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How to get into an Ivy League school

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Brown University
Brown University

Getting into an Ivy League School is more than just GPA and SAT Scores. In fact, only about 20% of applicants in the top 1 percentile of test scores get into Princeton University.

Other than Grades, Ivy League admissions departments look at many other things, such as: essays, teacher and counselor recommendations and activities outside of school. These activities can include sports, music, clubs, jobs, and community service.

Before we get into extracurriculars and other personal achievements, let's take a look at the basics an Ivy League applicant should possess.

Overall what you should expect to have is:

  • at least a 1950 or better SAT. Not necessary, but definitely helps. Remember, you can take the test more than once.

  • Minimum 3.75 GPA. A 4.0 is not necessary, but you really do need at least something close to it.

  • Leadership experience. Whether it's team captain or a club officer, you need something that separates you from the crowd.

  • A solid well-written essay. The written essay in your application is extremely important. Revise as many times as needed and take your time. The essay is pretty much the only part of the application an admissions officer has to judge your personal character, outside of letters of recommendation.

Admissions Essay Writing Tips

Write about something you're really passionate and enthusiastic about. Bonus if you write about something where you learned from the situation, or if it was an event that changed you in some way.

The main thing here is stay 100% positive on an essay. A sob story won't get you in, no matter how bad of a situation it was.

Personal Achievement

Every applicant is reviewed individually and valued for his or her strengths.

Admissions officers look for distinctive achievements, devotion to academic and nonacademic pursuits, and good character with intellectual curiosity and academic excellence being the most important factors. So make sure you really stand out. Have more to show than a high SAT and good grades.

What you want to do is really show an interest in learning.

A university will see this as an individual who wants to continue the learning process. Many college applicant reviewers consider it a promising sign when students challenge themselves with advanced courses. Taking advanced honors classes and a full, rigorous high school program overall will really show your commitment to learning.

Jesse Wolfson, from the admissions department at Yale University, says the most important qualifications Yale looks at is what’s on the academic transcript.

Yale looks at how the GPA fits into the transcript and how the transcript reflects the student's taking advantage of the opportunities and resources available to them during high school. The best way to increase your chances of acceptance is to take courses which will add up to a challenging transcript with a record of high academic achievement, while also being involved with activities which you are passionate about and which complement or round out your transcript.

Advice on Applying for admission

Outside of being a sports star, your best advice is to start early.

While applying early won't increase your chance of admission, giving yourself lots of time to perfect your application is a good idea. So start early, take your time, and make it great.

You also might want to consider talking to an alumnus, someone who has gone through the process and attended the School. An alumnus may provide an inside source of information that can be beneficial in the application process and in making final commitment decisions.

Stick to this plan and it will greatly help your chances of getting accepted to the hardest colleges to get into. And if you don't get in, just remember, 90% of CEOs do not come from Ivy League schools.

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Best Classes to take in College

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Registering for Classes

No matter what major you decide to choose, there are certain courses that all students should take while in college.

Not just because these classes are a requirement, but classes all students should take that help with personal development and the betterment of our lives.

Here are classes any student should take to better themselves and to understand and survive the real world.

  • Economics 101
    Taking an economics class will help you understand money, finance and market inflation in the global world. If you want money, you need to know how to manage it, spend it and save it.

  • Any extracurricular class
    Take an arts class or Fine arts class. A class that can really wake up the creative side of your brain, like music or art work. It's also one of the best ways to improve yourself.

  • Law 101
    We're not all lawyers, and we're not all going to law school, but it's good to understand the basic terminology and process of the legal system. Knowing legal basics can keep you out of a lot of trouble down the road. It's best to know your rights and the legal system.

  • html, creating webpages
    The internet is the future, and the future is now. The Internet is where the world's information is kept. Better have your part in it. All aspects of life, from business and education to hobbies and other personal subjects are on the World Wide Web.

  • Marketing 101
    No matter what business you decide to go in, you'll be marketing something. Whether it's yourself or your sales product, you need to know how to sell.

  • Business Communications 101 (or equivalent writing class)
    Learn how to write memos, resumes, press releases, etc. You need to know how to communicate to the business world, in the business world.

  • Political Science 101
    All of us need to stay current on political issues and what is going on in the world around us. An understanding of these issues will help us contribute more to our society. Whether it comes to our political stance, voting, or just general opinion, we need to be the best educated we can to continue a successful democracy.

  • Bonus: Entrepreneurship
    Colleges teach us how to be good employees, yet few teach us how to go about starting up our own business. This is the real path to riches. The challenge of someday running your own business is risky, yet rewarding. A class in entrepreneurship will give you a firsthand experience and practice in what it takes to create a startup. Many startups fail so it is best to learn as much as you can by learning the ins and out of starting a business.

These are classes are recommended to any college student, no matter what major they are. These are classes you should take for personal benefit.

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10 Best Colleges to Attend

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Here are the Top 10 Best Colleges to attend. These top 10 schools are based on Academics, Quality of Life and overall campus resources. A degree from one of these schools will surely lead to a successful career.

Best Colleges
Princeton is one of the Best Colleges
  1. Princeton

    Princeton is a private Ivy League university located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is known to provide its students some of the best financial aid packages making it one of the most affordable colleges in the nation. Princeton is also one of the most beautiful colleges.

  2. Stanford

    Size wise, Stanford has one of the largest campuses in the nation. It has one of the best law schools and one of the top business schools, especially if you are the entrepreneur type. Located in the Silicon Valley, Stanford is in a prime startup hub and many tech companies have emerged from it's surroundings.

  3. Harvard

    Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is the oldest U.S. University still in operation. Harvard is one of the hardest colleges to get into with only a 9.3% acceptance rate. Harvard also houses one of the largest academic libraries in the United States.

  4. MIT

    MIT is seen in nearly every top 10 college ranking year after year. MIT is generally considered to have one of the best engineering programs in the world, and MIT grads earn more than most other colleges.

  5. University of California - Berkeley

    also known as UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal.

    Berkeley is the main college in the University of California System, which consists of 10 schools. The student to faculty ratio is 15.5 to 1, which is pretty impressive for a public university. UC Berkeley also offers excellent PhD programs that are tops in the nation.

  6. UCLA

    UCLA is the most popular college receiving 50,000 applications for admission. It also has one of the best Athletic programs, winning multiple NCAA championships. UCLA is also known as one of the best public research institutions in the nation.

  7. USC

    USC is a private school with one of the most diverse campuses in the world. It is one of the world's leading private research universities and the largest private employer in Los Angeles.

  8. Notre Dame

    Notre Dame is a Roman Catholic university with 82% of the student body being of the Catholic religion. There is no Greek system but intramural sports between the dorms is very popular and play becomes very competitive. Two words that sum up Notre Dame: Academics and Football.

  9. University of Michigan

    The University of Michigan is known for its athletics, mainly their historic presence in college football and winning the very first Rose Bowl. Although it is a public university, Michigan is currently the most expensive in the country (tuition wise), for out-of-state students.

  10. University of Washington

    The University of Washington is the oldest public university on the west coast. Rainy weather in Seattle will keep you focused on your studies at UW. It's Med school and Business schools are among the elite programs in the nation. The university even offers some in state students free tuition.

If you are considering online colleges, consider these top 10 schools:

Best Online Colleges
  1. Nova Southeastern University
  2. Regent University
  3. Champlain College
  4. Upper Iowa University
  5. LeTourneau University
  6. Liberty University
  7. Grand Canyon University
  8. Dickinson State University
  9. Salem International University
  10. Keiser University

Explore more colleges online:

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Best College News Sites

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Here are some of the top rated college newspapers in the country. Many of these daily publications are independent and historically established. An RSS feed for college news (if available) is also listed on each entry.
  1. Yale - Yale Daily News

    aka YDN, the Yale Daily News has been up and running since 1878. YDN is published 5 days a week (monday - friday) during the academic year. RSS feed

  2. University of Arizona - Arizona Daily Wildcat

    Published daily during the spring and fall semesters and weekly during the summer months. RSS feed

  3. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill - The Daily Tar Heel

    One of the first college newspapers to go online. RSS feed

  4. Howard - The Hilltop

    The Hilltop is the first and only daily newspaper at a Historically Black College or University in the United States. RSS feed

  5. University of Penn - The Daily Pennsylvanian

    Has a staff of more than 250 students. RSS feed

  6. University of Georgia - The Red and Black

    RSS feed

  7. University of Maryland – College Park - The Diamondback

    Receives annual advertising revenues of over $1 million. RSS feed

  8. Harvard - The Harvard Crimson

    Claims to be one of the oldest daily college news publications. RSS feed

  9. Indiana - Bloomington - Indiana Daily Student

  10. University of Texas - Austin - The Daily Texan

    One of the largest college newspapers with a circulation of about 30,000. The Daily Texan also produces a daily podcast.

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Princeton Library joins Google Books

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Princeton University helps create an online digital library

Soon there may be no need to visit your local library, as Google tries to put books online.Google Book Search

A new partnership between the Princeton University Library and Google soon will make approximately 1 million books in Princeton's collection available online in a searchable format.

The library will work with Google over the next six years to digitize books that are in the public domain and no longer under copyright.

The partnership is part of the Google Books Library Project, which digitizes books from major libraries and makes it possible for Internet users to search the collections through Google Book Search.

"Generations of Princeton librarians have devoted themselves to building a remarkable collection of books in thousands of subjects and dozens of languages," University Librarian Karin Trainer said.

"Having the portion of that collection not covered by copyright available online will make it easier for Princeton students and faculty to do research, and joining the Google partnership allows us to share our collection with researchers worldwide, a step very much in keeping with the University's unofficial motto of Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations."

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Most Popular College

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UCLA is the most popular college
UCLA is the most popular College
UCLA is the nation’s most popular college

However, when considering online colleges, the University of Phoenix is the most popular with over 300,000 students.

More than 50,000 High School Seniors Applied for admission for Fall of 2007, making UCLA the most popular university.

Of course the University of California – Los Angeles campus could not house a class size that large, making admissions difficult and strict.

UCLA’s popularity is still increasing as it is considered one of the best colleges to attend.

Applications increased 7.1 percent at UCLA, while applications for the entire University of California system were up 5.3 percent for the 2007 school year.

The fall 2007 freshmen class will be admitted using the “holistic approach”, which was adopted in the fall of 2006 by the faculty Committee for Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools and approved by the UCLA Academic Senate.

In the past, applications were reviewed in sections, with two readers reviewing academics and a third reader reviewing personal achievements and life challenges. Under the holistic approach, each application is read and considered in its entirety by two readers.

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Google Books Library Project

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Google Book Search The World Wide Web is one step closer to accessing free online digital books.

Google and Libraries at the University of Texas have announced a partnership to put books in digital form and make them available online.

Other national libraries involved in the Google Books Library Project include:

The multi-year project was started in December 2004. With the help of the University of Texas Libraries, Google will digitize at least one million volumes from collections.

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