Do you want to know what kinds of students admissions officers at highly selective colleges seek to admit? Why don’t we give you a couple of examples of highly selective college stars — current undergrads who make their alma maters so very proud. It’s these kinds of students that admissions officers are in search of as they click through the thousands of submitted applications. They’re looking for Jean Sack of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, Jean seeks to dramatically increase the life expectancy of underwater vehicles by finding an alternative energy source for them. Impressive for sure (if we understood what that meant)!
They’re also looking for Riley Ennis of Dartmouth College, who is hoping to advance cancer research by improving the human immune system. And they’re looking for Param Jaggi of Vanderbilt University, who is is developing fairly inexpensive new technology to diminish our carbon footprint (i.e., a really cool device that goes on a car muffler). Jaggi also seems to have some basketball skills as he makes a couple of layups in traffic during a fraternity pickup game, as featured on CNN’s “The Next List” segment. Lastly, Sabha Salama and Karina Casias of the University of Southern California began Mural Project LA in the hope of preserving the murals all over the streets of Los Angeles. Pretty cool!
These students all attend highly selective universities and they were all featured on “The Next List,” hosted by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, himself a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Medical School. Boy he must be hurting this morning after such a valiant albeit unsuccessful title game last night. Congrats to the University of Michigan as well as to Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville. And, of course, Kevin Ware!Categories: Talented Students Tags: Highly Selective College Stars, Ivy League Academic Star, The Next List, Top College Academic Stars, Top Undergraduate Researchers
The Intel Science Talent Search is the single most prestigious science competition for high school seniors in the United States. It’s the ultimate science fair championship where young science researchers go head to head with papers spanning chemistry, biology, psychology, physics, computer science, and more (they present their work if chosen to be finalists). But it’s not always when the winner of the Intel Science Talent search creates something that can actually change the world right here and now. Not in ten years. Now. Jack Andraka, this year’s winner, has done just that.
Andraka, at fifteen years old, is by all accounts a prodigy. Just listen to him speak. So what’d he create? He created a sensor that can detect pancreatic cancer, a disease that usually isn’t detected until it’s too late. According to a “Yahoo News” article by Nadine Kalinauskas on the Intel STS winner, “Current pancreatic cancer-detection methods are ‘woefully ineffective,’ leaving most cancers undiagnosed until their final stages. By then, it’s usually too late for treatment. ‘[Andraka's] novel patent-pending sensor has proved to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive, and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests,’ the Daily Mail reports. Andraka believes his simple detection test would help patients identify the disease at its earliest stages, before it becomes invasive, and possibly boosting survival rates of the deadly cancer to ‘close to 100 per cent.’
And the 15 year-old was turned down by a ton of professors when he approached them about wanting to work on this in their labs. That makes his remarkable sensor even cooler. What chutzpah he had to approach all of those professors! Shame on them for turning him down. We imagine they regret that decision now. Congratulations to Jack Andraka on winning the Intel Science Talent Search but, way more importantly, on creating a patent-pending sensor to accurately detect pancreatic cancer at a much earlier stage. It’s truly remarkable. This 15 year-old has already changed the world with his enormous contribution to mankind before he even goes to college! Now that’s something. If you’re a high school student interested in science research, may his story inspire you!
Check out video of Andraka here:Categories: College Admissions, Extracurricular Activities, Talented Students Tags: Intel Science Competition, Intel Science Fair, Intel Science Talent Search, Intel Science Talent Search Winner, Intel STS
At The Ivy Coach, we love to highlight budding entrepreneurs from highly selective colleges. And, today, we’re highlighting a Duke University student — an enterprising sophomore — Bryan Silverman. Bryan Silverman was recently named by “Entrepreneur Magazine” as the top college entrepreneur of 2012. So what’d he create? The next social network? No. Rather, Silverman created a toilet paper venture. Yes, you read this correctly. Silverman’s startup “brings toilet paper advertising to the forefront of marketing,” according to the Facebook page of Star Toilet Paper. Their tagline? “Don’t rush, look before you flush.” Wow. We thought we’d seen it all. Apparently not!
Bryan Silverman’s brother, Jordan, initially came up with the idea when he was, according to “The Duke Chronicle” article on the Duke University student, “bored in the bathroom.” Jordan then approached “the smartest person [he knew].” That, to him, was his brother, Bryan. Jordan now works at Star Toilet Paper full-time, while we believe Bryan works part-time while he attends Duke. Their dream is to “make a toilet-paper empire,” according to Bryan Silverman as quoted in “The Duke Chronicle.”
We salute these two budding young entrepreneurs and wish their company well. Who knows, they might be onto something! What do you think about this company? What do you think of their product? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting below! We look forward to hearing from you.Categories: Talented Students Tags: Duke Admissions, Duke Entrepreneur, Duke Student, Duke University Admissions, Duke University Student
With the Early Action / Early Decision round at a close, we’ve been receiving those exciting phone calls from our students and their parents. Oh, how we love this time of year! One student just showed up at our office dressed as a Brown bear, bearing a gift of a Brown University hoodie. When such a small percentage of applicants are accepted at their dream school, it’s no wonder that these students are very special.
Yes, of course applicants must have taken the most rigorous courses and have excelled in those courses. Of course applicants must have SAT or ACT scores that are in line with the college’s mean. But courses, grades, and standardized test scores are just the basics. The applicant’s personality, one that shines through essays, extracurricular involvements, and letters of recommendation, reveals the rest of the story.
A few years ago, we wrote a blog about Talent and College Admissions in which we highlighted the accomplishments of Barnard College’s accepted class. Today, Lee Coffin, Dean of Admissions at Tufts University, was kind enough to let the world know about the unique talents of Tufts’ Early Decision accepted students for the Class of 2016. He calls these talents his “Sweet Sixteen” and we’d like to share some of what he wrote with you.
“To highlight a few of the personalities heading our way next September, the ED class features a nationally-ranked Scrabble player from suburban Boston, a professional guitarist from New Haven, New Mexico’s ‘We the People’ state champ, the founder and president of the lumberjack club at a high school in Northern Virginia, a participant in Occupy Louisville, an equestrian from LA who competes in extreme cowboy racing and a blogger for Huffington Post. That’s quite a bunch!”
Coffin goes on in his blog post on the topic of his talented admitted students to write, “We’ll watch out for the Singaporean who’s been trained as a field medic as well as ‘counter-improvised explosive services’ techniques (he just finished his compulsory military service) as well as the community health student from Westchester County who reported ‘I am a ferocious, fearless and phenomenal skinny dipper.’ Indeed.”
Are you starting to get a sense of what it means to be a “talented” college applicant?Categories: College Admissions, Extracurricular Activities, Talented Students Tags: Talent and College Admissions, Talent and Ivy League Admissions, Talented College Applicants, Talented Students and College Admission, Talented Students and Ivy League Admission
Parents, it seems, are after an Ivy League admissions hook for their children from a very young age. There’s an article in the “New York Times” this weekend entitled “Family Happiness And the Overbooked Child” that describes how parents will do just about anything to ensure that their children explore and discover their talents from the early years. But is this necessary to gain admission to an Ivy League college?
Maybe your child did cello for two months, swimming for a year, and basketball for four days before realizing that the cello, swimming, and basketball were not for them. Parents see it as healthy for children to explore potential passion areas and maybe – just maybe – they’ll be amazingly talented in a given area. What if, after all, your child could be the next Michael Phelps? Or the next LeBron James?
Parents often think that it’s important to discover a talent at a young age because that talent needs to be cultivated — especially if it’s going to be your child’s Ivy League admissions hook. And they’re not necessarily wrong. Most hockey players at Ivy League colleges started playing hockey when they were toddlers. The athlete who picked up a sport later in life only to become exceptional (like, say, Gary Hall, Jr. in swimming) is the exception to the rule rather than the rule. And keep in mind, Gary Hall, Jr. had great swimming genes since his dad was a former Olympic swimmer.
But for those parents who try to force a talent (and by that we mean the kid is not naturally gifted but you think that with enough practice, they’ll become terrific) or encourage their children to keep sampling everything and not encourage them to hone in on any one or two areas, it’s probably not the way to go. Malcolm Gladwell has demonstrated that people become exceptionally talented in a given area after 10,000 hours of practice in that area (see our blog: College Admissions and Talent). You don’t amass 10,000 hours sampling every activity under the sun for a few hours a month.
So if you’re a parent whose kid has karate belts stuffed at the back of his closet, fins and paddles from that swim team he swam on four years ago, and a collection of DVDs on a proper jump shot, you might want to reconsider your strategy. Maybe it makes your child happy. But it’s costing you a fortune. Maybe they’d be just as happy focusing on only a couple activities. It might just save your wallet.Categories: Ivy League, Talented Students Tags: Admissions Hook for Ivy League, Hooks for Admission to Ivy League, Ivy League Admissions Hook, Ivy League Hooks, Talented Students Admission to Ivy League
We ran a post a little while back that focused on a Princeton University professor who didn’t believe the next great entrepreneurs were going to come out of Ivy League classrooms. We happened to strongly disagree and made a point of bringing some Ivy League entrepreneurs to the forefront. The fact is, many of America’s top entrepreneurs come out of the Ivy League and other top colleges. Let’s bring some more of these top college entrepreneurs that “Forbes” has highlighted to your attention.
There’s Corinne Prevot of Middlebury College whose “hats and neckwear, in neon polka dots, geisha flowers and hipster plaids, are in 47 retail stores across the country. Now 20, the joint major in anthropology and geography says her company, Skida, has been profitable since 2009. Sales for the last 12 months have hit $100,000. Roughly $42,000 of that was profit.” She even learned how to run a startup through an entrepreneurial course at Middlebury.
There’s Northwestern University’s Nikhil Sethi, founder of Adapt.ly, a company that “automates advertising purchases across social media websites. By the time Sethi, now 23, graduated last June, he was servicing big corporate clients including PepsiCo and Zales jewelry stores, and banking revenues in the high six figures. This spring, Sethi scored $2 million in financing from a group of investors that includes Philadelphia venture firm First Round Capital and Palo Alto’s Charles River Ventures. He won’t reveal profits but Sethi projects 2011 revenues of at least $10 million, with explosive quarter-over-quarter growth of 70%.”
And there’s USC’s Jake Medwell and Jonathan Shriftman who took a liking to fixed-gear bicycles. “They’ve built Solé Bicycles, which imports readymade fixed gear bicycles from China according to the pair’s specifications, into a growing boutique operation that’s slated to pull in sales of $1 million this year. That’s up from $300,000 in 2010, according to Medwell, who says the company is already profitable, though he won’t reveal by how much. Solé sells bikes online for one price, $310, and wholesales them to some 30 retailers for $200.”
Check out the “Forbes” article on top college entrepreneurs and let us know your thoughts by posting below!Categories: Talented Students Tags: College Startups, Ivy League Entrepreneurs, Ivy League Startups, Top College Entrepreneurs, University Startups
While the NBA is in a labor dispute and fans worry about the possibility that there won’t be an NBA season next year, we’d like to highlight an Ivy League athlete who is currently on the roster of the Golden State Warriors, having just finished his rookie season. This is not only noteworthy because he, a Harvard grad, is the first Ivy League athlete to play in the NBA in ten years (Yale’s Chris Dudley retired in 2001) but also because he is the first Asian-American to play in the NBA since 1947.
Harvard’s Jeremy Lin is indeed a barrier breaker. He wasn’t even a big college recruit. He sent videos and stats to UCLA. They said maybe he could walk on, but they weren’t going to recruit him. Stanford (in his hometown of Palo Alto) overlooked him. The Harvard coach even dismissed Lin to his high school coach only to call back later to say he’d spoken too soon. Brown and Harvard were the only schools to recruit him in the end and Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships.
Since being signed to a two-year contract as an undrafted rookie, Jeremy Lin has shown potential to excel in the NBA game. In limited minutes, the Harvard grad, who is also the first player of Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, is a crowd favorite. This is partially due to the fact that he’s an Asian-American in the NBA and also due to the fact that he’s a hometown hero, playing in the same area where he once led his high school to much basketball success. If the crowd only knew that Lin plays much better on the road! On the road, the modest Lin can find more anonymity! At least for now…College Athletes, Ivy League, Talented Students Tags: Harvard Athlete, Harvard NBA Player, Ivy League Athlete, Ivy League Pro Athlete, Ivy Leaguer in NBA
Three students from across the United States claimed top prizes at the first annual Google Science Fair, a prestigious, global science research competition co-sponsored by LEGO. And all three students happen to be female. The grand prize of $50,000 was awarded to Shree Bose, a high school junior who sought to improve the treatment for ovarian cancer patients resistant to cancer drugs. Naiomi Shah won the 15-16 age group with research that focused on improving the indoor air quality for asthmatics. And Lauren Hodge won the 13-14 age group by testing various marinades’ impact on a carcinogen found in grilled chicken.
If you’re passionate about science, conducting science research is an excellent way to stand out in the college admissions process. You want to show to college admissions counselors evaluating your application that you go beyond getting A’s in chemistry and physics. You love science so much that you spend your summers conducting research in labs. You eat, sleep, and breathe science. Competitions like the Google Science Fair or the Intel Science Talent Search are terrific science research contests to enter to also raise your science research profile in the college admissions process.Admissions Process, College Admissions, Extracurricular Activities, Talented Students Tags: Admission to Ivy League Science Research, College Admissions and Science Research, Google Global Science Fair, Google Science Fair, Ivy League Admissions and Science Research
If you’re a competitive skier who wants to ski at the collegiate level, there are several college ski teams out there to choose from. While you may not be able to find one at the University of Miami, you can find Division I programs at Boston College, Dartmouth College (they have their own skiway a short bus ride away from campus!), Harvard University, University of Colorado – Boulder, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, and University of Utah among others.
And that’s not all. Division III college ski teams include liberal arts strongholds Babson College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Middlebury College (they’ll be hosting NCAA Championships for skiing in 2013), and Williams College among others. That’s still not it. USCSA programs exist for Brown University (though do see our blog on Brown University Athletic Cuts), Duke University, Colgate University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Tufts University among others.
For specifics on which programs offer a cross-country or alpine program (or both), you should check out the specific university’s team website. Be sure to peruse the rosters to see if they’re going to be graduating several seniors so you can know if they’re going to have a number of recruiting needs. And check old results for the individuals on the team to see if your times are competitive. All of this information can be extremely helpful to you as you zero in on which schools to target for your college experience.Admissions Process, College Admissions, College Athletes, Ivy League, Talented Students Tags: College Ski Teams, College Skiing Teams, Ivy League Ski Teams, University Ski Teams, University Skiing Teams
In a previous post on talented college applicants, we wrote about how college admissions counselors are in search of talented students to form a well rounded class. They’re not in search of well rounded students to form a somewhat talented class of students who are fairly decent at a number of things. How would that sit with the basketball coach? Or the swim coach? Do you think the swim coach wants a male 100 breaststroker who can swim a :55 or a 100 breaststroker who can swim a 1:15 but also sings somewhat like Ben Harper (minus any ability whatsoever to carry a tune). So, yeah, he’s not such a good singer or swimmer. Do you think the bball coach would want to play the girl who can’t make an unguarded layup but who can play a mean piano (though she struggles with differentiating a C from a C Sharp) or the girl who can come close to jamming and averages 24 points a game? The basketball coach wants the latter student and thus that’s the student college admissions officers will want as well.
So what if you’re only mediocre at, say, water polo and you’ve tried playing other sports but you’re even worse? And what if you really love water polo and you want to keep playing but now you’ve read that you need to be talented in a particular area to really succeed in the college admissions process? That’s ridiculous! Do what you love and you’ll find you get better at it. Don’t believe us? Will you take Malcolm Gladwell’s word? He’s the author of “Outliers” in which he argued that to be exceptional at anything, to be an outlier (think of a great water polo player like Tony Azevedo as compared to the typical water polo players), you need to practice for 10,000 hours. Yes, you read that right — 10,000 hours during your lifetime.
Bill Gates programmed at the computer for 10,000 hours and he founded Microsoft in his garage. Michael Phelps swam for 10,000 hours and he won eight Olympic golds in the last Olympic Games (not to mention six the previous Olympics). Larry Bird shot a basketball for 10,000 hours on his Indiana farm and developed one of the greatest shots in the history of the game. Does Larry Bird look athletic to you? Did he ever? He trained. He shot ball after ball through a hoop and he excelled. Larry Legend was not born a basketball sensation. He became one through hard work. And you can excel in your talent area as well!
Check out our article on talented students and college admissions and watch the Charlie Rose interview clip with Malcolm Gladwell!Categories: College Admissions, Extracurricular Activities, Talented Students Tags: College Admissions and Talent, Extracurriculars and College Admissions, Talent and University Admissions, Talented College Applicants, Talented Students and College Admissions