absolutely nothing. Just like the show “Seinfeld.” The best essays are about small stories that shed insight into who you are and what you’re all about. When students try to tell big stories and boast of their accomplishments, they fail miserably and, in so doing, sway admissions officers to root against rather than for them. We look forward to hearing from you.
Applying Single Choice Early Action at Princeton has its advantages. But that doesn’t mean Princeton admissions officers will tell you this…
We recently had a parent call us and she happened to mention that she is a loyal reader of our blog and has been for a couple of years. She told us that she appreciated our candor and our tell-it-like-it-is approach. And so because her daughter was applying to Princeton through its Single Choice Early Action policy, she decided to call Princeton to ask them whether applying Single Choice Early Action really gave students a benefit as compared to applying Regular Decision to the university. As a loyal reader of our blog, she knew well what we’ve been espousing for years and that is…of course there’s a benefit to applying Early! But when this mom called Princeton on two different occasions, she received a different answer to her question than what we’ve been saying for years. And that should absolutely be no surprise!
If you check out our Ivy League Statistics Page — a page that we’ve been adding statistics to for the past 11 years — you can see for yourself the advantage of applying Early vs. Regular. These numbers are clearcut and straightforward! And by the way, in case you’re ever wondering about where we get our statistics from…we get them from our dear friends in admissions at these very schools. Including Princeton.
But getting back to this mom, two different people at the Princeton admissions office told her that it was no easier to get into Princeton in the Single Choice Early Action round vs. the Regular Decision round. Uh huh. Their responses are indeed the exact opposite of what the numbers tell you. But this is to be expected and it’s exactly what we’ve been telling folks on our college admissions blog for years — colleges lie. Yes, colleges lie. Even Princeton. And what’s Princeton’s rationale for the discrepancy in the figures between the Single Choice Early Action round and the Regular Decision round if the two rounds are supposed to be created equal? “The students who apply SCEA to Princeton are just more competitive, and that’s why they get admitted at a higher rate.” Our response to that?: Yeah right!
Do you actually believe that an admissions officer at Princeton would say something along these lines?: “The reason that those students who apply SCEA get accepted at a higher rate is because we know that if we admit them, they’re more likely to attend.” They would never say such a thing. It’s simply not in their interest to do so. And yet it’s the truth. Because Princeton — like all highly selective colleges — cares about their yield statistic. They just can’t tell you that when you call them up over the phone. It’s not a Princeton thing. It’s an every highly selective college thing. Accept it. It is what it is.
It’s not too late to rework your college essays. Don’t submit bad essays. Submit outstanding ones! Contact The Ivy Coach today to help you do just that.
There is still time to fix bad college essays! It never ceases to amaze us that so many students (and their parents) are confident about their choice of essay topics…and their execution of these topics. We so often get calls and emails around now, mere days before Early Decision and Early Action deadlines, that go something like this: “My son has already written his Common Application Personal Statement and I think it’s in really good shape. I was wondering if you could just read through it and let me know what you think.” And we will of course read through a student’s Common Application Personal Statement and let the student and parent know what we think. For a fee of course. After all, we are an American business, and our expertise does not come for free…even though many parents seem to think it should! We’ll give a free 20-minute consolation to discuss our service offerings but if you want our opinion on essay topics and execution, you’ll need to become our client.
But anyway, enough venting about that. What parents and students are typically surprised by is how we can tell in mere seconds if an essay should be completely scrapped. That’s right. Mere seconds. If we hear that an essay is about a trip to India, we don’t care one bit how well that essay is executed. It’s not going to work. It’s going to put admissions officers to sleep. It’s going to hurt — and not help — the student’s chances for admission to a highly selective college. The same is true of that essay about Key Club or that essay about coming back from a major back injury to lead your soccer team to the state finals. We don’t need to read on. We know. These essays should sooner be burned than submitted to highly selective colleges. That’s right. Burned.
What also amazes us is that parents (more so than students usually) aren’t willing to encourage their children to change their essays at this late date. They figure it is what it is at this point. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You’ve still got several days to entirely change a Personal Statement. Will it require a little bit of work? You bet. But this is work we take on with parents and students at the last minute all of the time. Would you rather not put in the work now and live to regret not getting into Yale or would you rather take a chance and put in the work. Writing a 650-word essay is not like building a skyscraper. It can be done with the time that remains. And there is absolutely no need to get super stressed about it either. That’s one thing we do. We take away the stress. We help you realize that crafting a powerful Personal Statement is entirely achievable with just a little bit of time and energy.
Just because you’ve written 650 words doesn’t mean those 650 words are any good. Want an evaluation? Contact us today to get started since those deadlines are indeed approaching.
Penn values its Early Decision applicants quite a bit!
Thinking about applying Early to Penn or another highly selective college? If you’re not sure whether you want to apply Early Decision to a school with an Early Decision policy, ask yourself if this is the school you most want to attend. If the answer is yes — and you have a reasonable or somewhat reasonable shot of gaining admission — you should absolutely apply Early Decision. Your Early Decision card is one of your most valuable cards you have. And it’s one of the few cards you have as an applicant to highly selective colleges. The fact is that Early Decision applicants have much stronger odds of gaining admission in the Early round than if they apply as Regular Decision candidates. Just look at the admissions statistics at the University of Pennsylvania. The numbers say it all. Now does Penn favor Early Decision applicants more than most? You bet. But no matter the highly selective college with an Early Decision policy in place, you will have better odds of getting in during the Early Decision round than during the Regular Decision round. That is irrefutable.
One of our favorite deans of admission, Penn’s always colorful Eric Furda, has written a great blog on things students should consider before they apply Early Decision to a school. Applying Early Decision, after all, is signing a contract that if admitted, you will attend. So read through what Dean Furda has written and be sure to read these words at least twice: “Applying Early Decision can be exciting. It is a way for you to show your commitment to a school that means a lot to you. Continue asking questions, editing, writing, and looking inward as you move forward with your Early Decision application process.” By showing a commitment to a school like Penn, they’ll be more likely to show their commitment back. Funny how life works like that. If only such was always the case with love!
Anyhow, if you’re at all curious why Penn’s admissions blog, on which Dean Furda writes, is called P.217, it’s because for nearly twenty years, Penn had a supplemental essay that read, “Please write p. 217 of your 300 page autobiography.” It was a really easy essay since you could write about essentially anything. But too many Penn applicants stressed about it and, four years ago, Penn did away with it. The assumption is that it caused too many students to not apply to Penn. And highly selective colleges like Penn always want to encourage potential students to apply. The more students who apply, the lower the admission rate will be, and the higher Penn will be ranked in “US News & World Report.” Funny how things work out so logically sometimes, right?
Even Mark Twain couldn’t argue with the difference between the Early Decision and Early Action admission rates and the Regular Decision admission rates at highly selective colleges.
At this time next month, we’ll be right up against the deadline for students to submit their Early Decision and/or Early Action applications. If you’re thinking that you’re going to wait until the Regular Decision round to apply to colleges, you are making a major mistake. To not use one of the few cards you’ve got in your back pocket is a mistake that way too many college applicants make. The data does not lie. Look at the admissions statistics in the Early round as compared to the Regular round. Students who apply Early have greatly increased odds of getting into a highly selective college than do students who apply Regular. Mark Twain may have said, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” but in this case, Mark Twain would even agree that you should be applying Early to the college of your dreams.
And if you don’t have a college of your dreams just yet, come up with one fast because you’re going to have to choose one college to attend anyway. You might as well choose that dream college now when you’ve still got a chance to apply Early Decision or Early Action there. Procrastinating is a really, really bad idea. In fact, at The Ivy Coach, we refuse to work with students who approach us before the Early deadlines and don’t want to apply Early. Because that tells us that they won’t take our advice, that they won’t do what is necessary to gain admission to their dream school. That’s fine. But they’re not working with us. Our time and resources are finite. We, quite simply, don’t have time for that nonsense. And it’s just that…nonsense.
If you haven’t gotten started on your college admissions essays for your Early Decision or Early Action school, it’s high time to get to work. It’s not good that you’ve waited this long. Writing outstanding essays that sway admissions officer to want to go to bat for you takes time. But know that it’s not too late. We’ve still got time. No need to stress. But don’t wait a day longer. Contact us today to get started on your Early Decision or Early Action applications.
Have a question on Early Decision or Early Action policies? Ask away by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.
It’s not too late to get started on your Early Decision or Early Action applications…any many essays.
Applying Early to colleges is the way to go. It’s September 22nd. If you’re a high school senior and you haven’t started working on your college applications yet, what have you been waiting for? If you’re a reader of our college admissions blog, you know full well that we’ve been imploring you to get going on those college applications — and the plethora of college admissions essays that come with them — for months. But we get it. You ignored us. It’s alright. Now you’re just in a bind and time is ticking down to the Early Decision and Early Action deadlines. If you think it’s too late to apply Early Decision or Early Action because you haven’t yet started working on your essays, know that it’s not too late. Look, would it have been better had you started working on this back in July? Of course. But what’s done is done. You can’t change the past. You can get going on applying to colleges.
Just because you haven’t yet completed, for instance, your Early Decision application to Dartmouth doesn’t mean you can’t still apply Early Decision to the College on the Hill. You’ve still got some time and with our help, we can make magic happen. Well, not magic. But you know what we mean. We don’t have a wand. We only have a crystal ball, a crystal ball that has gotten some press in the past on the pages of “The Dartmouth.” Don’t not apply Early just because you procrastinated. Just stop your procrastinating as it’s not doing you any good. Indeed, if you don’t apply Early and your procrastinating techniques get the better of you, you will hurt your chances of admission to schools such as Dartmouth. The odds of getting in via Early Decision are enormously better than the odds via Regular Decision. The admissions statistics don’t lie.
So fill out our free 20-minute consult form by clicking on the orange button at the top or bottom of our page and you’ll be on your way to getting started working with us. Would it have been better if you had started working with us over the summer so you weren’t stressed with schoolwork while working on all of your applications? Yes. But you still have opportunity to submit a fantastic application to a school by the Early Decision or Early Action deadlines. So don’t waste any more time. The clock’s ticking, and it’s not going to stop.
Use your Early Decision card or your Early Action card wisely. It’s one of the few cards that college applicants have.
Use your Early Decision card! Or your Early Action card. And use it wisely. So often, we hear from students and parents something along these lines: “We’re not sure which college Eli wants to attend. He’s not ready to make up his mind right now. He needs time. Maybe he’ll have a better sense in a few months when he applies Regular Decision. Hopefully then he’ll have a bunch of options to choose from. To commit to a school now doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.” Wrong, wrong, wrong!
For parents and students who are thinking along these lines, we strongly urge you to change your way of thinking. Allow us to help you. You can only attend one college (unless you transfer but who actually wants to transfer?). So you’re going to have to commit to one college in time anyway. Why not commit now instead of in a few months? What difference does a few months make? Making the decision about which college you attend can be a difficult one. There are likely a number of factors that go into your decision. But those factors are going to exist in a few months anyhow and when you apply Early Decision or Early Action, your odds of actually getting into your dream school are greatly improved!
Your Early Decision or Early Action card is one of the few cards students have in highly selective college admission. To not use it — and to not use it wisely — is a grave mistake. Our students at The Ivy Coach who come to us as clients in advance of the Early deadlines apply Early Decision or Early Action. They don’t wait it out for Regular Decision. They don’t procrastinate on their decision-making. Because we show them the data. The numbers are clear. When you apply Early, you have much better odds of getting in! And getting in is what we’re all about at The Ivy Coach. If you’re not convinced, take a look for yourself at the data through our Ivy League Admissions Statistics. Note the admission rate for the eight Ivy League schools via Early policies. Note the admission rate for the eight Ivy League schools via Regular Decision. Stark contrast indeed.
You have to commit to one college eventually. You might as well commit to a school for the Early Decision or Early Action round so your odds of admission are significantly improved.
Applying Early to college is a must. If you’re a rising senior and you’re hoping to gain admission to a highly selective college next year, we hope you’ll be applying Early Decision or Early Action to your dream school(s). If you want to go to Columbia, we hope you’ll be applying Early Decision. If you want to go to UNC, we hope you’ll be applying Early Action. If you want to go to Duke, we hope you’ll be applying Early Decision. It’s the way to go. It’s the only way to go.
Let’s say that you’re undecided on where you want to go to college next year. That’s very common! The vast majority of students haven’t yet honed in on exactly which university is their first choice school. It’s only the beginning of July, after all, and high school students are known to be procrastinators. The Early Decision and Early Action deadline isn’t tomorrow morning so they figure they still have time and maybe they won’t even apply Early and instead just wait it out and apply in the Regular Decision round so they don’t have to make any sort of commitment.
But these students are making a major mistake. The odds of gaining admission to your dream college are significantly better in the Early Decision or Early Action round as compared to the Regular Decision round. Just check out our comprehensive Ivy League Admissions Statistics if you want to see the data for yourself. It’s not up for debate. The data is the data. Come a year from now if you’re a rising high school senior, you’ll only be attending one school anyway. You’ll likely have to make a commitment to a university at some point (unless you’re denied admission by all but one school — yikes!). So why not make it now? Why not use one of the best cards you have available to you by applying Early?
So apply to your dream school Early. And if you don’t yet have a dream school, find one. Don’t be a dreamer, be a doer, as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes said in her recent Dartmouth commencement address. Start doing now.
Be proactive if you’re deferred from your Early Decision or Early Action dream school.
For students who were deferred at their Early Decision or Early Action school, doing nothing is not the answer. It’s a lesson in highly selective college admissions and it’s a lesson in life. Doing nothing if deferred via Early admission will usually get you nowhere. What you should do is be proactive. For instance, sending a “letter of enthusiasm” to the college that deferred you is a great idea. But this letter should absolutely not just reiterate what the college already knows about you. This letter must be powerful. It must be moving. It must greatly add to your application. We help many students — who come to us as clients after their deferrals — with these very letters of enthusiasm.
We’ve also got a few other strategies up our sleeve for students who were deferred at their dream schools that we advise students to employ. Sure, you might have moved on since your deferral and hopefully you have. You’re focused on gaining admission to your Regular Decision schools. But what’s the harm in continuing to fight for admission to the school that you applied Early to? What are you going to hold a grudge because they didn’t admit you in the Early round? That’s very silly.
Don’t wait too long to start working on your letter of enthusiasm. Contact us today by filling out our consultation form or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. Only around 10% of students who were deferred at highly selective colleges in the Early admission round end up gaining admission in the Regular Decision round. We can help you be part of that 10% of students. We look forward to hearing from you.
Harvard and Princeton are to OkCupid what Stanford is to Tinder with respect to Early Action deferral versus rejection rates.
College admissions can be a lot like dating. If the rejection and deferral rates at a few of the top colleges were compared to dating apps, you’d find that Princeton and Harvard are closer to OkCupid, while Stanford is more of a Tinder or, in the gay community, Grindr. Yes, Grindr has come up on our college admissions blog. Whatever. Get over it. As a loyal reader of our college admissions blog, you likely know that we’re not shy about saying things that may be perceived as a little controversial to some. We are unapologetic. We don’t sugarcoat. And if you don’t like it, you’re welcome to find a better college admissions blog. Oh wait, our only daily, respected competitor (“The Choice” of “The New York Times” stopped publication several months ago). We guess you’re caught in quite the pickle there then! We suppose you’ll just have to read on. Hey, times are tough.
Anyhow, in an article of “The Yale Daily News” in which our Founder, Bev Taylor, is quoted, the deferral versus the rejection rates at a few top colleges are compared. This year, among Early applicants, Harvard deferred 68.1% of applicants. Princeton deferred 78.9% of applicants. And Yale deferred 57.6% of applicants. How about Stanford, you ask? They deferred only 8.5% of the pool. That means that if you were deferred at Stanford, you’ve got a much more likely shot of getting in there than do students deferred at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard based on the numbers alone. Stanford, as our Founder states in the article, lets most students off the hook. This year, Princeton rejected 1.3% of applicants, Harvard 7.8%, and Yale 25.8%. Stanford’s rejection rate? 80.7%! That’s quite a lot of rejection. Keeping with the dating analogy, one could argue that Stanford doesn’t like to string dates along. In this way, Princeton and Harvard are OkCupid in that they tend to string students along they have no intention of admitting. It’s like agreeing to a second date a week in advance when you have every intention of canceling that date. Maybe they’ll even suggest a location. It’s lame if you ask us! Stanford is more of a Tinder or a Grindr. They cut to the chase and, well, we respect them for it. Go Cardinal!
Find that kind of analogy on another college admissions blog. We dare you! Hey, we write every single day — including weekends and holidays — about highly selective college admissions. We’ve got to keep things interesting, right? Anyhow, while you’re here, check out our compiled Ivy League Statistics.