What did you say in your application for college to get accepted?

This is directed to people who applied for Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Penn, John Hopkins, Georgetown, etc etc all the high ranked colleges and got accepted. It doesn't matter if the person didn't go to the college in the end, only if they were accepted by the college. What did you write in your personal essays, what did you put into the extracurricular activites, what things did you put that you know impressed the people looking at your stuff. I want to see as many examples of successful applications as I can so I know exactly how I should write mine so I have the highest chance of getting admitted. My grades and ACT scores are both above average but they aren't top 5%. I know the college doesn't look at just grades so I'd like to see what successful applicants wrote so I get an idea on what parts of my academics and athletics I should focus on and emphasize. Any story or advice is welcome. thanks

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4 Responses to “What did you say in your application for college to get accepted?”

  1. pumicite says:

    I am going to tell you a quick piece of advice, someone who has been accepted into those colleges probably won’t have the time to come on here and socialize as much and you can never tell if people are BSing or not.I know only one person on this section (microphone fiend) who has been accepted into the Ivies because he has proved to me that he actually attends those colleges.

  2. gaycat says:

    When I applied to MIT, Columbia, and Harvard I had a 4.3 unweighted GPA. Needless to say, I worked my hardest in order to have the opportunity to attend these colleges. MIT was my number one, and pretty much only choice. I did not take the SAT, instead I took the ACT. My ACT score was 34. I was in Key Club, Honors Club, and on two sports teams. I also accumulated 2200 volunteer hours from 9-12 grade.I was accepted into all three colleges, and chose my dream school MIT. I was accepted on a full academic scholarship.

  3. Notonecta says:

    I got into most of the schools I applied to. The one I did not get into was one that I had a bad essay for. I had already gotten into my top choice EA and I applied to three others just to have a choice, but I really wasn’t as motivated to get into the final school I applied to, so I didn’t spend as much time on their essay (especially because the prompt was stupid and I couldn’t change my base essay to fit that prompt). So, a bad essay will get you rejected (or I assume that’s why they did it). But the other schools, which included an ivy and a school that was ranked #1 according to US News (for whatever that’s worth) while I was there, seemed to like my essay, which was about my time visiting a ‘poor’ country. But I don’t think this is really a good question, because what makes a good application for one person can be a bad application for another. I went to one of those schools and spent some time on the admissions committee, reading and deciding on other people’s applications at that school. During that time, I saw plenty of applications, and I would say that there really is no ‘best way’ to write your application. Really, it has a lot to do with common sense. Put the activities that are impressive down on the application. You know what they are. Use your common sense. Try to highlight the more impressive things you did.As far as the essay goes, obviously answer the question. But remember that you are writing and their is an audience. Your essay doesn’t go to some computer. It goes to a person. And it goes to an overworked, tired, grumpy person who is sick of reading bad essays. So write an essay that is engaging and interesting. Don’t focus so much on trying to say what we want to hear, focus on trying to make a pleasant read. If you are funny, make it funny, if you are emotional, make it emotional. But above all, make it enjoyable. Try to limit repetitive words, like the word ‘I’. Go back through, after you are done, and get rid of as many repetitive words or I’s as possible by re-wording. It is also usually a good idea to go back and try to remove as many words as possible by re-wording. People tend to write using too many words (as I am sure I am doing now, though I am not applying to anything, so I don’t care). But the more meaning you can pack into fewer words, you will almost always come out with a better essay. And also realize that thousands of people apply and the ‘obvious’ answer to an essay prompt will be written thousands of times. That often makes the obvious answer a boring answer. So be creative. The essay is really more about style and writing ability than it is about the topic. When a reader gets and essay they are looking for intelligence (which manifests itself in the quality of your writing) and they are looking for your personality. So make sure both things come through. They are not looking so much at what you have to say, so there is no ‘correct’ or ‘best’ answer to an essay. If you can get your intelligence and personality to shine in your essay, you will help your application a lot.On the essay, and in the application, you should always remember that you are dealing with people and human psychology applies. If your app is hard to read, that will hurt you. If you come across as unconfident, that will hurt you. If you come across as full of yourself, that will hurt. If you come across as unlikable, that will hurt. If you come across as sloppy (typo’s) or uninterested, that will hurt. If you can get the reader to like you or take an interest in you, that will help. So check for these types of things and ask others to look over your app for any such problems.And, of course, make sure you get recommendations from teachers who will write glowing recommendations about you.Finally, remember that the person looking at your app will probably spend somewhere between 30 seconds and a few minutes on your app. They learn how to scan an app quickly. So try to make the things you want them to see as obvious as possible. Make your app easy to read and understand. Don’t expect them to spend more than a few minutes looking at your app or thinking about your app. Make it as polished and streamlined as possible. But, you know, this really is all common sense. It applies as much to resumes and other things, as it does to college apps. So just make sure you do a good job and you will do the best you can. Good luck.

  4. installation's says:

    So only the people that got into top colleges are qualified to answer this question? How absurd.