So You Think You Have What It Takes To Get Into An Ivy? Think Again!

You are a rising senior, it’s July and you have the following student profile:

  • GPA:  4.4/4.0 weighted
  • AP courses:  Multiple AP courses and 5’s on AP exams.
  • SAT I:  1590
  • SAT II:  Math 2: 800  Chemistry: 800  Biology: 800
  • Athletics:  Captain of the lacrosse team or co-Captain of the swim team.
  • Arts:  First place in piano, violin and dance competitions since middle school.
  • Extracirrcular activities include: Expensive summer camps and helping the poor.
  • Awards & Achievements: Science, art , music and/or community service awards.
  • Leadership: Created a non-profit with it’s own website.
  • Innovation:  Published a book or research paper or developed a startup or app.
  • Letters of recommendations:  Assumed to be all excellent and glowing.
  • Guidance/college counselor LOR: excellent.
  • Extras: You believe that you or your parents have a “connection” to get in.
  • For BS/MD Program applicants:  Shadowed doctors, volunteered in hospitals, completed medical research, attended mini-medical schools, earned EMT certification.

Assumption: You and your parents and your guidance counselor believe that you have all that it takes to get an acceptance letter from at least one of the Ivies and all of the highly competitive schools, additionally safety schools are a shoo-in……Not so!

Year after year, I hear the horror stories in December (Early Decision/Action) and in late March (Regular Decision) from parents (who were not our clients) who call us wanting to know what happened and why their wonderful kids were rejected.

These parents have not anticipated that college admissions officers can see through the hollow pretense of a packaged, perfect student.  And that their children sound just like every other “perfect” applicant.


Ivy League and highly selective colleges do not need perfection from a single candidate. What they seek is a diverse, dynamic, harmonious and perfect entering class.

Well-meaning sources (other educational consultants, family and friends) tell you what you should be doing.  In my practice, we help our clients discover what they are NOT and should NOT be doing!

And it’s what you are NOT DOING that makes you unique, standout and receive an acceptance letter not rejections!

Blog:  College Admissions is a Competitive Sport – How to Win Your Personal Admissions Game!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.