1) “Insufficient facts always invite danger.”
Admission rates at the 100 or so most selective colleges have declined significantly over the past 30 years, from 54 percent in 1984 to 32 percent in 2012. Numbers at the Ivies are daunting: 6 percent at Harvard, 6 percent at Yale, 7 percent at Columbia. It is 5 percent at Stanford.
However, top colleges have gotten a lot bigger. Many of the universities have added seats (like Michigan, Berkeley and Boston University), while some huge schools have joined the ranks of the elite (think NYU, USC and UCLA).
There are 55 percent more seats available today than there were 30 years ago. Even considering the increase in international applicants, there are 44 percent more seats for every American student than in the early 1980s.
It is therefore logical that while it’s more difficult to get into any one top college, getting into one of the top colleges is much easier.
Be logical; not emotional. Do not set your heart at any one college. List at least 10 to 17 schools that would make you ecstatic (I know you are human!) and apply to them all; use early options where possible. You will get in.
[N.B. Of course, you need to have high SAT, ACT, grades and a great personal statement. Ask a Hillview Prep mentor for details how to do it. ~ your Hillview Prep team.]
2) “It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.”
Many of you will go to an Ivy League because your family wants you to. Maybe, your friends are going. But do you want to go? Do you know what you really want? If not, check out this blog post by Hillview Prep mentor, Sean Massa, a Yale student.
3) “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”
Be yourself. Every school wants a diverse student body, whatever that means. It could mean a champion Snow Polo player (??); if that's not you, don't be emotional and waste your time pretending that they wanted you. Instead, go all in on your passion. You can’t be a perfect match for 17 different schools, but you can be your best you.
4) “Live long and prosper.”
Remember, you can live long and prosper despite not getting in a top 100 college. However, we at Hillview Prep believe that you can do it. Contact us and let us help you achieve your goals.