What do Ivy League Colleges and Elite Universities look for while evaluating an undergraduate applicant? - UniVisory
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What do Ivy League Colleges and Elite Universities look for while evaluating an undergraduate applicant?


What do Ivy League Colleges and Elite Universities look for while evaluating an undergraduate applicant?

Generally speaking , Ivy league & top universities look for engaged , interesting human beings who will positively contribute to their college & community and could possibly will go on to change the world. Here are few examples what do universities look for in a student –
  • Harvard – We seek to identify students who will be the best educators of one another and their professors –individuals who will inspire those around them during college years and beyond
  • Stanford – We review applications holistically , focusing on academic excellence , intellectual vitality , and personal context
  • University of Southern California – We look for students who posses potential to contribute our diverse and vibrant college life , who represent a vast array of interest and passions , and are leaders unafraid to speak up in class or fight for a cause
  • Emory – We are looking to challenge one another to be the best that we can be ,and we are looking for students who will make positive contribution to this dynamic community
  • Yale – Describing the process of selecting future Yale students, President Kingman Brewster once wrote , “I am inclined to believe that the person who gives every ounce to do something superbly has an advantage over the person whose capacities may be great but who seems to have no desire to stretch them to their limit.” Within the context of each applicant’s life and circumstances, we look for that desire and ability to stretch one’s limits. Transcripts, test scores, essays, and recommendations help paint a picture not only of a student’s accomplishments to date but also of the ways in which an applicant has taken advantage of the opportunities available to him or her. Academic Ability -Yale is above all an academic institution. This means academic strength is our first consideration in evaluating any candidate. The single most important document in your application is your high school transcript, which tells us a great deal about your academic drive and performance over time. We look for students who have consistently taken a broad range of challenging courses in high school and have done well. 
  • Princeton – We look for students with intellectual curiosity, who have pursued and achieved academic excellence. We also look for students with strong personal and extracurricular accomplishments. Our Advice : Instead of worrying about meeting a specific set of criteria, try to create an application that will help us see your achievements — inside the classroom and out — in their true context, so we can understand your potential to take advantage of the resources at Princeton and the kind of contribution you would make to the Princeton community. Show us what kind of student you are. Show us that you have taken advantage of what your high school has to offer, how you have achieved and contributed in your own particular context. We look for students who make a difference in their schools and communities, so tell us about your leadership activities, interests, special skills and other extracurricular involvements
  • Cornell – Your Intellectual Potential :Have you challenged yourself with the highest-level courses? How have you demonstrated your passion for learning? Your Character Honesty. Open-mindedness. Initiative. Empathy. Your values are important to Cornell. Do your application essaysand recommendations reflect your strongest personal attributes? Your Involvement Extracurricular activities. Community involvement. Workplace experience. Leadership. What special talents or interests have you developed ? Your Reasons for Choosing Us Whether you’ve decided on a major or not, how do you plan on taking advantage of the exceptional learning environment at Cornell? Why is it the right place for you?
  • John Hopkins – We look at academic character of student . How do you demonstrate your academic passions? What is important to you? To get a good idea of where your academic spirit lies, we’ll look at your transcripts and testing, but also your teacher and counselor recommendations. Our undergraduates contribute to our campus and our community. We urge students to think about how they can make a difference through service, leadership, and innovation. The admissions committee looks closely at applicants’ extracurricular activities and recommendations to assess commitments outside the classroom. How do you engage with your community—academic, personal, and social? What personal qualities do you possess that would make you a good fit for our campus? We’re looking for students who are eager to follow their interests at the college level and are enthusiastic about joining the campus community.
  • Dartmouth Every student we admit brings something unique to the community :a combination of qualities , experiences ,and point of view that isn’t duplicated by any other student. Our holistic admissions is grounded in the concept that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts.
  • Columbia – The admissions process at Columbia is a holistic one, which means that every part of the application matters to help inform our judgment. We read personal statements to try to understand each candidate and what motivates them. We read teacher recommendations carefully to understand a candidate’s contributions in the classroom and what that candidate might offer their Columbia classmates. In the end our goal is to find the students who are the best fit for Columbia. Each year, there are many more qualified applicants than there are places in our class. With such an appealing pool of applicants, it is the job of the admissions committee to get to know all students and select those that we believe will take greatest advantage of the unique Columbia experience and will offer something meaningful in return to the community.
  • MIT – You should be invested in the things that really mean something to you (we’re not particularly picky as to what). Explore! Choose quality over quantity—you don’t have to do a million things to get into college. Put your heart into a few things that you truly care about and that will be enough.
  • University of Pennsylvania – Academics are an important part of your application, but we also want to know what you’re like outside the classroom. The Activities section of your application offers our Admissions Committee a glimpse into what excites you, what you’re passionate about, what responsibilities you have at home, and some of the ways you’re contributing to your community.
  • Duke University – Duke offers a multitude of opportunities to its undergraduates. We’re looking for students ready to respond to those opportunities intelligently, creatively, and enthusiastically. We like ambition and curiosity, talent and persistence, energy and humanity.
  • UBC – When we evaluate your application, two trained UBC readers will look for four qualities in your Personal Profile: engagement and accomplishment, leadership, substance, and voice. This is a chance for us to find out more about you and your experiences beyond academics.
  • Waterloo – First and foremost, the AIF is your chance to talk about your involvement in activities outside of class. We want to hear about your extracurriculars. Were you captain of your school’s debate team? President of the robotics club? Did you play any sports or instruments? We want to hear about any jobs you’ve had. Did you lifeguard? Tutor? Work at a grocery store? We also want to know about any awards and scholarships you’ve received over the last few years. Tell us about the times you’ve been recognized or distinguished amongst your peers. Then, if need be, talk about those extenuating circumstances, and let us know what happened.
  • Oxford – Common denominator at Oxford is the ability to think deeply… It’s the ability to look at anything – whether it’s a newspaper article, a piece of research or an object – and instinctively start considering the theory behind it, the potential impacts on a wider level, your own position and thoughts about it, what other people might think… It’s the ability to absolutely refuse to take things at face value.
  • UC Berkley – The applicant’s full record of achievement in college preparatory work in high school, including the number and rigor of courses taken and grades earned in those courses. Personal qualities of the applicant, including leadership ability, character, motivation, insight, tenacity, initiative, originality, intellectual independence, responsibility, maturity, and demonstrated concern for others and for the community are considered. Likely contributions to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus. In addition to a broad range of intellectual interests and achievements, admission readers seek diversity in personal background and experience. Achievement in academic enrichment programs, including but not limited to those sponsored by the University of California. This criterion is measured by time and depth of participation, by the academic progress made by the applicant during that participation, and by the intellectual rigor of the particular program. Other evidence of achievement recognizes exemplary, sustained achievement in any field of intellectual or creative endeavor; accomplishments in extracurricular activities such as the performing arts or athletics; leadership in school or community organizations; employment; and volunteer service.

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