My daughter was recently accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, Upenn, and will be starting there this Fall. We only have one child, and this was our first go around, since our college days, experiencing the whole college application drama that young students go through these days.
Just so happens that my daughter attends an all girls school which is one of the best private schools in the Philadelphia area, and is an A student. So I was extremely surprised at her reluctance to apply to an Ivy League school. What was even more surprising to me was that the counselors themselves coached not only my daughter, but apparently all 85 seniors that an Ivy League College is a super stretch.
I was shocked to say the least at the near paralyzing fear that students are experiencing these days around the college application process. These beautiful and extremely bright girls are actually afraid that they might not get into college… anywhere.
I think the problem comes from confusing risk and uncertainty.
The typical high school student, who applies to a good range of schools, runs little risk of being rejected by them all. The thing is that they can’t be certain which schools will accept them and which won’t. So it’s a low risk, high uncertainty scenario.
The hardest part of getting into the ivy league is not the application process, is the preparation process. The years of hard work that go into molding a person into the type of student a high caliber school is interested in. So assuming you’ve done all the hard work, and any of the eight ivy league colleges will do, the formula is simple…apply to them all. That’s right apply to Harvard, Yale, Upenn, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Princeton. What’s the likely hood that all 8 ivy’s will reject you? Your risk will be low, but your uncertainty high. That’s the strategy that New York senior Kwasi Enin followed. He was accepted to all 8 ivy’s.
There’s also the strategy of paying Steven Ma, founder of ThinkTank Learning $600,000 dollars and he’ll guarantee you get into a top school….but he’s using the same odds.